By MICHELE MARTIN, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 11 December 1998 12:00AM
Carlsberg is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its famous
advertising slogan, ’Probably the best lager in the world’, with a
pounds 3 million Christmas commercial.
The new spot from Saatchi & Saatchi uses the familiar boast about the
lager with a hitherto unknown story about the brand’s early days.
The commercial opens on a wintry street scene in Copenhagen in the
mid-19th century, where a solitary vendor stands on the corner. Bottles
and glasses are piled up on his stall and he makes several unsuccessful
attempts to encourage people to buy.
The scene then cuts to the same street in a warmer season, with the
stall-holder still trying in vain to encourage the public to try his
To add insult to injury, the stall-holder who has set up shop next to
him in the fine weather is doing a roaring trade selling toys.
But the man’s continuing bad luck suddenly brightens when the ad reveals
his true identity. A caption flashes up on screen explaining: ’In 1883,
Emil Hansen discovered the yeast from which all modern lagers are made.
And as the film’s soundtrack of Frank Sinatra’s They all Laughed swells
to its chorus, the film cuts to present-day images of the Carlsberg sign
hanging in bars, pubs and famous places such as Piccadilly Circus and
New York’s 42nd Street.
Suddenly it becomes clear that the lone salesman is, in fact, the
founding father of Carlsberg - and that his future was to be brighter
than his past.
The commercial, which breaks on national TV on 14 December, was written
by Adam Kean, art directed by Alex Taylor and directed by Mike
Stephenson at the Paul Weiland Film Company. Media buying is through
The Sinatra track, written by Ira and George Gershwin, is being released
as a single in January on the back of the ad.
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk