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Campaign Review: The return of the ‘epic’ beer ad? Plus why the Aussie McDonald’s ad missed the mark

Mumbrella invites the industry's most senior creatives and strategists to offer their views on the latest ad campaigns. This week: CX Lavender's ECD Ryan Stubna and WhiteGrey's Chad Mackenzie offer their views on Hahn's parody beer ad, the local version of the McDonald's 50-year celebration campaign, Forty Winks' 'Wake up to sleep' strategy and Youfoodz's small-budget victory.

Brand: Hahn
Agency: Ogilvy Sydney
The Verdict: A bit of a letdown despite its fun approach

Ryan Stubna, executive creative director and associate partner, CX Lavender, says:

Stubna says it’s refreshing to have a strategy which moves away from traditional “epic” beer ads

“The most refreshing part of this beer ad, is the strategy to depart from traditional epic beer advertising. However, interestingly they weren’t able to resist the urge of an epic start. The spot uses most of its airspace dramatising (big crowds, bagpipes) one of the topics for a series of actual physical pub coasters, designed to… get people talking again, in pubs.

“I get that it’s a parody, but when it all leads to a coaster, it feels like somewhat of a letdown, especially when beers have included quiz-style conversation-starters inside bottle tops for a long time. And do people really need much help to start a conversation when they’ve had a few?

“While the spot does an ok job of injecting fun to the category, one could argue that there has always been fun in beer land and are we now in danger of parodying a parody.”

Chad Mackenzie, WhiteGrey’s national executive creative director, says:

Mackenzie says the ad is fun but he wants to like the spot more than he actually does

“A bagpiper walking through a hedge as an opening frame is genius. From there it does feel like a rather familiar montage of beers ads. I want to like it a lot more than I do. ‘Now you’re talking’ is bang on as a strategy and I get the feeling the idea on premise will be much stronger than in this film. Saying all that… it is still fun. Hearing Daryl’s lyrics being belted out makes me want to grab a pint and a microphone. I guess the spot works well on that level.”

Brand: McDonald’s
Agency: DDB Sydney
The Verdict: The ad lacked any real idea and missed the charm of the international ads

Stubna says:

“So much terrain here covered around the nations from the same brief! While I enjoyed the culturally accurate trips down memory lane provided by both Australia and the UK – and the human truths captured – it struck me that there was no real idea in these spots. It wasn’t until I got to the Portuguese spot that I saw the true potential of a brief like this come to fruition. Nostalgia, created by a physical Maccas where everything is (literally painted) in the colours of a black and white TV picture, was an idea as fresh as the full-colour Big Macs that beamed out of it. (Bastards).”

Mackenzie says:

“Another karaoke favourite. Unfortunately, not my favourite Big Mac 50 film. The overseas spots have so much more charm. Maybe it’s the unnecessary big type depicting years that’s makes it feel a little forced?

“The taxi scene is the highlight as we’ve all been there. Luke does need a lesson from Mr 1991 on how to eat a Big Mac though. My real complaint is about the current size of a Big Mac to what it used to be a decade age – I swear they get smaller every year.”

Brand: Forty Winks
Agency: AJF Partnership
The Verdict: A strategy-driven ad coupled with a missed opportunity to create bed-selling work

Stubna says: 

“This is an example of a sound piece of strategy, veering into some odd places in its execution. ‘Serious about sleep’ draws you in with a deep and resounding nod. In places, the manifesto-style script shares interesting proof points about the scientific benefits of great sleep. The rest of the execution, however, creates some unrestful distractions.

“The first is the opening line: Wake up to sleep. Get the intent, but somehow, there’s a fine line of perception that makes that line reach me like an insomniac’s worst nightmare. The second is the manifesto and its mixed content that traverses the very rational, to the randomly poetic. It’s also long enough to put you to sleep. And that weird sound effect. What is that? Not the dreamiest. All this means Forty Winks missed an opportunity to create bed-selling work, by providing sleep advice from experts (which is where the strategy seems to be centred), instead of what feels like this inside of a crazy dream.”

Mackenzie says:

“It’s very clearly a strategy-driven manifesto-style film, but it’s a nice strategy. And one that you could easily see being around for a while. While the film itself is well crafted, it’s expected. I wish the pace and mood of the film were more surprising. But if we talk about launching a creative platform around ‘taking sleep seriously’, then it’s very interesting. Unlocking the creative opportunity to talk about the science behind sleep is clever.”

Brand: Youfoodz
Agency: Youfoodz marketing team
The Verdict: An ad which created cut-through on a small budget

Stubna says:

“It’s fair to say that this was a pretty unexpected 15 seconds of cancer fundraising. Was it great? Probably not. Does it have cut-through? Definitely. My recall of it goes something like this: big pink blow-up Cancer toy molesting exercising people… then suddenly two protein balls and a CTA [call to action] to buy them for cancer research. One could say job done. It does also deserve merits for its low-cost execution (funny blow-up suits, street talent, bit of punchy editing), which means more money for curing cancer – and that’s cool.”

Mackenzie says:

“I genuinely hope this initiative works and they raise the one million to fight cancer. Unfortunately, the very familiar and well-worn formula of personifying something through someone in a costume is a little dry. I just wish the spots were a hell of a lot funnier. If you’re going to take on a pun like that you need to go all in. The idea of raising money for cancer should be enough to get the spots shared and the money raised.”

  • As told to Abigail Dawson. If you’re a senior creative or strategist who would like to take part in a future Campaign Review, please email abigail@mumbrella.com.au
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