AD WATCH: A Publicis HK creative director’s most/least favourite ads

AD WATCH features marketing industry figures providing their opinions on what they think is some of the most inspiring and disappointing work they’ve seen. As long as it’s not their own!

On this edition:

Richard Tunbridge

Group creative director

Publicis Hong Kong


I don’t remember being a huge fan of Top Gun. It was a pumped-up slice of 1980s machismo, melodrama, and volleyball. Tony Scott directed it with a fetish for hardware, mechanical and corporeal. Everything was bathed in sunset filters, replete with the music of Berlin, Harold Faltermeyer and Giorgio Moroder. I’m not even a huge fan of Tom Cruise, although Edge of Tomorrow is great and parts of Mission: Impossible are fantastic entertainment.

So, I was somewhat surprised by the joy I got from the trailer for Top Gun: Maverick. This had me at hello, so to speak. And the chime of the opening chords was all it took. Like the jet charging towards the screen, that world was upon me immediately. Same, but different.

It’s 30 years later, but things have changed, for Maverick, and the filmmakers. The dialogue is almost noir in its delivery. Every line is a punchy headline. The cinematography, the pace of the edit, the sound design. New and improved. The sonic cues of the past return, intermittently, to great effect. It does everything an ad for a movie is supposed to do. I’ll be there opening night.


In a recent study, respondents were asked to recall Guinness campaigns over a 15-year period. From among 20, they only remembered one. And it hadn’t been used since 1999. Good things come to those who wait. It’s unlikely this campaign will be recalled as fondly.

I first encountered it on the MTR. Then I saw it on a bus. I wish it had run over me. At least I wouldn’t have to see it anymore. The headline, according to Google, translates as home taste smooth. I asked locals if there was any nuance in that, but they seemed just as confused.

“So creamy!” says the English version. Thanks for that. The moustache gag has been accused of ripping off or paying homage to Got Milk, but that would be unfair to milk. Besides, people do this with Butterbeer at Hogwarts in the Harry Potter World. Maybe there’s some puerile innuendo devised by, and for, the orally fixated. Either way, it seems brand deaf, tone-deaf and definitely out of place. There’s four logos, but I still don’t believe it’s a Guinness ad.

This article was produced for the August issue of Marketing Magazine. For more features and other magazine-exclusive content from this and upcoming issues, you can subscribe to receive your free monthly print copy here or you can read the digital version in its entirety here.

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