Campaign Review: Todd Carney’s on-brand Sportsbet ad and the bravery of Bonds’ glo-ball warming

Mumbrella invites the industry’s creatives and strategists to offer their views on the latest ad campaigns. This week: Akkomplice's Kenny Hill and Apparent's Steve Jenkins offer their views on the NRMA's effort to save the koalas' habitat, Todd Carney's return to the spotlight for Sportsbet, Bonds' stance against glo-ball warming and Uni Super's throwback Thursdays.

Brand: NRMA
Campaign: Every Home is worth protecting
Agency: The Monkeys
The verdict: Emotionally moving

Kenny Hill, founder and creative director of Akkomplice, says:

This feels strategically perfect for the NRMA brand, which over the years has consistently tugged at the heartstrings and set itself apart as an organisation that cares about the Australians it serves.

From a craft perspective this is pure gold. Getting heartfelt right is really tricky – like mixing the perfect Negroni. But the team here are master mixologists for sure. Perfectly pitched at every turn, with a wonderful performance from the young actor, superb editing and a beautiful soundtrack.

It’s clear that everyone involved, from the client to the agency to the director and production team all put their heart and soul into crafting something lovely. When that happens, and it all comes together like this, you can’t help but be very impressed. Here’s raising a glass to all involved.

Rating: 9/10

Steve Jenkins, planning director at Apparent, says:

The thing is, I like the ad. It moves me. But frankly I’m predisposed to liking big emotive masterpieces; after all I’m the number one fan of the UK’s John Lewis annual Christmas TVC.

But, while I love the NRMA ad, I’m left to wonder if it delivers on the objectives laid down – which I assume are around relevance and consideration. It appears that there is an important job that is being ignored here, namely alignment of story to NRMA’s known products and services. I just don’t see that NRMA showing up with a metaphorical band-aid when you crack your head surfing, or helping us save Koalas when their homes are being destroyed is going to help people understand when NRMA is there to help them.

I suspect this brand awareness ad will work best for those existing customers who are looking for affirmation of their choice.

Rating: 6/10

Brand: Sportsbet
Campaign: It’s Foolproof
Agency: Emotive
The verdict: A mash-up of three campaign ideas

Hill says:

It’s fun in a crass kind of way, and let’s be honest, perfectly pitched to their audience. The spot does feel like a mash-up of three campaign ideas. You can imagine the briefing went a bit like this…

SportsBet: “So our new and improved app is so good only the bleeding-heart vegans could complain about it, in fact it’s so great it’s almost too good to be true. Oh, and don’t worry, it’s still a piece of piss to use”.

Two weeks and three territories later you get the call: “What’s that? You want to make them all? No worries, you’re not short on a buck”.

So here’s to all the click-happy punters, so munted they’ll piss in their own mouths and yet can still easily navigate their way to losing this month’s rent – this ad’s for you!

Rating: 6/10

Jenkins says:

Using controversy to create impact is hardly new and in many ways is perfectly in keeping with the Sportsbet personality. I don’t see why this ad should be called out for doing what so many others have done.

Ultimately it’s actually the construction of this ad that doesn’t work. Outrage, foolishness and gullibility do not equal an easy-to-use app. So while they will get eyeballs, the controversy will overshadow the product message. I just hope they get enough eyeballs before it gets pulled.

Rating: 5/10

Brand: Bonds
Campaign: Fight Glo-Ball Warming
Agency: Leo Burnett
The verdict: Simple insight, smart execution

Hill says:

It’s wonderful to see that the team at Bonds and Leo Burnett are doing their best to bring back great beer advertising in Australia now that all the beer brands seem to have lost their balls.

Speaking of balls, I noticed all four of the clients credited are women as is the majority of the agency team. ‘Onya girls – this is great work! A simple, universal insight and a good old problem-solution campaign that’s well written, well branded and nicely produced with wit and whimsy.

Perhaps the full-length edit here hangs a bit heavy, but the 30 second I’ve spotted on TV is a perfectly proportioned package.

Rating: 7/10

Jenkins says:

Sweaty balls. Sure it’s not the most comfortable of conditions, but to leverage global warming to promote undies is a brave move. Overall it does a good job of landing the product benefits effectively and they have just about saved themselves with the commentator. His ball-level perspective and blatant ignoring of the appropriate man-space between commentator and the unwitting participants privates adds a much-needed level of tension to the ad, helping make this about more than making light of global warming.

Rating: 7/10

Brand: Uni Super
Campaign: You’ve come a long way
Agency: The Pure Agency
The verdict: Relatable execution of a simple insight

Hill says:

Another simple idea and works within the budget they’d presumably been given. You could easily see how they could run with ‘You’ve come a long way’ in some Westpac-sized epic TV if given the chance.

The whole super category feels a bit nefarious, so using real shots of friendly folk (not ‘real’ actors) takes the edge off somewhat and makes them come across as perhaps less evil than the next. I hope the media is really tightly targeted as familiarity with the people featured will lend the work more interest and traction amongst the audience.

Kudos for not resorting to stock images or the usual clichés of the category and pulling something off on a tight budget, though perhaps they could have polished the art direction a bit more.

Rating: 6/10

Jenkins says:

I love the insight behind this campaign: we all want to look back and see that we have come a long way and I think the guys at Pure have done a nice job of bringing this to life in a very relatable way.

Ultimately the challenge inherent with this campaign is that it is leveraging nostalgia and a sense of accomplishment without a strong call to action to overcome the target audiences present day bias and general sense of apathy towards longer term financial decisions.

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

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