125 Years Of So What?

This commercial for Foster's proudly proclaims 1888 as a vintage year for Australian cooking lager and marks the momentous occasion of the brand's birth.

It's a well put together commercial that obviously cost a pretty penny to produce.  Nothing wrong with that.

However good the execution is, it's the actual message of the commercial that I'd like to take umbrage with.

I just don't believe that anyone who lives in the real world gives a shit about Foster's "landmark" 125th birthday. Or the fact that it's been brewed since 1888.

With the "Brad and Dan" campaign Fosters had recently begun to rediscover its cheeky Australian laddish "no worries" mojo.  Although the same two fellas are featured in this campaign, it feels like they've been shoehorned in to this ad for the sake of consistency.  And tonally it feels somewhat of a diversion as this ad bigs ups the reverence at the expense of humour.

Now, I'm not dismissing heritage as an important element for all brands.  I just don't think it's remotely important for the standard lager category.

People in advertising agencies and marketing departments can often fall into the trap of kidding themselves that people are much more interested in brands than they really are.

Hence something like a brand's 125th birthday might be seen as being fundamental and newsworthy in an internal meeting, when in reality it musters a "so what?" response from the average Joe on the street.

I'm not a fan of this kind of corporate chest-beating, trumpet-blowing-smoke-up-your-own-arse nonsense.

It's often the bigger brands with deeper pockets who indulge in this kind of activity.  More money to waste, I suppose.

Anchor did the same in 2011.  Again, a 125th birthday celebration marked by some cows with hats on having a party [since when did "125 years" attain this magical anniversary status?].

Desired consumer response. "A yellow fats brand is 125 years old.  I must switch brands from Lurpak."
I think not.  

Surely, brands can find something more interesting to say about themselves rather than patting themselves on the back and banging on about how long they've been going for.

Fosters has been going since 1888.  OK, put it on the tin.  But don't put it on the telly.

1 comment:

  1. 125 years became a very important milestone the minute marketing budgets dictated it. "Ah, yes. A century and a quarter. This occasion calls for a $4m commercial!"