Campaign Review: Tiger flops, Suncorp gives a lesson in bad PR and Socceroos tug the heartstrings

Mumbrella invites the industry’s most senior creatives and strategists to offer their views on the latest ad campaigns. This week: Saatchi & Saatchi chief creative officer Mike Spirkovski and 303 MullenLowe senior planner Sarah May share their views on Mars Bar's hit-and-miss refresh, Tigerair's uninspired flop, Suncorp's exercise in cultural insensitivity and Socceroos' delightful capitalisation on the World Cup.

Brand: Mars Bar Australia
Agency: Clemenger BBDO Melbourne
Verdict: Consistency, execution, and earned will be key, to prove this one spot works

Sarah May, senior planner at 303 MullenLowe says: 

“The 15-second TVC could have cut through with young Aussie males, (if they are still the target), if the channel selection is aligned. Relevance to all Australians via a ‘universal appeal, ’ is a long bow, when you only feature one white son as the protagonist exploring his creative side, in one TV spot. Veering into boosting teen/young adult confidence for the first time, as a brand, is brave, and could develop into a brilliant series, if Mars Australia, features a cross section of males in different scenarios.

“There was a missed opportunity to build relevance via earned, on launch. I was looking forward to see how earned channels / activations play out in the coming months. After seeing this spot, I was expecting to see a Facebook and Instagram feed of real Australians getting behind ‘enough to deal with anything’ in the classic way, reactions play out on social. Sadly all we got was one YouTube video, nothing on Facebook and disappointingly no official Instagram channel and zero # support. Shame Mars hadn’t capitalised on the #marsbar love oozing on Instagram.”

Rating: 7/10

Mike Spirkovski,  chief creative officer of Saatchi & Saatchi says: 

“Let’s face it: you don’t think about how much energy a Mars Bar delivers when you’re halfway through its delicious chewy, caramel goodness. All I ever think of is why I only bought the regular size and not the supersize option. I’m glad they dropped the previous strategy and positioning and moved on to a much more believable product truth. It’s chocolate – indulgent, full of sugar and a load of numbers no one dares look up for obvious reasons, and if that solves or helps me get through a part of my day then I’m buying it, isn’t that why we call it a snack? Just sit back, enjoy and get on with it… chocolate doesn’t need to be much more complicated than that.

“I’m a little let down by its creative expression, feels a little flatter than expected. I have no doubt the platform would allow for stronger creative as the campaign moves on and hopefully delivers strong results. I love TV more than anyone, but I don’t believe this medium is the best use to deliver on strategy and positioning. As a launch campaign, it’s okay, but I’d stay tuned for bigger work coming off the back of this, at least that’s what I would be expecting. There have been some amazing ideas made across this category so coming up with a fresh approach is always going to be challenging. Overall, it’s a strong strategy that needs to be exploited through its creative expression and maybe TV isn’t its best medium for now.”

Rating: 6/10

Brand: Tigerair
Agency: McCann Australia
The Verdict: Emotive and conversational, but lacks cut through in a category selling emotion for longer, better

May says:

“At a time when consumers have transparency of on-time performance and as the airlines biggest perceived barrier compared with Jetstar and Virgin – it’s interesting Tigerair chose to focus on travel experiences than building on from Effie winning ‘infrequent flyers’ platform. When creativity is a big lever, I’m not sure how this will cut through. Any low-cost
airline can nudge you through emotional experiences of holidays, so I’m interested to see how this plays out in driving bums on Tiger’s seats.

“The airline seems to have missed an opportunity to address the biggest barrier of using airline i.e. on-time performance improvements, which is a big deal when you’re perceived as the brand known for delays.”

Rating: 3/10

Spirkovski says:

“I don’t fly Tigerair and never have and this new strategy, rebrand and creative, doesn’t help to convince me to book my next trip with them.

“In my eyes, Tigerair has always been a budget airline, you get a seat, hopefully a seat belt and off you go with hundreds of screaming teenagers. Therefore, my overall perception is not a great one. The new positioning ‘Go for it’ gives me nothing by offering me nothing about the brand and what it has to offer to get my business. It’s no longer even cheap to fly, so I feel they have lost the one thing they had going for them.

“It seems very confused and the manifesto presented in the meeting has probably become the ad we all just saw (it’s okay, it’s happened to me before).

“As a brand, Tigerair has the obligation to offer its customers (especially customers they don’t have) a point of difference and choice to justify why punters should buy into you. I worry this new approach is sitting on the fence – afraid to own either “low cost” or “quality experience”. This is no man’s land, not a great place to be as a challenger brand. They need to start challenging and stop trying to follow.

“I don’t believe the creative expression works, it leaves me uninspired telling me to “Go for it” and do what I was already planning to do, before I even saw the brand’s new logo in a banner ad. It’s quite generic and does a category job rather than give potential travellers something exciting and be inspired to travel, like a cheap, low-cost flight.”

Rating: 3/10

Brand: Suncorp
Agency: Publicis
Verdict: “Did Suncorp’s marketing team buy this creative on impulse?”


May says:

“This fails on five levels. 1. Suncorp did not learn from cultural sensitivity and offence caused from Bernard Salt’s smashed avo comments. 2 In ATL, Suncorp used old data and drew a long bow during a Banking Royal Commission 3. Suncorp trivialised discerning consumers 4. Suncorp off sided incoming payments from a few industries 5. Having to edit an ad ($20 frame) post launch is never good.

“I don’t think any decent marketers say ‘any PR is good PR anymore’ and this is exhibit A writ large on Mumbrella’s comments channel. Usually brands that go risky, plan for off-siding consumers, see a spike in negative PR, then pull ads and execute a well-oiled PR response as an apology.”

Rating: 1/10

Brand: Socceroos
Agency: Octagon and Milkmoney
Verdict: “Overall very good, but needs more engaging stories”

May says:

“Good use of ‘first supporters’ insight. This is a great homage, to credit the unsung ‘first supporters’ at the moment it mattered most. Not those who came crawling later or those with deeper pockets.

“It’s a tear-jerker during a time, players and viewers emotions, are in overdrive. Yes, it stands out. The story arch felt genuine, not jump-on. It contains a universal truth told from many perspectives. Players and everyone, remembers their first supporters. Everyone can spot a cling-on, trying to capitalise, from a mile away #Timvite. Both brands (Socceroos and Hyundai) have stepped back, let the ambassadors speak from their own voice, not some half-way house between the brand and the ambassador.

“I had two minor suggestions to make this a 10/10: 1. I would have loved to see extracts of the hand-written letters on the landing page. Written correspondence is a rarity that should be preserved for the memories of the fallen included in this video.

“Overall, brilliant stories, beautifully told. Bridged divides. Timely for any parent or child, football fan, UK Father’s day misses, as well as, World Cup fans.”

Rating: 8.5/10

Spirkovski says:

“My brother was a professional football player (for a little while) so I completely understand the emotional journey these players go through and can justify the creative expression and idea in ‘letters’.

“Whilst the strategic approach is not fresh, it’s very relevant in this campaign to help drum up the emotional aspect of being a pro sportsman, by tapping into the importance of “support” especially during the World Cup.

“How do you convince Australians to support the Socceroos during one of the most intense and challenging experiences of their lives? Show the Australian public that the Socceroos are real humans with emotions, just like you and I, who need all the support they can get to do their best.

“I really like this campaign and if anything, I would have pushed for a more engaging content piece, with real stories, but overall the campaign is very good. When it’s good I have less to say, so well done on leaving me with some good emotional thoughts and feelings for our fellas…. even though they’re out of The Cup! They did their best and made us proud (for two games) that’s good enough for me.”

Rating: 6.5/10

  • 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

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.