James Squire celebrates origin story in first work from Milk + Honey

Lion’s James Squire has launched its first major work from independent creative agency Milk + Honey United since its appointment to the beer brand’s creative account last year.

The campaign introduces James Squire’s bold new ‘Ordinary be Damned’ brand platform, telling the life story of the brand’s name sake James Squire, who is proudly upheld as an audacious rule breaker who turned adversity into opportunity to build Australia’s first brewery.

Featuring voiceover work by Game of Thrones actor Rory McCann, the campaign aims to connect the brand to the modern drinker by bringing James Squire himself to the world of premium beer.

The integrated campaign that run across cinema, TV, social, radio and OOH, including a hero 90 second film in Tasmania’s wild landscape and historic architectural sites by director Justin McMillan.

“James Squire seemed destined to lead an ordinary life,” begins McCann’s narration. “He went to church, remembered his manners, respected the law…” But while the dark and brooding voiceover describes an undistinguished life of a common man of the time, the epic visuals tell a very different story, depicting many of Squire’s actual audacious adventures.

The spot culminates in a single dynamic camera move which takes viewers across the old brewery courtyard and into a banquet hall, where Squire is seated at the head of the table. Closing with the line “James Squire was content just being an ordinary man”, the new “Ordinary, Be Damned” brand line says otherwise.

One of three OOH executions

“Ordinary Be Damned marks a significant part of revitalising James Squire with our first masterbrand campaign”, said Malcolm Eadie, portfolio director at Lion. “Squire led a bold and intrepid life full of ingenuity, that was anything but ordinary – a spirit that continues to be relevant for consumers today.”

Milk + Honey United cofounder Andy DiLallo said, “James Squire and the entire Lion team will always hold a special place in our hearts and history, as one of our founding clients. We set out to prove what is possible creatively even during a global pandemic and the result, we’re proud to say, is anything but ordinary.”

“Most brands would kill for an origin story like this,” added Steve Jackson, co-founder of Milk + Honey United. “But as good as it is, we didn’t want to simply tell his story. We wanted to create an enduring platform and attitude that allows James Squire, the brand, to think and act like James Squire the man; always turning up in culture just as he turned up in life.”

Milk + Honey United was launched officially in 2021 by former TBWA chief creative officer Andy DiLallo and former Innocean executive creative director Steve Jackson. Lion’s James Squire was revealed as the agency’s foundation client in April last year.


Client: Lion Australia
Agency: Milk + Honey United, Sydney
Production: Fortress Films
Director: Justin McMillan
Editor: The Editors
Post Production: Alt FX
Music & Sound: Song Zu
Photography: Ian Butterworth, Louis & Co
Media Agency: Universal McCann


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