The past two days has seen WhatsApp and social media abuzz with the new Castle Lite advertisement featuring Carte Blanche presenter Derek Watts.
The advertisement takes a somewhat sardonic approach to baddies and con artists who’ve been exposed by Carte Blanche over the years. They all scatter like bridesmaids at a wedding where the groom was left standing at the altar as Watts walks down the street.
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The commercial was conceptualised by advertising agency Ogilvy, and directed by Anton Visser. It was filmed in Cape Town.
Said Watts: “When I fist heard of the concept of the ad I wondered to myself what they might have seen in me as I can be quite a boring person.”
But, he said, Visser made magic on set, was meticulous about every aspect of the production and the end product became something different altogether.”
He said that filming the ad also made him reflect over the last thirty five years of his career as a Carte Blanche presenter.
“It made me think about my job and how I interact with other people, whether at the shops or in a restaurant.”
Then, of course, Watt’s legendary dance moves toward the end of the advertisement has had viewers in rapture.
“While it’s not Strictly Come Dancing I got to do a few moves and had a ton of fun while I was at it,” Watts told The Citizen.
While executive producer of Carte Blanche, John Webb said that an association with an alcohol brand isn’t a perfect fit for their presenters; under most circumstances, they liked the tone of the pitch and appreciated the emphasis on responsible drinking.
“Moreover, Carte Blanche is often (unfairly, in our view) described as overly negative and this commercial was the perfect opportunity to show the opposite is often true. The ad doesn’t take itself too seriously and perhaps that’s something we should all take to heart – especially given the dreadful experience of the past two years,” Webb said.
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Castle Lite has become known for making standout advertisements every now and then.
More than a decade ago it launched its Ice Cold campaign with an ad starring Vanilla Ice himself, doing the Ice Ice Baby in aid of cold beer. A few years later, MC Hammer followed up with an eighties reprise of You Can’t Touch This.
After that, the brand fell into a trap of beer commercial sameness.
The sets might have been different, and the characters in shiny space suits, but the creativity was as droll as any other beer commercial on the market; not that one could tell them apart, anyway.
The Derek Watts Castle Lite ad takes the brand back to its roots of a soupcon of humour wrapped in a very strong brand message, And it’s a welcome change from the boring worning man’s toil or sporting cliches that beer has given us over the years.
Webb said: “I wouldn’t consider myself an expert on beer ads. But, like many of us, I welcome any opportunity to forget life’s many challenges and – if no one is looking, simply dance!”