You might think that Sky TV, Toyota, Stand Up to Cancer, Tanqueray, Arsenal FC and Squarespace wouldn’t have much in common. You might think that, but you would be wrong; they have all had ads fronted by everyone’s favourite Luther actor, DJ and “James Bond in waiting”, Idris Elba.
And this week Stella Artois has joined the list, with Idris starring in a new TV ad – aimed ostensibly at the US market – under the strapline “Summer Like You’re On Vacation”.
Well, we say “starring”, he actually stars in it, writes the theme tune, plays the theme tune [well, produces the backing track] and “creative directs” it to boot.
The TV spot, devised by VaynerMedia, is set in New York City and opens with Idris saying: “If vacation is the best part of summer, why wouldn’t it make you part of the summer? How you say, easy…” [Yep, we don’t understand it either.]
He then whacks a golf ball from one New York rooftop to a bucket on another building and adds: “Vacation isn’t about where you are, it’s about how you see things.”
This is followed by various scenes in which leans in to photobomb selfies at a rooftop party and adds: “Why wait for a vacation on the French Riviera when you can party on the Hudson Riviera?” All the time, he’s clutching a bottle of Stella, and so is everyone else, of course.
Idris concludes: “You just have to make home the place you want to write home about.”
Anheuser-Busch vice-president of premium and super premium brands [nice work if you can get it] Peter Van Overstraeten said: “Summer equals vacation and vacation means that you splurge on that better drink, that nice restaurant, you name it.
“But vacations are never as long as we’d like them to be, so this summer we’re inspiring consumers to trade up to our premium European lager and embrace that vacation state of mind, all summer long.”
So, what is the consensus around the Decision Marketing office? As you may recall, we loved Idris in the Sky TV ads and, to be fair, we love a Stella Artois or two or three, so it’s a no-brainer isn’t it?
Hmm we’re not so sure. Maybe it’s because the ad is designed to appeal to the American market but we’re just not feeling it, and as for the script, it’s basically nonsense.
OK, Stella might still carry the “wife beater” image in some parts but at least its advertising has traditionally shown a touch of class. “Reassuringly Expensive” anyone? Last year’s Joie de Bière (the joy of beer) global marketing campaign is nowhere to be seen either.
Still, hopefully Idris will soon be James Bond so he won’t have to make so many bloody ads…
Decision Marketing Adometer: 3 out of 10