Campaign Review: Coles, Gordon Legal and Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers

In Campaign Review, Mumbrella invites industry creatives and strategists to offer their views on recent ad campaigns. This week, Five by Five's managing director Matt Lawton and Claxon Agency's chief strategy officer Danny Molyneux shared their thoughts on work from Coles, Gordon Legal and Carroll & O'Dea Lawyers.

Brand: Coles

Campaign: ‘Quality’

Agency: Smith St

The verdict: A fresh approach to showcasing passion and commitment.

Matt Lawton, managing director at Five by Five, gave it an 8/10, saying:

Coles are in a tough spot where consumers are struggling under inflation and grocery bills keep climbing. So you could understand if they doubled down on their “Down, Down” retail ads. Instead, they’ve invested in brand building around quality and value, provenance and passion. I think they deserve credit for that as it shows they’ve been paying attention to “the long and the short of it”, as Ritson would say – maintaining brand building activity to ensure the long term health of their profit line.

High production values and sharp writing make it very watchable, but there could be a problem – and that’s about the tone. I’m sure there’s a brand bible somewhere at Coles that says upbeat and happy is an attribute. This work is aligned to that as the campaign is light-hearted. A big part of me wants to believe it’ll resonate, but I’m worried the level of silliness might just feel annoying to Coles shoppers who are doing it tough. If Coles do indeed go to great lengths for quality, it might be better to illustrate that more genuinely with real banana prawn fishermen and taste testers. This would make the ad more believable in a time where people can be cynical about why the millions spent trying to make us smile aren’t invested in lowering prices at the checkout… a truly tiresome argument I can’t believe I’ve caught myself making!

A better route might be for Coles to show their human-side with the actual humans in their value chain rather than actors. Despite the nagging voice in my head, I’d still give this work an 8/10, mainly based on the fights the team must have won for it to be made. Plus, I may have been completely wrong about actors since they’re wearing name badges as if they’re staff. And that would explain why Hollywood is on strike!

Danny Molyneux, chief strategy officer at Claxon Agency, gave it an 8/10, saying:

In a highly competitive retail landscape, it takes more than just product offering to win over consumers. It requires a deeper connection, a compelling story, and a commitment to excellence.

Coles understands this well, as demonstrated by its latest ‘Quality’ campaign.

The ‘Quality’ campaign is a testament to creativity, strategy, and execution, seamlessly spreading its message across Coles’ range of fresh meat, produce, bakery, and own-brand products. It takes viewers on a captivating journey, highlighting the tremendous efforts undertaken by Coles’ team members and suppliers to ensure the delivery of high-quality products to Aussies.

One of the campaign’s strengths lies in its ability to showcase the positive Aussie spirit and passion of Coles’ team members and suppliers. Despite facing various challenges, such as angry geese, early mornings, and torrential rain, these individuals remain resilient and committed to their craft. This portrayal not only humanises the Coles brand but also resonates with consumers who will surely appreciate the dedication that goes into delivering top-tier products.

The campaign effectively utilises various touchpoints to engage consumers. Via Coles Magazine, Coles Radio, and the brand’s website, the campaign ensures that the stories behind their products reach a diverse audience. Coles also clearly recognizes the significance of digital platforms in today’s consumer landscape and extends the campaign’s presence across key digital platforms. In doing so, they bring these captivating stories directly to consumers’ fingertips whilst fully leveraging earned, owned & paid media.

This campaign is a prime example of the power of storytelling, authenticity, and flawless execution in the realm of advertising.

Brand: Gordon Legal

Campaign: ‘Solid Ground’

Agency: By All Means

The verdict: A powerful blend of creativity, strategy and multi-faceted execution.

Matt gave it a 9/10, saying:

I think this is really really nice work. Each element is beautifully produced: the vision, music and voice-over are almost cinematic. That sinking feeling is nicely portrayed in an engaging, simple way. It’s so much better than the category norm. Bravo.

My one suggestion, if I’d been on the team, would be to increase visibility of the phone number with a black background and / or make it bigger. It’s a direct response ad after all, and such a concession wouldn’t have ‘spoiled’ the ad’s integrity. It would have made it even more effective. Perhaps the creatives won the argument in the edit suite but I would have dug in on that issue. Great work.

Danny gave it a 6.5/10, saying:

In the world of Legal Services, where trust and empathy are paramount, it can be hard to cut through and capture attention. The ‘Solid Ground’ campaign revolves around the tagline, “We’ll get you back on solid ground,” following the stories of three injured Australians. The campaign looks to showcase the firm’s expertise in personal injury law, class actions, industrial law, personal law, and commercial litigation. The creative is engaging with a play on the solid ground aspect of the execution. The campaign highlights the firm’s core values, genuine care and empathetic approach.

The campaign integrates multiple channels to extend its reach across various media platforms. Through film, digital, web, and social channels, the campaign effectively delivers its message to the target audience, ensuring it resonates with individuals seeking legal assistance.

Gordon Legal’s ‘Solid Ground’ campaign looks to raise the bar for the legal services category. It combines creative, strategic insight, and solid execution to convey the firm’s core values and empathetic approach.

By engaging audiences through a diverse set of media touchpoints, the campaign positions Gordon Legal as a trusted advocate for those seeking assistance with personal injuries; although, I do feel it falls slightly short of cutting through the noise and making that human connection.

Brand: Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers

Campaign: ‘Choose the lawyer a lawyer would choose’

Agency: Campaign Edge

The verdict: Strong creative strategy with a unique execution.

Matt gave it an 8/10, saying:

This is the other side of the coin in terms of tonality, as it attempts to build empathy in a more amusing way. If they built off a genuine insight that people offer legal referrals, then I guess one could relate to this very powerfully.

What makes this ad arresting is the voice-to-camera at the end hitting home the message. I really like the line: “choose lawyers a lawyer would choose”, but there’s no substantiation for that claim. Aren’t lawyers supposed to look for proof when a claim is made? It’s a bold approach to the category, and strong production values and tight writing more than compensate for this, making it an 8/10 for me.

Danny gave it a 7/10, saying:

As we’ve seen in the legal industry, competition is fierce, and distinguishing one law firm from another whilst making a genuine connection can be challenging. Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers, however, has risen to the challenge and developed a campaign with a clever twist. The campaign takes a unique approach by urging individuals seeking compensation lawyers to “choose the lawyer a lawyer would choose”.

The campaign cleverly highlights the fact that when it comes to compensation cases (as with most other areas in life), people often rely on the advice of those around them. The 30-second spot showcases colleagues, taxi drivers, and family members recommending which lawyer to choose.

In this relatable execution Carroll & O’Dea opted for a fresh narrative that replicates the moments in life when everyone offers their opinions on what choices to make. This different storytelling approach adds a unique twist to the campaign, ensuring it stands out and captures the attention of the audience. It taps into the reality that people face day to day often seeking recommendations from trusted sources when faced with legal matters.

The execution of the campaign is great, with the 30-second spot effectively conveying the message whilst capturing viewer attention.

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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