Is AnsettÕs $20m campaign working?

By AdNews | 5 November 2001
SYDNEY: Industry opinion is divided over the effectiveness and quality of AnsettÕs crisis-busting ÒAbsolutelyÓ campaign, which is said to have gone from concept to air in a breakneck six days. Russell Howcroft, managing partner, Brandhouse Arnold and former account director for Ansett, said: ÒIf Bernard King is flying Ansett, well then so am I!Ó Paul Roberts, MD of Desire Brand Management, was equally critical. ÒI think it is just appalling. I thought the ÔGo your own wayÕ campaign was really cool and had a good feel to it. The ÔAbsolutelyÕ campaign is so lame and fake. Everyone I know is cringing at it.Ó Conversely, Ad Partners chairman Trevor Fearnley commended the effectiveness of the ad given its rushed production. ÒFor an ad made at a time of need, and in an incredibly short time, this one serves very well. It wonÕt win any awards and itÕs a basic formula, but it has made people notice. It is a natural extension of the Olympics sponsorship. I think it will become very irritating if it goes on too long, though.Ó Chris Mort, MD of Singleton Ogilvy & Mather which holds the Qantas account, questioned the six-day turnaround. ÒA good idea can take two minutes or two weeks. The reality is they knew it would have to be produced the minute the crisis hit, so six days is probably not accurate. But the ads look good.Ó Chairman of JWT Melbourne, Michel Lawrence, said the ads are doing their job. ÒItÕs a great shame they didnÕt get the Vanessa Amorosi song ÔAbsolutelyÕ, because this campaign looks like it was created for it, which means it loses a bit of edge, everyone having heard that song at the Olympics. Other than that, I think Ansett is doing the right thing, because the public has had its confidence badly shaken, and you canÕt address the public without a major campaign.Ó DDB Sydney MD Nick Cleaver also said the ads are doing their job, but believes they lack a contingency plan for the future, calling them Òstop gapÓ. What punters think, page 10.

Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at

Sign up to the AdNews newsletter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for breaking stories and campaigns throughout the day.