New York? Pffff. Speight’s introduces the modern Southern Man

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’. 


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. 


Lion, Jonte Goldwater

House: Curious Films

Darryl Ward

Matt Noonan / Andy Mauger

DOP: Christopher
Windsor Johnson 

Editor: Luke Haigh

Editor: Nigel Mortimer 

Post: Liquid Studios

Engineer: Craig Matuschka

Supervisor: Native Tongue Music Publishing

Little Bushman

Where We Get Born

W. Maxwell / R. Cranson / T. Callwood / J. CallwoodTrack:              

Account Director: James Blair

Creative Director: Lucien Law

Martin Brown

Michelle Jensen

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