Foster’s lager has dropped its much-maligned ’tickle it, you
wrigglers’ advertising in favour of a new campaign that transfers
idiosyncratic Australian humour to an international stage.
A pair of TV spots and a cinema commercial breaking on 2 May mark the
end of the 18-month association of the Scottish Courage brand with the
Australian comedians, Roy and HG, who were criticised for being
incomprehensible and a consumer turn-off.
Instead, the new work through M&C Saatchi - under the theme, ’he who
drinks Australian, thinks Australian’ - focuses on the universal appeal
of Australian humour.
The ads have been shot with foreign actors and carry English
They attempt to give the brand advertising consistency, which has been
lacking since Paul Hogan fronted its campaign in the 80s, and to
catapult Foster’s above Carling as the leader of the UK standard lager
market by the year 2000.
The campaign will account for pounds 10 million out of a total pounds 25
million earmarked to support the brand during the year, which includes
an increased investment in Grand Prix racing sponsorship.
In one ad, a Mexican priest thinks a peasant who has come to confess a
fling with nymphomaniac twins wants absolution - when he just wants to
boast. In another, a Foster’s drinker has to make a hasty exit to avoid
a confrontation with a Mafia don. In the third, a woman is disappointed
when she thinks a dashing Frenchman is offering to carry her
James Lowther, the joint creative director, and Sue Higgs, a copywriter,
wrote the ads, which were art directed by Steve Paskin. They were
directed by Daniel Kleinman for Limelight. Media buying is through
Nick Hurrell, the agency’s joint chief executive, said: ’This is a
campaign with real backbone and we see it running for a long time.’