UK Energy Drink DRGN Pokes Fun at Boris Johnson’s Less-Than-Clear Quarantine Guidance

Campaign makes playful nod to recent criticism over the government's handling of the pandemic

DRGN founder Vishal Sodha told Adweek the light-hearted ads are designed to be a bit of fun. DRGN

When British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced an easing of lockdown in England last month, his speech prompted a huge flurry of memes as people criticized his messaging as confusing and contradictory.

In trying to straddle a line between easing total lockdown, but urging people continue to be cautious, critics said Johnson’s messaging emerged as a bit of a jumbled mess. During an announcement on May 10, Johnson ended the lockdown messaging of “stay home” and replaced it with “stay alert.”

He announced people should go back to work–but only if they couldn’t work from home–and said people should avoid using public transport to get there. He also said that after weeks of people being only allowed out briefly for essential reasons, people could go out as much as they pleased. But at the same time also cautioned people to stay at home as much as possible.

Poking fun at that criticism, energy brand DRGN created a series of four outdoor digital posters, which launched across London locations on Monday and position the brand as a tonic to the stressors of modern life.


“Stay in, but not in in; Go out but not out out; Go to work, but don’t travel to work,” the creative reads. “All this advice is tiring,” the sequence concludes. “Beat fatigue from lockdown and beyond.”

DRGN founder Vishal Sodha told Adweek the ads were less of a political statement and more of a fun campaign.


“Despite lockdown slightly easing, social distancing measures are still in force and certain sectors such as hospitality remain closed,” he said, “so the air of caution and ‘lockdown fatigue’ continues to persist somewhat, but we were keen to take a light-hearted and positive approach.”


Brand: DRGN Superdrink
Creative director: Ben Wynn-Owen
Ad company: Clear Channel
Clear Channel contact: Lucy Bendall

@saramayspary Sara Spary is a freelance journalist based in London. She's been a reporter for eight years, covering advertising and consumer brands.