Ad Watch

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 06 March, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 06 March, 2005, 12:00am

Product: Carlsberg.

Title: Melody 2.

Ad agency: Publicis, a sister company of Saatchi & Saatchi.

First impression: quite fun, but what

are these people doing talking to their

beer bottles?

Idea/storyline: as far as beer ads go, this one is unusual in that there are no a) bikini-clad models, b) rowdy men drooling over said models c) rowdy men passing models over for a beer. The general idea is everyone is having fun, chatting and connecting - albeit over a beer. It begins with a guy ordering a Carlsberg and spotting a cute girl on the other side of the bar. He picks up his beer bottle as if it is a mobile phone and taps her number on it. 'How are you doing?' he mouths to the girl. The girl says: 'Just a minute' and turns around to chat with her friend, who spots more guys talking to more cute girls on their bottle phones, etc., etc. You get the picture. All the while, the track Everybody Needs Somebody to Love, with the chorus 'I need, you, you, you!', is playing in the background.

What the ad man says: the agency is not based in Hong Kong (it is from Israel), but Soren Holm Jensen, general manager of Carlsberg, Hong Kong, says the advert is a follow-up to Melody 1, which featured the song Can't Take My Eyes Off You. 'The focus of these two ads is inclusiveness and social oneness. Carlsberg is the catalyst for social interaction and friendship irrespective of social barriers,' Jensen says. So, this ad is not about 'every man for himself', a message prominently promoted in other beer ads. Carlsberg, says Jensen, is more about drinking with friends. 'It is not as self-orientated as other [beer] brands. That probably has something to do with its Scandinavian

and British roots ... where having a beer in the pub is not for showing off but socialising.' Being witty is also a core value of the company.

Does it work? Well, it does raise a smile rather than an eyebrow. For once, we have a beer ad that is not self-obsessed, chauvinistic or sexist.

But ... its tune, Everybody Needs Somebody to Love, is not as familiar to the Hong Kong audience as Can't Take My Eyes Off You and is only half as catchy, a fact Jensen admits. It is certainly not as memorable as Engelbert Humperdinck's Quando, Quando, Quando (Tell Me When), a track featured in a recent Heineken ad, where guys reach into a freezing bucket of beer. Come to think of it, Ad Watch likes the Heineken ad more.