What's the Big Idea?

By Published on .

In a darkened room, a couple giggles and fidgets on a narrow couch. Without warning, the light flicks on and an officious, aging frat boy walks in and announces that "Bob here has been having a bit too much sex." Bob looks up from the couch, confused, and then says haltingly, "I have been having a lot of sex lately." As his savior leads him from the room, Bob's girlfriend also looks confused, but the malt-loving guar-dian angel goes on with confidence. "There's a time to have sex and there's a time to hang out with the guys, take it easy, and have an Ex," he explains to an increasingly pliant Bob, and then he leads Bob to his salvation - a living room full of beer-drinking lugs watching hockey. "Have you had Molson Ex today?" reads the tagline.

The creative team of Lee Tan and Jonathan Thake of London agency HHCL, where there are no art director/writer distinctions, is the brain trust behind this Canadian-market Molson campaign about the perils of excess nooky. "Too much sex is a way of allowing the guys to be hanging out in bars together drinking beer in a way that makes them winners rather than a bunch of guys with nothing better to do," explains Tan. In another spot, the Too Much Sex ringleader calls a buddy to arrange some beer bonding later in the week. The two negotiate their schedules around the necessity of sex ("No, can't get out of Friday sex.") until the friend says resignedly, "Look, I gotta go, I'm actually having sex right now." The guys in the bar shake their heads and express pity for their poor copulating pal.

The "Too Much Sex " campaign includes four spots thus far, two featuring the guys and two featuring their girlfriends. The women are parodies of indulgent '50s wives, lounging poolside. One looks into the camera and says happily, "My man's gone off to meet his buddies and drink an Ex. Us women understand; it's all about balance." Clearly, this campaign is all about its male target audience. "Imagine getting to choose between sex or beer every night," says Thake. "This is guy paradise."

Thanks in part to the edgier commercials environment frequently found in Canada, Molson Export's spots shrewdly fly in the face of the long and illustrious tradition of using sex to market beer; while most beer commercials imply, in one way or another, that their product will facilitate sex, Molson cheerfully offers Ex as an alternative to getting lucky. Eureka! "Linking beer with sex in ads is dull and has been done a billion time before," scoffs Thake. CD_Al Young agrees that beer and sex should no longer mix: "In my experience, doing both at the same time ends up with the beer spilling everywhere," he jokes. "I think my wife would rather I brought a bottle of champagne to bed than a case of beer."

Client: Molson Export Agency: HHCL & Partners CD: Al Young Creative Team: Jonathan Thake/Lee Tan Producer: Richard Packer Director: Baker Smith Production Company: Tate & Partners

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