Droga5 Sydney debuts VB campaign tonight on SBS: What banner do you march under?

Picture 245.pngPicture 246.pngPicture 247.pngPicture 248.pngPicture 249.pngPicture 250.pngThe long awaited VB campaign via Droga5, Sydney launches tonight with a two minute launch commercial during the first drinks break
of the npower Ashes telecast on SBS.
The netsite is now live.
The scale of the production demanded a cast that is a combo of professionals, CUB employees, punters straight off the street plus some well known faces.  Keep an eye out for cameos from Michael Clarke, Wally Lewis, Paul De Gelder, Scott Cam, Molly Meldrum, Peter Russell Clarke, Dean Jones, Michael Klim, Billy Brownless and yes, Greg Evans.
The TVC is part of a much bigger campaign that includes VB's first ever dedicated brand website. There will also be print, radio, outdoor, on line and "The Regulars" will be brought to life in store through point of sale and refreshed packaging.
Agency: Droga5, Sydney 
Creative Chairman: David Nobay   
Creative Team: Cameron Blackley and Matty Burton
Agency Producer:Paul Johnston
Director: Gary Freedman, The Glue Society
Director of Photography: Danny Ruhlmann
Production Company: @radical.media
Producer: Cath Anderson
Production Manager: Clare Shervington
Marketing Director CUB: Peter Sinclair
Group Marketing Manager VB: Paul Donaldson
Senior Brand Manager VB: Scott McGregor



Matt said:

A little bit flat and a little bit gay.

Anonymous said:

just checked out the website clip......funny

Steve said:

Well done D5, not the usual cliche beer spot (thank god there's none of the irony you find with other recent beer campaigns). It should appeal to the mass market. Interesting what difference a commentary will make, but I suspect it will be for the better.

Anonymous said:

Like the strategy of talking to all men who drink beer.
Nice work on a tough brief.

Anonymous said:

It's "Real men of genius" but with banners.

Anonymous said:

Solid work.

This may not be deemed award worthy by a jury of its peers (they always seem to get it wrong anyway) but the man in the street will love it.

Well done.

Steve said:

Another bunch of people marching through the streets looking for an idea........Allens, Tivo, Streets Ice Cream, Coke Zero, NIB.....Fucking ordinary and incredibly unoriginal.
Massively dissappointing effort from Drogas.

Simone said:

Saw the press this morning in the paper as a wrap and read it end to end and enjoyed the copy.

Could be that it was a second viewing, but the TV just wasn't that special. The music didn't really engage me (cept perhaps for the kicker sting). Headlines in a TV ad, not really great viewing.

I hope the VO really helps this along tonight.

Brief answered - tick
Ground breaking - ............

Dave said:

There's a typo on the website. That's it, I'm switching to Corona. With a slice.

Todd said:

Strapline is a big nothing and an anticlimax.

Julian said:

Massive hype. Tough brief. Etc.. It's a lot of things. Unfortunately, it's boring.

Denis said:

Surely the first few posts are from Droga staff..... standard.

I personally reckon they duffed this ad. It's boring and lacks any charm. What a shame. I hoped this work would be brilliant so the move from Patts to D5 would be justified, but sadly not...

Gary said:

can't wait to see the final ad

Marmaduke said:

I read the Tele copy. Trying a tad too hard for my liking and the chicks with the fat guys punching above their weight look liked they'd never been that close to a woman in their lives.

Mr Black Kettle said:

Can I just draw your attention to Mr Ted Royers comments from his Cannes diary about what ads NOT to make...

"There are a few formulas that get repeated over and over again, So I will list a few of these formulas in the hope that anyone reading this will never repeat them again. I urge any creatives out there reading this not to ever again write the following ads:

...A person (usually a child) smiles and runs through a city. Then that person get joined by more people, all smiling and running, then a huge crowd gathers, all smiling and running, Then we see them begin to "create" something out of everyday objects. Then we see a long distance shot of the "creating " something, usually from a car window. Then a dog watches them. Then they step back and admire what they've created (usually a big logo)."

Ted works at Droga5.

Am I wrong in thinking this VB ad is the very kind of ad their own company is out there killing in award shows?

Paul said:

What a nothing ad! Boring and not an ounce of charm. Its frustrating to see such an iconic Australian brand be butchered in such a lame way. VB deserves better. I just wish I had an extra hand so I could give it 3 thumbs down.

Re-run the VB Symphony. Problem solved.

Anonymous said:

I'm sure it'd be well liked.
The Drumstick of Beers.

Creatives against Camel Urine said:

I like it.

Shame the beer tastes like camel piss, though.

James said:

After several years of advertising excellence, one of Australia's worst mainstream beers finally gets the advertising it deserves.

Antony said:

I still prefer Symphony and the Kebab ad.

Just cooler and less try hard.

This could be any beer of bloke product really.

Ted said:

Anyone else prefer watching the old ads; or is it just me?

Gus said:

In a year where, lets all be honest, Australian advertising has been pretty ordinary, this is a stand out spot. Of course it's cool to knock the big guys (and everyone is shi$$ing themselves about Droga taking over the joint) - but credit where it's due...this is great work and the public will absolutely love it. Tell me, who of the negative crew above has made better work this year?

Sue said:

Let's face it, parades are boring at the best of times! ( with the exception of Rio).
So why would you think building an ad around one for what WAS a great brand be any different.

David said:

Any agencies out there in need of a new client should probably call one of these guys NOW!!

Marketing Director CUB: Peter Sinclair

Group Marketing Manager VB: Paul Donaldson

Senior Brand Manager VB: Scott McGregor

Scott said:

I chuckled at a few places I think I was supposed to.

But nowhere near as much as the VB Kebab stuff.

Would have been nice to see a 'Millions' or 'Tap Project' or 'Still Free' Calibre idea from Droga5, what the hell happened here?

On a positive, I think the site's great and true to the brand, love the production line and tomorrows drinking weather widgets, shame it isn't more interactive ie signup, move the widgets around, customise the home page like igoogle, find drinking buddies online (so you're not drinking alone)...

Should have been better.

Anonymous said:

I think it's not bad. It's not brilliant, but it's not an absolute cluster fuck, either. In terms of talking to the target market, I think it does so pretty well. It's a mainstream beer trying to talk to mainstream blokes. I actually think the last work out of Patts pitched the brand a bit younger and cooler than where it should have. Aussie heartland is where it's at for VB. And this is a fair crack at reaching that heartland. Not super original or super hilarious. Neither is the audience. Now, I don't work at Droga5 though I did once buy a book on advertising in which Droga was quoted.

Simon said:

Seems as though it's been released "virally" on YouTube. Don't really understand why they wouldn't host the completed ad on their own microsite.

In any case, certainly works better with the VO. Brings a little extra charm to it. But it's certainly another one of those "anthem" spots that seems to be very commonplace at the moment.

Jake said:

well im gay and i think the ads rocks.

Dave said:

Today we salute you Droga 5, you Real Men of Genius.

Can't help but think there's a borrowed idea there. And from beer as well.

Advertising man said:

Like the bit of music at the end - makes me thirsty for what VB advertising should be.

The rest is short term ...lame.

Anonymous said:

actually i think it pretty funny and I did laugh out loud at one or two banners.
"peaked in high school" and "punch above their weight" are funny.

Hugo said:

Will be interesting to see what it's like with commentary. Made me smile as is but hoping it'll get better.

We're all so quick to slag off work when we should wait to see the finished product. Lot of bitter people out there reading some of these posts.

Sarah said:

Why does everyone always assume that if a comment's positive the agency must have written it? Because everyone's too bitchy to acknowledge that someone else's work is actually good?

I don't work at Droga 5.

Good ad.

Tilly said:

The every day person will love it, it'll give them a laugh

Think it's a nice change from the usual beer ad

Anonymous said:

dont worry Nobby, i think it will be seriously loved by the masses.

Grant said:

Can this be true???

VB has just jumped off the holy grail of beer propositions- FOR A HARD EARNED THIRST, and replaced it with, drum roll- THE DRINKING BEER.

Marketing Genius!

Now I understand why it has taken 2 years to carefully develop this bold new positioning.

Rich said:

Sorry but that is even lazier and more client beaten than the Tooheys ad with everyone celebrating in the streets, from 4 years ago.

Sad to see VB lowering it's advertising colors.

Kim said:

Ever seen the great Cliff Freeman 'Focus Group' spot for Little Caesars Pleasers.

A moderator is firing off questions to assorted focus groups who raise their hands as clipboards with descriptions fly towards screen...'people with big noses', hairy figure skaters', slightly effeminate lumberjacks', 'over-the-hill rockstars' and on and on....until a map of the US is completely covered in pushpins indicating that every pizza eater in the country has been ticked off !

"Well...that's every man, woman and child..."

It then cuts to a group of orangutans who raise their hands too.

It's a lot shorter but very funny.

Wonder if VB was driven by a brief of 'make sure we talk to all drinkers?'

Saleine said:

its epic once you take into regards the effort that has obviously gone into it. ive watched it a couple of times and you pick up on things you missed the time before.

the celebrity involvement is subtle and the way they've used the stereotyped groups is quite versatile in the way they could portray it in other forms of media. i smell facebook pages coming on.

the idea isnt groundbreaking but the execution of it all is fantastic.

nice work Droga kids.

Sarah said:

To Quote Ted Royer from Droga5...

There are a few formulas that get repeated over and over again, So I will list a few of these formulas in the hope that anyone reading this will never repeat them again. I urge any creatives out there reading this not to ever again write the following ads:

2. A person smiles and runs through a city. Then that person get joined by more people, all smiling and running, then a huge crowd gathers, all smiling and running, Then we see them begin to "create" something out of everyday objects. Then we see a long distance shot of the "creating " something, usually from a car window. Then a dog watches them. Then they step back and admire what they've created (usually a big logo).

Happiness Factory has had quite an impact around the world because there are more than a few animated spectacles with huge crowds of happy characters all marching happily in support of whatever product they're selling. Happiness Factory was great, but these imitators seem a bit creepy, kind of like watching parade footage from facist dictatorships.

Jake said:

Can't really comment without seeing the final TV, I remember seeing a skit (think it was Rove live last week) about commentary making everything better. I hope it does.

The idea looks like it can be rolled out across a lot of channels quite seamlessly, t shirts, bar areas, bar mats, events, promo staff so on and so forth, so well done on that front. I just hope people, especially younger drinkers either identify with the different 'banners' VB is trying to unite / pigeonhole them into or they're funny enough for everyone to laugh at.

At the moment... not so much.

Dave said:

Glue Society and Droga5 come unstuck.

Paul said:

Give me VB Symphony any day!!!

Daz said:

Did VB just launch an ice cream variety in partnership with drumstick???

Jake said:

Ah... Rich....

That was Nobby's ad.

Josh said:

Kind of Big Ad but unfunny.

Ted said:

again we see the difference between D5 Sydney and D5 NY.
Good not great.

Ray, working class man said:

I have just knocked off from a building site where I have worked my guts out and seen this.
Does nothing.
Maybe the t shirt creatives from Droga should swing a hammer for a few hours in the sun and then see what sort of ad they would do then.

Anonymous said:

Yes Ted (10.56).

Ted said:

this ad reminds why I love being Australian. We can take the piss out of ourselves.

however this blog reminds me that a few of us are still cowardly pricks.

Adrian said:

Just noticed - was the crew drunk?

I feel dizzy.

Jay said:

The drinking mans beer.
The drinkers beer.
The persons beer.
The thinking mans beer.
The thirsty mans beer.
The thirsty persons beer.
The responsible drinkers beer.
The beer, beer.
The wet beer.
Here's a few other slogans that might work;

The cold beer.
The frothy beer.
The VB beer.
The VB of beers.
The AB of beers.
The banner carrying beer.
The big TV budget beer.
The have a larf beers.
The have no idea of beers.
The not well, but might recover beers.
The got lost marketing direction of beers.

Yer, that last one works.

Sr said:

I think anyone who would think of VB as one of their options will like the ad. So maybe it'll sell more beer. A few deserters will return, and buy more VB. And enough people will have a chuckle (which seems to be the intent) and maybe buy a case a little more often.

I don't have to love the ad to have the objectivity to think it's a good ad.

And I could be wrong but didn't the very clever Symphony fail to resonate?

Just thoughts, not qualified for judgements.

Paul said:

To the entire marketing team at Fosters, please have a look at this.


You ruined VB when you took away "for a hard earned thirst".

Col said:

even if you're VB aspiration is important. There is none in this ad. We used to aspire to earn it...now what?

Ben said:

As a few others have already pointed out, let's look past the formulaic nature of the spot and focus on the new line; The drinking beer.

Hmmm. I've got a nice cold bottle beer in front of me, what should I do with it? Wash my dog? Water the lawn? Play spin the bottle?

No, wait; don't tell me, I should drink it!!!!

Genius. Pure genius. I assume the cartoons now come with an instruction manual just in case?

Sean said:

Credit where credit is due, well done boys, you really have taken a great brand and managed to emasculate it.

Anonymous said:

Hey Nobby and Gang,

Collect all these comments and keep them for when awards come around.
Nothing like proving these fuckers wrong. Believe me I know.


Annette said:

50+ comments in the space of a few hours. Well done D5.
Love it!

Ben said:

I like it.

Sorry guys. I think it's an idea that's a lot bigger than the TV, and the TV's funny enough, I'm sure they fought for other executions. Hard client to please when they've been churning out the same blokey boofhead crap for decades.

Cashed up bogans and guys that skipped work are pretty funny. End sting killed it a bit for me... but what would I know?

I'm just an art director.

Victor Notso Bitter said:

I'm not as (Victoria) bitter as a lot on here.

Overall as a concept, I don't mind the ad, and think it was executed very, very well.

I'm not so happy with the positioning line at the end though... "The drinking beer"

That's lame, says nothing, and doesn't tie it all up.

Maintaining what appears to be the theme of the TVC, shouldn't it have been something that alludes to VB being the beer for every man?

Not sure the 15 second executions will work either, unless you cop a good dose of the 2 minute version first. I think some 60's and 30's may be required.

Julian said:

Check out Jeremy Deller's Manchester Parade that took place last weekend. Very similar and the idea for that was proposed last year.

Anonymous said:


How can my opinion be wrong? I don't like it. That's a value judgement. It's not a prediction about whether it will win at some award show. It might clean up. Even then, I still won't like it. Sorry if that grates.

Wayne said:


Terry said:

I feel like a Tooheys

Anonymous said:

I would love to see the first 10 or so ideas the Droga boys presented over the past 18 months. My guess is that some of them were pretty good.

Aren't clients just great!

Anonymous said:

I dunno, I like it.

Maybe that's because I have had my arm up a cow before.

Robbie said:

There is something challenging yet natural about watching the long spot. I feel like I have seen some of the parts but overall it feels really fresh.

Like the Drinking Beer line. Seems obvious buy also proud. Nice. Not sure if thats what the ad is about though.

Anyway, I reckon Droga has done a good job in making this big piece still feel very real. That down-to-earth feeling is important to the VB drinkers out there right?

Well done.

Anonymous said:

It's an epic and funny commercial. Well done!

P.I.G said:

Not typically a fan of the mud-water in a bottle, however I must say that the creative minds at D5 have definately pulled it off.

Great concept and well executed.

Great to see a risk to to stray from ordinary & typical, pay off.


Sophie said:

This is ridiculous, it's an AD people!!!! It's meant to appeal to VB's core market, which more than likely DOESN'T include a bunch of artsy morons.
I thought it was funny and to the point. Good work.

Philus said:

Another win from the awesome team at Droga. Lock a bunch of creative minds together and you have this.

I work down the road and the admin kid is a knock out.

Mrs Tyrell Balch said:

Quite clearly this ad is targeted at the obvious demographic of blue collar beer enthusiasts - not a group of uptight creative critics with a bad case of tall poppy syndrome. Funny, well thought, great delivery - however when it comes to the actual product/brand...not so good. VB? No thanks.

But I can tell there will be a great response to the ad and Droga did a great job.

The Kidd from the Burbs said:

This ad is pretty gay - but in a good way.
And the fact that I made that rhyme shows how strongly I feel about this ad.

Fking awesome... I'm going to go out and buy my man a case and watch him drink it all.

Anonymous said:

can the fake jay who is not jayb or jayf tell us who he is please?

mick Hunter said:

Well done lads, the punters will love it.

not the 80's said:

So many tainted comments out there. Rather then slag off big jobs upon release, how about we praise them as in these "times" it's always good to see something bigger than the average commercial, right...?!

Kudos to all involved.

Ron said:

10 print ad headlines walking along in a parade.

john said:

No. The punters will think it's boring.

Jane said:

It's too long, with too few laughs.

But I think kids will enjoy it.

So, is VB marketing to kids now?

Mike said:

120sec TVC is really boring, 15sec ones work a tad better. But I still prefer the VB Symphony ad.

Liked the "Which banner do you march under" & "Our Old Ads" on the website.
As a campaign it will work really well across many channels .

Yes the client most certainly killed the really good ideas, months ago.

Pete said:

$2.8million ....................


Anonymous said:

Made me smile :)

Think we need a 'cynical advertising creatives who wished theyd done it' banner

Jon said:

Despite being reminiscent of 'Real Men of Genius', I reckon it's great.

It's a decent stragey for beer - no matter who you are, you're up for a VB.

Loved reading the 'BIOs' of the different groups, but what's with the full Flash website? Could easily pull that off without having to go full Flash.

Marc said:

Better than anything I've done this year. Which isn't saying much.

Web site is worse, though. Really badly broken. I mean, flash scroll bars? Faaaaaark. That's inexcusable, you can't even scroll to the bottom of the site. And no option to view the ad in full screen. Poor effort.

Matt said:

I own a cardy that I bought from General Pants so I guess that makes me a manscaper. Now I feel like everyman. Thanks VB.

James said:

Emporers new clothes.
If it was done by Badjar Ogilvy and not Droga5, we'd all agree it's bland.
Too many followers on this blog who can't tell shit from clay.

Anonymous said:

I just heard Michael Jackson died!!!!!

Gary said:

I wish people would stop comparing this to the Bud Light Real Men Of Genius commercials. The two couldn't be further apart.

Real men of genius was funny.

JR said:

I like the idea - but not the execution so much. Coverage is awful.
Like the cameos - really nice way to do that sort of 'celeb' thang. Still wouldn't drink VB for any money though. It's ditchwater.

Darryl said:

I'll give ya widgets http://now.sprint.com/widget

Kevin said:

Boags 'Pure waters' still this year's best beer ad by far. Shame Droga 5.

Phil said:

Lets see if they use the 1:20min version on TV...or some hashed together 30 second spots.

Anonymous said:

pete 5:17 - I heard more ...........?

Anonymous said:

what a bunch of miserable f&*kers you are! this is a commercial that's designed to sell beer. it's authentic & australian and i think it's endearing. it's not art, it's a piece of well-thought out communication. lots of people will like this, & that's really all that matters.

Neil said:

This just proves that not everything that Droga touches turns to gold. This is a very average piece of communication, lets be honest if SOM had done it everyone would be slagging it off for the mediocre crap it is. The truth is, its not very original and whilst there are touches there, at the end of the day its still a well trodden creative path and no one can argue with that.

Andy said:

Yet another ad with lots of people in the street. Unbelievable. Fuck me. I feel like I've seen this ad and half the shots in it at least 20 times before over the last couple of years.

I expected better from Droga. At least now I don't feel so bad about my own average ability in this game.

Anonymous said:

i like it. so does my brother who think advertising people are wankers.

Ned said:

I'm a believer, I've had my hand up a beaver, even the odd cow... who hasn't?

if they don't understand?????
The VB drinker will.

Anonymous said:

Great stuff - really captures our Aussie humour - best thing since Sam Kekovich for lamb - so much of our advertising turns its back on what makes us Australians - they'll love it in the pubs

Anonymous said:

Will look tidy on YouTube or any other form of new media! Hand held is in baby...

Anonymous said:

You've done the industry proud.

Anonymous said:


Anonymous said:

I'm with Darryl. First thing I thought when looking at the website was Sprint. In saying that I quite liked the spot and it made me laugh in parts. John Citizen will be all over it

Anonymous said:

well done FABs. it hits the reset button for beer advertising. i'm tired of all the new fandangled stuff. this takes us back & forward all at once. we like.

Carl said:

I always thought TV was a visual medium ... i've never had to read so much on tv (part from subtitles in foreign films).

Stil better than most stuff though. I think its ok at best.

- C+

Anonymous said:


You out of all people should know better than to post ads on the blog.
What was ya thinking? For what's its worth ... I think its good.


Steve said:

It looks like a bunch of poms trying to tell us what it is to be Australian and patronising the crap out of us.

Cashed up bogans was hilarious tho, plenty of those 'round Bondi – both English and Aussie – and definitely not in the VB target market, so fair game.

Lets be realistic said:

VB is not well.

But it would be totally stuffed without the little bit of song and blokes drinking at the end.


Get rid of the shit at the front and make the last part longer!!!!


Greidy said:

Great work.

It's obviously of Australia, because we all know these people.

Categorically speaking.

The multicultural version will be even more amusing.

Anonymous said:


Only 9 so far but the comments are quite different from the "real" people who this commercial was designed for. That's what matters...correct?

Danny said:

It's the dumbest smart ad I've ever seen.

Bobby said:

The banners do not look authentic.
They are too art directed.

Sean said:

Mixed feelings, in a big way because I always get the feeling David Droga is going to rock up in Sydney asking for his name to be removed from this agency - the local D5 are so obviously still 80/90's ad guys and aren't getting where Droga internationally is taking things..

I like the TVC, but I am in the biz and will sit there and watch for 2 minutes - and I feel you need to watch for all the online banners and print to start to make sense - I saw them before I saw the TV and they simply didn't work. I think to predicate a big spending campaign on the assumption that everyone needs to see the 2 minute TVC first is wrong. Comments on website are valid and speak volumes about old school ad guys not getting online..

D5 Sydney has now given us average stuff such as Shhhh (whatever happened to that one since?), a few competition promos with lazy social media bolt-ons, and now another campaign that is maybe lacking some proper comms planning? I think they are trying hard but simply don't have the skills to move beyond the old advertising paradigm

Philip said:

Regardless of whether anyone here thinks this is a 'nice idea' - is it powerful, likable and compelling enough it sell any beer?

This may have sounded like a good idea somewhere back down the track, but it comes across as a big, lazy, irrelevant dud.

Where's the insight? Compare it against the recent Boags ad: Great creative which leaves the punter with a salient thought - there's something magic in the water.

If this is the big idea then RIP VB sales for 2009 / 10 summer.

Agencies dust off your creds, I see a pitch coming around April '10...

Di said:

The aim of this game is to sell more beer (to people other that those who are already drinking it) as VB is going backwards, fast.

The questions to ask are;

Will this ad/ campaign shift more VB?

Does it say anything new or make you feel differently about the brand?

Sasha said:

I don't mind this ad as a traditional advertising spot. The target market wouldn't have a clue about the ads it's taken 'inspiration' from, so they may love it. But because it was done by Droga5 (who I thought don't do traditional advertising) and we're all industry people, we slag it off. They have a deadline and have to pay the bills lets not forget. I will like to see if and when the Sydney shop comes up with something ground-breaking like a 'tap project' or a 'million' campaign. Until then the only great work coming out of the Droga5 network has been from David Droga.

Reg said:

This has been the most hyped 'wait for it' campaign in years, as an iconic agency
on the way up tries to revive the fortunes of an iconic brand on the way down.
Talk about great expectations.
So it's only natural for it to get this sort of attention. It comes with the territory.
Years ago anything The Palace did 'must be great'. Not all of it was. But not many would say it wasn't.
You can't dismiss every comment that might be lukewarm as sour grapes.
A lot of what they do is great. But not everything.
This was a real tough ask and they've come out ok.
Bet they went through water torture with research.
Bet they were told to make it big, make it different but don't get anyone offside.
Bet they had to make compromises.
Bet they weren't 100% happy.
And bet they were told to put the old sting on the end. Just in case.
Welcome to the mainstream.

Pop said:

i think its entertaining and appeals to the target market...but def not the best beer ad going around

Christine said:

DROGA's PR machine works.....even on this blog!!

What an utter waste of money. You should be ashamed.

Tone said:

Why isn't Nate Myles in the ad?

Charles said:

That "real" people youtube link is actually from a marketing blog called mumbrella.

I smell cheese.

Andy said:

Why is it that when anyone gets half a decent budget to produce half a decent ad in Australia they make a parade? Just lazy, man, lazy.

Anonymous said:

Mmmm there is a poll running on the 2UE website asking punters "Do you like the new VB ad". 92% have said yes. Good to see that the majority of the above posters are so in touch with their target market!

Malcolm said:

There's a reason we don't listen to 2UE as well. I don't think it grows VB's market, just marginalises an already dying market. Gen Y are far more aspirational, and imported or boutique beers are taking the lions share of VB's coin, not new or carlton.

To me personally? I think it's a big, dumb ad. I know the stresses of getting stuff approved and getting it through. The bigger the budget and the bigger the client the harder it is. But while I've seen hit after hit from Droga NYC, Australia's left me feeling they don't have the right teams in the office yet.

In reality, it's nothing compared to any of the stuff for Carlton this year, and nothing compared to Boags, even Coopers print puns rate better than this drop.

The Virgin LA stuff, as well as the 'Shhh' work and everything else just doesn't inspire me one bit.

No offense to any of the guys in there, I'm sure they fought long and hard for the good stuff, and they're all great guys. But if you've already got creative license and financial backup to build a house anywhere in the world, build a mansion next to the beach instead of a 5 acre hobby farm in Wagga Wagga.

If anyone can lift the standards of creative in this country (and we all know 'average' here is well below average in UK/America) it's you guys. Please do the industry a favour and start smashing a few sixes.

I don't know if anyone's said it before, but if we stop showing people what they want to see and start showing them stuff that blows their mind, then we're on the right track.

Kudos boys.

Q'da-man said:

Is this ad good? Let me tell you a story....last night I was with 8 mates at a house in Randwick watching the cricket. This ad came on and after a bit of stunned silence, everyone started absolutely pi$$ing themselves - they loved it. When it finished, our host jumped on-line and we all watched it 2-3 more times. Today saw a barrage of texts about all manner of sledging (I, of course 'Peaked in High School !). In the car today, Steve Price is talking about it (yes, AM radio talking for 10 minutes about a beer ad!) and the punters ringing in virtually all loved it. That's the power of what a compelling idea can do...I'm a rookie in this game, but if I do something that gets this many people talking I'll take it every time.

Jerry said:

I showed my flatmate this ad, and he kind of liked it, but it was in a 'Oh, you're showing me an ad, I'll be interested cause I'm you're mate.' kind of way.

He doesn't know much about advertising at all, he's a bricky. All he knows about advertising is 'why do you work 16 hours a day plus weekends when they only pay you for 8?'. We don't talk about ads at home, he couldn't give a rats a****.

Then I showed him the real men of genius ads.

And he pissed himself, was gobsmacked and said 'Why the f*ck don't we get ads like that here?'

I honestly couldn't answer him. Gave the usual, clients, creative directors, etc etc excuses. He turned around and said, 'A poor carpenter blames his tools'.

And it got me thinking. Why can't Droga5 do it? They know a good ad when they see one. They know an average ad when they see one too. Why the hell aren't they kicking it?

I think Aussies respond better to the US and British style of advertising, either slapstick or black humour, far better than the over the top ocka stuff.

Even NZ is way ahead of us and it's not because they come up with better ideas. They just go out and do them, ask questions later.

Conservative 'middle australia with a flanno and a beer gut' target markets are killing this industry one cut at a time and it's a real shame everybody thinks you have to be a certain way in order for people to like your brand.

Be yourselves. You're all funny cunts. Your ads should be too!

Steve said:

That's because all droga5 staff are busily hitting it with pos responces.

You work for Droga5 5:25 and you've just alerting us to what you've been busy doing all day.

pablo said:

I think it's great.

I think it's a grower.

It is funny.

Guys who peaked in high school, salad dodgers... cashed up bogans.

Full of quotable lines.


But the real kicker for me is the tag line.

If I'm getting this right, what they're saying is it's the drinking beer, as in the beer you can drink to get pissed. As in the "sessional" beer, the beer that doesn't have too much in the way of flavour so you can drink a whole bunch of them. Don't know about you but after one or two fancy beers get me something simple... and a lot of them. It does have a connection to the "hard earned thirst" which was giving you permission to get pissed. You've earned it. So did "I feel like a Tooheys or two..."
Sure nothing, I mean nothing, beats an insanely cold beer after a bit of elbow grease, but that was always the polite message at the front. The real message at the back was, I could murder about twenty.

That's what I'm getting from "the drinking beer", which is ambiguous enough not to get them in trouble... Isn't that what the voice over is saying? Doesn't matter what banner you march under... we all like getting pissed.

..."That's what it's for Australia"

It's a reminder. It's brilliant.

Anonymous said:

Solid work with a great strategy. And it's even funnier after a few beers. Well done guys!

Jane said:

Why do people keep wishing Droga5 would do another Tap Project or Millions campaign? They had no real effect except to win Droga a bunch of awards.

No-one has done that kind of stuff for a big, populist brand for the simple reason that they don't work.

This is the real world folks.

Jack said:


You're young in this game and already listen to AM radio.

Save your time and get out.

Anonymous said:

I think that this is a great ad, it takes a different approach to previous VB campaigns and is funny. Great work Droga5

Anonymous said:

Good stuff.

I gotta say, whoever keeps bring up 'Symphony' is either from Patts or just doesn't get it. Maybe a couple (and I do mean a 'couple') of adwankers liked that ad but wow was it wrong for the brand. Guys in tuxes whistling the VB theme song couldn't be further from the Australian everyman.

This is the first time in a very long time, VB has shown pride in what they are and what they stand for. I think it's going to sell a shitload of beer to be honest.

And for those that don't get the tagline, stop trying to think so hard. There's nothing to get. That's the fucking point. There is nothing clever about VB. They don't want to be clever and they don't want to put out some clever marketing bullshit. It's beer. What do you do with it? Drink it. It's not going to make you cooler or smarter or sexier or more premium or more of a man. This a beer for everyone. Drinking Beer.

And I should also say, well done on your use of media. It's very easy to get caught up in new media tricks and to try and be too savvy. This is the right mix of channels without losing your cock and balls.

Okay, said my peace. Well done Nobby, Matty, Cam and all else involved.

Anonymous said:

I like you, Jerry. You speak of truth. And you drink the beer.

gary said:

As incriminating as this is, i watched the AFL footy show last night.

They played the new VB ad. Went down like a lead balloon. I think i heard someone cough in the back row.

Remembering that the footy show audience would pretty much laugh at anything. They didn't last night.

Glenn said:

Droga5 Sydney seem to be taking a Singo type approach in a way - play to the punters. Definitely not how they positioned the company at launch. But, it is real work for real clients with all the associated landmines.

Droga5 New York is a much different beast and seem to have taken the creative high road and spend obviously a lot of their resources creating brilliant work for non-paying clients.

Two very different paths. Be interesting to see how the Droga franchise plays out.

Paul said:

It's okay. Seen it before. It's Real Men of Genius from the states. It'll move some marketing sales needles, but it's NOT breakthrough.

Phil said:

Pablo - you must be a planner at D5, No one will read as much into the tagline as you seem to presume.

Jay said:

Q'da man.....stop trying to masquerade as a rookie member of the advertising fraternity......you work at Drogas ,like all the others posting positive comments about this dull ad.

Josh said:

The Kebab ad was way better.

run that again.

And then run Symphony. That was ground breaking.

This new one is lame.

Ted said:

I really liked the Esky where the 4 guys were camping.

You want 4 guys in a beer ad. That's the magic number for a beer ad.

This one is just not small enough for me.

Hannah said:

Thank you Glenn for saying what needed to be said.

Good on Droga 5 Sydney for taking on something real and gunning to actually sell product.

Kylie said:

This blog is so funny. The ad is just an ad. Not that great not that bad. Will have some impact on sales like most ads do. Leave D5 alone they are just another ad agency trying to make a living. Good job off a tough brief.

Andy said:

kylie 7:12 it's not just an ad -the budget is hugely different to most ads on air -puts it into a different league

Kimberley said:

Phil (2:04)

You shouldn't be so hard on Pablo.. he may not 100% right in his analysis but he's a hell of a lot closer than most of you. I'd give him a Patts on the back.

Interesting that this blog is so negative when the vast majority of other online media including punter feedback is so overwhelmingly positive...

Surely you guys have some work to do .... ?

Blokesworld said:

Some horrible attempts by Patts staff to try and can this work...come on boys be honest? I used to work at Fosters and I can tell you all for the record that the Kebab ad and the Meat on BBQ spots we're absolutely horrible for the brand...they quite literally damaged the brand and I saw the tracking to prove it (bogan, cheap, for pissed blokes, not for me...that was the clear outtake of the punters from those two). Symphony...really well done, all the staff liked it, but the punters didn't give a stuff. This ad will ROCK for VB...you watch them prove the doubters wrong. And as for the bloke that reckons the footy show crowd didnt like it...I was in the audience - and they LOVED it. This is a really good first step in a long road ahead for VB and I wish the crew involved good luck...I'll be drinking it.

Darren said:

Everyone has a different opinion about this ad. But the undeniable fact is this would blend into an ad break if it ran alongside the Drumstick ad, the Allens Lollies ad, the Lipton ice tea ad, the Vodafone ad, the Red Cross ad.

Can anyone else think of any others?

Brad said:

I fall under the 'I like your old ads better than the new ads' banner.

Sorry boys. And I mean it. I would have expected you to kick Patt's arse and blow the kebab ad out of the water.

But you didn't at all.

It's not even memorable and the biggest thing I've heard from punters (yes people are talking about it, only because I bring it up in a pub and it's in a wtf do you think of this without mentioning how bad and boring i think it is kind of way) is they don't even remember who the ad's for. And... not that funny.

Sorry, just word on the street, from Manly to Bondi to Surry Hills to Wagga (dad likes to have an opinion on ads as well.)

Scott said:

I really hope our esteemed community manages to get to 200 comments on this piece of work - 195 negative and 5 positive ones (obviously) from people at Droga5.

At the end of the day advertising (and this might hurt commentators) should be created to sell products!

I reckon this will do wonders for VB, all you need to do is ask real people what they think of it, not bitter advertising wankers.

I still think that the Droga5 peeps are cocks and wish I was working there, but ho hum...

Ricky Ponting said:

How fckin annoying is that Tax ad with the receipt guy
Just book media spots next to it and u'll be sweet

Ric said:

well i like it.

nice and stupid, like american beer ads. which is exactly what VB needs to be. like carlton.

if only tooheys (or saatchis, for that matter...) understood that.

Paul said:

Darren, 9.40pm:

The earth hour ad where they hang the sheets off the building to make it into a candle.

Andy said:

The old VB ads were bad too. But kind of 'good' bad, this is just boring bad.

Yep, it might sell beer, but it's still just boring.

I prefer to watch cool, interesting stuff.

Scott said:

Yeah, thanks Brad.

Manly, Bondi and Surry Hills I'm sure are the epicentre of VB country. (Though, I accept your Wagga point).

Ronny said:

Is this the best you Aussies can produce? The drinking beer? Surely one of the most inane lines in advertising history.

You are as average at advertising as we are at cricket.

Anonymous said:

Am I the only one who thinks the line 'The Drinking Beer' is funny...?

It's not suppose to be this clever tag line - it's so simply stupid that it's funny. It's not trying to be anymore than what it is - just like the commercial itself.

A lot of you have to stop making commercials to impress the "industry" folks and start making TVC's that entertain the viewer and make them NOT fast forward the commercial or switch to another channel.

Yes, this isn't the greatest TVC out there BUT it is reaching the audience and it seems a lot fresher on TV compared to a lot of the other content.

A lot of you have to get of your pedestal and start thinking of the consumer once again and not how "cool" your spot looks so you get positive comments on this board.

Rachel said:

Just found the time to read all this. Fuck me, must have been a slow week boys. Haven't hit 200 yet. From what I can see, the general take is that this is new stuff is crap, D5 (Syd) are crap and the best work done on the brand is VB Kebab. Funny, Kebab was so worldchangingly good, I can't actually remember it. LYNCHY why not post it up again. I'm sure it was brillaint. All this Patts posts cant be wrong. Can they?

James said:

I have a concern about this work which kind of leapfrogs the discussion about the merits or otherwise of it.

After seeing this new and quite likable ad in its various permutations night after night during the first cricket test, I'm already craving new executions. And it's only day four.

That's always the danger of gag-based ads. You very quickly need new gags.

Yet with work on this epic scale, I doubt whether there's either the budget or the production capabilities to provide new executions. Which is a pity, because it's an idea with an almost bottomless potential pool of amusing banner groups.

By the middle of the Lords test, this ad in its current form is just going to become annoying. And what about the next YEAR?

Andrew said:

Hey fake client at 9:21pm, the Footy Show crowd laugh at mentally retarded people, see Sam's 'Taking it to the Street' last Thursday for instance. So them loving stuff hardly sets the bar too high.

I do think sales will go well but I venture to say if they spent the same media on the old John Mellion ads I bet they'd get the same bump in numbers.

The logo is all over the Ashes - bet that sponsorship helps sales too.

After the kids have all joined a Facebook group that appeals to them then got bored with it and moved on to the next shiny object, where will this campaign go? Will it be around in three years?

Kev said:

Ad boys try too hard to show they know what makes real Aussie blokes tick.

Jay said:

Just saw the ad for the first time on Rove with some friends.

Their responses:

"It's hard to watch, it's messy"

"it's alright"

" huh"

" the old ads were better"

So there you have it, that's what four beer drinking freinds think.

Brad said:

I reckon that RACV ad with the swans attacking the cars will last longer.

Susan said:

Here's the 'beloved' Kebab ad. Wow, what a scorcher.


Rich said:

I work overseas, expat definitely not ex-patts or s&s for that matter.

I'm sorry but I don't see how anyone can get on here and call this remotely funny or clever.

Consumers will respond well to this just like they respond well to Harvey World Travel or Arnotts ads, because they don't know what a good ad is. It's our job to show them how great advertising can be. This is patronising and lazy, it's the Drumstick Parade all over and it's not fresh.

In the end, what really hurts are the names associated with this, not the work itself.

Garry said:

To the people who are saying D5 Sydney isn't a patch on D5 NY and hasn't got people of the same quality, you do realise that Matty Burton and Cam Blackley created the Millions project. Of course you do. And that Matty co-created Virgin "Warren", "Ming Mong" and "5 Cent"? I reckon that's a pretty good calibre of personnel, what do you reckon?

Having said that, I prefer the old VB for a hard earned thirst ads- within one second you want to drink VB. Still, a good job which I'd have on my reel in a second.

Rich said:

Unfortunately, 9:44 that pile of poop with the swans attacking the cars was for AAMI.

Josh said:

July 10, 2009 11:36 AM you just don't get it if you think the Symphony ad was wrong.

It was an utter 'up yours' to the establishment, all the people who bag VB, all the people who consider it cats piss. It was perfect for VB.

Certainly a darn sight better than this stuff.

Darryl said:

I hate that stupid AAMI ad. WTF is that about??

Phil said:


VB's market share has been slowly dying for a decade. So anyone who comes on here to defend previous work (Kebab, Symphony, whatever) is just making an arse of themselves.

You may think that Kebab was piss funny. Or Symphony "stuck it up them" or whatever... but the FACT is, that work was contributing to a brand that was losing relevance by the day.

Unfortunately for the brand manager of VB, Carlton Draught got the campaign that VB should've had. It's tough having two beers in the one stable that essentially are trying to say the same things to the same people.

Will this one work? Well, let's just say it's better than that horrible ssssshhhh campaign that Fosters unwisely signed off on, but wisely killed pretty much the week it went to air.

But that's like saying Mercedes Corby is more attractive than her sister, Schappelle.

Why bag a good thing? said:

Um sorry, but this beats the shite out of VB Symphony & Drumstick to those comparers out there.

VB Symphony: Breaking your product at the end and having a load of bow tied old coots blowing in your beer? Lost the plot sorry. Did I feel like a cold one after it? Nope. Epic fail.

Drumstick: Yeah the 1st Pool ad was a good ad that celebrated witty Australianisms. The 2nd Parade ad was trading off the Pool ad and brought nothing amazing to the table other than some fancy animated puppetry. Where is the parallel between this ad and the Drumstick ad? What there's a parade in it? Is that it? Oh dear.

Nope, wouldn't know a Droga staffer if I tripped over them, don't work there, but have to call a spade a spade - this is a very good execution that puts VB back on the course it should be on.

John said:

11:50....it didn't work. sorry. check yo facts.

ANDY said:

The brand is past its use buy date.
Trying to put a different fizz into this brand won't work.
TVC all you remember is banners.Very lame.

Ted said:

Laughs at, not with, VB drinkers. A dreadful mistake.

Terry said:

3.17 pm.

One is a parade of Australian icons, the other is a parade of Australian punters, and you can't see the parallel between these ads? Give me a break.

Just wait till the summer when they both run in the same ad break. It'll look pretty stupid believe me.

Matt said:

Funny thing abiut parades is that they're an outdated form of entertainment anyway.

Who's intersted in parades, not me.

Doug said:

Mildly amusing, but a strategic disaster.

A beer that is for everyone is for no one.

VB has lost it's soul. Once the ultimate blokes' brand, it's been turned into the Molly Meldrum of beers. Now, instead of celebrating real blokes, it takes the piss out of them.

Did anyone watch this ad and feel like a beer after it? Of course not.

VB is such a strong brand, built on a generation of powerful advertising, so there won't be a fast decline. But the ads over the last few years have been pathetic. The brand is being killed, bit by bit, year by year, ad by ad.

And if you don't think it will happen, remember that not all that long ago, Foster's was Victoria's biggest beer. Now it's a joke.

Brian said:

You know the people doing the ads have no idea when you see a press ad that talks about "guys".

VB is for blokes, not guys.

If you don't know that, you shouldn't be let near any icon brand ever.

Tom said:

Shouldn't Michael Clarke be under the 'blokes punching above their weight' banner?

Also, no matter what anyone thinks about this ad, it has already worked.

Fat Lady said:

For those frightened by the 180 comments here's a quick summary:

1. Ted Royer the ECD at Droga5 says don't do ads like this.
2. Droga5 Sydney did what Ted told them not to do.
3. The Droga5 people like the ad a lot.
4. The majority of people on this board don't like it so much.
5. The GP/Y&R people really don't like it.
6. People who laugh at the Footy show may or may not like it.
7. The new tag line lets people know they can drink this beer.

Jenny said:

Ted has got it exactly right. So has Brian.

This is a beer ad, not a VB ad.

As Ted says, it's laughing at VB drinkers, not with them.

And as Brian says, this is an ad for 'guys' not 'blokes'.

Though I suspect the 'u' in guys should be an 'a'.

It's oh so Sydney.

Doug fan said:

Doug of 10.05.
Well put.

Kim said:

Fat Lady. I think I love you.

Anonymous said:

That was the real, the one and only Ted at 9.27 yesterday.

Trevor said:

The two points that stick for me are; that this is an ad that laughs at the VB drinker
(really bad) - and, that this ad suggests that VB, the hard-working-mans-beer, the manly-mans-beer, the see-through-the bullshit-mans-beer is now
the-beer-for-everyone (really, really, really bad).

I also agree it feels really 'Sydney', not Austrailan.

Sarah said:

Someone should call Alan Jones about these bloody hooligans with their beer banners ruining Australia's fourth most embarrassing icon. (Sits just before Vegemite and right after Steve Irwin, Paul Hogan and Fosters).

Couldn't care less. Nice spot. Got a bit of a giggle, more than I expected.

Nigel said:

Funny isn't it.

The more we watch this ad the worse it gets.

The original campaign ran for over 30 years. I give this one less than 30 months. And the agency about the same. Fosters don't give second chances.

Anthony said:


Anonymous said:

Laughing at VB drinkers? It might be poking a bit of fun at them, but let's be serious - the average VB drinking bloke will happily align himself under one of those banners, without reading into all the bullshit and politics that could be read into it.

People on this blog are of course coming at the ad with an advertising mentality. Try coming at it with a VB drinker mentality - completely changes things.

Anonymous said:

what do you mean 'it's Sydney"??? Are you Melbourne people all fucking paranoid? what's the bloody problem??? Idiots.

Anonymous said:

I'm not in ad land any more. I laughed - the commentary made it for me. The website was the real boring bit. Most of you ad wankers need to pull your head out of your arse and stop bitching about other people's work - as if you do any better.

Anonymous said:

I've just got back from OS.
I really can't be fucked reading all these comments.
Get a life you sad, bitter ad cocks.

Mick said:

I just think the old ad agency from Victoria's Bitter. But, when you sue a client, look what happens.

Anonymous said:

WPP is suing. Not GPYR Melbourne.

Anonymous said:

Some weird comments here.

One thing is undeniable - the ad is clearly "inspired" by Real Men of Genius.

It's like they've taken a dozen of the Bud ads and put them in a Moomba Parade.

Moomba Parades are incredibly boring. So is this ad.

Also, I have to laugh at people who talk about the "old" VB ads, and mention Symphony and Kebab. Ask people on the street, and you'll find those ads were instantly forgotten (which was bloody lucky for the brand).

But mention A Hard Earned Thirst, and every person will know you're talking about VB.

Anonymous said:

Melbourne is cool. Sydney is gay.

Anonymous said:

Testicles taste funny

Paul said:

Boring, boring, boring. Same brief from CUB 'make a big ad', but it's about VB. Big ad they did make, ground breaking they did not do. MOVE ON FROM THE BIG AD CONCEPT!

Anonymous said:

Hey 1:31PM,

Anyone who refers to themselves as being cool isn't cool at all.
Just what I'd expect from a Victorian.


Anonymous said:


Forgive me, but who do GPYR Melbourne take their orders from? And why are WPP suing?

Anonymous said:

I just wanted to be the lucky 200th comment.

What banner will I march under?

Anonymous said:

Not if you spalsh a little soy sauce on them.

(oooha! look 200.)

And I'm from sydney and I'm gay and proud!

Anonymous said:

I'm really fucking cool and i live in Melbourne. Thinking you're cool by not saying your cool is so dated - and so sydney.

Anonymous said:

11:58 I live in Sydney and I'm fucking cool, but I think Melbourne's cool too. Cool?

Thinking you're cool by not saying you're cool is not dated, it's Gen-X.

Kurt's dead, get over it people.

Anonymous said:

Comment anonymously on this entry if you are a wanker.

Geo Graphy said:

I live in Ballarat which is up he road from Melbourne and I wear black.

Does that make me cool?

Oh yer, the ad sucks.

Now, let's get back to me.

Jay said:

Interesting that Bob Garfield raves about the spot: http://adage.com/garfield/post?article_id=138007

Roscoe Roarx said:

lol, 50 Cent is so funny! I love him.

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