Campaign Review: Hungry Jack’s takes aim at Maccas and is Toohey’s ‘Proudly Ordinary’ just ordinary?

Mumbrella invites the industry’s creatives and strategists to offer their views on the latest ad campaigns. This week: Special Group's Rebecca Stambanis and McCann's Ben Coulson give their views on Toohey's Extra Dry trying to own its ordinary, Jeep continuing its public relations escapade, and Hungry Jack's taunting McDonald's with the 'Big Jack'.

Brand: Toohey’s Extra Dry
‘Proudly Ordinary’ 
Agency: 72 and Sunny Sydney
The verdict: ‘Ballsy’

Rebecca Stambanis, head of strategy and founding partner, Melbourne at Special Group Australia, says: 

Toohey’s Dry’s “Proudly Ordinary” campaign is one I really want to like. I am a big believer in unbridled honesty and knowing your place in the world, and nothing is more nauseating than an overinflated sense of brand self. But this campaign leaves me conflicted.

Most likely, this was a really brave and ballsy approach for the client to take internally, and the writing is fun and entertaining. I commend that. We need more of it. But…I ’m just not sure it makes me want to drink the beer. It’s one thing to be self-deprecating and unpretentious (it’s a well-trodden space in beer land), but I don’t think it’s a sound strategy to make lack of taste and inferior quality the butt of your joke. Being proudly ordinary can be a sign of understated greatness or punching above your weight, but it shouldn’t be a sign of mediocrity. The ad leaves me feeling like it’s a beer that has given up.

Rating: 5/10

Ben Coulson, chief creative officer at McCann Sydney, says:

Finding a brand truth is very popular in strategy decks and briefs, it turns up a whole lot less in actual work. This campaign is one of the few times honesty has made it all the way to the customer.

The averageness of Extra Dry is undeniable, always has been, probably always will be. But strangely the advertising has always been pure ad land aspirational nonsense.

Not any more, with one fairly brave decision, the ads now match what we all know (and probably secretly like) about this brand. It’s unfussy, it’s won’t thrill us, but it won’t let us down either.

And the idea of beer being un-fancy is a good one when you think about the audience. Most blokes want their beer to be just like their mates, honest and dependable.

I think this strategy has a better chance of working than most. The executions are blunt, a bit like the first idea on a good strategy, but if it sticks, there is plenty on room to craft a really good long term campaign. It worked very well for Carton Draught back in the day when they moved to ‘made from beer’. With the right creative flare, Extra Dry could be onto something great.

Rating: 7.5/10

Brand: Hungry Jack’s
‘Someone’s suing Hungry Jack’s’
The verdict: A missed creative opportunity

Stambanis says:

Ahhh….. Maccas vs Hungry Jack’s. It’s one the greatest food rivalries of all times, encapsulated in the long-standing line “the burgers are better at Hungry Jacks”. Fast forward to 2020, McDonald’s is taking it all the way to federal court in a legal bunfight over The Big Jack. It seems as though Hungry Jacks has become the real world McDowell’s (remember the Big Mick from Coming to America?). I’m not suggesting this was Hungry Jack’s’ inspiration, but if it was, well, I like it even more.

In many ways it’s hard to separate this response ad from the act itself, so I will try to do both. The way I see it… let them have the Big Jack. Maccas should be flattered they are trying to mimic it, laugh it off and stand defiantly in their belief that they are the supreme OG. Given Maccas’ reaction, I think Hungry Jacks were bang-on strategically. Doubling down on their response and showing Maccas where they ‘out-jack the mac’ was both humorous and clever. As for the creative execution itself…. I think it’s perfectly fine but I would have liked to see them dial up the cheekiness and have more fun outside a retail-style film.

Rating: 8/10

Coulson says:

Hungry Jack’s product ads usually give you good reason to tune out, but this one, which begins with the declaration that they are being sued, does make you sit up.

I didn’t know the back story of the law suit and the ad didn’t really explain this well, but finally they told me something unexpected. That said, it doesn’t seem like this was a well planned Burger King style stunt. It feels more ‘this happened, lets re-edit our ad to mention it’.

A ‘Big Jack’ with basically all the ‘Big Mac’ ingredients is deliberately provocative and a pretty cool stunt, strange that the campaign didn’t launch taking full advantage of this. I bet something creatively excellent could have been possible had they taken the hand brake off.

Rating: 4/10

Brand: Jeep
‘I’m In’
Agency: Cummins & Partners
The verdict: High production value, low call to action

Stambanis says:

From the daughter of a car dealer for over 40 years, I am the first to admit that selling cars in Australia is a hard slog these days. And I definitely feel that struggle a little in this campaign–tough market conditions, brand trust to rebuild and a global pandemic to boot. Not an easy gig. And given all of this, they produced a beautifully shot campaign with some nice moments woven together with a string of features and benefits.  But I have to say overall, I am not quite sure what the ads are wanting to say about Jeep. I don’t see the “I’m In” line laddering up to a clear message or belief about the brand. Does it change my perception? Not really. But as a Melbournian in lockdown for over 20 weeks, it sure as hell makes me want to jump in my car and head out off-road.

Rating: 7/10

Coulson says:

Jeep advertising has alway punched above it’s weight, with simple (often lightly funny) ads and a strong campaign idea. You can tell they are locally created and made, which in itself helps them stand out against all the dull global cars ads. These look like they will be the next chapter in that book.

It took me a few seconds to digest the new line after so many years of ‘I bought a Jeep’, but this is a damn simple call to action with no obvious strategy words, so could just work.

The ads are well cast and shot, by someone who who has studied Tim Bullock’s early work. I got a chuckle from the guy calling out ‘namaste’…

The careful scripting of the product features gets across that Jeeps are made different to most bland car options, so these ads give the new line a good chance to stick. Overall solid stuff.

Rating: 6/10

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

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