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Awesome Aussie Carlton Beer Commercials

Carlton’s brewing heritage dates back to 1864, when a wagon hitch of Clydesdales delivered their first batch of draught ales to local public houses.

Carlton still maintains a team of Clydesdales that are represented in their logo design as a proud symbol of Carlton, United Breweries, and their flagship brand Carlton Draught’s, Australian roots.

Y&R Sydney and BBDO Melbourne

Both Advertising Agencies have conceptualized what I, and many others, consider to be some of the world’s best commercials ever to be produced for a beer brand.

Imbued with contagious Australian humour and ‘matey’ banter, Carlton beer commercials, barring the odd exception, are immensely watchable, with superb production values that score high on brand affinity and memorability.

1. Carlton Dry, Hello Beer

Advertising Agency: Clemenger BBDO, Melbourne, Australia

Directed by New Zealand Filmmaker, Actor and Academy Award Winner Taika Waititi, the ‘Hello Beer’ campaign of 8 short Carlton Dry commercials is viewing entertainment at its best.

The inventive shenanigans of four Carlton beer-loving mates, who share a house together, are hilariously wacky.

Carlton and United Breweries’ General Manager, Andrew Meldrum described the commercials as having a fresh, fun feel, and hoped Carlton drinkers would be able to relate to some of the scenarios. “Perhaps upside down dancing will become mainstream? If so, our apologies,”

2. Carlton Draught, Brewery Fresh Team

Advertising Agency: Clemenger BBDO, Melbourne, Australia

Directed by Brian Aldrich, the 1970’s Harlem Globetrotters inspired commercial, features a parodic team of keg-wielding, basketball players.

The highly entertaining antics of the 46ers’ centers on the claim, that in Australia, a keg of Carlton Draught is changed every 46 seconds.

Tim Ovadia, head of classic brands at Carlton and United Breweries, explained the commercial’s rationale:

“It says Brewery Fresh on our label and that’s not just marketing puffery, which is exactly what we wanted this campaign to communicate to our drinkers.”

“Communicating rational messages doesn’t need to be boring, if it is, people switch off and you’ve wasted your money.”

3. Carlton Draught, Beer Chase

Advertising Agency: Clemenger BBDO, Melbourne, Australia

This humorous spoof of a classic Hollywood, L.A. cops chase scene, superbly directed by Steve Ayson, is one of my all time favourite beer commercials.

When ‘Beer Chase’ was released online it motivated a staggering 2 million YouTube views in 6 days and went on to win Bronze and Gold Cannes Lions in the ‘Alcoholic drinks’ and ‘Direction’ categories, and a New York Festival Gold World Medal.

4. Carlton Draught, Big Ad

Adertising Agency: George Patterson Y&R (Y&R ANZ) Sydney, Australia

Composer Carl Orffs ‘O Fortuna’ from his ‘Carmina Burana’ cantata, drives this entertaining parody of ‘advertising epics’.

Directed by Paul Middleditch and filmed on location in Queensland, New Zealand, two weeks before its TV debut, it was released on the Internet and within 24 hours was downloaded 162,000 times.

The lyrics of the cantata chorus were humorously adapted for the accompanying soundtrack.

It’s a big ad. Very big ad.
It’s a big ad we’re in. It’s a big ad.
My God it’s big! Can’t believe how big it is!
It’s a big ad! For Carlton Draught!
It’s just so freaking HUGE!
It’s a big ad! Expensive ad!
This ad better sell some bloo-oo-oo-oody beer!

‘Big Ad’ won a Cannes Gold Lion, was declared Commercial of the Decade by Campaign Brief, and in 2018 was selected by the Metroplitan Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, for inclusion in its Permanent Collection.

5. Carlton Draught, Slow Motion

Advertising Agency: Clemenger BBDO, Melbourne, Australia

Paul Middleditch’s direction of this highly amusing and compelling commercial won a Cannes Gold Lion award and a Cannes Grand Prix award.

The scenario plays out in slow motion to a soundtrack of Puccini’s Nessun Dorma (None Shall Sleep). Nessun Dorma is an aria from the final act of Puccini’s opera Turandot.

To provide an explanatory subtext to the commercial, the aria’s lyrics were humorously amended as follows:

Men in slow motion.
Men look much better in slow motion.

It makes me want to sing quite loud.
Now, now, I want a Carlton Draught, chips and lasagna.
Men in slow mo…
In slow mo…
Slow motion.
Blah blah blah…
Slow motion.

6. Carlton Draught, Flashbeer

Advertising Agency: George Patterson Y&R, Melbourne, Australia

Carlton Draught’s ‘Flashbeer’ is a highly amusing parody of the global box- office hit ‘Flashdance’.

The 1983 American romantic drama about a young female steel-mill worker, who aspires to become a professional dancer, was directed by Adrian Lyne and starred Jennifer Beals.

Paul Middleditch’s skillful direction reprises the mood, tone and setting of the original movie’s audition scene, albeit with a comedic twist.

This time the aspiring professional dancer is a rather bulky Kevin Kavendish who appears to be the unlikeliest audition candidate one could ever imagine. A surprise however, is awaiting exposure.

The soundtrack features Irene Cara’s Academy Award best song Oscar winner, ‘What A Feeling’.

7. Carlton Draught, Skytroop Show

Advertising Agency: Clemenger BBDO, Melbourne, Australia

Directed by Paul Middleditch this classic Carlton Draught epic features 30 skydivers who, with special effects enhacement, becomes a cast of 300.

The ‘skytroop’ manage a spectacular, synchronsied sky-show to the delight of sports stadium onlookers. One hapless skydiver however, with hilarious consequences, finds himself ‘out of sync’ with his troop trapped in a giant Carlton Draught prop.