M&C Saatchi launches Optus Whale Song

Picture 86.pngOptus has a long association with nature so M&C Saatchi, Sydney set about exploring communication between humans and animals, specifically Humpback whales.
“Whale song is a form of communication,” says Ben Welsh, executive creative director, M&C Saatchi Sydney.  “It’s a form of communication that the scientists at The University of Queensland have been able to decipher and learn. I was intrigued by this fact and so we asked ourselves whether it would be possible to emulate a male humpback: to write our own love song and then play it, using the instruments of an orchestra? Could we serenade a humpback ourselves? Then imagine what could happened if the whales were to hear our song. We thought that would prove that when it comes to communication, anything is possible.”

View the commercial

Creative Director: Ben Welsh
Copywriters: Ben Welsh and Andy Flemming
Art Director: Paul Carpenter
Agency Producers: Jenny Lee-Archer, Rod James and Loren August
Director: David Denneen
Editor: Sue Schweikert
Music & Sound Design : Bruce Heald - Noise


Anonymous said:

I'd be very happy if this aired in Japan with a Greenpeace logo.

Anonymous said:

A lot of effort that fell a little flat for me. Points for trying - more so for the client than the agency. At least the whales didn't start singing some '50s song. That's an improvement.

Anonymous said:

I dig it

roy said:

Love it. So much classier than using that anthropomorphic imagery we used to.

Anonymous said:

Very, very nice.

Saw this on TV Sunday night and it really did stand out.

Only thing i don't like is the underwater sound wire thingys. They look fake and unnecessary.

Beautiful piece of film. Well done M&C.


Anonymous said:

For a brand as big as Optus, I reckon that's better than 95% of the dross on telly at the moment - and 95% more difficult to sell.

Good on 'em.

(Onya Paul.)

Anonymous said:

Haha, this the same agency that did that ultra frequency communication with dogs for the dog home. What next? A pizza hut ad that uniquely communicates with fat bastards? Running thin on ideas over there guys?

Anonymous said:

The key test of this idea is whether it is real or not. It seems patently fake and dependent on CGI to me. Therefore, it fails. How awesome would it have been if it was real? The moment it's fake, it's a pointless exercise. It's like if they contacted aliens. Awesome! But if it's just advertising bullshit, then it's meaningless.

It's a bit like the cog ad. I know, there were meant to be some tricks involved. But overwhelmingly it was real. That was where its magic was. If it was all just one long list of CGI tricks, then it would have been nothing.

To me the biggest failing is the desperation to be grand. An ad on a fraction of the budget that actually did it for real would have been infinitely more rewarding.

Anonymous said:

I agree with all of the above comments. And all of the ones that will follow.

Anonymous said:

As a piece of theatre it is beautiful.
As a piece of advertising it is a disaster.
A quick poll of my non-advertising, non-marketing friends who have seen the ad:
95% recall of the visual imagery
1% full recall of tagline
16% partial recall of the tagline
1% could name Optus as the advertiser

Their first impressions of who the advertiser was - 99% greenpeace!

Anonymous said:

Truly woeful. You had a nice simple idea and had to go and do a fake piece of ad-wank instead of keeping it real.


Anonymous said:

Really nice

Anonymous said:

Original work.
Is this an actual demonstration? Or is this adland?
If it's real then i really like it.
If it's fake then it falls flat.

Anonymous said:

I saw it on Sunday night by accident.

Fuck me, a nice big ad for a BLOODY TOUGH CATEGORY!

Nice one boys. Wish I had a million dollar ad on my reel.

Don't see much client interference either. Top marks.

Anonymous said:

Really, really lovely.

Campbell said:

I like it. Takes the high ground of better communication, which given recent crappy Telstra experiences, resonated with me. And it's a nice journey to go on. Had us all hooked at home. Gold stars all round.

Anonymous said:

Brilliant guys. Love the soundtrack. Well done Bruce & Dan.

Anonymous said:

Just love it. Beautifully conceived and executed.
And it is of course directed by David Denneen. You've still got it mate. Genius.

Anonymous said:

Very nice indeed. Looks like it cost a bit.

(And it's a hell of a lot less than the 30 million bonus Telstra paid their boss to bugger off back to Mexico.)

Anonymous said:

Really like this ad - it's rare that an ad invokes an emotion (other than annoyance) and this was just beautiful. Obviously worked as I took note of the brand and went looking for it online. The online execution is also very good. Nice work M&C. Now can you help out organisations like IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) as they're the ones really trying to save the whale song?

Jamie said:

Not bad at all. Better than the in your face cheap 3d we have seen so many times before. Quite therapeutic. Nice visuals.

Jamie said:

Not bad at all. Better than the in your face cheap 3d we have seen so many times before. Quite therapeutic. Nice visuals.

Anonymous said:

wait a minute, this is an optus ad???

Wow. A great example of good work on the real work.

Anonymous said:

Optus had themselves stuck in an executional cul-de-sac with the long running animals campaign.

They had to keep doing it because of so much historical investment but it was obviously running out of steam. It's a real dilemma and most brands just cut and run (usually when a new marketing director arrives) and loose a lot as they do so.

So to be consistent with the past and develop a completely new twist on the idea is not only very creative it is very wise.

It's also a pleasure to watch and will I'm sure, do well to keep their equity strong. A great case for brand consistency.

Anonymous said:

If you care to believe the strategic message, it's a bloody big creative idea.

Anonymous said:

A beautiful spot lads, well done.

Anonymous said:

Nice that they've moved on, but this just feels so contrived to me. If you can do something for real, then do it. If you can't, then try another execution.
Still, it's a huge leap away from the old stuff, so well done for that. Be nice to see where this new positioning goes. And full points for actually getting a client to make something instead of running last year's stuff.

Anonymous said:

I think this is really beautiful, understated and elegant. Actually stopped me in my tracks when I saw it on air. Very few ads do that these days...! Great that Optus has been brave enough to make a true 'brand' ad that doesn't scream 'cheap deals!' from beginning to end. Lovely piece of work.

Anonymous said:

Awesome. Great to see a big classy brand ad in these times. That brand has come a long way.

Anonymous said:

lovely idea.
shame the execution is flat .

Anonymous said:


Anonymous said:

Its great until the the stock footage at the end. Looks like it was ripped from some late night discovery channel doco.

Anonymous said:

I made this ad

Anonymous said:

Nicely shot. But I couldn't help thinking when i first glanced at the telly the other night that having the raft shot at the start would make everyone think it was a rehash of the old Lamb Roast ad from the 90s with the castaways on the raft

Anonymous said:

Beautiful. Well done.

Anonymous said:

Better than the usual tired animal stuff they do,but it is too generic for me. C-

Anonymous said:

Great work. Love it.

Anonymous said:

Flat as the ocean they shot it on.

ANDY said:

Nice move on position.

Anonymous said:

Nice work indeed. Leaves the Telstra "call your mum" rubbish for dead.

As many have said above, it's great work for a tough (and real) client.

Anonymous said:

Communicate with dogs.

Communicate with whales.

What's next?

Anonymous said:

The castaways on the raft ad was for beef - steak actually - but otherwise good recall, 2:52. A Jack Vaughan classic.

That was 20 years ago.

Anonymous said:

I must take issue with you, 3:21.

What they have very successfully combined in this commercial is a continuation of the animals theme, which as a previous blogger observed is not only important but rare in this era of sudden changes of campaign direction every time a new creative team or marketing director gets thrown onto the account, and they have very cleverly linked this seamlessly with a strategy of communication by their choice of animal - one which communicates with a song of sorts.

On that basis, the jury rejects your claim that this is generic.

Of course, if the whales suddenly sprouted flowers out of their arses it might be possible to confuse this advertising with that of Optus's main rival, and it could therefore be accused of being an ad for the category.

Really, do I have to do ALL the thinking for you?

Anonymous said:

From the same guys that apparently talk to lost dogs.

Anonymous said:

Acting's real lame. Bit over the top for me.

All a bit pushed - trying to be so dramatic.

Anonymous said:

if it happened for real - great.
But if only in adland... hmmm.

Fair play for moving brand on though - I imagine some people have been working hard to get this through, when they could have been scammin and drinking piss instead.

Good on you.

Anonymous said:

Great ad, excellent idea. Especially loved the sound track, gave me chills.

Anonymous said:

Does anyone know if Optus are aligned with an animal welfare charity?
Hope so considering the amount of money they've made from featuring animals in their ads over the last few years.
They've probably covered themselves by donating 1 cent for every million they pocket.

Anonymous said:

Really great work. Loved the score, execution and idea. Showing the instruments making the whale noises was a really great touch.

Literally stopped my wife as she walked across the floor to stop and stare - what was the last ad that did that in your house?

Well done to all concerned.

Anonymous said:

Look for the iceberg that creeps up in the shot. i love the copy though

Anonymous said:

Love it. Great Work.

Anonymous said:

Interesting idea, but strange execution. The first half looks like they're documenting something impressive they actually did. And then the second half looks like contrived poetic-moment crap. So which one is it meant to be? As a viewer, I'm left wondering whether it's real and overshot, or simply a fictional scenario.

The Voice Of Reason said:

Ok...the idea is alright, but the execution is such a let down. The whales obviously didn't turn up which is why there are cut aways, and the cheesy looks on everyones faces is so heavy handed. Surely it should have been shot for real, with a hand held feel. The 1980's production values just get in the way, the film should have been much earthier, it should have had the feel of an experiment and then it might have been believable. Good idea, awful execution. Now...who's going to berate me first?

Jeff said:

Great! Nice work David. Beautiful crisp images. Nice work M&C.
...and no animals had to be stuffed into vending machines.

Anonymous said:

Simple. Emotive. Relevant brand message. Nice evolution of brand. And I love how my name sounds in whale talk on the website. Well done to the client for approving what was obviously a big budget ad giving it brilliant stand out.

Anonymous said:

The guy who said 1% could name the advertiser: justify your comments fool.
How sad are you. Optus have been doing animals before humans were invented.

I think it's wonderful.


Anonymous said:

i don't really get it

Anonymous said:

If anythings possible, then get them to sort our their horrific service.

Anonymous said:

Nice attempt to breath new life into Optus.
If only i believed the Orchestra were making that music.
There was an attempt to connect the whale with the orchestra in one shot which was the right thing to do to help overcome the "stock footage" problem.

BTW i like the animated retail spots, they're fun and continue to be so.

Anonymous said:

are you guys serious?

this is some of the lamest, most pretentious crap i've ever seen

Anonymous said:

Are you guys insane?

This is the biggest piece of well-produced rubbish I've seen all year.

Even for adxaggeration it is totally unbelievable.

And were it for real it would still be nonsense.

'When it comes to communication, anything is possible'.


Anonymous said:

Jesus fucking christ guys.

Give them a break.

Anyone on the blog with more than five years experience (very few of us I fear) will understand just how difficult this thing would have been to get up.

And it would have taken a year probably. Maybe longer.

This is real work for one of the biggest clients in Australia and it's not Nike and it's not beer.

Wanna start picking work to pieces? Look at Adfest. An ad for fire extinguishers just won gold.

Yep, Gold.

What a fucking joke.

As I've said many times on this blog before, if you're seriously into surviving the hell that's just around the corner - start making real, solid, good ads - and quickly.

Like this one.

Cracker guys, well done. One of the toughest briefs for one of the toughest clients.

Wish I had it on the reel.

Anonymous said:

And, yet again, the Australian industry proves itself to be incapable of motivation, encouragement, positivity, intelligence and sense.

It's always the same old cunts who pop up to take anonymous potshots at ads they'll never have the talent to write.

Please Lynchy, you know who these bastards are, you know where they work..

Name and shame.

Anonymous said:


what the fuck has optus got to do with whales? or animals? Like most of us they are part of this planet's problems, not the solution.

If the animals like whales really could talk to them, they would say FUCK OFF AND DIE, YOU HORRIBLE CREATURES. YOU KILLED ALL MY MATES AND NOW YOU WANT TO SING ME A LOVE SONG? YOU BUNCH OF CUNTS!!!!!

And then it would sink the boat for good measure. and bite the head off that guy with the weird curly 80s hair.

Anonymous said:

First Honda, Then Sony, Next VB and Motarola, now Optus. Please step away from the orchestras and let them get back to playing there instruments the way they where intended.

Anonymous said:

I may be wrong (I don't think I am)

But the person who 'took a quick poll of non advertising friends' and came back with the figures of 95% and 16%, well the only way you could get those statistics is if you'd actually asked 100 people.

If you'd said 50% and 25% then it's possible you could have just asked 4 people. But to get the results you got would have required asking 100. Which wouldn't have been a quick poll at all.

So you didn't, did you?

Ben said:

I like it, which is weird because I hate the Optus animal campaign, yet most of my non-advertising mates hate it.

Anonymous said:

I love it, well done M&C. Tall poppy syndrome has reached plague proportions it seems.

Anonymous said:

11.27 knows what he/she's talking about.

Everyone knows that Optus is one of the worst clients you could ever have the misfortune to smash your head against.

Getting something up that isn't completely terrible is harder than doing something very good for another client.

Seriously, some people need to get a fucking clue.

Anonymous said:

It's not us old cunts who are slamming this work. The heat is obviously coming from the juniors who think TV's dead anyway and heap derision on the '1980's production values' (read: quality) of this excellent work.

Anonymous said:


You should build a 'thumbs up, thumbs down' feature into the comments section - like YouTube. That way we could get rid of the rubbish.

I guess there would be no comments then though.

Anonymous said:

Dear March 24, 2009 10:38 AM

A quick poll of your non-advertising, non-marketing friends:
95% Don't really like you
16% Have partial recall of who you actually are
1% Care-factor for what they think

Their first impressions of you were (and still are) 99% wanker!

Beautiful, breath-taking and special, very special. LOVE the soundtrack. Well done to all concerned.

Anonymous said:

Well done Maurice and Charles – oh. This came out last week.

Anonymous said:


Agree with you as usual. The sound work on this is pretty exceptional as well.


JR said:

I loved it. Like someone mentioned earlier in the blog, i stopped what I was doing and watched (and I was cooking, so it was REALLY important). Really great stuff.

Anonymous said:

If a whale actually turned up because of the music I would have been impressed. As it didn't you can't really say anything is possible.

Anonymous said:

Nice spot guys.
Tough client and tough strategy to reinvigorate. Congratulations one and all.
Nice thought that"...anything is possible" Apparently Cumminsnitro presented that line to Brisbane Marketing and won the pitch.
The irony is not lost on me.

PS. No need for the C word 11.34pm. Arse.

Anonymous said:

The problem with blogs, wikis, the internet generally, is that the opinion of an idiot is published along with the opinion of a thoughtful and intelligent person. The sort of criticism posted here is insulting to all who visit. This is good work made by an excellent director.

Anonymous said:

I give credit to the agency for turning the original Patts idea from years ago (the animals thing) into a series of pretty creative ads over the last few years. (Is it one agency, or has the account moved a few times? I've lost track.)

I thought the singing animated animals a year or two ago was pretty good as well.

I noticed the whale ad when it came on. I'll confess - I scoffed at it when I saw who it was for. But...I did notice it, and in a positive way. That's two pretty important things.

The question I have to ask is this: how com Optus is doing fairly decent work these days? From all I've heard (from bloody good sources) they were the client from hell for years when they were at Patts. Absolute monsters, destroying the confidence and careers of endless account service people and creatives.

Have there been big changes in the Optus marketing team? Not just in personnel, but in attitude?

Or was it that Patts management in Sydney back then never stood up to the client. After all, Patts had the original animal idea. And I've spoken to lots of Patts people who have told me of great concepts that would have made that idea fly (the way it's flying now) if they'd ever got them through the Patts and Optus brick wall.

Anyway, whales is a nice effort.

Jim S said:

Nice work Andy F. Lovely to watch.

Anonymous said:

Whether it's contrived or not, real or not real, it's still a stand out. Nice one Paul and crew.

Anonymous said:

Hi Anonymous here,

Just want to clarify, I don't work in advertising anymore as I was fired due to downsizing and the GEC. Admittedly, my ads and DL brochures over the last 2 years have been fucking terrible pieces of shit and was never worthy of showing anyone, even my mum who projectile vomited when I showed her.

I did however, pick up a finalist in the local award show so I have the right to be arrogant and rip to shreds any other work shown in this public forum.

Hope this explains why I think this is shit and can I please have a job.

P.S. I actually like it, well done on a real client, but you don't need me to tell you that.

Anonymous said:

Thnaks 4:58 - knew it was red meat of some sort. Although it does worry me that the ad was 20 years ago - i'm a junior and I obviously watched way too much TV, including the ads, back then. No wonder i'm working in the ad caper now.

Anonymous said:

Im with you 11:27.

i think this ad is standout - a real rarity these days.

this blog makes me sad everytime i read it - talk about an industry collapsing in on itself with negativity and mean spirited bullshit

New York said:

Hey 11.34,

(cunts who pop up to take anonymous potshots), Thats the pot calling the kettle black. If your going to make a statement like that at least put your name to it.


Anonymous said:


i think they call it freedom of speech.

Would you have the internet only used by those of a certain IQ?

What if you didn't get in?

Ben said:

March 25, 2009 8:32 AM, lucky you work in advertising, because you're shit at math.

This might help http://www.mathsteacher.com.au/year7/ch10_percentage/01_per/per.htm

Anonymous said:

But will it sell any beer?

Anonymous said:

If I don't like licorice am I an idiot?

Our industry is like a cult and you have to follow the leaders opinion or be called a cock/dipshit/whatever.

Oh my, how very creative and positive of you all to slag off people who don't like licorice.

Anonymous said:

Ben, it's 8.32 here,

Explain? I'm genuinely interested. That link doesn't help. If you take a poll of people where results include 1% of them, 16% of them and 95% of them then you have you have asked 100 people.

Anonymous said:

This is a beautiful commercial but it's not asking me to do anything, except emote to a beautiful commercial.
Now, you're gonna hate me for this... I have also been watching Telstra 'Phone your Mum' series roll out.
And guess what, I did!
And we are with Optus.

Confused? So am I.

Anonymous said:


The Ad really does stand out and is so much better then the cutesy animal ads Optus have used previously.

However, the accompanying POS promotional material could do with a rethink. The constant Whale song playing in Optus outlets at the moment is irritating and sometime painful.

I pity the retail staff at Optus for having to listen to it on repeat all day.

Anonymous said:

11.03 - I worked at Patts when it had Optus and I could never work out whether it was us or the client who was to blame for the average work we did for them. And yes, a lot of good stuff went straight into the bin. One thing that I can confirm though is that, as a client, they were absolute hell to work with. Not nice people, and not actually very good at their jobs. I can only assume they've got a whole new crew on deck.

Anonymous said:

I saw the ad on Sunday night during the dance show that my girlfriend insists on watching.

Bloody hell, a real ad for a really big client, and a good one at that.

Hats off to the team at M&C.

Quiet achievers, the lot of 'em.

I have to say I even went to the website too.

Anonymous said:

The problems with a spot like this is that sadly, the product can't live up to the advertising,which is why alot of people don't like,myself included. It's the sort of wanky claim that honestly doesn't mean anything and certainly can't be owned by Optus.

Anonymous said:

I worked on CUB for years. They were terrible. We all hated them and couldn't get anything up. Then GP came along with the Boony Doll and The Big Ad. I felt like a fuckwit because it proved that they obviously were up for great work skillfully sold.

I don't buy this tough client crap. The skill is to get good work up. There are no handicap systems in our industry. The work is either fresh and brilliant or its not. It must be judged purely on its merits. I don't know. Was the original VW client that commissioned the brilliant DDB of the '60s work a tough client? Maybe. Or The Economist or Time Magazine or Honda. Who knows and who cares. It comes down to the work. That is all there is to judge.

This work is alright. Clearly, the client was up for something more interesting than the usual gunk they inflict on the public. And that's the great shame here. The agency didn't deliver. Well they did. Almost. It's almost a good idea. And it's almost a good execution. Unfortunately, though, it is neither. That's not the client's fault however tough they may be. That sits squarely on the agency.

Anonymous said:

Self indulgent ad, that has nothing to do with helping or assisting customers….so Optus can now talk to whales, pitty they have no success talking to people… Website doesn't load properly - sounds are annoying....no apparent social media? Old school one dimensional "push" campaign. The agency must have thought posting the add and an over the top website was "intergrated". Would have been great if aired in the 80's.

Anonymous said:

Sorry 9.44, but I disagree. Client attitudes make all the difference, and ever great agencies and great creatives can't do - or sell - great ads to clients who don't want them. If you worked at Patts, you might also remember that Yellow Pages was once a client that researched everything to death and clobbered anything that didn't get a bureaucratic pass mark. Then along came a client who, when the research rejected one particular campaign, just said bugger that, I'm going with the agencies recommendation, not a bunch of people in a research group. And that's how the Gogomobile ad - and all the great subsequent ads - got off the ground.

That client, by the way, was a tough client. He wanted good stuff. But he was also brave enough to support the agency when, if the campaign failed, he would be the person who got the kicking. Not many clients I've come across would take that risk.

Anonymous said:

Hey 9:44

I also worked on CUB for years too - pre Big Ad of course.

And, to be honest, I'm trying to work out who you are.

Unless it's all been blanked out, I think you'll find we were dealing with a Marketing Director with the initials PK, who killed everything that Chris Dewey didn't write himself.

Oh, and they researched every ad to the point of exhaustion.

I remember one of my ads came out top in research but CUB didn't like it, so they researched it with a much older group and it was shot down. Happy days.

So, I don't buy your 'there's no such thing as a bad client' bullshit - CUB (used to be) a bunch of serial killers when it came to the work...

Good on M&C.

I work in an agency that's in Lynchy's top five, and we can't get anything through our moronic clients - and our CD is (supposed to be) a bit of a legend.

So it's his fault then.

Anonymous said:

Can all the halfwits that work in media, digital, DM and especially the spanners go to your own blogs and write your long winded posts there. This is a creative blog for creative people.

Anonymous said:


You're missing my point, I think. Of course there are dog clients. We've all worked on them.

What I am saying is that you do not get extra points for the degree of difficulty imposed by the client. Your ad must stand on its own merits. I am merely judging the ad as it stands. Consideration of how tough the client is, the work it has done in the past etc. are ultimately not relevant when assessing a spot.

Once it's sold and made it must stand on its own two feet and be subjected to the same scrutiny as ads done for the most enlightened and permissive of clients.

Anonymous said:

Greidy commends all involved for finally making the Optus animal thing emotive.

Anonymous said:

I phoned my mum too.

Anonymous said:


Ok, so by your twisted logic we should just go back to our DPS scams for binoculars, fire extinguishers and tattoo removalists - fuck the real work. Who cares it it's a good ad for one of the biggest clients in the country? It has to 'stand on its own two feet' - ok. Scam away then.

You obviously don't want to work in advertising past December when the redundancies kick in then.

Anonymous said:

The client degree of difficulty should always be taken into account. It's the tough clients that ultimately keep an agency financially viable, particularly at the moment. Look at it this way, who would be of more value to an agency:

a) A creative who has a book of 'good' ads for big telcos, banks and FMCG companies; or

b) A creative who has a series of 'great' ads for charities, binoculars and bike locks, but almost no track record on big brands?

Anonymous said:

oooh a loooocal blog for loooocal people.....

Anonymous said:

The idea is an interesting statement about what can be achieved when communication is clever. However communication is more complex than that these days and thus leaves me thinking Optus doesn't understand what I really need with my phone/broadband needs. I don't need it to be clever. I need it to be fast and cheap and have a great call centre. Is the network at the cutting edge of technology? I really don't know after this as talking to the whales seems a limited demonstration of this. Executionally, it's a delicate, cotton wool approach. Why then have you made it the way my mum would have made it? There should be exciting grit in there. Instead I've got vaseline on the lens, Nytol and no believability. Zzzzzzz.

What is with that awful dribbly piano at the start? It dilutes the orchestra's performance when it's revealed and makes me think that it too is an overdub as well.

I really wanted to like this ad. 3 stars.

Anonymous said:

This ad is shit. End of story. Almost as bad as the similar 'Orchestra' Ford ad from the UK. Actually, it's probably worse, Ford was just a poor Honda Cog imitation. This takes pretentiousness to a whole new level.

It doesn't matter who the client is, what agency produced it, or who directed it; as a commercial, it's shit. Stop defending it, stop debating it. Move on and make something better next time round.

Anonymous said:

Ok, so the idea is about communication and the fact that with optus nothing is impossible. But so what? Any telco could come out with this rubbish positioning that does not differentiate them.

So what if it is a 'real ad for a real client' if it doesn't mean anything to customers. Sure, production is great (bar the stock footage at the end) but to me it is just a bit of optus/m&c chest beating.

Anonymous said:

Well done Andy.

Anonymous said:

Scam is bad. All ads for bullshit or non-existent clients with zero real-world ad budgets should be banished. However, just because an ad is for a real client with a real budget who has traditionally been difficult does not make it brilliant. I think this ad's concept is a bit banal and it's execution overblown. That does not mean that those involved should not feel proud of their achievement. They have obviously improved the work emanating from their client. It's just that it's still not a brilliant piece of creative advertising. Hopefully that helped slightly untwist my twisted logic.

Anonymous said:


Why can't I have both? I don't understand why people think "

a) A creative who has a book of 'good' ads for big telcos, banks and FMCG companies; or

b) A creative who has a series of 'great' ads for charities, binoculars and bike locks.

can't be one in the same.

Anonymous said:

We're fucked, because we don't all know this is shit.

Anonymous said:

Great to Andy's name attached to this beautiful work.
BTW, I've worked at Patts and M&C and the two couldn't be more different when it comes to selling in ideas. Patts was a fawning labrador who rolled over and took it up the arse, then sat up and begged for the cheque. M&C bites the heads off fuckwit clients.

Sam Ruadan said:

The simple truth is that some ads are brilliant, some ads are good, and most are less than mediocre.

The same truth applies here on this blog regarding M&Cs Whale Song. It is a legitimate attempt to do something different in a palsy riddled category. The insight is great, the execution is good (emotive and surprising), and the majority of your comments, less than mediocre.

But that's what you expect from such out pourings of nameless vitriol. Your unwavering bitching and snipping is hardly conducive to creating better work - it's merely embarrassing. In fact, your complete lack of courage to put a name to your acerbic diatribes invalidates every word you write.

All that remains for me to say is, go ahead and write your expletive laced replies, throw your playground insults, neither of which indicate any high degree of intelligence or creativity. But you will be off the immaturity chart.

Anonymous said:

I really like the ad, even if it is obviously not real. Just the thought of connecting with a whale by mimicking its sound is such a cool idea. The only little thing that bugged me was when the whale came out of the water a good 150m away, yet they still get covered in spray from his splash. But i still love it and watch it every time for the emotion it evokes. Nice job.

Anonymous said:


"...it doesn't mean anything to customers. Sure, production is great (bar the stock footage at the end) but to me it is just a bit of optus/m&c chest beating."

That may well be true, and it may be fair comment. But what does that make ads like the Big Ad? They'd surely fall into the same area. In fact, Big Ad said nothing at all about anything at all. (And I personally think it's highly over-rated.)

The old saying about brand advertising being like pissing yourself in a dark suit - it makes you feel nice and warm and no one notices - might be true, but I don't think this Optus ad was ever meant to do anything more than make us feel positively towards the brand. All the other stuff is for other ads.

Anonymous said:

On one side of the ledger this is a well-conceived, beautifully produced evolution of the animals theme. So big raps for that.

But after you dab the tear from your eye, you gotta wonder about the less esoteric issues: when you call Optus to enquire about a billing or reception problem, will you be dangling on hold for ages, will you end up talking to a fucking stupid idiot in an overseas call centre who can't solve your problem, will their call rates be competitive with the younger, cooler challenger brands, will their wireless broadband work in non-metropolitan areas, etc etc.

I'm reminded of the (youngsters won't have heard of legendary copywriter) Wayne Garland story about the Campaign Palace's late '70's campaign for Queensland's Heron Island: The line was 'A drop in the ocean.' and it featured beautiful aerial photography of the island in an azure ocean. It won heaps of awards. When Garland told his mum about the campaign her first question was "Yes, but does the place have toilets?"

Sorry to burst your bubble guys.

Anonymous said:

11:35, correct me if I'm wrong but Big Ad was a piss-take. Check it again, and I may have that wrong, again, but the Optus one kind of is serious.

Cint said:

To begin, and to the peope who commented on here that knocked this ad, you obviousy dont have a musical bone in your body. I dont just see it as an ad, its captivating, and shows just how fragile and beautiful these creatures are.
No, it doesnt make me go out and buy optus products, but it sure gave me goosebumps. Awsome sounds.

Anonymous said:

121 comments on this story already.

That's talkability in anyones language

I don't really like this execution, but most of you wankers would love your ads to be discussed at this length

Anonymous said:

2:14... FYI, the Line "Just a drop in the ocean" was written by Campaign Palace founder Lionel Hunt and art directed by the other founder, Gordon Trembath.

Anonymous said:

Sorry 11.17, but whether an ad is a piss-take or serious is irrelevant.

It still has to communicate something - anything - about the product.

Besides sending up (ripping off?) the old British Airways 'Face' ad (which most of the under 20 target audience would never have seen) what did Big Ad actually tell you?

If you're going to say it made you feel good about the brand, then that's what the Whale ad also accomplishes, just in a different way.

If you're going to say it made you laugh, well, let's just run an old skit and put a logo on the end of it. (Oh, I forgot, they just did that for VB Gold.)

Anonymous said:

4:24, I'm well aware of who created the Heron Island campaign. I'm old enough to remember. Are you suggesting that just because Lionel and Gordon are gods we can't....er...um...what exactly ARE you suggesting?


Anonymous said:

I think he was just making sure you got the credits right.

Anonymous said:

You couldn't get what I was saying, because my posting was censored. True story.

Anonymous said:

Wow, 3.37.

That's Wank with a seriously big capital 'W'.

Anonymous said:

Loved it!

joan hurley . said:

Definitely the best Advert. I have seen on T.V. for a long time
Very moving and inspirational.
I really loved it

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