Campaign Review: middling campaigns from Four’N Twenty, Jeep, and McCafé

In Campaign Review, Mumbrella invites the industry’s creatives and strategists to offer their views on the latest ad campaigns. This week: Gemba's Adam Hodge, Special Group's Luke Thompson, and Clemenger BBDO Sydney's Darren Wright evaluate the recent campaigns from Four'N Twenty, Jeep and McCafé.

Brand: Four’N Twenty

Campaign: We’ve been there for it all

Agency: BWM Dentsu Melbourne

The verdict: Winning for some, but an own goal for others

Adam Hodge, head of marketing strategy at Gemba, says:

This is the one I wish I made. It does what all great sponsorship marketing does so well. Plays on nostalgia, ‘in crowd’ fan references and some good old fashioned humour to land a simple brand message. In this case, that Four and Twenty goes with sport, just like……well…..  meat pie and sauce.

When we talk about ‘endemic’ brands, we tend to think about Nikes, Powerades and Sherrins, but reality is, the humble meat pie is as much part of the fabric of Aussie sport as any of these. And Four N Twenty have done a great job of taking ownership of their category with a spot that reinforces their ‘original’ status. Clever use of official (Gregan, Browny, Bradbury, Tayla and Simmons) and less official (sorry Meatloaf) ambassador cameos will have fans of all these various sports pausing, replaying and sharing. Whilst my instinct is to ask why they didn’t include an ‘official pie of the AFL/Waratahs/76ers etc..’ logo on the end frame (rights they pay BIG buck for), I get that they want to be famous at a higher level as ‘fan food’ and as such removing specific league or team references (even in the subtlety of the kits the ambassadors wore – hat tip to the wardrobe department!) was the right play here.

Wallabies great John Eels was famously nicknamed ‘Nobody’ (because Nobody’s perfect)….. so following on that thought, this gets an ALMOST perfect…

Rating: 9.5/10

Luke Thompson, creative director at Special Group, says:

Classic brand Four’N Twenty is so intrinsically linked to sport and culture. I think about the footy and I immediately start to salivate for a pie. So, I had high expectations, but unfortunately this doesn’t quite live up to them. To me, It’s all a bit one note. Sort of humorous, sort of nostalgic, sort of a sports history lesson. This slightly misses the mark for me and again it’s a victim of trying to say too much to too many…yep, we’re back in the land of the montage.

Rating: 5/10

Darren Wright, executive creative director at Clemenger BBDO Sydney, says:

Ok full disclosure, I only got to Australia four years ago, I’m not that sporty, not overly fussed about cars, and I’m trying to give up coffee. But I bloody well love ads, so I’m totally the perfect-ish person to review this month’s offering.

Now, this is so entrenched in the rich heritage of Australian sporting moments that it totally flies over my head (pretty much like the rules of AFL). I’m not exactly the target market for this ad, but perhaps since I’ve made Australia my home, I should grab a pie, head down to the footie this weekend and join in on singing the Four’N Twenty anthem. It looks like a bit of a laugh, just like this ad.

Rating: 5/10

Brand: Jeep

Campaign: Jeep Wave

Agency: Cummins & Partners

The verdict: Good production value but it’s been done before

Hodge says: 

I can imagine the brief for this. Makes the most American of car brands feel more Aussie – oh, and tell them about our new after sales program too.

And you can’t do much more Aussie than long dusty trails, bushy beards, cattle drivers, beach driving and the legend that is Jack Thompson. The Jeep Wave is a real thing (I just learned). Apparently it’s a recognition between drivers of the superior intelligence, taste, class and discomfort tolerance  to own a Jeep. So parlaying that into the new name for their loyalty and after sales service program is a smart (and confident) move. The idea of the car you drive putting you into a community of like-minded drivers (with a sly nod or a wave) isn’t new (Toyota did it with NZ Hilux drivers just a few months ago), but that doesn’t make it any less true or compelling. There is nothing wrong in my book with retelling a well told story, as long as you too do it well….. And this is a very well scripted, acted and shot spot from the teams at Chrysler and Cummins.

Rating: 7/10

Thompson says:

The classic country steering-wheel wave is a lovely, honest gesture that’s happened organically over time due to the tyranny of distance in the great outdoors. It’s a great little insight that’s authentic, relatable and heart-warming. But it’s not a Jeep driver thing, it’s a country driver thing.

The ad itself is nicely shot and uses Aussie icon Jack Thompson which does give it some gravitas, but in the end is that really enough to make it stand out in the cluttered car ad landscape?

Rating: 6.5/10

Wright says:

I’m embarrassed to say I don’t know who Jack Thompson is, but he looks like a lovely old bloke and if he gave me a wave when I was out driving, I’d certainly wave back regardless of what motor I was in. Now I’m not too sure a brand can own a wave and I couldn’t possibly say if Jeep drivers have been waving at each other for the past 80 years (I thought that’s what VW camper van drivers did?) but the production values are spot on and it almost made me want to be part of the Jeep club. Especially if I had that Renegade, proper sexy.

Rating: 6/10

Brand: McCafé

Campaign: Coffee fit for an Aussie

Agency: DDB Sydney

The verdict: Aussie coffee snobs are too snobby for Macca’s coffee

Hodge says: 

First, a declaration of bias. Gemba work on the Maccas account. We didn’t do this campaign, but I do have a soft spot for the brand. Do with that info what you will.

I love the way that this idea expertly balances two well accepted truths about us Aussies. We are generally laid back AND we are kinda coffee snobs.

I reckon DDB and Maccas have managed to play on the tension between these two somewhat opposing thoughts in a way that doesn’t point fingers or pass judgement – but makes the argument that of course we would demand (and receive) quality coffee from our Aussie McDonald’s. As I come from the world of sports marketing, it did bug me that the ‘footy’ vision is of an AFL game being played on a rectangular pitch, but if that’s the only criticism I can level, I reckon they have kicked a goal with this one.

Rating: 7.5/10

Thompson says:

This ad suffers the fate of many right now, trying to be all things to all people. So, we head into pretty familiar territory ‘the montage ad’. A bunch of semi amusing quips about sub- sections of society, which are okay, but don’t really give you a deep insight or connection.

I have to say it’s a bloody tough brief though, to get discerning ‘Aussie coffee drinkers’ to buy a cup of ‘Melbourne roasted’ coffee served up with a fillet-o-fish. Is it ever going to live up to their expectation? Tough.

So as all good creatives do, I’ll blame the strategy.

Rating: 5/10

Wright says:

I must admit I never really knew how particular you guys were about your coffee or that you invented the flat white for that matter. But I’m certainly glad you did, it’s far better than the dish water I used to drink out of Costa on Carnaby street. This latest offering from Macca’s is a nice little spot. But will ‘Coffee fit for an Aussie’ convince those who worship at the great coffee altar to bow down in a McCafe. Not sure. The strat is sound, the line is good, there’s some funny writing, but do we need another VO talking about Aussie-ism’s?

Rating: 6.5/10

  • As told to Anna Macdonald. 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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