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Monday, 14 December 2009

Marston's: the second-best press advertising of 2009

The year's final deadlines mean I don't really have time today to add my own comments to this so, rather shamefully, I'm just going to cut and paste the press release. But I think this is fantastic news (and a nice addition to Let's Be Nice Month):


Marston’s Pedigree Ashes cricket series advertising campaign has been awarded second place in Campaign magazine’s top ten press ads for 2009.

The campaign ran throughout the Ashes and used traditional banter to poke fun at Australians with strap lines such as ‘we have beer in our blood, Australians have lemon juice in their hair’ and ‘England has history, Australia has previous.’

Marston’s Pedigree was only beaten to the top spot by The Guardian with their classic comics promotion and was the only beer brand to appear in the top ten.

The article praised the ad for ‘lovingly recreating British pub iconography to ridicule Australians.’

Des Gallagher, marketing manager for Pedigree said: “To be placed second out of all of this year’s ads is fantastic news. The campaign was designed to reflect the pub goers view of Ashes banter, good humoured and witty – and judging by the fans reaction we certainly achieved that.”

Throughout the summer Marston’s achieved record sales, selling an additional million pints in clubs, pubs and sports grounds across the country.


Mark, said...

I haven't read Campaign mag for so long I missed this.

Great copy writing and ad placement. I think the ads might be quite a bit better than their Ashes beer though.

The Beer Nut said...

Feel free to ignore if it's out of keeping with Let's Be Nice month but, another English beer campaign based around mild xenophobia? Surely the whole insular vibe can't be good for English beer or, for that matter, general culture.

Ed said...

It's not half as bad as the spitfire stuff though.

Pete Brown said...

BN, that's a fair point, but in the cricket world this is fairly typical of the banter that goes on between England and Australian fans, and the ads are designed to reflect the culture of the game. I think I'd agree with you if this were not the case, and I wouldn't know about it if I hadn't been to an Ashes game this summer and chatted to Marston's about the campaign. There's even a specific term for it coined by the Aussies (I think) - 'sledging'.

My favourite example was an exchange between Australia's Glenn McGrath and Zimbabwe's Eddo Brandes:
McGrath: "Eddo, why are you so fat?",
Brandes: "Because every time I fuck your wife, she gives me a biscuit."

It's part of the game's culture. It's difficult to get the tone absolutely right - funny enough to be cutting while not stepping over the line into xenophobia - and Marston's rejected scores of ideas that went too far in the development process. Apparently the Aussies lapped it up!

Julian said...

Telling me it's all right to point at Australians and laugh is not going to encourage me to buy beer.

I do see, though, that it's hard not to feel defensive, need to take it out on somebody, &c. when people-in-general mostly (inexplicably to some) just don't like English beer all that much.

And I suppose international sport wouldn't promise quite the same martial frisson for its followers if poking some kind of stick through the bars of, eg, the cheese-eating surrender monkeys' cage weren't tolerated.

I hope you're joking about Let's Be Nice month. About an hour is my limit.

BLTP said...

Taking the piss out of Ozzies isn't xenophobia it's taking the piss out of the ozzies. If beer drinkers are going to start taking offence on other peoples behalf things have come to a pretty pass.

Private Poontang said...

The Beer Nut might have a point if he didn't live in a country with an almost obsessive English-bashing culture.

Whenever I visit the place I'm constantly struck by how many people still have an inferiority complex about historical events most of them only read about in history books.

What's even more laughable is seeing the same people pledge undying support for English players from Premier League teams - which turns into outpourings of bile when they play for the English national team.

England and Australian cricket fans have always engaged in friendly piss-take and banter and this ad campaign was a corker.

Even the convicts got a laugh out of it.

By the way my favourite sledge occured when Mark Waugh ( who played for Australia with his brother Steve ) said to England's Jimmy Ormond coming out to bat in an Ashes match: “Mate, what are you doing out here, there’s no way you’re good enough to play for England.”

Ormond replied : “Maybe not, but at least I'm the best player in my family.”

Jeff Pickthall said...

My favourite bit of cricketing Aussie-baiting is the Barmy Army singing "God Save YOUR gracious Queen."

That's humour that is, proper humour.

The Beer Nut said...

I think "obsessive" is a bit much, Private Poontang. It's not as bad as it used to be, thankfully. And it's certainly not widespread enough to be used by an advertising firm to hock beer. Never has been.

I get the sledging thing, but surely the whole point of it is to be as up-close-and-personal as possible? That's certainly the case with all the examples in this thread. When it's reduced for mass consumption by a marketing company to broad national stereotypes -- Australians are all effete criminals -- that's not sledging, that's blunt jingoism.

BLTP, have you a list of the nationalities that are fair game to take the piss out of? If the Ozzies are OK, how about the Frogs? Or the Pakis?

BLTP said...

Beer Nut: yep it's perfectly ok to for English take the piss out to the French but not people from Pakistan. Funny old world we live in that's not black and white.

terrycollmann said...

As someone who worked in an office with three Australians throughout this year's Test series, I can only say: BN, you don't know the half of it.

And I can tell you, all my inlaws being Irish, that it's totally true that while the English are happy to support the Irish national team against, say, the French, the Irish really do only support Ireland and whoever's playing against England, be it Germany or Western Samoa.

Did anyone have the special edition Marston's Marmite, btw, in the jar dressed up like a cricket ball? Very fine …

Private Poontang said...

To The Beer Nut:

Sledging is very simple.
The Australians call us Poms, they think we're weak-willed, effete,whingeing, unwashed and useless at most sports.
They are probably right.

We think of them as descended from convicts, oafish lager-swilling louts who think culture is what grows on stale food in their fridges.

That may or may not be right but the fact is the humour on both sides is meant with a huge dollop of goodwill and even fondness.

There is no malice and xenophobia is not even a word the average Australian could spell.

It's also why this summer I was able to watch the Ashes in non-segregated seating drinking gallons a shit beer with Australians who were total strangers but became good friends who I'll meet up with next winter in Sydney for a return bout of slagging.

All I can say is none of them would have been offended by the Marston's campaign and would certainly never consider it to be jingoistic.

But - and I don't mean this offensively - I can see why an Irishman might think it would be.

The Beer Nut said...

terrycollmann, I think we can agree that within the football-supporting communities of both our countries (and many more, no doubt) there are people who aren't the best ambassadors for their nation. (Like this chap, protesting against the opening of Croke Park to soccer matches. Bless.)

The mindless anyone-but-England thing of Irish soccer supporters (I don't think our rugby fans do it nearly so much) irks me a lot. Especially given the irony pointed out above by the good Private, regarding the English Premier League. I trust you wear your England jersey when visiting the in-laws, though a French one with Henry's name on the back might be preferable these days.

Beer Monster said...

Just to set the balance, in 2006 in Australia, Tooheys ran an ad around Brisbane to welcome England fans to the Ashes series. It read:

Tooheys Extra Cold: The Poms worst nightmare

Who said advertising wasn't truthful??

Dave downie said...

Long live good natured sledging between the Poms and the Aussies. It would be a sad day when the creeping British political correctness we read so much about down under (Rainbow Sheep?) destroys our precious relationship.
If anyone was feeling bad for the Aussies, then here are some comebacks:

Adrian Tierney-Jones said...

BN regarding the foreign games chap, love the fact he is wearing a Carling top (probably a Premier League fan) — and talking as a Welshman I love it when we beat England and Australia at rugby (despite having an English wife and son and Aussie relatives), though I confess we’ve got a long way before we can be beat Paul O’Connell and pals.

The Beer Nut said...

ATJ: our Gaelic-sports purist friend is wearing a Glasgow Celtic replica shirt, oblivious to the irony.

Adrian Tierney-Jones said...

I thought it might be Celtic, but I didn’t want to show my all too obvious ignorance of Scottish football, which nearly got me into trouble one New Year in Edinburgh when I compared the Old Firm derby unfavourably to an Arsenal-Spurs match.

The Beer Nut said...

Well, if one group of supporters had an actual arsenal and the other actual spurs, it'd be close.