Darren Spiller and Lorenzo Bresciani of DDB Melbourne look at how they’ve used tone to create likeability in a low-interest category.



Milk, butter and cheese are commodities these days and we tend to take them for granted. We don’t think about them too much. That’s why we had to put the personality back into the everyday – and what better way to endear yourself quickly than with humour. It created empathy, relevance, charm and above all likeability for what most people believe is not a high interest category.

Obviously the business issue needs to be correctly and creatively identified to generate a sound strategic platform for the communication, the consumer insight and the idea need to be fresh and original. If the tone is wrong people will turn off before you get a chance to talk to them. So yeah, the idea is king, but like on a chessboard, the queen wields incredible power and the queen in this case is the tone.

Understanding the tone of the brand is imperative. It’s the one thing where the tail should wag the dog. The tone encapsulates the essence of the communication; it’s implicit in the choice of music, the talent, the language and the styling and that’s where the magic happens.
Lorenzo Bresciani

Over the past months we’ve produce nine TVCs to put the Devondale dairy brand on the map. People laugh when they see these ads. They laugh out of relief, because these ads touch on things that we, as individuals, are unable to. It’s almost a nervous laugh of “I can’t believe they said/did that.” The ads are audacious, politically incorrect and refreshing. There are no perfect people here and that is what endears us to them.

Take the Fast Start launch ads for example. The Dad’s response to his daughter’s artwork touches on the human truth that we are all wrapping our children up in cotton wool these days, doing everything that we can to shield them from any feedback that isn’t positive or validating. A dry-retching response by contrast (due to the after-taste of a competitive product), provides a light-hearted relief for today’s neurotic parent.

We take the truths and the insights about ourselves and match them with a product truth and benefit, and we blow them out to the point of the ridiculous. Some of the executions are a little dark and it seems that our strung-out parents love them for that reason. Tonally, they’re a real shift from a typical, “good on you mum” kind of message.
Darren Spiller