The Southern Man has been a feature of Speight's advertising—and a prominent feature of Kiwi pop culture—for many years, so any major change to the much-loved advertising figure is obviously fraught with danger. But times have changed. And the new Speight's campaign aims to show that the southern man has changed with them.
Having spent the best part of 25 years growing up down south (and having had the Speight's posters on my wall), the TVC, which was conceived by Shine, shot by Darryl Ward from Curious in New York and features a track by Little Bushman, resonates. And this captures an aspect of New Zealand that the inhabitants are undoubtedly proud of and the visitors seem to enjoy: a laid-back approach to life, different priorities and a reverence for common decency (although anyone who's been boozing in the southern regions over the heady summer months and seen the 'Gorons' in action might find the portrayal of the southern gentleman slightly fanciful).
There's still a contrast in this campaign, but it's not about north vs. south, or outdoor vs. urban. This time it's about quiet New Zealand vs. the busy world, so in some ways it's straying more into Steinlager's territory. The line 'good on ya' mate' remains, but 'Pride of the South' has been replaced with 'Knowing what matters since 1876'.
“There’s one thing that probably defines the New Zealand character better than just about anything else," says the appropriately named Jonte Goldwater from Speight’s. "It’s an instinctive sense of knowing what matters. Knowing what’s important. Knowing the right thing to do. We believe that it’s a concept Speight’s drinkers understand really well, to call it as you see it. Our new TVC illustrates how unique this is when compared to the people on the streets of New York City. Speight’s may have a new look, but it has always had a unique sense of humour and wry tone running through its advertising that resonates with Kiwis, and this ‘straight up’ ethos also defines its approach moving forward."
The whole Speight's family recently had a quality redesign courtesy of Dow Design that, like the TVC, aims to bring the brand into the modern era and try to take some advantage of the rise of the craft categories.
Client: Lion, Jonte Goldwater
Film House: Curious Films
Director: Darryl Ward
Producer: Matt Noonan / Andy Mauger
DOP: Christopher Windsor Johnson
Offline Editor: Luke Haigh
Online Editor: Nigel Mortimer
Audio Post: Liquid Studios
Sound Engineer: Craig Matuschka
Music Supervisor: Native Tongue Music Publishing
Artist: Little Bushman
Track: Where We Get Born
Writer: W. Maxwell / R. Cranson / T. Callwood / J. CallwoodTrack:
Group Account Director: James Blair
Executive Creative Director: Lucien Law
Creative: Martin Brown
Producer: Michelle Jensen