For Its Swan Song, Droga5 Sydney Used Coasters to Solicit Ideas for a Brewer’s Short Film

Tiger's blank canvas

Headshot of Angela Natividad

This was the last piece of work Droga5 Australia brought to life before shutting house. And however you might feel about the agency, it's a tribute to what it could have been, and to the idea that well-harnessed crowdsourcing can bear quite edible fruit. 

Maybe don't eat that flower, though. 

For the launch of Tiger White in Malaysia, Tiger Beer partnered with the star-crossed agency and production house The Sweet Shop to produce the first-ever film to be conceptualized and produced using beer coasters, with their boozy sketchers serving as the film's crew. 

In October and November, thousands of coasters were distributed across popular Malaysian bars, where would-be directors or stylists could scribble ideas while sloshed. Entries also appeared on, where you could follow the project's birth from scrawl to shooting.

And it wasn't just ideas that were crowdsourced; the entire film crew was, too. Winning ideators were assigned roles including director, scripwriters, actors, stylists, assistants and runners for the final production, taking cues from Baltasar Kormákur, best known for directing Everest.

"I've had to scale mountains and even swim in the North Atlantic Ocean for my other movies, but this is my first time to recruit people to make a film from beer coasters," Kormákur says.

The result, "Coaster," is a 14-minute thriller with enough gripping tropes to give Dan Brown tremors of jealousy: the old gangster made good, a sacrificial lamb, suspicious bodyguards and a charming, rags-to-riches talent bent toward one goal—revenge. The use of white in the film is often symbolic, notably appearing on a dead chick and a dress (no immediate relation). But the real "tiger white" in this story is a flower, hiding its venom behind a diminutive, fragile exterior. 

And, of course, there's the chef. Watch it below. 

There's nothing original in the story—it's work by committee, after all—but the watch goes down easy, is beautifully produced and comparable to pretty good Netflix fodder.

The film debuted in December in Kuala Lumpur, a month after Tiger White's launch in the country. Use of Tiger White in the final production is sparing: It appears in the kitchen, as handy proppage in a flashback and, naturally, in a painstakingly poured glass drunk by Gangster Dad on his birthday. And as far as Tiger Beer is concerned, it was a satisfying manifestation of the brand message. 

"We are delighted to unveil what is possibly the most revolutionary platform ever used to produce a film," says Tiger Beer global brand director Mie-Leng Wong. "We drafted regular bar hoppers and transformed them overnight into filmmakers, with white beer coasters serving as mini-screenplays, storyboards and entry forms." 

The chosen director, Cho We Jun, was a banker when he submitted his application, and has since quit his day job. "Not long ago I was working in a bank, following a path I didn't want to take," he says, adding that he'd made a few films before, but not at this scale. "We come from all walks of life—bankers, engineers, flight attendants—but we all stepped out of our comfort zones and produced something that we are all extremely proud of." 

"Our teams have spent considerable time in production across Asia, working on Tiger Beer," added David Nobay, then creative chairman of Droga5 Australia. "One thing really came through to us: Just how much creativity is alive and kicking on the streets, from Ho Chi Min to Hong Kong and Singapore. From fashion to technology, the region feels even more on fire right now. We were keen to put all that urgency and spontaneity to work across a single creative platform and we're really pleased how quickly Malaysia grabbed the baton."

While a few lucky bar hoppers drink to that, we'll pour one out for an agency that saved all its potency for the very end. 


Client: Heineken Asia Pacific/Tiger Beer

Product: Tiger White

Agency: Droga5, Sydney

Creative Chairman: David Nobay

Creative Director: Andy Fergusson

Copywriter: Gavin Chimes

Art Director: Leslie Sharpe    

Senior Business Director: Richard Sweetman

Head of Content: Holly Alexander                                    

Production Company: The Sweet Shop

Director: Cho We Jun           

Executive Producers: Wilf Sweetland, Daniel Ho

Director of Photography: Tan Teck Zee               

Art Director: Lee Tze Loong

Editor: Pan c/o VHQ Post

Postproduction: VHQ Malaysia

Sound Design, Remix: Add Audio Malaysia 

Join the foremost brand marketers, such as Marc Pritchard, Brad Hiranaga, Kory Marchisotto and more, for Brandweek Masters Live on Sept. 14-17. Secure your pass and learn from the brand masters.

@luckthelady Angela Natividad is a frequent contributor to Adweek's creativity blog, AdFreak. She is also the author of Generation Creation and co-founder of Hurrah, an esports agency. She lives in Paris and when she isn't writing, she can be found picking food off your plate.