Campaign Review: UberEats’ celeb spots, KFC’s Buckethead Army and Foxtel Now

In this series, Mumbrella invites the industry's most senior creatives and strategists to offer their views on the latest big marketing campaigns. This week: Jon Kelly, creative director, M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment and Matt Stoddart, creative director, TBWA Melbourne.

Brand: UberEats
Agency: Special Group
The Verdict: Contextually relevant ads which avoid creative fatigue

In its first ever brand campaign in Australia, UberEats recruited a number of celebrities to discuss what they will be ordering from the delivery app.

Jon Kelly, creative director, M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment, says:

Kelly says each execution has enough “new” in it to ensure the content doesn’t get tired

“This campaign is literally everywhere. If you don’t know what Boy George likes for his supper now, then you’re lying.

“With such media frequency it’s always hard not to piss people right off but this campaign has been cleverly designed to avoid any creative fatigue.

“I mean, tell me another campaign that you’ve seen this many times and you don’t hate by now. Each execution has enough ‘new’ in it to not annoy the hell out of people and the content only lasts 15 seconds. I bet it’s working its socks off.

“It’s also a really smart way to drive value for Uber Eats’ other customers – their vendors. And when you’re building a distribution chain from scratch, they’re arguably their most important customers.

“Yes, the executions could have benefited from a touch more wit and charm but that’s what happens when you’ve made 1,658 of them.”

Matt Stoddart, creative director, TBWA Melbourne, says:

Stoddart says “using celebrities in these spots was crucial”

“One in three Australians don’t know what they are eating for dinner at 5pm.” Consider me guilty as charged. Thinking about what to have for dinner is almost enough of a reason to move back in with my parents. Which is why that stat was a great place to start creatively. Not only is it a truth, but it’s probably what inspired Uber Eats, Foodora, Deliveroo, to exist in the first place.

“I like that these ads are 15 seconds. There was obviously a pretty decent budget given the talent featured, but they’ve resisted making the one big 60 second spot. This approach has allowed them to be contextually relevant on TV and online, with executions that are short, sharp, and work equally well for both media. In the first three seconds they’re all visually interesting, and the simple structure has given them a heap of flexibility to create multiple scenarios across all platforms.

“Using celebrities in these spots was crucial to making this idea work. I don’t think too many people would be as interested if it was ‘Bob from Bundoora’ placing an order. The acting performances may not have been amazing, but that can almost be forgiven considering “a cheesy sandwich, fries, and pickled cucumber” is being ordered by an Oscar nominated actress, while descending a grand staircase in a silk nightie and pink slippers.”

Brand: KFC
Agency: Ogilvy Sydney
The Verdict: The ad missed the mark but Ogilvy gets “full points for trying”

KFC launched into the cricket season with a ‘hole in my bucket’ brand campaign aimed at rivalling the British ‘Barmy Army’ by creating a movement of its own.

The ad features children, cricketers and adults from across the country wearing a green and gold camouflage KFC bucket on their heads.

Kelly says:

“So it looks like it’ll be the battle of the hats at the cricket this summer with KFC going head to head with XXXX Gold. This is one of those campaigns that you peer nervously from under your pulled down bucket, hoping that it takes off. Starting any brand ‘movement’ is hard, but hats off to Ogilvy for giving it a go across more or less every channel you can think of.

“The rewards are obviously huge if they can pull it off. Whether they really do who knows, you’ve got to be in it to win it. But taking the Barmy Army on at singing songs is like trying to out aria Pavarotti. I’m also not sure the English tourists will be quaking in their boots at the prospect of being sung ‘There’s a hole in my bucket’ from a crowd wearing, a bucket. Australian fans need songs, I’m not so sure it’s this one.”

Stoddart says:

“I’m a massive fan of the ‘I still call Australia home’ spot and I’m not even an Australian. I’m a Kiwi. But It still somehow manages to make you think about going home wherever you’re from. So to go and create a parody of that spot was an interesting way to play it. Is it a parody? Or is it not? The fact that I’m questioning it isn’t a great start to begin with.

“The strategy of leveraging the original bucket head movement to create a call to arms was right, but looking at the way it was executed I just don’t think people would see past the silliness to take it seriously.

“One of the problems for me is the song. It’s almost ironic because going up against the Barmy Army is a battle that’s pretty much impossible to win, and so is having a bucket with a hole in it. So why they used this song I’m not sure. Yes it has the word ‘bucket’ in it, but I never would have considered it as an anthem or call to arms. Maybe a new song with bespoke lyrics could have been a better way to add value to the idea, and given the bucket heads something a bit punchier to sing at the games.

“From a social perspective, I’m also left a little wanting. The ‘bang your bucket’ interactive game asks for people to rally together to create a national cumulative score, which is then reflected by light projections in the hosting cities of each game as a symbol of support. This feels really complex with a pretty uninspiring payoff. Why would I bother? Will the players even see it? Will it make them feel the support sent their way? I don’t know, maybe it will. I’m happy to be proven wrong.

“Overall I give them full points for trying to do something a bit different and silly, but for me I think they missed the mark on this one.”

Brand: Foxtel Now
Agency: TBWA Sydney
The Verdict: Despite its “nice animations”, the ad doesn’t actually advertise the product

After launching its Foxtel Now Box, the subscription television service launched a campaign to promote the product’s “simplicity”.

Kelly say:

“This ad made me feel a little bit stupid as I’m not really sure what this product is. Didn’t they release the app earlier in the year? Why do I need another box? Anyway, these kind of executions always leave you wondering was it driven by the art director’s desire to work with Alt or a lack of rights to show the content you want to show, or showing this content just makes us look like Foxtel and we’re not Foxtel we’re new. A tricky communication job with very nice animation but until Foxtel has some decent content I’ll be sticking to Optus Sport and Netflix thanks.”

Stoddart says:

“Firstly, I’ll point out the obvious fact that this concept came from our Sydney office, so I’ll do my best to stay impartial…

“I’ve never personally had a Foxtel subscription because I wasn’t a big TV watcher, but ever since streaming services like Stan and Netflix have been around I find myself binging through seasons of shows in a week. With that in mind, I think this ad does a great job of reframing the notion of Foxtel to an audience which may have ignored it in the past, just like I did.

“It could have been really easy to overthink the solution to this brief, but I reckon it’s landed in a good spot. The product looks slick and innovative, and the simplistic approach to the whole ad leaves you feeling like the user experience would probably be the same. There’s also something about animated balls that just draws you in. And yes, I’m aware of what I just said. This visual technique cleverly says ‘streaming’, while also representing the different types of content that will pique the most interest. Whether you’re into Game of Thrones or not, you can’t ignore that dragon.”

Brand: Royal Life Saving Society
Agency: 303 MullenLowe
The Verdict: A well directed ad with just enough “weird” to make it noticed but the ad could have gone much further

In a 45 second commercial aimed at warning parents against the dangers of leaving children unattended near the water, the ad shows a father leaving his son by the pool while he takes a phone call, as water rises around the child.

Kelly says:

“If Stanley Kubrick made a swim safety ad this is the one he’d make.

“Using gruesome shock tactics is the easy way in here, Bucketheads off to the creatives for trying a more thoughtful and engaging way to make the point really land.

“In fact the whole ad is really well directed, balanced on a knife’s edge with enough weird to make me notice it but also not too heavy on the parental guilt. It could so easily have been preachy but it’s not.”

Stoddart says:

“Do I think this ad will work? Yeah, for sure. Any parent watching will take it as a reminder. That would be a really hard thing to stuff up with any ad featuring a young child standing by a swimming pool unattended.

“This message is one that’s been played out many times before, so I can appreciate the challenge in finding a fresh way to approach this brief. The idea of showing the dark side of water is really interesting, because it’s no secret that a swimming pool can quickly become deadly. So I like where they’ve gone with this. I do however think the execution could have been pushed further. Much further. If the concept is the dark side, go full dark side. Don’t tease it. The moment it started to draw me in was the moment it disappeared, whereas five more seconds would’ve made such a big difference.

“The campaign line ‘it’s only safe while you’re watching’ is great. It fits the idea perfectly, and it positions the water in a different way than we’re used to. But again, I don’t think they’ve done the line justice by not pushing the execution further.”

  • 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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