As part of this year’s We Heart Lager campaign, in which we are striving to celebrate all that is great about lager, we thought there was no better opportunity to revisit some of these classic campaigns.
So here - in no particular order - is a rundown of some of the best lager adverts of all time.
Australian comic Paul Hogan was one of the best-known faces in the UK in the ’80s partly in thanks to his starring role in Foster’s The Amber Nectar, campaign.
Hogan’s earthy Australian tones delivered some of the funniest and most memorable punch lines in the history of beer advertising - his exclamation at a ballet performance, “Strewth, there’s a bloke down there with no strides on!” followed Hogan for years.
In this ad Hogan’s unsophisticated Aussie character meets a group of young urban professionals in a high-class City bar where he consoles a City trader whose shares have dropped 20p by offering the change from his pint – “No Worries, mate!”
This is an iconic and much loved Carling ad from the ‘I bet he drinks...’ campaign of the 1980s and ‘90s, featuring the comedy duo Frost and Arden. ‘Dambusters’ has been acclaimed as one of the funniest ads of the past 40 years and won a coveted D&AD Black Pencil award for its director, Roger Woodburn. The new Carling campaign ‘It’s good but...’ is a return to the British wit and playfulness first seen in this campaign.
This is one of the Carlsberg classics.
The ad follows a group of friends who are heading to a nightclub and portrays them enjoying what would be the perfect night out. So, for example, the friends don’t have to queue at the bar, don’t have to shout to order their drinks and, at the end of the night, they find a raft of taxis ready and waiting to take them home.
Carlsberg says the ad is a great example of how, “Carlsberg uses consumer insights in a funny and engaging way to bring the brand to life.
Carlsberg: Old Lions
Voted by consumers as one of the best TV ads ever made, Old Lions was the TV ad that Carlsberg launched as part of its England campaign in the run up to 2006 FIFA World Cup.
The ad shows a game of football between a local pub team and Carlsberg’s Old Lions made up of England legends, including Stuart Pearce, Peter Shilton, Bobby and Jack Charlton, Bryan and Bobby Robson – with Bobby as team captain.
There is often a question around expensive long-term sponsorship deals but this ad is a great example of the way this brand, in particular, has been able to capitalise on such partnerships.
The idea behind this campaign was to reflect Carling’s position as the most sociable of drinks and carried the strap line ‘You know who your mates are’.
This ad stands out from the others as it cleverly tapped into a familiar obstacle experienced by young men on a night out – namely one of the group being refused entry because trainers aren’t allowed.
It also has some great special effects, as - fact fans - the CGI special effects were created by the Moving Picture Company, best known for creating the special effects in the British sci-fi movie ‘Sunshine’.
Foster’s: Girlfriend’s Mum (Good Call, 2010)
Humour has been at the heart of Foster’s advertising for many years and the launch of the Good Call campaign three years ago marked a return to the classic “no worries” vibe that epitomises some of the brand’s best campaigns.
This ad was the first of this campaign and introduced Brad and Dan to UK audiences, two “laidback Aussie dudes cum Agony Uncles”. In this execution Ben from Southend phones the duo to ask if his girlfriend will end up looking like her mum and is advised not to worry, “she might turn out to be a Vorderman!”
Earlier this year, Carling launched a new advertising campaign as part of a £9.6 million investment to increase the appeal and desire for the brand.
‘Catch’ was the second of three TV ads as part of this and “epitomises the humour and appeal of the whole campaign as it positions Carling as the ‘refreshingly perfect’ pint through a witty and entertaining storyline,” says brewer Molson Coors.
While obviously inspired by Carling’s great TV advertising tradition, this new campaign was created very much for the iPhone generation of drinkers with plenty of digital content that could be shared as well.
Carlsberg: Crate Escape
This is the latest ad to be run in the UK, as part of the new ‘That calls for a Carlsberg’ campaign, launched earlier this year.
It’s a tongue-in-cheek interpretation of the classic film The Great Escape - with a certain Carlsberg twist.
The ad focuses on a group of guys brought together in their joint quest to escape a spa weekend. The men join forces to dig a tunnel out of the spa to a pub serving Carlsberg.
It features the original score as the backdrop to the ad, and it draws cleverly on memorable scenes from the original film.
Foster’s 125TH Anniversary this year spawned a new campaign for the brand, shifting away from the emphasis on lifestyle to highlighting the brand’s heritage and history.
It recreates the moment in Melbourne in 1888 when Ralph and William Foster, the brothers who founded the brand, first introduced the people of Australia to their lager.
Heineken says the ad was designed to celebrate the birth of lager and make beer drinkers proud to drink Foster’s - and for that reason alone this deserves to sit on We Heart Lager wall of fame.