Ciaran Watkins – Bang On Bombarwhatsit?

Posted on May 13, 2011 by


It’s been a slow advertising news day today, which is a shame really as I’ve been looking forward to keeping my advertising ‘run’ of entries going. While scraping the proverbial bottom of the barrel (sifting through the posts on a few ad-blogs), I fell upon the new Wells & Young’s campaign for their flagship Bombardier beer brand. I’ve never heard of it before, but that doesn’t mean it lacks loyal followers.

How delighted I was to see that it starred Rik Mayall, a comedy hero of mine, albeit one who has fallen into disrepute in my eyes thanks to the ‘Say No to AV’ campaign he ballsed his way through. I became a bit over excited, sat back, got comfortable, and watched the T.V spot. This T.V spot. The video that’s next. You should watch it.

Is it me, or does Rik Mayall seem to play the same character over and over again? The first thing I thought about when I saw this advert, apart from ‘gosh he’s a bit too old to be doing stuff like that’, was that it reminded me of his role in Blackadder II, and Blackadder IV as Lord Flashheart. Rik Mayall seems to be cast in the same role, and has been since the early eighties; Lord Flashheart, Richard Richard, Rick, and even his most recent outing in the No2AV campaign which can be seen here. I’m not embedding that last one, because I’m still bitter that the awful campaign worked.

Now if you don’t know who Lord Flashheart or any of the other characters are, then I feel awfully sorry for you, and I demand that you go and watch the entirety of the Blackadder series, and some more 80’s alternative comedy before I ever think about talking to you again. For those of you who know what I’m talking about, let’s have a look at the best of the best;

Now as amazing as those clips are, I do somehow feel that at 53, he may be a bit past flirting with ‘nursey’, and shouting ‘BANG ON’, but who am I to judge. I enjoyed watching it to an extent, but I’m obviously not the target audience. I can appreciate fully what the creatives are trying to achieve, and in most respects they have succeeded! Chris Lewis the Wells & Young’s MD said the following about the campaign;

“Marketing in the ale category needs a creative shake up. There are too many woolly jumpers and cosy corners that patronise our drinkers. Creating The Bombardier, and bringing in Rik Mayall to play him, is our way of adding some much needed creative flair and humour to ale advertising.”

I have to tip my hat at a company that is actually trying to push the advertising methods in their respective market, and again wish them all of the best with the new advertisements.

The Bombardier campaign has cost a whopping £4million so far, and will spread through the likes of Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites. The T.V spot mentioned earlier will run for a good two months or so, and I can only hope it’s branded successful. The target audience of middle aged, middle classed (hello there Mr.Stereotype) ale drinkers will probably eat this campaign up, and will be able to relate to Rik Mayall and the ‘Bombardier’ character more than my 24 year old self ever can. I enjoy Rik Mayall’s work, and I will always hold his characters close to my funny bone, but this one might be a little too much, a little too late. The Bombardier has nothing when compared to Lord Flashheart in my eyes, and I don’t suppose Mayall would be upset if he knew how I felt. I’m hoping at least some of you agree with me also.

Any way, good work Wells & Young’s. You’ve managed to create an entertaining campaign, and reminded my why I loved Rik Mayall so much as a teenager. His performance here might not be up to scratch, but it made me giggle like a naughty secondary school child, just like I did when I stole my brother’s Bottom Live VHS’ and watced them after my parents had gone to bed.

Read more over at Whatever’s In There, Falls Out Here.

Posted in: Ciaran Watkins