Carlsberg’s Imaginative Ad Makes Music History


Do the best things begin with curiosity? Probably


Custom Sample: Beer Drinkers


Carlsberg’s imaginative new global campaign takes us on a journey back through time, in search of the roots of music. Cavemen banging on rocks? Well, sort of. These cave dwellers are equipped with a different kind of instrument – empty Carlsberg bottles, which they blow into to create the first riff.

The riff is DJ Mark The 45 King’s “The 900 Number”, though you’re much more likely to know the tune than the title. It’s a nagging, insistent horn loop and by the time we’ve traced it back to the stone age we’ve already seen it played by a jazz-era swing band, a classical orchestra, trumpeters in a Roman legion and a Bronze Age shepherdess playing her flute. Linking this passage through time is the Carlsberg logo leaf, whose shape acts as a kind of portal between one scene and the next. Finally we jump forward, back into the heaving club where we started, and learn that the best things start with curiosity… “Probably”.

It’s an entertaining, tongue-in-cheek ad that packs a lot of visual detail in for rewatching without ever overwhelming the viewer. The choice of the logo leaf as a brand asset to focus on is interesting – it’s not often been the focus of Carlsberg’s marketing, but it makes sense for a global campaign, which has to appeal across languages and cultures.

Music is also a unifying cultural force. The original riff is a nostalgic reference in its own right, and when it’s transformed into a variety of styles its melodic characteristics come out, making it more appealing and attention-getting to the right hemisphere of the brain. The right brain picks up on melody, a sense of place and time, and cultural references, all of which this ad features – and as we know from Orlando Wood’s Look Out, ads with elements that draw the attention of the right brain are more effective over the longer term.

Carlsberg’s ad scores 3.9-Stars on the Test Your Ad platform, a full star rating higher than its category average, and among a custom sample of ‘Beer Drinkers’, Star-Rating leaped to a strong 4.8-Stars! It also nets above-average Brand Fluency, but its standout metric is short-term Spike Rating, which is exceptional and well above the average for alcoholic drinks. 

It’s a strong performance for an ad which both harks back to previous Carlsberg campaigns – the “Probably” at the end is a nod to their most famous slogan – but also gives viewers something new and unexpected. It’s inventive, visually stylish and effective – an excellent starting point for a new campaign.

Create 5-star ads

The more people feel, the more they buy

The most effective ads boost sales and drive long-term growth. They do it by making people feel more - building positive associations with a recognisable brand. We predict sales and growth impacts by measuring emotion, letting you make ads that entertain for commercial gain.

Try Test Your Ad