Brand: Carlton Draught
Execution: Australian TV
Link: Click Here – It is the second spot entitled “A Really Big Ad”
Target: Beer Drinkers
A yellow-robed man chants once and points and the spot pans back, showing a legion of other yell0w-robed men, chanting to the tune of Carmina Burana by Carl Orff. As the focus grows wider and wider we see white and red-robed men striding forward, chanting as well. They unite to form a beer bottle (aerial view), and various other pictures and icons. The chant is in English and says “It’s a big ad. A very big ad. It’s a big ad we’re in. It’s a big ad. My God it’s big. Can’t believe how big it is. It’s a big ad. For Carlton Draught. It’s just so freakin’ HUGE! It’s a big ad. Expensive ad. This ad better sell some bloooody beer!”
It is a big ad and it is very engaging. The striking contrast of the white, yellow and red-robed men, the ‘Lord of the Rings’ style aerial shots and the Easter Island meets Signs crop circle formations are all eye-grabbing. Carmina Burana gives dramatic urgency to the action and causes you to start reading the subtitles to see what they’re singing. And those words are incredibly funny – especially if you are in the advertising business.
We know that advertising has reached a new low-water mark when ad agencies start advertising to each other. And when other advertising people begin to heap on the praises, most notably Ad Age critic Bob Garfield who calls it “a masterpiece.”
A masterpiece of what? It certainly is good social satire. The beer industry, with its expensive, sex-soaked and often meaningless ads has been asking for this for a long time. Carlton certainly takes them down by parodying all of the the expensive, silly, mindlessness of the entire genre. And even beer drinkers are likely to appreciate that.
But does that make it good advertising? As an advertising blog, we must ask whether the money spent on this spot will build the brand – or even sell some bloody beer. Our critique is as follows:
Brand Positioning – Carltonâ€™s brand positioning is indeterminate from this spot. This spot does convey an attitude of cheeky irony. But can that really be called a positioning? Is Carlton a lifestyle brand where the lifestyle is Monty Python tribute troups? Does it help us spot hypocrisy in our everyday life? Not clear. Nor does there seem to be any truly unique or defendable proposition for the brand in this spot.
Value Proposition â€“ Similarly, Carlton leaves us without a consumer value proposition unless it is â€“ weâ€™ve made you laugh now please buy our beer so this commercial wonâ€™t bust us.
Branding â€“ Even if this is a buzz-worthy spot, we also have to ask the question of how memorable Carlton is within the spot. The brand is used once in the subtitles (and Chanted), the bottle is reproduced by the human crop-circles, but overall there is remarkably little screen presence for either the product or the brand logo. So Carlton should not assume it will capitalize on the buzz from this spot. Both the ad agency and the creative director on this spot are much more likely to benefit from it than the client.
As much as we enjoyed this ad, we cannot say that it is good advertising. In the process of critiquing the depths to which beer advertising has sunk, Carlton produces an expensive spot which does not build their brand. And everyone is hailing the effort.
Branding Bottom Line:
Carlton produces a brilliant, pointless ad which parodies itself as well as the beer industry.