It won't change the world, but the new Carling space ad is better than Cadbury's "gorilla", Orange's "rainbow", Sony's "Play-Doh" and Guinness' "domino" combined. Carling ads used to be good pieces of work for a brand that felt like it was being taken downmarket. This is a different keg of beer. The "belong" idea takes all that was good about the old ads, and makes it more classy.
Blokes and beer. Brilliant
I thought beer ads were starting to disappear up their own arse, what with that Stella monster boring the pants off everyone and Guinness jumping on the "cog" bandwagon. The old wisdom about creativity finding new ways to express itself when its options are restricted have paid off for Carling. It's not about the beer, but about standing by your mates. There's the rub: a funny, blokey ad that's quite grown-up.
Belong ... a bit too much
The conceit of transposing the "nightclub knockback" into space is box-fresh, and there's some funny writing to enjoy, too. The director, Fredrik Bond, doesn't need any praise from me because he's already rich and successful, so praise the production team. My one quibble is the endline. The thought is great. To be "one of the lads" is a highly motivating truth. But making it as overt as this - "Belong" - is saying the unsayable, isn't it? Porsche's endline isn't "get laid" and Rolex doesn't say: "Look! Rich."