Newcastle Brown Ale Gets Even More Honest

Droga5 pairs candid one-liners with still photos in latest 'No Bollocks' ads

IDEA: Most brands are liars—fabulists, fabricators, tellers of half-truths and falsehoods, terrified of disclosing their real agenda (to take your money). In beer ads, the lies are legendary. The beer will get you the girl, make you cool, give you the best night of your life. All that, says Newcastle Brown Ale, is bullshit—or in the British brand's native slang, bollocks (conveniently, a more broadcast-friendly term). For its second year, Droga5 has fine-tuned its "No Bollocks" campaign for the brewer by taking the kind of pithy, comically frank one-liners it's honed on Facebook over the past year and building snappy, visually simple 15-second TV ads around them. There are five spots so far, with more on the way, all poking holes at deceptive beer advertising, and portraying Newcastle not as the more upstanding marketer but at least the more honest one. The idea came from the no-nonsense attitude of working-class Newcastle itself, but it's also, of course, a sly challenger-brand positioning. "We're a very good beer. We're also a beer with a personality," said brand director Charles van Es. "But I'm not going to lie to you. It's about having more people talk about us and buy a lot of Newcastle."

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.