Campaign Review: Chocolate and chicken in the spotlight

In Campaign Review, Mumbrella invites industry creatives and strategists to offer their views on recent ad campaigns. This week, Cadbury and Nando's were under the spotlight as The Accompany Group's principal, Joanna Lilley, and Huei Yin Wong, senior art director at Clemenger BBDO, took a look at their most recent spots from Ogilvy and Sunday Gravy.

Brand: Cadbury

Campaign(s): ‘Cheer and a Half’ – Matildas and ‘Cheer and a Half’ – Wallabies

Agency: Ogilvy

The verdict: Nice to see but lacked a creative twist.

Joanna Lilley, principal at The Accompany Group, gave it an 8/10, saying:

I love the ‘Glass and a half in everyone’ platform. I think we can all agree it is strategically brilliant and beautifully executed. Simple stories that resonate with a broad audience and authentically incorporate the product – I might even have shed a tear at the ‘mum’s birthday’ execution when it first aired back in 2018.

But like any long running campaign, the challenge is how to make the next one better than the last and how to creatively stretch it when you have a sponsorship proposition to hit.

To some extent sponsorship ads often feel a bit contrived and the creative challenge is how to incorporate the brand in an authentic way. These spots feel better and more natural than most, but the stories are not as compelling as the originals.

As you would expect from a global business with global brand standards, the execution is highly crafted and tonally in line with the others. Asking sportspeople to act is always risky but with Nic White they’ve just about pulled it off.

I don’t think this is going to win any awards but it’s better than the majority of executions in the sea of sponsorship ads at the moment. And I would suggest brand recognition and association will be relatively high because of the halo effect and love for the other ‘Glass and a half’ spots.

Huei Yin Wong, senior art director at Clemenger BBDO, gave it a 5/10, saying:

Giving ads a numerical judgment is hard, given the lack of context of the project itself. The numbers assigned below operate on a bell curve, with the majority of work placed around the middle, with fewer at each extremity.

Matildas spot: It’s great to see large multinational brands support women’s sport on both a professional and grassroots level, with the Give a Cheer and a Half website as a nice way to connect Cadbury’s audience with actionable volunteering outcomes.

This is an exciting brief, but I felt the film component fell short. Sure, it did the job of communicating Cadbury’s partnership, but it lacked a creative twist.

There were certain elements of production that I think could’ve elevated the outcome. For example, I thought the cast didn’t quite fit the part and the lighting could’ve been improved.

All in all, I applaud the ongoing support of women’s sport but think this film could’ve benefited from tapping into the strong emotions and tensions that surround women’s sport.

Wallabies spot: This spot sits very comfortably in the Cadbury cinematic universe. Cadbury has rolled out this formula before—it’s safe and nice enough—but the creative in me wishes they would take more risks as a brand. Chocolate is universally loved and can be a social equaliser. It’s a fantastic product and I’d love to see them create ads that boldly push creativity forward.

I also thought Wallabies half back, Nic White, performed well. There was genuine warmth in his smile back to the kid. In terms of craft, the pack shot could’ve been finessed a little more on the endframe. It’s the little details that matter.

A nice, albeit safe, piece of film that shows off Cadbury’s partnership with the Wallabies.

Brand: Nando’s

Campaign: ‘Fiery Times. Fired Up Flavours’

Agency: Sunday Gravy

The verdict: Fun and fiery for sure, but does it perpetuate stereotypes?

Joanna gave it a 6/10, saying:

The star of this spot is Professor Rhythm, a prolific South Africa musician and producer. Clearly, I didn’t know this and had to look him up, but does anyone actually know this? And does anyone realise Nando’s South African heritage and make the connection?

You have to admire Nando’s for being so true to their brand story, and I’m always about the why behind creative choices (they also chose their font because it was used in road signs in Johannesburg), but I think Nando’s may be giving their audience too much credit.

Then again, I’m not the target audience and maybe it doesn’t actually matter. It’s definitely a bit of fun, Professor Rhythm is cute, and the tune is catchy. I find it a bit random and confusing but in a world of clutter it certainly got my attention and entertained me.

Huei gave it a 6.5/10, saying:

I like the positioning of Nando’s for the days where things are just a bit too much—a version of ‘lazy girl dinner’. ‘Fiery Times, Fired Up Flavour’ speaks truth. Nando’s chicken is comforting in strange times, and I think the tone here is right to reignite the brand.

The main character’s forced smile and unbroken stare adds an unhinged nature to this spot—which I like—and will resonate well with the youths. The use of Professor Rhythm was on point, with the musician’s South African origins marrying up nicely to Nando’s. A part of me wonders if we’re perpetuating stereotypes through the South African character. Now that that’s in my brain, I’m not sure if that smile was intentionally strained or otherwise.

There were a few things that I thought could be improved, mainly with performance and edit. But overall, I commend the team for creating an escapist spot true to the nature of fast food category.

Chicken yum yum, indeed.

As told to Lauren McNamara.

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


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