Campaign Review: Telstra and Coca-Cola take centre stage

This week, Telstra and Coca-Cola are in the spotlight as Casey Schweikert, creative director at BMF, and The Hallway's head of strategy, Graham Sweet, take a look at the brands' most recent spots.

In Campaign Review, Mumbrella invites industry creatives and strategists to offer their views on recent ad campaigns.

Brand: Telstra

Campaign: ‘This is Footy Country’

Agency: The Monkeys, part of Accenture Song

The verdict: A bloody good advertisement.

Casey Schweikert, creative director at BMF, gave it 7/10, and said:

We all know a Mick. Mine was the head umpire at the local netball courts who was tough as nails but made sure us kids never ran out of orange slices. And that’s what makes this spot bloody great. Even though it’s chock full of unexpected characters, they’re all so familiar.

The film foregoes the primp and polish of most ads trying to show ‘happy smiling people’ and instead goes for good ol’ honesty. In a nostalgic way. And most definitely, a cinematic way. Each scene is a character study, a bit rough around the edges, but full of charm. I enjoyed watching it a few times just to write this.

The comedy flows and finds unexpected beats as we follow this gang of footy loving misfits on their epic 2 minute adventure. And even though they got completely smashed, it all seemed worth it. On ya Mick.

Graham Sweet, head of strategy at The Hallway, gave it 10/10, and said:

This has to be one of the best examples of sponsorship advertising out there.

No sports celebs forcing out a performance, no voice-over that spells out why Telstra chooses to sponsor, etc, just a feel-good ad that does what it says on the tin and has a good time doing it.

Feels like a beer ad, in the best possible way.

Great story, music and casting, not to mention the use of language like ‘Proudly backing footy for yonks’ and “Forfeit my arse”.

Onya Telstra.


Brand: Coca-Cola

Campaign: ‘Masterpiece’

Agency: In-house

The verdict: Fun animation and use of AI by an iconic brand, but boring execution.

Casey gave it a 4/10, and said:

The animation is lovely, it feels like they’ve put a lot of thought and care into how that comes to life, especially how each animation style reflects each painting.

However, I’m a little confused about how Ai fits into this. Did Ai inspire the animation? Or create it? Pretty sure someone at the post house should take a bit of credit there. It feels like brands are racing to come up with Ai ideas and I’m not sure what to think about this one.

Is the ad saying, ‘take a break (with a Coca-Cola, of course) to find inspiration’? Or rather, a comment on how artists might use Ai as a starting point for their work? I’m not sure. Although, I bet the client would prefer the former.

Regardless, it’s always challenging coming up with ideas for a global brand, so this simple story is eye-catching but perhaps lacking in a clear point of view. Or maybe it’s just a big metaphor for the creative process. Might have to grab a Coke to write this.

Graham Sweet gave it a 6/10, and said:

First up let’s just get the obvious out the way. It’s Coke. It’s like the Toyota of beverages, they don’t need advertising to help move the needle or push product. But because of their iconic and ubiquitous nature, I feel like I should hold them to a higher standard when they do create any kind of comms.

There are so many great Coke ads, all with their own little touch of magic – ads that I can recall from my childhood all the way up to some more recent examples. Some personal highlights include the Coca-Cola Christmas truck, Polar Bears, Brrr (that was a big hit in South Africa), Happiness factory, Share a Coke and, most recently, the Open that Coke campaign featuring Tyler, the Creator.

Unfortunately I’m just not feeling the magic in this one. Yes it’s well executed but I would argue that it’s execution over idea. I wanted to feel something – I really did – but in the end just walked away with some mild appreciation for the technique.

One thing I can’t shake is why would the guy on the bench pick up an open drink? I know, I know, ‘it’s advertising’ and you could say he saw something magical place it down next to him… maybe. But seriously kids, it’s 2023 – don’t drink open drinks handed to you by magical strangers!

As told to Lauren McNamara.

If you are a senior creative or strategist who would like to take part in a future Campaign Review, please email Lauren at


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.