'Big Ad' Big Deal
Aug 31, 2005 - Carlton Draught's Big Ad tapped into modern technology to live up to its "big" claim, with millions of copies of the ad being downloaded in August as links appeared on thousands of Internet blogs.
The ad features computer-generated armies of men wearing robes running toward each other while chanting the ad's message. A shot from the air shows a man lift a pint of beer, with scores of yellow-robed men racing into his mouth and on into his stomach.
Foster's Australia first emailed the ad to 400 employees in July before releasing the television commercial. It's since been downloaded about 2 million times, and the brewer has even scaled back the commercial's TV air rime.
"We just thought we would put it out there to see what would happen and, yes, it has taken us by surprise," said Jacqui Moore, a spokeswoman for Foster's Australia. She said it would be two months before she was able to assess its impact on sales of Carlton Draught.
Ben Welsh, creative director of advertising agency M&C Saatchi, admits he is "insanely jealous." "The genius of it is that it does all the things a good beer ad should do: it has a product shot, a drinking shot and it's got loads of blokes in it. It's nice to see a great beer ad coming out of this country again."
Not every ad could get away with launching on the Internet, he said. "For someone to send it on it has to be filthy, funny or macabre," he said.