BACKBITE

I don’t know about you, but every time I see an ad campaign turn from witty, sharp and idiosyncratic into something inspired by the sort of humour my four-year-old niece finds amusing - well, I find it disappointing to say the least.

I don’t know about you, but every time I see an ad campaign turn

from witty, sharp and idiosyncratic into something inspired by the sort

of humour my four-year-old niece finds amusing - well, I find it

disappointing to say the least.



In this case, the campaign is Holsten Pils, the agency is BDDP GGT and

the current print work uses the endline, ’New lighter crisper Holsten

Pils. An easier way to change your life’, together with cryptic lines

including (the poster) ’Look Daddy you’re in the News of the World’ and

(newspaper in sports sections) ’Look boss, if we fail to score again

today, we’ll play naked next week. Right lads?’.



What’s particularly galling about the campaign is the fact that it is so

out of character with Holsten’s illustrious past at GGT. First, there

was the quirky ’odd lager’ campaign, featuring Donald Pleasance. Then

came the Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid-inspired campaign, the brainchild of

Steve Henry and Axel Chaldecott. Later there was Jeff Goldblum and Denis

Leary. ’Yeast, barley and no shit,’ barked Leary in the kind of arsey

tone that caused Adrian Holmes, the chairman of Lowe Howard-Spink, to

speak out against the new yobbishness in British advertising.



Of course, GGT would probably argue that Holsten’s celebrity frontmen

were in danger of swamping the brand, that the primary objective of the

campaign is to kill ’get real’ and spread the ’lighter crisper’ taste,

that a new approach is needed to register the new Holsten formulation

against intense competition from Budweiser and Becks. Perhaps, but ’an

easier way to change your life’ is not a new approach, it’s the runt

offspring of Leary and the ’get real’ posters. It’s not in the same

league as either parent, but the bad jokes should at least ensure a

healthy following among my niece and her influential friends of

pony-club age. Patronising ads? Get real!



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