Speight’s & DDB celebrate modern Kiwi mateship (updated)

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Beer ads have a long history of showing guys enjoying a brew, often at the expense of everything else, says DDB ECD Shane Bradnick, unveiling the agency’s latest Speight’s TV epic.

“Spouses, commitments and those less worthy have often been fodder for blokey heroes who earn their beer through some feat of strength, cunning, comedy or a combination of the three,” he said.

“The decision to get away from those well-worn tropes provided an opportunity for Speight’s new brand campaign headlined by an unexpectedly heartwarming spot titled The Dance.”

The two-minute epic follows the story of two workmates who seem to be teaching each other to dance. We meet their wider group of mates, who stay after work to offer unsought critiques. Mastering dancing quickly becomes their group project, and they approach it with the same laconic attitude you’d expect at Thursday night training for the social footy team.

The reveal hits home when we finally see our hero, Simon, on his wedding day, surprising his new wife Tammy with a perfect dance routine while his mates look proudly on. 

Bradnick says the new campaign introduces a modern approach to the values Speight’s has always stood for, and the iconic ‘Good on Ya Mate’ tagline has made a return for the first time in a number of years.

“The balance we’ve tried to strike is a modern interpretation of Speight’s traditional values of mateship and willingness to go above and beyond,” he said.

“The iconic ‘Good on Ya Mate’ tagline returns for the first time in years, building a new tradition for a modern audience.”

“It’s a continuation of the story Speight’s has been telling for years and we hope it inspires Kiwi mates to be proud of those moments they go the extra mile for each other, regardless of the sacrifice required.”

DDB NZ creative director Rory McKechnie said: “The truth that mates will do anything for each other is a very genuine thought, but it hasn’t always been portrayed that way. We wanted to get away from the over-the-top caricatures typical in beer advertising, and bring that idea to life in a more real way.” says. 

Lion national marketing director Craig Baldie says the reinstatement of the ‘Good on Ya Mate’ tagline was about building a new tradition for a modern audience. 

“A fresh approach to our core beliefs was the perfect way to showcase mateship, a value that has stuck with Speight’s through various ages and stages,” he said. “There are some things you can only ask a mate for help with. The Dance reimagines an age-old tradition of mates sacrificing for mates through challenging times – we’re very excited to see how Kiwi audiences respond to it.”

Director Steve Ayson says it was exciting to explore the iconic Speight’s world in this contemporary way with his mates at DDB.

“Dancing in front of people carries the same amount of tension for most Kiwi men as public speaking in the nude.

“It’s a manly trait to know everything about anything … or at least think you know. So my attraction to this project was the opportunity to study a group of blokes sharing their self-elevated knowledge about dance in the same way they might debate and analyse sport.”

Even the Herald got involved
The ad made quite a splash in the Weekend Herald, with a profile written by former Stop Press ed Damien Venuto (read it here).

The new campaign rolls out with 6″,15″, 60″ and 120” versions on film, online, digital and OOH.


Client: Lion
National Marketing Director: Craig Baldie
Category Marketing & Sponsorship Director – Beer: Ben Wheeler
Marketing Manager Mainstream Beer: Jane Dempsey
Brand Manager Mainstream Beer: Geoff Kidd
Assistant Brand Manager Mainstream Beer: Gen Brown
Agency: DDB
Chief Creative Officer: Damon Stapleton
Executive Creative Director: Shane Bradnick
Creative Director: Rory McKechnie
Art Director: Zac Lancaster
Senior Account Director: Jennifer Travers
Account Manager: Michael Doolan
Executive Planning Director: Lucinda Sherborne
Executive Producer: Judy Thompson
Senior Agency Producer: Samantha Royal
Production Company: The Sweet Shop
Executive Producer: Fiona King
Producer: Larisa Tiffin
Director: Steve Ayson
DOP: Lachlan Milne
Offline Editor: Simon Price
Grade: Trish Cahill
Post Production Company: Perceptual Engineering
Soundtrack/composer/Music: Jonathan Mihaljevich, Franklin Road
PR: Mango

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