Foster's ad drive highlights refreshing qualities of drink

Scottish Courage is steering clear of linking its latest advertising for Foster's with the summer glut of European championship football.

Instead, new TV and poster advertising through M&C Saatchi will emphasise the fact that the lager has been specially brewed to be enjoyed cold.

The 30-second television spot, which is supported by a 96-, 48- and six-sheet poster burst, marks a departure from the "honorary Australians" campaign that has served the brand since 1998.

It also contrasts with last year's "don't lose your head" advertising promoting Scottish Courage's head injection tap that gives Foster's a consistent head that lasts to the bottom of the glass.

The new initiative is based on the fact that Foster's has always been brewed and served cold to slake the Australian thirst. The ads play on this by showing the lengths to which some people will go to keep their pints chilled and refreshing.

The latest film focuses on a man having a haircut. He is unhappy with all the proposed styles until he has a quiff fashioned for him.

His barber looks bemused when the customer is not only happy with the quiff but asks it to be made even longer.

The reason for his delight is revealed in the next sequence in which the man is seen at a barbecue, where he orders a pint of Foster's and uses his quiff to shade his beer from the Australian sun.

The commercial ends with the man being joined by his friend who sports a similarly outlandish haircut.

This theme is sustained in the poster work, which shows one man shading his beer under a beach parasol, another keeping his drink cool under someone else's hat and a woman shading her Foster's under an appropriate haircut.

All the ads were written by James Lowther, the M&C Saatchi chairman, and art directed by Bill Gallacher. The commercial was directed by Danny Kleinman through Large Corp. Media planning and buying was handled by Starcom Mediavest.

Nick Hurrell, the M&C Saatchi joint chief executive, said: "This diffferent approach will cut through in a market dominated by football-obsessed spots."

Last year, Foster's advertising sparked controversy when 229 people complained to the Independent Television Commission about a spot featuring spoof camcorder footage of a crocodile biting off a bungee jumper's head. The ITC recognised the humour wasn't to everybody's taste but declined to ban it.