Behind the Campaign - Thinkerbell's iteration of 'I feel like a Toohey's'

By Ruby Derrick | 9 May 2023

Thinkerbell and brewer Lion’s new Toohey’s campaign has resurrected the 1970s jingle "How do you feel? I feel like a Toohey’s". 

The campaign aimed to put the memorable tune back in the minds of many. 

Adam Ferrier, founder and consumer psychologist at Thinkerbell, said when an indelible characterisitc of a brand isn't being used, people need to question it. 

Any time a brand has strong distinctive assets that are famous and ownable to the brand that are not being used you have to ask yourselves why,” said Ferrier. 

With this jingle it’s not only epic, it’ll reignite latent memory structures and get stuck in peoples heads quickly. We are proud to resurrect this powerful piece of advertising created by Mojo. 

The jingle, which was written by Mojo's Allan (Jo) Johnston and first released in 1979, will also be a track to Spotify. 

Ferrier said it was a simple task to track down the tune and use it in the latest campaign.  

It’s part of the Tooheys brand history so it was always there we just needed to resurrect it. A quick call to Jo and we were on our way,” he said. 

On how the creative agency updated the jingle to reflect the different audience, Ferrier said it was a matter of staying honest to the appreciation and enthusiasm of the Toohey’s brand in Australia. 

We stayed really true to the jingle in one execution that will, we hope, appeal to the heartland Tooheys drinker,” said Ferrier. 

However, the jingle will come to life in many different ways across different media. In one execution ‘drummer’ the verse is removed and we just build anticipation by asking the audience ‘how do you feel’.” 

Ferrier said Johnston, advertising royalty, supported Thinkberbell with the campaign, helping the agency with the re-recording and even made a cameo himself in the commercial.  

“Mojo doesn’t exist as an agency any more, but Allan Johnson, half of the iconic Mo and Jo team was instrumental.” 

On the Black T-Shirts podcast, Johnston discusses the influence he and Mojo partner Allan (Mo) Morris had on Australians at the helm of some of the country's most cherished jingles.

"I think we were both were very nationalistic, very street-wise. It was one of those things, the way we approached it at the time, it was more like songs than jingles… there was usually a bit of a story," said Johnston.

The creative process for Johnston stood out starkly to the way of the standard advertising and creative agencies. 

"I would sing the stuff - I didn’t consider myself a singer but I could never get the right sort of sound from the studio session singers. That’s how I started doing ‘How do you feel? I feel like a Toohey’s'," he said.

Jingles are not used nearly as much today in advertising, partly due to agencies often not having people who can write songs - which works against them in the way of singing the story as part of the idea, says Johnston.

“Agencies in those days wold hire an outside musician to write a tune…and that’s what jingles became. We approached it differently, we wanted to make it sound as much like a song as we could.”



Client: Lion Nathan / Tooheys
Creative Agency: Thinkerbell
Production Co.: Good Oil
Director: Tom Campbell

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