How Fantastic are the New Carlsberg Ads?!

horse-manure-002Most ads are mes­mer­i­cal­ly dull, jaw-drop­ping­ly tedious and unsul­lied by any­thing that could be mis­tak­en, how­ev­er remote­ly, for an idea. So how refresh­ing (pun intend­ed!) are the new Carls­berg ads?!

If ever there were a beer in need of being rebrand­ed, it was sure­ly Carls­berg! Some of you will prob­a­bly remem­ber that bizarre ad of theirs from back in the day.

A man walks down a cor­ri­dor, but stops to answer the phone he hears ring­ing in a room. Turns out it’s the Carls­berg Cus­tomer Com­plaints Depart­ment — you can see it here.

That’s hard­ly the sort of thing you want peo­ple to see in your ad! If any­thing, you should be telling them that when they drink Carls­berg, they won’t have any­thing to com­plain about at all!

But worse is to come. The ad con­cludes with an end­line that says, “Carls­berg; prob­a­bly the best larg­er in the world.”

Prob­a­bly! Any of the more expe­ri­enced ad men will tell you that you should real­ly steer away from words like “prob­a­bly”. “Def­i­nite­ly” would have been much stronger.

That same ambi­gu­i­ty was all over one of their more recent cam­paigns. “Carls­berg don’t do…” it went, and then they showed you all sorts of things that Carls­berg didn’t do. Like hol­i­days, apart­ments, the list was end­less. How neg­a­tive is that?! Don’t tell us what Carls­berg does­n’t do! Tell us some of the things that it does, like refresh­ing the parts that oth­er beers can­not reach!

And they fin­ished with that hope­less­ly defen­sive end­line, again! Prob­a­bly the best larg­er in the world!

Calls-for-a-CarlsbergWell as the fel­la said, if it’s broke, fix it. So it’s won­der­ful­ly refresh­ing (there it is again!) to see the much more pos­i­tive ads that they’ve now come out with. 

The first one appeared on our screens last sum­mer. It gen­tly ref­er­ences an obscure indie film from the 60s star­ring Steve McQueen. A man is sen­tenced to life in a health spa, but he fash­ions an escape, a great one if you will, and is reward­ed with a crate (ged­it!!) of Carlsberg. 

And the new end­line that it now fin­ish­es with? “That calls for a Carls­berg!”.

Thank God! That dread­ful dif­fi­dence has been replaced with firm, man­ly assertive­ness. Would it be hyper­bole to sug­gest that it is to ads what Steve McQueen was to method acting?

spartacus-movie-image-1The sec­ond, in what I hope will be a long run­ning cam­paign, is out at the moment. Once again, an obscure indie film from the 60s is ref­er­enced, this one by Stan­ley Kubrick. “I am Spar­ti­cus” they all shout. And they end up drink­ing over-lit pints of Carls­berg in an ane­mic Euro bar float­ing above a teenage graph­ic artist’s much, much younger broth­er’s vision of the future.

It’s hip, urban, and edgie. More to the point, it’s absolute­ly hilar­i­ous! And it ends on that glo­ri­ous endline. 

As much as I’d love to be able to claim that they’d devised the cam­paign here in Dublin, it is alas the work of Fold7 in Lon­don. Hats off to you, peo­ple. What can I say; that calls for a Carlsberg!

If there are any ads that you’ve seen, that you think are as incred­i­ble as those traf­fic-stop­ping pair of Carls­berg ads, drop me a line in the com­ment box below. 

I don’t of course believe you. But I would be curi­ous to see them.

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