“Size matters” the Australian way

Australian brewery Carlton Draught made 10 years ago a television advertisement that shook both the man on the street and the creative world. Both in Australia and in the rest of the world, amongst men and women, amongst drinkers and non-drinkers.

Let’s check the advertisement first:

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!

Anyway – Carlton Draught is one of Australia’s most popular tap beers and one of their most known slogans is “Made from beer”.

So why was this ad “Big ad” so successful?

First of all because of its size. We could see lots of people, lots of coordinated activities. Men wearing choir uniforms are up to something. And when viewed from the air, the choirs forming respectively the shape of the beer glass “Carlton Draught” and a human body, you just cannot leave that unnoticed. According to all kind of advertising theories you must have caught the attention of all the people around.


Second – the classical music. Carmina Burana by Carl Orff is one of the most overused musical pieces, but right here right now together with couple of hundreds of people it sounded fresh and powerful. The text of the ad is really brief and succinct and understandable for everybody. To wrap it up – we got to know that it is a really big and expensive ad and hopefully the ad helps to sell more beer. No further discussion.

Third. Quality matters both in making the ad and marketing communications. The creative force behind the ad was one of the best agencies in Australia and many experts with an extensive experience were involved (for example the directors of photography Andrew Lesnie from the “Lord of the Rings”).

The marketing activities began with the advertisement streamed on the Internet. Streamed as long as it went viral. In some weeks the video got more than 2 million views and in more than 130 countries. Do not forget that Youtube was not a major player at that time.

Fourth. It was actually a really simple idea. Without hearing the sound of the ad we can see a process of beer drinking: beer enters the body in a happy and cheerful way.


Of course, as we see the New Zealand mountain range in the background we might get some kind of ideas. Many bloggers and critics have referred that the Big Ad resembles or even makes a little bit fun of the style of the “Lord of the Rings” films as nature and mountains were a big issue and one of the keywords was freedom. One observation from the gender equality topic. Despite the fact that the ad has lots of people involved, we can only see men in the advertisement. Maybe the idea was to fix the stereotype that beer is for real men and Carlton Draught is made for men. The ad is really powerful and who wouldn’t want to belong to the group of powerful people?

Humour and the punch-line make you feel good and gives you an idea to go and get something from the freezer.

Idea of the Day: Visualize the core point of your product/service by using the movements of large groups of people.