Pure Blonde "Brewtopia / Dove Love / Pardon" by Clemenger BBDO (2007-11)
Ah! There once was a golden age... when every Australian beer ad was a treat to be looked forward to with eager anticipation. It was a battle of wits between rival brewers Foster's Group and Lion Nathan. (There were then, and indeed still are, only really two beer companies in Australia, although both now operate under different names). Each vied to outclass the other in humour, surreality and - the key ingredient - water-cooler buzz. Perhaps the most famous of all these campaigns was Fosters' 'Big Ad' for Carlton Draught, but there were plenty of others. We will probably return at a later date to BMF's several bizarre campaigns for Lion Nathan's Tooheys Extra Dry. But for now, let's enjoy Clemenger BBDO's brilliantly oddball campaign for Pure Blonde, launched by Fosters in the mid-2000s in a bid to convert male beer drinkers to the benefits of low-carb brews. Creative team Emma Hill and Cameron Hoelter, working under executive creative director James McGrath, came up with an ad that would - in McGrath's words - contrast "the purity, the mystery and the perfection of 'Brewtopia'" with "the cynicism of our somewhat grubby and pragmatic world". Slovenia stood in for Brewtopia, and local star Paul Middleditch - also responsible for 'Big Ad' - was the director. Two further ads followed - 'Dove' and 'Pardon' - in which Emma Hill teamed up with Josh Robbins for another riff on the concept of "A Place Much More Pure Than Yours". But the heat went out of the low-carb market in the 2010s, and at around the same time coincidentally, all of the fun went out of Australian beer ads. That blokey humour has mostly been abandoned in favour of more sensible, craft-led or social-oriented campaigns. Pure Blonde remains one of the lead brands for what is now Carlton & United Breweries, recently acquired by Asahi Breweries of Japan, but you'd never guess it was the same beer from any of its current ads.