CUB CMO Richard Oppy cracks open Carlton Draught’s return to TV

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 17 October 2017
Richard Oppy

After five years of the TV tap being off for Carlton Draught, the brand made a bold return to TV with an ad that features basketball team the 46ers spinning schooners and back flipping through a bar.

Carlton Draught has a rich history of famous, iconic ads such as the 2005 ‘Big Ad’ from Y&R, as well as a slate of other successful campaigns, including ‘Slow Mo’, ‘Beer Chase’ and ‘Made from Beer’ by Clemenger Melbourne.

However, in recent years, it has been more quiet and there is a general consensus amongst creatives that brilliant, big beer advertising has fallen off the radar.

CUB CMO Richard Oppy admits the brand has pulled back on its ‘famous advertising’ on Carlton Draught over the past five years, opting to take a portfolio approach and spread the love across its other brand’s including Pure Blonde, VB, Budweiser, Great Northern, Strongbow and more.

CUB has also been exploring other avenues in promotion of Carlton Draught, including an Australian pub tour and its biggest success story – AFL footy show ‘The Front Bar’.

The Front Bar was originally launched on social media by Carlton Draught before Channel Seven picked it up as a rival for Nine’s The Footy Show. It’s hosted by comedian Mick Molloy, TV host Sam Pang and TV sports presenter Andrew Maher.

Each show, the trio sit at a Carlton Draught branded bar and drink the drop as they discuss the latest AFL news.

The show now often outperforms The Footy Show, which has been running for 16 years.

the front barCarlton Draught is featured front and centre on The Front Bar

“There aren't many programs around the world where you brand is front and centre and they're talking about footy while drinking beer. It's an unique and creative way to bring our brand to life rather than just a traditional 30-second spot,” Oppy says.

With The Front Bar firing and work completed on Carlton Draught's fresh positioning, Oppy says the brand is ready to venture back on TV to bring the brand's proof points to life.

“There is a lot of hype about digital, and for some our brands it is the right platform, but without a doubt to reach a mass audience, TV for CUB is the most effective way,” he says.

“Having said that, for me it's not about digital versus traditional, it's about the broader campaign. We use TV ads as our base for reaching a mass audience, and use digital and video to further increase our reach.

“I'm not one of those CMO's that say we have to get our traditional to digital split to 50/50 or 60/40. It's more about the objectives of each campaign and then approaching the channels.”

Oppy says while it will always be hard for Carlton Draught to outdo 'The Big Ad' he is confident the campaign will deliver on the key objectives for CUB, which include cut through, brand recognition and sales uplift.

“It's a changing media landscape. It used to be only about the big 30-second TV ad. But now its much more about powerful ideas that are disruptive and have talkability and memorability,” Oppy says.

“The 30-second TV may be part of that but it could just as easily by a six second bumper spot.”

The '46ers' will act as a brand platform for Carlton Draught to launch into outdoor advertising and experiential activities over summer.

Earlier this month, CUB ended its 17-year relationship with MediaCom in favour of PHD.

MediaCom parted ways with CUB at the eleventh hour after failing to agree on a commercial arrangement that was viable for both parties.

A staff email leaked to AdNews said the agency had declined to continue its relationship on the basis of cost.

Oppy says while it was difficult to part ways with MediaCom, he is excited for the brand to explore something new with PHD.

"What I've seen from PHD is they are really going to challenge our thinking and push it to another level. That’s what I'm really hoping for, particularly in data driven approach," he says.

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