Campaign Review: The verdict on VW’s ‘too powerful for TV’, Amart’s ‘not bad’ campaign, ‘awkward’ Uber Eats ad

Mumbrella invites the industry’s most senior creatives and strategists to offer their views on the latest ad campaigns. This week: Mirum Australia's Carlos Guedes and Do's Tom Ormes offer their views on Volkswagen, Amart, the Australian Government and Uber Eats' latest ads.

Brand: Volkswagen
Agency: DDB Sydney
The Verdict: Informative, entertaining and ‘on brand’

Carlos Guedes, creative director, Mirum Australia

“It’s a smart tongue-in-cheek take on the usual ute advertising. It’s entertaining, sprinkled with humour, in a ‘Hollywood wannabe’ production style. The clichés are obvious, like the director stereotype or the explosions in the end, but those are the humour cues that make this ad break the mold.

“Not sure if punters will really understand the context of the creative strategy or what Ad Standards are. However, the product key points still get across when seeing the Amarok doing ‘its thing’ in an entertaining way, the all-terrain speed, the powerful uphill torque, the overboost capacity.

“Although it’s a tactical execution it could easily be part of a long-term creative strategy exploring the car’s individual key features, as seen on the great Volvo Trucks ad series from F&B. Most importantly, the consumer outtake is clear. The VW Amarok V6 is a powerful ute capable of doing powerful stuff, so powerful that cannot be shown on TV. Job done!”

Rating: 8/10

Tom Ormes, founder and creative director, Do Agency

“In a category where we’ve all seen most of it before, this was fresh. Felt like the audience would like it too. I think the general public will ‘get’ this. You don’t need to be an ad knob to know that advertising has a governing body that controls rules and regs. I could pull it apart and analyse it, but who wants to sit through that. Had me smiling. It has a good idea, it’s informative, on brand and target, the ute is a workhorse, and it entertained me. Bit of a win.”

Rating: 8/10

Brand: Amart
Agency: Y&R Brisbane
The Verdict: Has potential but could be better

Guedes says:

“Amart’s previous tagline was ‘Furniture for life’, and its brand positioning clearly explored product quality/durability and the emotional context of its utilisation.

“With this new brand positioning, ‘I got it at Amart’, the brand drops the emotional to focus now on price along with quality, in a way as if the brand is leveraging customer word of mouth. In that sense, this new campaign drives home the new positioning. It’s amusingly quirky, from the down to earth cast to the populist track at the end. It made me smile.

“Regarding the creative elements, and to reinforce the price benefit, the brand is now exploring the metaphor, through the headline ‘Release the doves’. The metaphor is literal in this case, with actual doves being released in the ad, which reinforces the idea of ‘a great deal’, with the price being a key point.

“If Amart was looking to reposition as the brand that has everything the customer needs, good products at a great price, then they nailed it.

“However, I wouldn’t consider the campaign to be totally fresh as the tone and creative style is carried through in its essence. But I do believe it has the potential to be memorable as ‘Release the doves’ is catchy and reinforces empathy with the target audience.

“I’m curious to see other executions coming out of this new brand platform, it feels like it has good potential to be explored and expanded on. The question is, will it carry enough punch to drive consumer preference and change purchase behaviour in such a competitive market? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.”

Rating: 8/10

Ormes says:

“From what I’ve seen, Amart seem to try and put an idea into most of their stuff. Some of them are pretty good. This ad’s not bad for what it is – a cheap couch. The doves bit was fun and took some attention away from the price tag on a couch that should probably be three figures (IMHO). The new positioning ‘I got it at Amart’ isn’t too bad, but it’s not great is it? I think they could do better than that.”

Rating: 6.5/10

Brand: Australian Government
Agency: BMF
The Verdict: A relevant campaign which makes you think

Guedes says: 

“The ‘stop it at the start’ campaign is like a punch in the stomach, a wake-up call that will certainly resonate and get people to rethink where does domestic violence start. The tagline, that’s also a call to action, works particularly well in a narrative environment.

“In the TV ads the powerful headline ‘Are you teaching them disrespect?’ is capable of shaking the consciousness of some oblivious parents as to women’s fundamental rights. Guilt and shame are the sentiments at the core of this campaign, and these are carried through not by the boys (who throughout the campaign seem to have the reprehensible behaviour) but by the parents who fail to even recognise the real essence of those behaviours – implying that the essence of domestic violence is not in the way these kids grow to become men, but rather in the way they are educated at home.

“The storytelling in the ads really strikes a chord. The stories portrayed are so trivial that they can be scary, as these behaviours are so socially ingrained and can be easy to miss. The parents in the campaign seem to be awakened by being directly confronted with the kids’ resigned remarks. The referent power explored in the campaign destroys the parent’s authority and the ‘Australian family’ dynamics. The kids are the ones educating the parents indirectly in an inversion of roles when the girls resign to a future of disrespect – way more powerful than a direct confrontation.

“On the TV ads, the realistic tone of the environments, colour and acting accentuates the impact and delivery of the message. A great example of good government advertising! The OOH execution does its job but loses a bit of impact compared to TV.”

Rating: 9/10

Ormes says:

“The issue is obviously massive. Such a relevant campaign for these times and, sadly, our culture. We’re raising a young son and daughter and I’m thinking how I should approach these sorts of things with our kids. I don’t have answers to this yet. This ad made me think, so I guess it does the job… I think the idea and strategy is bang on – Stop It At The Start – but the execution left me a little flat. But maybe that was the point.

“I like the fact it didn’t rely on shock value. It was deeper than that, as this issue so often is.”

Rating: 7/10

Brand: Uber Eats
Agency: Special Group
The Verdict: ‘Not too bad’ but ‘lacks innovation’

Guedes says:

“The most significant difference between this new Uber Eats campaign and the previous is that now the requests are shared.

“This time the emphasis is on the sharing of a meal with someone. Featuring two celebrities this time (as opposed to one in the past), the orders are elaborate and sophisticated. Nonetheless, Uber Eats responds with swift and simultaneous deliveries. Good to see that the humour was dialled up a bit.

“The message is clear, Uber Eats isn’t just great for lonely nights (as seen in last year’s campaign). Uber Eats is great for a shared experience too. More, you don’t all need to order the same.

“The campaign might even deliver in terms of objectives with these executions and strategy, but it’s lacking in innovation and surprise factor. Also, two celebs can push the audience to feel disengaged. The continuity of the celebrities strategy may still fuel the creative narrative but it can easily extinguish.

“An interesting and more surprising alternative could see the brand feature a celebrity with a non- celeb, creating more empathy with the audience and allowing to explore other creative avenues within the same strategic platform.”

Rating: 6/10

Ormes says:

“This campaign obviously had a healthy budget. I don’t know who Ruby Rose is. Just googled her, she’s a model. Everyone sitting around me at work know who she is though. So, yeah. I’ve been away for a long time. The strategy is tight on this campaign… but the performances feel a bit like a downer for me. All of the executions have that awkward/distant thing going on. Is that the point? I don’t know. But I feel like these could have been awesome, rather than just not too bad.”

Rating: 6/10

  • As told to Abigail Dawson. If you’re a senior creative or strategist who would like to take part in a future Campaign Review, please email abigail@mumbrella.com.au

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