16. Fosters, I Believe (2000)
Parochial and on-the-nose but still goes
I think this was the first time I realised that not every nation offered beetroot on their fish ‘n chip shop hamburgers.
Or that sitting in the front seat of taxis wasn’t globally considered legend behaviour.
It was probably the patriotic fever of the Sydney Olympics, but this ad had a real effect on me.
A few months after seeing it, by dumb privilege, I stumbled into a week’s work experience at the ad agency Mojo (Dad’s mate was their Winfield cigarette client).
I saw the Fosters poster in the lobby and said I liked the ad, so the nice woman who was showing me around introduced me to the copywriter who had written it. I told him that I liked the ad, and he asked me what I liked about it.
I told him it was sick. It was so funny and so so awesome. He didn’t seem particularly satisfied, but said he was glad that I liked it. I walked away wishing I’d said something smarter to the cool ad guy.
I re-watched the ad for the first time in probably 20 years this week. In my head it was this epic, Superbowl-sized tribute to my island nation.
Instead I saw a standard manifesto film, set to what looks like stock footage. The kind of thing agencies now shit out on a Sunday afternoon for a Monday morning pitch meeting.
It’s parochial and on-the-nose and Australians don’t drink Fosters - but it made me feel known and understood when I was 15 so it goes hard NO QUESTION.
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