Surrealism in Advertising; How Beer Became Beer!!

Topics: Alcoholic beverage, Surrealism, Advertising Pages: 7 (2329 words) Published: April 8, 2012
Surrealism and Advertising
How just beer became ‘BEER!!’


Surrealism and Advertising3
The Product3
The Campaign3
The commercial5
Appendix A6
Appendix B6


The intention of this essay is to analyse surrealism in advertising and apply the theoretical background of it and the psychoanalytic theory to a 2003/2004 campaign for Tooheys Extra Dry beer, made by BMF Advertising agency. The essay will try and isolate the surrealist appeal and other factors behind this campaign and explain why and how this campaign became one of the most talked-about advertisements and won the gold in Creative Planning Awards as well as silver in Advertising Effectiveness Awards in 2004.

Surrealism and Advertising
For the description on surrealism and its theories see appendix A. The Product
The product is beer. However, Toohey’s Extra Dry (TED) is different from other beers in many ways. Its packaging is different from other beers in its clear and tall bottle (not dark and wide as other beer bottles). It has a green label that is glued to the clear bottle diagonally instead of in a strait manner and big white dynamic letters stating the ‘Extra Dry’ brand. It is a very young brand, first brewed in 1994 instead of 18xx as other beers. However, its most distinguishing feature is its taste; it is much lighter than other beers. TED is not bitter and it is more like other RTD drinks than beer. The Campaign

Tooheys Extra Dry (TED) was a growing brand, even before this campaign was released; however its growth was because of its sub premium price (Nicholas 2004). The clear, tall bottle and an easy taste of the beer could have helped, but it was believed the brand can do better. Previous advertising of TED abided the prevalent beer promotional models throughout the world, the core market being pub going males. The prevailing message was “have a go at it”. The advertisements were of weir accidents of men who did not drink this beer, and the endline was “don’t die wondering”. The research done after the campaign proved that the idea was not very successful, however the core problem was the strategy. TEDs positioning was between mainstream beers (Fosters) and premium (Heineken). Its appeal was later described by a young participant in a research group: “I like Tooheys Extra Dry. When you walk into a party carrying a six pack you don’t look like a scab [by drinking mainstream beer] and you didn’t look like a wanker [by drinking premiums]”

Anon. cited in Nicholas (2004) P1
It became apparent that their target audience were young adults who like taking risks. Putting that into the account, the resulting campaign, aimed at people in their early twenties, tried a different approach. It involved an enticing product attribute that was unique, cool and youthful.

The new campaigns objectives were:
-Establish a connection with 18-24 years old audience
-Extend the brand throughout the Australia, mainly Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, South East Queensland and other areas. -Maintain the price premium while achieving growth and increase the profit As previously mentioned, the taste of this beer is the biggest distinguishing featureits the unique selling point. By not emphasising that on its previous campaign, they have not established a truthful distinction and therefore failed. The new campaign strategy was to find out the usual dissatisfaction young (18-24) people have with beer. RTD drinks (ready-to-drink: drinks that are already mixed with spirist, for instance Smirnoff Ice, WKD, VK etc) have been becoming more and more popular and have taken some of the market away from beer. As a result, key dissatisfactions with beer were isolated in a research study. The results were: -Beer is associated with “old” masculinity i.e. Dad in a pub with his mates -Beer slows you down – it makes you fat and slow

-Beer has a bitter...

References: - Homer, M. & Kahle L.R. (1989) A Social adaptation explanation of the effects of surrealism on advertising. Journal of Advertising 15(2) pp.50-60
- Alcuaz, M. “Contemporary Idioms of Surrealism. Dreamworks 4(1) pp.59-69
- Cooper P. & Patterson (2000) The Trickster: Creativity in modern Advertising and Branding. Market Research Society Conference. Available at:
- Nicholas, J. (2004) Toohey’s Extra Dry – Licking the Beer Category. Account Planning Group Australia. Available at:
- Nicholas, J. (2004) Toohey’s Extra Dry ‘Quest’ – Beer advertising that broke the mould. Sales That broke records. Advertising Federation of Australia. Report. Available at:
- Hackley, C. (2005) Advertising and Promotion: Communicating Brands. Sage Publications: London
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