Campaign Review: Cars in the spotlight with work from Uber, AAMI and SA Police

This week in Campaign Review, The Pistol's head of strategy, Emilia Chambers, and associate creative director at DDB, Tom Lawrence, take a look at an earned campaign from Uber Carshare, and TVCs from AAMI and South Australia Police.

In Campaign Review, Mumbrella invites industry creatives and strategists to offer their views on recent ad campaigns.

Brand: Uber Carshare

Campaign: ‘Australia’s Second Car’

Agency: Poem

The verdict: The ad ticks many boxes, but maybe they should have showcased how they’re doing good for cost-of-living and the environment. 

Emilia Chambers, head of strategy at The Pistol, gave it a 7/10, and said:

Uber is known for its big impact campaigns, bringing in big names and delivering their message in a comical way. It takes a confident brand, with a brand strategy they believe in, to be so openly self-deprecating, and I can only commend them for seeing this strategy through with their carshare offering. It’s an approach that many brands steer away from due to the risk to the brand should the self-deprecating humor accidentally become the consumer truth.

But I can’t help but feel that Uber has missed an opportunity to show the brand in a more favorable light. The concept of carshare aids in solving arguably two of our biggest challenges that we’re facing as a society; cost of living and environment. A reliable carshare solution reduces the need for people to own their own cars, therefore reducing the costs associated with things such as insurance and servicing. Less cars owned, means less cars on the road, which has a positive impact on the environment by reducing emissions. Given the recent press Uber has faced with the Australian taxi class action, carshare could have been the opportunity to show consumers that they are doing good.

Strategy aside, the ad itself ticks many boxes. It’s quintessentially Australian but delivered in a way that you laugh at, rather than cringe at. Selecting Valterri was a genius move, with an accent that will cut through against the majority of other ads in the market, and creates opportunity to build on the F1 hype off the back of the Australian Grand Prix and the recent success of the Netflix series Ride to Survive. And the consistent use of Teal is a textbook example of brand building and building association.

Tom Lawrence, associate creative director at DDB, gave it a 7.5/10, and said: 

So nice to see brands having some fun and Uber are so damn good at it. Such a simple idea and to get a non actor talent delivering this well is legendary. Not sure if it’s just the grading on Bottas’ eyes but the work makes me smile, it’s lighthearted and super simple.

I think maybe the social film is a touch too long, I’m sure they used all those beats as cutdowns which maybe landed a little better. The Aussie tropes thing is also fairly familiar but they executed it well so who cares. Seems like they got a fair bit of pickup as well! Nice one all round.

Brand: AAMI

Campaign: ‘Lucky You’re With AAMI’

Agency: Ogilvy

The verdict: Smart use of an iconic Australian poem, and well executed campaign, but perhaps a bit cheesy? 

Emilia gave it a 9/10, and said:

We’ve all grappled with the challenge of how to showcase everything you can do without overwhelming or confusing consumers. Do you show a lot quickly or one part in detail? The new AAMI brand campaign solves this age old challenge and gives us all an important lesson in breadth delivered with relatable simplicity.

The ad manages to showcase seven different insurance scenarios in 51 seconds, meaning that each scenario has less than eight seconds to land, and does so flawlessly. What has made this possible? It’s the simplicity, and more importantly the relatability of the scenarios featured. We’ve all either been there ourselves, or known someone who has, making it easier for consumers to relate to at least one of the scenarios and understand them in a short space of time. The use of different ages, ethnicities and family statuses also ensures that for those who haven’t experienced one of the featured mishaps, that they can still see themselves in the content, adding to the relatability factor.

Though what really is the cherry on top of this ad is the use of the ‘My Country’ poem. It’s iconic in its own right but it adds a critical recall link, something that can really support brand salience. We all know the success that Qantas has had with their use of ‘I Still Call Australia Home’ in their brand campaigns and I would challenge you to find someone in Australia who doesn’t think of Qantas when they hear that song. Time will tell whether AAMI can build a stronger brand through their iconic alignment to ‘My Country’ but they’re on the right path.

Overall, I take my hat off to AAMI and the team at Ogilvy. It’s a smart brand platform refresh, that brings together an iconic Australian brand with an iconic Australian poem, while showcasing a range of insurance scenarios, creating the perfect opportunity to connect with a more diverse group of consumers.

Tom gave it a 7/10, and said: 

First of all, not cool putting a spider in an ad. My heart rate isn’t happy so one point off already. Another point off for putting the spider in the final shot as well. But hey, a pretty welcomed breath of fresh air for the category isn’t it! Seems like they put a healthy budget to work.

It’s a charming, clever spot and a classy use of the Mackeller poem. Maybe could have toned down the performances half a notch, gets a bit cheesy in spots, but other than that, it’s a cracker. 

Brand: South Australia Police

Campaign: ‘Anti-drug driving’

Agency: Black Sheep Advertising

The verdict: Creative has power in driving emotion, and this proves it. But did it fall flat?

Emilia gave it a 9/10, and said:

Throughout the years we have seen our fair share of road safety campaigns, with most ending in an upsetting scenario that should make you think twice before getting behind the wheel. But the anti-drug driving campaign created by Black Sheep Advertising for SAPOL is different. Instead of being hit with a hard to watch scene at the end, you’re taking on 45 seconds of what I can only describe as heightened anxiety. The erratic movements of the driver, the constant glances in the mirror and the hurried move to hide the drugs all come together to leave viewers feeling as stressed and frantic as the driver himself. And what makes this so brilliant is that it is all delivered without an end impact moment. There is no crash, no knock on a loved ones door, no funeral of a young person lost too soon. Yet the ad lands the fact that driving on drugs has serious ramifications.

While aimed at drug drivers, there is no denying that this ad has the ability to extend beyond this group and it comes back to that anxiety. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels slightly nervous when a police car is behind me despite having no reason for them to pull me over. It’s that feeling that fills this ad and resonates beyond just those who have driven while impacted by drugs.

If we can take anything away from this campaign it is the power creative has in driving emotion. If you break down the parts of this ad, individually there is nothing noteworthy, but when you combine the visual movements of the driver, the sound of the police sirens and the quick change of shots throughout, they all come together to deliver an emotive response. The sum of subtle parts that come together to deliver impact.

Tom gave it a 6/10, and said:

Let’s start with the good. The acting was great, the cinematography well executed, the grading awesome. They have done a great job creating a deeply stressful and intense ad. So really, the execution is fantastic.

It’s the idea and strategy that lets it down. This feels fairly insensitive and demonising of drug users. Fear mongering and vilifying drug users just doesn’t feel like a smart way to reduce harm. Maybe it works, but I doubt it. I feel there are so many other ways to get people to reconsider driving while under the influence that doesn’t create a culture of shame and guilt.

As told to Lauren McNamara.

If you are a senior creative or strategist who would like to take part in a future Campaign Review, please email Lauren at


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