Creative Focus: No holding back

Creative Focus: No holding back

Every week two creative types from different agencies put pen to paper and share their thoughts on six different campaigns.


Up for review this week:

  • Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, '100 Day Challenge', by McCann
  • Tourism Tasmania, 'Tasmania – Go Behind The Scenery', by Jim Jam Ideas
  • Jeep, Trent Cotchin TVC, by CumminsRoss
  • Capi, 'Hard to make. Easy to drink', by Saatchi & Saatchi
  • Pure Blonde, 'River of Blonde', by Clemenger BBDO Melbourne
  • Devondale, Soy aftertaste face, by DDB Melbourne


Colin Watts, creative director, Jack Watts Currie

The Melbourne creative

The first thing you notice is that there is some smashing strategy behind these ideas. The second thing is adventurous clients are alive and well as can be seen by some of the executions that resulted. Thirdly some of these excel over others for one big reason, they understand the audiences attention span and patience is getting shorter and shorter and hits you from the get-go. 

So, before your attention span wanes…

Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation (01). A nice approach to a serious issue. 'Sharing the journey' is a powerful tool for evoking empathy and making sure the required behavior change doesn't feel too overwhelming. 

This ad succeeds in telling me that I'm not alone and that it's not too late, however if it runs as a stand alone piece of creative, I would expect program registrations to be low as the ad fails to highlight the benefits of the program and could definitely benefit from a stronger call to action.

Tourism Tasmania (02). Melbourne chic meets Tassie colonialism. Beautifully done. This ad successfully positions Tasmania as a serious and stylish competitor to Victoria. 

JimJam has cleverly adhered to tourism category conventions, but has managed to execute in a refreshing and interesting way. 

Superb art direction and quirky music combine to put Tassie on the map.

Jeep (03). Embodying the spirit of Jeep is nice territory, as is the notion of a tribe mentality – but the ad failed to hold my attention, and I actually questioned whether I was viewing the right ad. 

As a tactical execution, the real world tie-in to Richmond Football Club's performance is clever and topical (and a nice way to leverage the relationship), however if I was looking for a fun off roader I'd be struggling to connect with this ad.

Capi (04). Love the strap and the character of the wild man, but this spot needs a shot of caffeine to move it along.

The ad is well cast and well crafted with good potential for campaignability, but on the whole, it needed to get there much faster.

Pure Blonde (05). Epic in scale and stylish, but this ad managed to alienate me in a strange way. As an execution it's fairly memorable and I have heard people talking about it, but beer advertising is about creating badge value for a brand. Peroni equals sophistication, Cascade is about purity – what am I supposed to think or feel after seeing this ad? 

I found myself waiting for a comedy element that never came. 

Executionally, this ad felt more like it was trying to communicate a movement than a 'moment'.

Devondale (06). That's an ad. Brilliant insight, beautifully executed. 

Got me from the moment it started. Insanely cast. This ad pulls no punches – it is clearly for those who hate the taste of soy, and has an aggressive focus on what it is and what it isn't. 

The use of humour allows it to slam soy without coming off as offensive. Very well balanced communication. 

The second execution is funny but the first one got me – it highlights the importance and delicate balance of casting.


Christian Finucane, creative partner, Core

The Sydney creative

Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation (01). In this campaign all roads point towards the '100 day challenge' website.

However the directional nature of this creative leaves me a bit cold. It's a bit like a Jenny Craig campaign, but for problem gamblers. 

It has to be said that the real people involved should be applauded for facing their demons publicly and hopefully the program will be successful for them. 

This authentic element should help the campaign cut through.  It'll be interesting to see how many more folks agree and join the challenge.

Tourism Tasmania (02). I like the 'Go behind the scenery' line. 

I thought the poster at Central Station worked really well as you didn't actually need to see into the poster's peepholes to get the idea. Which is always a good test of that kind of concept. 

I'm not sure I would have packaged the content on the site through a presenter though, it felt a bit familiar in that Channel 9 Getaway format. 

Perhaps, as anyone who has been to MONA will tell you, there could have been some really crazy surprises to make the campaign more memorable. Though 'The wall of vaginas' would probably not get approved…

Visit the campaign website by clicking here.

Jeep (03). Sorry, but I just found this a bit dull. True, this football sponsorship spot doesn't feature the usual heavy rock anthem and gravelly VO announcing that "men become men" and "our nation holds its breath for an hour" routine. 

But what amounts to little more than an athlete running around with a whispered VO had me reaching for the fast forward button. 

One of the lines of VO apparently talks to the drugs in sport issue, but I doubt viewers are not going to notice something so subtle. 

Oh well, at least the agency was able to 'Hold Back' any token car footage.

Capi (04). I particularly like the 'Natural' spot in this campaign. 

The irreverence appeals to me, the casting is good (I do own a cardigan, but I'm no hipster) and the direction is excellent. I also was curious that there was no URL on the endframe, as the Capi guy felt like a character I'd like to discover more about. 

So perhaps there are some missed opportunities to increase brand engagement?

Pure Blonde (05). This Pure Blonde moment would have been better as a 30" moment. 

It's visually interesting, but once you've got the idea there's isn't much reward for sticking with it or watching it again. 

The brand's aim is clearly to create a more premium feel, and the production values go some way towards this, so I'm sure it will change some perceptions about this brand. 

Devondale (06). I once did a D&AD creative workshop hosted by Dave Trott who passionately killed any campaigns that illustrated the negative. Twenty years later I still agree with his view.

These kinds of campaign ideas can be funny (and this work does raise a half smile) but it's not the best way to get your brand remembered for the right reasons.

What do you think of the ads? Do you agree with the reviews from our panel? Have your say by leaving a comment in the form below.

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