Campaign Review: First works for Willed and Valiant

In Campaign Review, Mumbrella invites the industry's creatives and strategists to offer their views on recent ad campaigns. For this week's Campaign Review, Mumbrella asks Clemenger BBDO Melbourne's Ant Phillips and whiteGREY's Jamie Parfitt to review two first works from Hardhat for Willed, and Paper Moose for Valiant.

Brand: Willed

Campaign: Dead Easy

Agency: Hardhat

The verdict: Great protagonist, could use some more product clarity




Ant Phillips, creative director at Clemenger BBDO Melbourne gave it a 6/10, saying:

This gave me a smile. Then I thought of my impending doom for a bit. But ultimately I smiled again.

I think you have to commend the team and the client for choosing a 700 year old blood sucker (it’s a vampire not a lawyer) as the spokesperson for an online will writing platform. He plays the classic presenter role telling us how he always makes sure that his victims have their affairs in order before tucking in. It’s pretty morbid, but pretty funny.

There could’ve been a tendency to go all emotional with a brief like this, so I like that they’ve taken the seriousness out of putting together a will. Which is exactly what the product is. That said, it’s probably not the freshest piece of creative we’ll see this year and the structure and subject matter feels all a bit familiar.

If this ad was in my will, I probably wouldn’t bequest it to someone really close to me, but still someone that I like. Maybe to a nephew that I haven’t spoken to for a while.


Jamie Parfitt, experience strategy director at whiteGREY gave it a 7/10, saying:

What’s worse than contemplating your own mortality? Contemplating the paperwork and legals required in drafting a Will. For some, the thought can seem worse than death. It’s no wonder that half of Australian adults (myself included) haven’t got one. Sure it’s important, but it’s a solution to a problem that’ll arise decades from now – right? – and we’ll get around to it eventually.

That’s where it’s easy to imagine where this campaign could have gone. Whether that be generating fear in the consequences of not having a Will, or tackling Will procrastination head-on by making it as easy as 1-2-3.

Not going to lie, I wasn’t expecting Count Gregor. But that’s the beauty of what Hardhat and Willed have achieved here. It’s bold, unexpectedly dark, humorous, light-hearted, and so elegantly single-minded in articulating Willed’s promise – “Dead Easy” – and key RTBs – quick, simple, digital. Taking something dry and depressing, and making it feel easy and approachable.

It’s simple, yet enjoyable.

Could there have been a little more Willed and a little less Count Gregor in the spots? Sure. As a prospective customer, I’m intrigued but walk away with little awareness of what Willed actually is. Is it a template? Do I do it all myself or am I working with a lawyer or legal-bot? I’m not sure.

Plus – and I assume that it’s still early days and that budgets only go so far – but it’s such a shame that the creative lives in isolation and at-odds with the rest of Willed’s brand and experience. I’m now sold on the promise of ‘Dead Easy’ from a company who clearly have a sense of humour, but when I get to the site or visit Willed on social it feels like a different brand.

For example, Gregor could easily give a whole new meaning to Willed being “Australia’s leading end-of-life specialists.” Maybe something for phase two?


Brand: Valiant

Campaign: Ballpit

Agency: Paper Moose

The verdict: Visually interesting but lacks a strong insight


Ant gave it a 3/10, saying:

In this campaign, Valiant shows us the sheer amount of lenders and loans out there by depicting them as a colourful ball pit that is dropped on small business owners. Sounds fun, but it doesn’t make for great viewing.

We’ve seen visual metaphors used in this way so many times, usually when you’re trying to make dull subject matter visually interesting. Finding the right business loan falls into that category, so I can see why they went this way. But it feels old-fashioned, lacking an insight and the ball pit metaphor feels like it could kind of be for anything. 

I think the most interesting thing in this spot is a pavlova pizza. I’ve never been much of a desert pizza guy, but I would probably give the pav-pizza a go. 

It certainly gets the point across that Valiant makes it simple to find the right loan, but unfortunately I think this campaign will get a bit lost in the advertising ball pit. 


Jamie gave it a  3/10, saying:

With every man and his dog from the big four banks to an assortment of fintechs now offering small businesses speedy access to financing, I can imagine that it’d be challenging to know what’s best for your business. And when you’re in need of a quick financial solution – whether that be to jump on an opportunity or overcome a sticky situation – having to navigate the complexities and red tape of the category would only add fuel to the fire.

With that in mind, Paper Moose and Valiant have set up a clear problem-solution campaign – if you’re feeling overwhelmed by choice, with Valiant you’ll get the best loan for your business. Got it. Or do I?

Now maybe it’s just me, but it wasn’t until visiting the site that I realised that Valiant is a loan marketplace – not a lender or comparison site.

So what does that mean? Well, Valiant are essentially a digital broker. You tell them what you’re needing and they’ll do the heavy lifting – finding the right loan, negotiating the best deal, and taking care of much of paperwork, all without any cost to you. Sounds great.

Does it matter that we didn’t get any of that from the campaign? Well, I’d argue ‘yes’ if that’s ultimately the key differentiator and benefit of Valiant? Suddenly the campaign feels lacking.

I now wonder where this campaign could have been with a sharper insight focused on the pressures business owners may be under when seeking additional financing, a clearer promise of Valiant doing the hard work for you, and at one or two key Valiant proof points.

Nevertheless, it’s a fun and visually arresting campaign that I’m sure will do a great job in raising Valiant’s profile and driving ample new business for what seems to be a great small businesses fintech.

Just a heads-up, you may want to put a little money into branded SEM. When I Googled “Valiant” there was no live campaign signposting – so I instantly landed on a furniture and styling specialist who owns the domain.


As told to Kalila Welch. If you’re a senior creative or strategist who would like to take part in a future Campaign Review, please email


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