Campaign Review: The verdict on Philausophy, Aldi’s miracle ham, Optus explaining 5G and the Heart Foundation’s latest killer

Mumbrella invites the industry’s creatives and strategists to offer their views on the latest ad campaigns. This week: Leo Burnett's Emily Taylor and CHE Proximity's Ashley Wilding offer their views on whether Tourism Australia captured a Philausophy, Aldi telling the story of a never-ending ham, Optus' attempt to explain 5G to Australians, and the Heart Foundation's latest foray into true crime

Brand: Aldi
Campaign: The Miracle Ham
Agency: BMF
The verdict: A strong insight

Emily Taylor, chief strategy officer at Leo Burnett, says:

“We expect randomness from the Aldi Christmas ads, and this one certainly delivers! A next instalment from their ‘The More the Merrier’ platform. Good different at a time of year when most dare not break the mould.

“I do however miss the Aussie-ness of their usual festive forays. This has a bit of a nordic feel. It’s like the princess bride meets a Hans Christian Anderson story, meets a Tassie tourism ad shot by Wes Anderson (in my mind this is a venn diagram, hmkay). I preferred last year’s Santa in the outback, for its storytelling but also its ability to make Aldi + Christmas feel like a natural Australian tradition. Which let’s be honest, is the objective of these ads.

“I’m also a bit weird about that never ending ham. But full disclosure, I’m pretty weird about ham. It does raise a question though; are the never ending qualities of Christmas ham a good or bad thing for people? I know Aldi like their research, so I’d imagine the research said they love this insight, in which case, I do too.

“Overall, the work definitely stands out and it is supposed to be a bit of fun. Plus, you have to give credit to a brand, and agency, that doesn’t throw their positioning out each year and start again. Is ‘The More the Merrier’ their never ending Christmas ham?”

Rating: 7/10

Ashley Wilding, creative director at CHE Proximity, says:

“I like it. I’ve been a huge fan of BMF’s work for ALDI for a while now. And I’ve been a huge fan of the never-ending Christmas ham for as long as I can remember. For a time of year where most brands are trying to create emotional connections, I think this spot has the right amount of weird, and a bloody good insight. It’s also beautifully executed. Sure, it may not be the highlight of ALDI’s Christmas ad catalogue, but it’s not the worst either.”

Rating: 8/10

Brand: Tourism Australia
Agency: M&C Saatchi
The verdict: Let down by the execution

Taylor says:

“It’s a little hard to judge from what we’ve seen so far of the campaign – an industry film and some outdoor. Strategically I can see where they’re going. The much revered ‘shrimp on the barbie’ work did a great job of letting the world in on our sense of humour and way of life. So why not have a crack at injecting some of that into the ‘There’s Nothing Like Australia’ platform.

“Where this falls down for me is the execution. I don’t know why they needed to label it ‘philausophy’ (which my computer keeps trying to auto-correct). They already have a line. Especially when it won’t work in all of those 15 global markets and makes it looks like we can’t spell. It sends my ‘cultural-cringe’ detector into overdrive.

“For a campaign designed to bring to life the unique nature of Australians, in particular our humour and personality, it’s surprisingly humourless. The Floriade flowerhead man is an exception. He’s funny, albeit for pure peculiarity.

“It’s early days for the campaign and no doubt some course correction is underway right now. So hopefully the next iteration unpacks the different facets of the Australian personality with a tone that actually reflects it.”

Rating: 5/10

Wilding says:

“Look, tough gig. The sequel to one of the biggest spots of the last few years. Which was the sequel, at least for a minute there, to one of biggest Aussie films ever made. I suspect the creatives were rubbing their hands together when the original brief came in. Then half way down the page they were slapped right back down to earth with a few lines of strategy that probably included the word philosophy. That said, that same strategy tempted me across the pond 8 years ago, so there you go. There’s really not much more about the word play I can say that hasn’t been said. Love it, hate it, it has people talking. At least in our circles anyway.”

Rating: 3/10

Brand: Optus
Campaign: 5G explained by…
Agency: Bear Meets Eagle on Fire
The verdict: “Not really doing anything well”

Taylor says:

“I had high hopes for this campaign. Telstra have been dominating the 5G network conversation, some would say owning it. This was Optus’ opportunity to make their mark. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do that for the brand.

“Whilst you have to give them some credit for adding a bit of humour to an often dry topic, this campaign confuses me. How does this explain the 5G network or its benefits to people? The 5 Geniuses does the opposite. The Guitarists will leave some thinking you need to plug and play your mobile into 5G.

“The campaign leaves you very clear that 5G has a G in it, if there was ever any doubt. But not any wiser about how it’s better than my current 4G life.”

Rating: 4/10

Wilding says:

“These ads look fantastic. Which is what you would expect working with a director whose visual style is so damn delightful. But, I’m afraid, they fall a bit flat in most other areas. They’re sort of funny, sort of weird, sort of informative. But not really doing anything well. Having said that, there’s all sorts of Optus work out there and if I had to rank this purely against that work, it’d sit pretty high up the table.”

Rating: 5/10

Brand: Heart Foundation
Campaign: Walk Away From a Killer
Agency: Host Havas
The verdict: A solid follow up but leaves us needing to be surprised

Taylor says:

“The Serial Killer campaign is a hard act to follow. Whilst this campaign doesn’t beat it, it is still a solid effort. Especially given the twist was revealed by the first instalment.

“It taps into our click bait culture, whilst continuing to evidence how great ideas come to life when media is baked in from the beginning. The geo-targeting to populations particularly at risk of heart disease is clever and will make for a really interesting effectiveness story if measured right.

“I also appreciate it has evolved the campaign to be more about the action you can take to battle heart disease. With tools to help you either find a walking group or start a challenge, with incentives as nice cherry on top.

“I can’t help but feel that you should also be able to invite someone to join a group with you though. People at risk of heart disease probably know they should walk more, but might need a nudge to actually take action. But overall it’s a thumbs up from me.”

Rating: 8/10

Wilding says: 

“I remember seeing the first iteration of this campaign last year and thinking it was great. It was fresh, provocative and effective. The way they’ve evolved the serial killer idea is fine, I suppose. And I’m sure most people reading the newspaper would fall for the same rug pull twice, given the state of the world right now. But is this it? Headlines in newspapers? It’s crying out to pushed further; online, in film, a stunt maybe. Just surprise me, because there’s a solid thought at the centre of this campaign.”

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

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.