Ad Nut
Aug 15, 2023

Carlton Dry's new ad by Clemenger BBDO is...something

Welcome to Drylandia. Try to make sense of it.

What the heck is Ad Nut supposed to do with this?

The folks at Clemenger BBDO have produced a new ad for Carlton Dry beer that is more than a little out of the ordinary.

'Imported from Drylandia' is what they politely term "an exotic provenance story," something they allege "is often the key ingredient in successful beer advertising." 

Surely there will be critics who will less politely call it a load of horse sh*t. (Indeed the campaign film does depict something emerging from the rear end of a horse, albeit something more palatable). 

Launched last Sunday across TV, radio, social, digital, OOH, cinema, gaming, sponsorship and activation, the campaign depicts the "eccentric, faraway world" of Drylandia—the home of Carlton Dry. Long horses, long haircuts, high turtlenecks, robot arms, and teleporting archways are all part of it.

What's dry about it?  Well, it's desert-like. But also looks like a dystopian brand metaverse experiment gone predictably bad like all the others. 

It's left Ad Nut doing much head-scratching. How much thought and energy was really put into this?

The press material tells us that Drylandia was built over 12 weeks in a collaborative production process spanning the world which beyond Clemenger BBDO as lead creative agency in Melbourne also involved production company Revolver, visual effects experts BaconX in Copenhagen, and Swedish director Andreas Nilsson.

Okay, so this wasn't just thrown together. What then is the strategy?

Does it drive home any great product attributes? No.

Is it purpose-led? No.

Does it make you feel like drinking a beer? Ad Nut ventures to say no.

Does it entertain?  In a very quizzical way, yes. 

Does it align with brand values? As a brand that loves to have a laugh and make fun of its own advertising, it's actually elevated its craft to a new level. Carlton, in fact, has a history of telling fantastical tales from mythical lands such as this one previously conceptualised by Special Group. 

“There’s something about beer that comes from an exotic place. We thought it was a wonderful opportunity to remind drinkers that Carlton Dry comes from an exotic place too…. sort of,” Richard Williams, the executive creative director of Clemenger BBDO explains. 

If this were a one-off, it would be more puzzling. But now that Ad Nut has had time to reflect, it would seem there is a method to the madness...sort of.


Client: Carlton & United Breweries
General Manager of Marketing: Nicole McMillan
Head of Contemporary Brands: Ben Eyles
Marketing Manager: Stephen McWilliams
Brand Manager: Felicity Smith

Agency: Clemenger BBDO

Production Company: Revolver
Director: Andreas Nilsson
Managing Director/ Co-Owner: Michael Ritchie
Executive Producer/ Partner: Pip Smart
Producer: Caroline Kruck
DOP: Stefan Duscio
Production Designer: Damien Drew
Editor & On Set VFX: Scott Stirling
Costume: Matt Stegh
Casting: Peta Einberg Casting

Post Production/ VFX: Bacon X
Creative Director: Jonas Drehn
VFX Supervisor: Thomas Haas-Christensen/ Jonas Drehn
Concept Artist: Ditte Marie Ludvigsen
Executive Producer: Eliana Carranza-Pitcher
HoP: Cilie Kragegaard
Senior VFX Producer: Lars Wagner
On Set VFX Supervisor: Jonas Drehn
On Set VFX Assistant: Scott Stirling
Compositors: Jacob Carlsson, Kai Hauswirth, Lukas Remis
CG-Lead: Thomas Haas-Christensen, David Ryberg Lessel
CG Artists: Arthur Dalvig, Asger Langhoff, Julia Forsman, Mike Pedersen, Rickard Didriksson, Tobias Ipsen
Digital Matte Painting: Emma Bielokostolská
Colourist: Sam Gilling
Conform: Oliver Wozny/ Søren Knudsen

Sound House: Rumble
Composer: Jeremy Richmond
Partner/ Creative Director/ Sound Engineer: Tone Aston
Partner/ Executive Producer: Michael Gie

Ad Nut is a surprisingly literate woodland creature that for unknown reasons has an unhealthy obsession with advertising. Ad Nut gathers ads from all over Asia and the world for your viewing pleasure, because Ad Nut loves you. You can also check out Ad Nut's Advertising Hall of Fame, or read about Ad Nut's strange obsession with 'murderous beasts'.


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