Three guys working hard feel a little bit thirsty...
Three guys chilling out feel like a beer...
Some negative comments about the new Heineken ad made me think about the whole genre of beer advertising, and in particular just how outdated some of the 'three men and a little lager' ads feel. Though thankfully there aren't too many of them left.
Carlsberg has kept things interesting by having a great tagline, but they recently confused the hell out of it by introducing a second tagline that doesn't seem to fit.
Strongbow's latest ads however, raise a smile but they couldn't feel more like they are trying to be identifiable if the voiceover screamed "Look hard working cockney geezer, this 'ere hard working chap is just like you, maybe you should drink Strongbow too". Were it not a pastiche idea the shot where they look over at the pub would have made me cringe.
There have been so many 'three guys in a pub' ads. Some are funny, or silly, but most just feel like the same template. The beer ads we remember now are the ones that are more expansive, those with wider ideas and themes.
Although maybe, just maybe the criticism of the over-elaborate styling and content of these new beer ads opens up an opportunity for some good ads in the old way. After all, John Webster made the 'three guys in a pub' extremely interesting back in the seventies and early eighties. If we do it though, let's at least do it well.