BLACK TIE, RED SASH AFFAIR

By Jh Published on .

BBDO/New York's new campaign for Red Stripe features a tuxedoed ambassador, complete with sash, good-naturedly extolling the merits of the Jamaican brew (above left). The campaign, however, is remarkably similar to a1999 effort for Red Stripe out of Deutsch/New York (right), which likewise featured the sashed man, inserted in kitschy newsreels. Is this a rip-off or does the ambassador come with the business? Neither, according to BBDO CD Gerry Graf. "It took me by surprise," he says, explaining that the tuxedo and sash idea came from the beer's website, redstripebeer.com, which opens with a shot of Deutsch's own ambassador. BBDO never actually pitched the Red Stripe business, but landed it when client Guinness acquired the Jamaican brewer, which is why, Graf insists, he was unaware of the earlier work. "I was kind of annoyed because I didn't even know that Deutsch had worked on Red Stripe," he laments. "We would have changed the wardrobe on our guy if we knew."
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