Campaign Review: TAC’s graphic ad and that CGU Insurance campaign

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 Dentsu's David Halter and 72andSunny's Genevieve Hoey to review the latest campaigns from TAC and CGU Insurance.

Brand: TAC

Campaign: ‘Protect your entire body on every ride

Agency: Clemenger BBDO Melbourne

The verdict: Good it doesn’t sugarcoat accidents

CONTENT WARNING: The below video depicts a graphic motorcycle accident.

David Halter, chief strategy & growth officer at Dentsu, gives it 8/10, saying:

This is good. Really good.

I’m not a rider, but after talking to friends and family who enjoy two wheels over four, this ad cuts through (sorry terrible pun).

I get the sense every rider knows the risks, but it’s the short-cuts and ‘casual’ attitude towards entire body safety that will really hurt them. Helmets are easy and now a social norm, but full body armour takes time and effort. The role for comms here is brutally clear – remind riders of ‘the consequences of casual’.

The execution must walk a fine line between being too shocking (which most humans tune off to and say ‘that’ll never be me’), whilst also being arresting enough to stay salient in the minds of riders every time they head off. This ad walks the line brilliantly.

The CGI of the foot, knee and elbow are very well done. Coupled with the ‘human crayon’ metaphor and suddenly TAC and Clems have created a memory structure that has a strong chance to change behaviour and save serious injury and death.

My only question is connecting the full strength of the idea in other channels. The simple OOH ‘All the gear, all the time’ didn’t have the same impact for me verses the time it takes for the casual clothing to perish and the graphic CGI.

As far as TVCs go though, Clems and TAC have done it again.

Genevieve Hoey, creative consultant at 72andSunny, gives it 7/10, saying:

There’s no sugar coating how terrible a motorbike accident can be. And the visual techniques in this film were fantastically, horrifically graphic. The TAC strategy has remained constant, but the executions have evolved to become more conceptual and artful. Well done to the team who worked on this for keeping it fresh yet simple.

It’s an amazing spot to watch. I’ve never seen a slo-mo foot shredded by gravel, and it was hard to look away. Conversely, with TAC films I’m now always expecting that finely crafted, bloody moment – and maybe that’s not a good thing. My grisly blood-lust satisfied, I move on.

However sometimes, it’s what you’re left to imagine that really drills a message into your mind. Take for example another recent road safety spot from Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Authority, called Toll Booth. It’s also an expertly crafted film that lands the eternal road safety message, but with a sucker punch you won’t see coming.

Brand: CGU Insurance

Campaign: ‘Tall Poppy

Agency: Thinkerbell

The verdict: It’s long, but it’s bold creative

Halter gives it a 7/10, saying:

This one is hard for me to review.

Firstly, it’s like Marmite. Lovers and haters everywhere.

Secondly, in full disclosure I know and rate Brent and his team.

Finally, I pitched on this CGU relaunch work in my previous life, a public congrats to Thinkerbell (through gritted teeth). The work we presented off ‘insuring ambition’ was very, very different.

And that’s where I’ll start. Full credit to everyone for living the brand positioning in execution. What did Hegarty say again about 80% idea and 80% execution? He’d like this one. A brand about ambition needs ambitious marketing, and this is certainly that.

I won’t comment on the craft (everyone else is and its obviously top shelf with Jim Henson Co), but what I love most about the story of Tall Poppy is the simple insight behind it – ambition is fragile.

What a truth that is, it’s universal and emotional. Big tick.

But the execution is looong, especially to land that simple insight. Did it need 5 mins? Really? For business owners and brokers who researchers love to remind us that we are ‘time poor?’ But maybe that’s the genius…it’s not an ad, it’s entertainment. I’m so Marmite right now.

And the other thing going through my head (hangover from the pitch process) is ‘what would the brokers think’. I’m no broker, but does a whimsical story about ambition, resonate with the day-to-day realities of insuring a small business?

I’ve always thought that B2B marketing doesn’t have to boring, team CGU have proved that. Perhaps the real thing to love and focus on here is that Tall Poppy will appear in other agency / client presentations going forward to prove that brokers & advisors are real people too.

Hoey gives it an 8/10, saying:

IAG Insurance has been backing some bold creative ideas, but this is the cherry. Insurance is a tightly regulated, often dull category, so this is an ambitious effort, just like the tagline.

To pitch, protect and produce this Poppy film for CGU and then roadblock Sunday night TV with it – well that would have been a Herculean effort all round. Congrats to the whole team who made it happen.

I’m sure creatives everywhere were thrusting it under the noses of their clients on Monday morning. “Look – long form!! Jim Henson. 5 Minutes. 60 Minutes!!” If the strategy was to inspire SMBs to fight the tall poppy syndrome in Oz with CGU’s support – it works. It’s entertainment, not advertising.

My one critique, I wish the writing didn’t dumb it down so much. It was kind of like – “See? Her name’s Poppy. And she’s a tall poppy and people are bullying her – capiche??” SMBs are smart cookies, give them credit. Another puppet series I thought did this well recently, was the New Norm&Al show from Oatly. Really entertaining Oat milk infomercial puppet milk cartons, with smart playful storylines.

Net net with this CGU idea? Brave creativity moves the whole industry forward.

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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