Foster's turns to Japan for laughs

Scottish Courage pokes fun at the techno-crazy Japanese in a new burst of television activity for its "Honourary Australians

campaign supporting Foster's lager.

A new 40-second commercial, produced by M&C Saatchi, is intended not only to reinforce Foster's worldwide sponsorship of Formula 1 motor racing, but to capitalise on the World Cup-induced interest in all things Japanese.

The film, directed by Partizan's Traktor, is the latest in a series which began in May 1998. It is set in a modern Japanese apartment, in which the owner is opening a large cardboard box, revealing a life-sized robot, which comes to life at the touch of a button.

The man orders the robot to clean the apartment and leaves for work, pleased at the prospect of returning to a neat and tidy flat.

Instead, he comes back to find the flat in disarray, a trail of abandoned household appliances and the robot in bed with a pink vacuum cleaner and a microwave oven.

The robot's response to the man's alarmed expression is to crack open a can of Foster's, leading to the familiar endline: "Drink Australian. Think Australian."

The ad, written by Curtus Brittles and art directed by Richard Fritton, will air nationally on 26 May to coincide with the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix. Media is through MediaVest.

The Foster's campaign is part of an annual £25 million marketing budget underpinning the brand, which targets a core market of men aged under 45. It is the latest effort by Scottish Courage to build on lager sales, which have increased within a declining total beer market.

The "no worries

theme for the UK's second-largest lager brand is intended to appeal to people who lead increasingly hectic lifestyles, and to strike a chord with people who perceive Australia as an optimistic and classless society.