Friday 18 February 2011

Red Stripe; a missed opportunity

I hear Red Stripe is looking for an ad agency.

We pitched for the account many years ago, when most new beers were first tested in London.

The client, an ex West Indian test cricketer did not want any reference to the brands Caribbean origins.
This proved to be a difficult creative hurdle and after several attempts it was decided to ignore that aspect of the brief.

The modest advertising budget and the need to launch only in London restricted media choice to Posters and Radio.
The radio script went something like this:

Background sounds of an orchestra tuning up for a recital of the William Tell overture

John Cleese sound alike: "Fancy a can of Red Stripe, Julian?"

"What is it Charles, a new kind of lager?"

"Yes Julian, it's rather special" then..."Pass a few to Wood wind and Brass".

"Cheers". "Cheers" to the sound of pulled beer can tags.

The background music now changes from the classic form to something with a reggae beat.

"I say Charles" says Julian, "This red stripe tastes kind of...funky."

The ad ends with the orchestra playing the reggae version enthusiastically.

If the client was nervous at this stage, he nearly collapsed when he saw the poster. I had it cleared with the authorities too.

I remain convinced that had he the confidence to approve this radical approach, the brand would have been successful.

And we would have been famous.


Canny Linguist said...

What a shame that ad never made it to print! Sadly, some of the best ideas never see the light of day. I remember working for a certain agency on Dean Street, trying to break into the creative department. The agency held the account for DFDS Seaways. It was at the time of the great Carlsberg adverts. My idea was for a poster of one of their ships, with the line: “Crewed by Danes. Probably the best liner in the world.”

Unfortunately, the very clever creative types in charge were not impressed!

Anonymous said...

What a super campaign that never was!