Fosters Gets Friendly with New Campaign

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Fosters
Fosters "Crack Open A Friendly"
Time to tear out a page from the advertising dictionary—Fosters is no longer Australian for beer. Instead, the beverage from Down Under is cracking open a new integrated campaign with a welcoming new tagline, courtesy of Ogilvy & Mather. Beer drinkers are now invited to "Crack Open a Friendly" to enjoy some world-famous Aussie hospitality, starting with the Aussie brand's sponsorship of "The Massive Mating Game" at Heavy.com and continuing with a series of online videos and other friendly features at the new Fosters website. "We came up with the idea that Fosters is the elixir of friendship, which mimics the way Australians are perceived," says group creative director John Liegey. "An Australian could walk into a bar anywhere in the world and make five new friends within an hour. So the new campaign plays up that truth about Australians by having the beer reflect that Australian-ness." Adds associate creative director Alastair Green, "A lot of our audience is now looking to the web for entertainment, and with beer advertising, it's an obvious move to push this stuff onto the web. As the technology has progressed, we felt it was a better use of time and budget to reach the target audience by taking everything online."

For the next three weeks, visitors to Heavy.com can watch and vote on a series of ten videos, each starring a beautiful "Sheila" (Australian for female hottie) talking up her virtues in classic "dating game show" style, for a chance to win a trip to Vegas. The online dating game also sports a mobile component, as players will receive personal questions in the form of text messages from the Sheilas themselves. As for the presence of the Fosters brand within the game? "It's always meant to be organic, so that it's not forced in there," says group creative director Mark Bernath. "Even if the beer shows up in the videos, it's never named by any of the girls. If one of them is teaching how to grill shrimp on the barbie, she might use Fosters as the marinade—but she won't say, 'Use Fosters Beer to marinate!' It's definitely more of a peripheral presence."

More warm, fuzzy feelings can be experienced at CrackOpenAFriendly.com, where friendly-seekers can check out Fosters-branded webfilms that Ogilvy hopes will go viral through sites like Heavy.com and YouTube. Set to debut in early September, each film depicts a decidedly unfriendly situation that's averted by the arrival of a Fosters friendly. In the meantime, visitors to CrackOpenAFriendly.com can entertain themselves with a hilarious "first person shooter" style mini-game created by The Barbarian Group, in which players must approach a Sheila at a bar by overcoming her three annoying friends. And then there's "The United States of Friendly," an interactive map that assigns a friendly rating to every state based on how long visitors spend on the site and how often they pass it along to friends.
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