'I worry the message isn't right for this moment' - Creative Hits & Misses of the Week

Amanda Balfour, president of MMGY Hills Balfour UK and EMEA, casts her critical eye over recent creative offerings.

'I worry the message isn't right for this moment' - Creative Hits & Misses of the Week


BrewDog vaccine offer

2021 has got off to a tough start with the announcement of a third national lockdown. However, it's nowhere near as bleak as last year, with the roll out of the vaccination on the horizon. BrewDog's offer to the UK and Scottish governments to use its currently closed bars as vaccine centres, its huge refrigerators and teams to help implement the vaccine programme, was more than just an offer. This purpose-fuelled campaign was both a stroke of innovation and inspiration that kept the debate on an effective vaccination programme in the spotlight, did not allow the UK government to shy away from how it would achieve its ambition of two million vaccinations per week, and also cleverly positioned its brand at the forefront during a challenging time for their industry.

BrewDog has long built a reputation for being quick witted and bold and its latest PR campaign to get the nation back on its feet quickly has once again put the craft beer company's community spirit to the fore. Additionally, I loved its lighthearted touch to a serious situation by offering each vaccinated person a commemorative beer with the names to be decided between: Vaccine Canteen, Little Prick, Community Immunity and Jab Lab. Some have criticised BrewDog for offering beers in a health-focussed initiative but I disagree. This move was true to BrewDog's maverick style in cleverly weaving its brand into a topical conversation. In fact, this is the perfect layer of foam on the top of the pint.

Carlsberg 0.0

A cold January coupled with lockdown might have many of us reaching for the bottle; however, Carlsberg has us thinking differently. Brand ambassador Mads Mikkelsen cycles through Copenhagen (a capital renowned for clean living) suggesting that Carlsberg 0.0 might just be a game-changer in the company's first TV ad to promote its alcohol-free beer.

As to be expected from the Casino Royale actor, the delivery was suave and smart. Mikkelsen noted that drinking Carlsberg 0.0 could sharpen your physical and mental prowess from serving the perfect back hand to parking in outer space, ultimately making good moments even better. All in a day's work for a Bond hero or villain. Following a greater emphasis on wellness, alcohol free beverages have gained greater prominence in recent years and so this campaign launching alongside Dry January is perfectly timed and avoids being incredibly smug. Carlsberg did it better.

Has Carlsberg convinced me dry January is a good idea? Probably.


Cadbury's Creme Egg golden goobilee

PRs love an anniversary and this week, Cadbury encouraged ‘lickers’ and ‘eggsperts’ to help it celebrate 50 years of the Creme Egg.

The confectionery giant is marking five decades of the Creme Egg with a campaign showcasing some of the outlandish ways to eat this chocolate treat. “The Creme Egg golden goobilee” celebrates “lickers”, “bakers”, “dippers”, "sharers" and “eggsperts” from all walks of life as they enjoy the eggs in all their glory.

As fun and light-hearted as the campaign is, I do worry that the message isn't right for this moment. Actively encouraging 'licking' during a global pandemic could be perceived as a faux pas by Cadbury. Also, some of the imagery used in the accompanying video encouraging 'sharing', falls into the same potentially sensitive pool. Surely we can enjoy a Creme Egg in a more socially distanced fashion?

As a fan of the Creme Egg (something I consider a national treasure!), not a total miss but perhaps a campaign best launched at a more appropriate juncture. Timing, as they say, is everything.

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