BBH China has rolled out a new campaign for Thai energy drink brand Carabao, kicking off with a seven-minute film expressing solidarity between hard workers everywhere.
Launched on 10th July, the film was directed by Zhang Dapeng, who previously broke China’s internet with the “What is Peppa?” viral video. And rather than go with the standard sports or nightlife angles common to such brands, BBH has gone for the tough grind in the day-to-day of Chinese worker. It shows six people at various social strata with wildly different - but equally challenging - lives to soldier on through. These range from a guy panicking during flight turbulence, to a factory worker, to a doctor fighting to get through a long shift. The film’s momentum builds up to a boisterous rendition of a brand anthem by the characters set to the tune of “The Ants Go Marching.”
Arthur Tsang, the chief creative officer of BBH China, said, “It is very bold for an energy drink to step away from the sporty, over-the-top norms of the category. We intended to create a campaign that speaks to the truth of why we do the things we do, and that every bit of effort we exert is something that requires energy. The choice of a kid’s song is not only an earworm but also meant to convey the honest innocence of people just trying to do their best for those they care about.”
Each of the six stories featured in the full-length film will also be expanded upon in standalone versions to be pushed out over the next few months on social media and online channels.
Romtham Setthasit, co-CEO of Carabao China, said, "Carabao has and always been a supporter of people who strive for a better life. All of us are grappling with challenges every day, no matter how big or small the challenges are Carabao is always there to support the everyday people to achieve their dreams with an extra dose of energy. Everyone here at Carabao hopes that this campaign will inspire people to have the fighting spirit of Carabao.”
Providing our two cents, it is indeed refreshing when a brand doesn’t fall into the standard narrative and what’s more, provides honest examples of when consumers actually depend on their product. From personal experience, we’ve seen far more exhausted office workers turn to a can of liquid energy more frequently than sports gods. Even little touches in the production such as the desaturated colours reflect the idea of feeling drained.
It isn’t a perfect landing. The use of a marching song so ominous gives the ad some rather odd vibes comparable to a Soviet propaganda film. Perhaps something a little more cheery would have avoided that grim feel. However, it's undeniable that - along with an air of authenticity - the catchiness of this ad is going to drive it into people’s skulls pretty hard.
Agency BBH China
Executive chairman Arto Hampartsoumian
Managing partner Joanne Liu
Account director Maya Yuen
Chief creative officer Arthur Tsang
Executive creative director: Yinbo Ma
Associate creative director: Tiexin Li, Louis Li
Planning director: Tobias Wacker
Executive producer: Weisian Lee
Production house Pro Films
Production house producer Jack Tsai / Phoebe Fan