BACKBITE

Is it me or has this year been pretty undistinguished for one of the industry’s most feted categories - beer advertising? Holsten Pils abandoned television for print and ended up with ’an easier way to change your life’; Castlemaine XXXX produced the excellent vignettes campaign then neglected to give it any airtime; Guinness Enigma’s surreal work was, well, surreal and the Foster’s ’tickle it you wrigglers’ campaign failed to tickle anyone’s fancy. Apparently, when it comes to beer advertising, we have lost our touch.

Is it me or has this year been pretty undistinguished for one of

the industry’s most feted categories - beer advertising? Holsten Pils

abandoned television for print and ended up with ’an easier way to

change your life’; Castlemaine XXXX produced the excellent vignettes

campaign then neglected to give it any airtime; Guinness Enigma’s

surreal work was, well, surreal and the Foster’s ’tickle it you

wrigglers’ campaign failed to tickle anyone’s fancy. Apparently, when it

comes to beer advertising, we have lost our touch.



Or perhaps not. The work for Beck’s Beer (sorry, Bier) by what used to

be called Barker & Ralston but is now Mountain View is exceptionally

good, and all the more refreshing because it comes from one of the least

fashionable shops in town. From the early executions - ’the bier

formerly known as hops, yeast barley and glacial water’ and ’fab four’,

based on the Beatles’ Abbey Road album cover, to the more recent ’great

Bier’ - this campaign is memorable in a category where genuine campaigns

are increasingly rare.



Hello, I thought when I saw the red and green press and poster work,

this is what good advertising is all about: high visibility, direct

appeal and a straightforward message. I should admit here that I’ve been

a fan of the Beck’s brand for years, but why aren’t more ads like

that?



Everyone in this business is very fond of telling Campaign that

advertising is basically a very simple process and that there is a

constant danger of over-complicating it. I don’t think you have to be a

member of Mensa to realise that, but it is depressing how often

simplicity of approach is ignored in favour of complexity and

incomprehensibility. It’s enough to make you quite fond of the kind of

advertising that puts Cilla Black or Michael Aspel in a carpet showroom

to ’sell sell sell’ in their own (thankfully) inimitable styles.



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