Campaign Review: Holden’s missing strategy and Velocity’s bold and brave campaign

Mumbrella invites the industry’s most senior creatives and strategists to offer their views on the latest ad campaigns. This week: BMF's David Fraser and JWT Melbourne's Annie Price offer their views on Holden's confused brand, Grilld's convoluted message, Velocity's interesting and brave campaign and Air New Zealand's mixed review.

Brand: Holden
Agency: AJF Partnership
The Verdict: It lacks strong strategy and unity for the brand

Annie Price, creative director at JWT Melbourne, says:

Price says: ‘it’s a bit of fun in a world of homogenous car advertising’

“It made me smile, I love the line – it’s a bit of fun in a world of homogenous car advertising.

“No, it probably won’t help people understand Holden as a parent brand. Yes, their tagline and messaging is always changing. Is that a good thing? Definitely not. But it’s so hard these days to get a long-term platform going when a lot of clients themselves don’t value or want that approach. So maybe we are better off, in some cases, to do the best we can with the brief at hand. I’m all for creating long term platforms but this is an entertaining one-off and I give it kudos for that.”

Rating: 7/10

David Fraser, creative director at BMF, says: 

Fraser says: ‘Holden could do more to differentiate their new SUV from all the others’

“Holden is a bit hit and miss. I don’t sense a strong strategy or tone uniting the brand.

“For me, this Arcadia spot lacks a fresh human insight. Regular people strutting around like VIPs is a tired execution. And the line is familiar for luxury cars. Can’t help feeling

“Holden could do more to differentiate their new SUV from all the others out there.”

Rating: 4/10

Brand: Grill’d
Agency: The Royals
The Verdict: A missed opportunity without longevity

One of the outdoor executions

Price says:

“I don’t love this and it doesn’t feel tonally right for Grilled.

“‘Burgers from a better place’ is quite good positioning but I don’t feel the try-hard, sweary headlines match up. I reckon Grilled can (and should) take a higher ground. And the idea of promoting the brand’s commitment to sustainability could have been done in so many ways without resorting to tacky, controversial stuff.

“I doubt it’s particularly campaignable either – reckon the team will be struggling to get longevity out of this one.”

Rating: 3/10

Fraser says: 

“It makes sense for Grill’d to position itself as the ethical burger joint with some attitude.

“But this poster doesn’t feel effortless. Convoluted message. Dated wordplay. And the brand line could be more potent.

“Grill’d has compelling reasons to choose them over other chains, but it seems they’re tucked away in the website.”

Rating: 4/10

Brand: Velocity
Agency: CHE Proximity
The Verdict: A clever and fun campaign based on human truth

Price says:

“On the flip side to Grilled, I reckon this is very on-brand for Virgin. I think it’s clever, it’s current and I reckon Virgin fans will love it. They tapped into a human truth (that people love points) and repackaged it in a fun, involving way that gets everyone not only interacting with the brand, but doing the marketing teams’ job for them. Points for that!”

Rating: 8/10

Fraser says:

“This is interesting. I like how Velocity handed over the reins to their cult following. It’s a bold act that plays out in a different way. Brave stuff.

“The real test will be how many people think it’s worth giving a go. And what the content does for the brand. A search of #earnbassadors didn’t bring up overwhelming results, but I’ll follow where this experiment goes and what they put paid media behind.”

Rating: 8/10

Brand: Air New Zealand
Agency: True and Exposure
The Verdict: The Verdict is still out

Price says:

“I’m booking an NZ flight right now so I can watch this goodness again. Left me with a grin from ear to ear and so much love for the kiwis. Their prime minister is amazing, their sense of place & culture is to be applauded and their airline safety videos rock.

“This kind of work sets the bar – you wait with baited breath for the next one. And this latest iteration didn’t disappoint. On other airlines, you can’t wait for the safety video to be over. So, the degree of difficulty here is high and the team need to be applauded for breaking convention in this space.

“Air NZ have nailed it again. It’s charming, it’s funny, it’s kiwi all over. Hats off. 10 out of 10 for me.”

Rating: 10/10

Fraser says:

“Air New Zealand has made great safety videos over the years, but this isn’t one of their finest. To me, the ’80s hip-hop video remake feels stale and irrelevant. Some cringey scenes with clunky lyrics. And based on the public’s response online, it’s not instilling much pride in Kiwis.”

Rating: 3/10

  • 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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