Campaign Review: Paris Irwin takes on Unleash your second half

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 Howatson+Company's Georgia Pritchard and The Hallway's Jessica Thompson to review the latest work for Uber Eats from Special, and Colonial First State, from It's Friday.

Brand: Uber Eats

Campaign: Paris Irwin

Agency: Special Group

The verdict: A watered down version of previous iterations, but bolstered by a strong brand platform

Georgia Pritchard, senior strategy planner at Howatson+Company, gives it 7/10, saying:

As a campaign, I admire the focus in giving the platform space to wear in. Their commitment – in time and spend – allowed them to evolve Uber from a taxi brand, to a food delivery one. Not to mention, establish a heap of distinctive brand assets (the brown bag, the doorbell, the catch-phrase) in the process.

At some point though, it feels like the celebrities overshadowed the strategic intent. The platform was a brilliant way of inserting the brand into the 5pm what’s-for-dinner-dilemma. Today though, is it an Uber Eats ad if it doesn’t feature famous people?

This iteration’s combination of Paris and the Irwins, despite being fun and eye-catching, does feel like a slightly watered-down version of the iconic Kim and Sharon, or the family-oriented version of the Grey Wiggle.

That said, while this campaign has become more familiar, its glossy execution, subversive casting and single-mindedness still makes it entertaining, memorable and charming.

Jessica Thompson, creative director at The Hallway, gives it 8/10, saying:

There’s a podcast that I hate-listen to obsessively. I can’t stand what the hosts say – repetitive, tired and self-congratulatory – but I can’t get enough of the way they say it.

Their turns of phrase makes me laugh, and the whole aesthetic of the show is so moreish, I’m genuinely thinking of subscribing to the Patreon. I feel exactly this way about the ‘Tonight I’ll be eating’ platform. I don’t WANT to like these ads because I’m sick of them.

Six years, the same idea, the same format, the same indulgent lean into celebrity pull. The surprising casting isn’t even surprising anymore (the clash of the cultural cringe in these ones in particular adds injury to tiresome injury). But the eye watering success all of that has brought Special and UberEats is such a coup, you can only respect it. It’s almost hard to consider this set of ads on its own because it’s inextricable from the platform’s whole brilliant, enviable story. “I can tell him about the birds and the bees” was funny.

The frame of Paris clutching a chihuahua and luxuriating on a hot pink inflatable in the middle of a crocodile tank is fun to look at. On their own, these spots are… fine… but as the latest in a water-tight formula, they hit the nail on the head.

Brand: Colonial First State

Campaign: Unleash your second half

Agency: It’s Friday

The verdict: A refreshing new take, however the messaging could have been less explicit

Georgia gave it 8/10, saying:

I really enjoyed this. There’s a clear cultural problem and outlook that they’ve challenged (it’s about time brands start to reframe aging), but most importantly, they’ve done so by starting from a very clear role for their product. It’s not overreaching, nor is it making itself irrelevant.

I also really like the believable insight they’ve used to do so here: retiring isn’t a lull – it’s the opportunity for a new chapter.

To that end, I want to give credit too to the creative strategy for taking that insight into something that didn’t just feel like the third installment of the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

The execution is energetic and fresh, yet steers clear of trying too hard or trying to replicate youth culture.

As a younger person outside the bulls-eye audience, it also had me re-considering the importance of my long-term finances – so here’s hoping it sets up a pipeline of future customers for the brand too.

Jessica gave it 7/10, saying: 

This is a refreshing perspective for the category; props to It’s Friday for selling it, and to Colonial First State for buying it.

It’s cool to see older people being cool, living lives that have absolutely nothing to do with soft sweaters and charming offspring. Were Iris Apfel and Yayoi Kusama on the moodboard? They could’ve been.

Do we talk about the likelihood that you’d actually WANT to start a new career from scratch after ~45 years in the workforce? Let’s not. It’s an ad, not a documentary. But what makes it hard to love is two-fold: the client’s lipstick kisses are all over its cheeks, and strategy’s petticoats are showing. I feel like there are other ways this story and this film treatment could’ve come together that would’ve omitted the need for the disembodied narrator dribbling key messages all over the place.

The insight could’ve been implied without so much explanation. A more nuanced approach to craft and a bit more faith in the audience’s intelligence could’ve elevated this idea up out of Cool For Financial Services and into Actually Cool. TL;DR: less exposition, more grandmas in emerald satin, please.

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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