Yazoo Get Some Love with “No Scrubs” Ad


Shake it up


Milkshake brand Yazoo launched a big new “Just another day with YAZOO” this month, pitching the drink to younger consumers as a way to add a bit of fun, spontaneity and good vibes to an otherwise mundane situation. In this case, three guys sitting in a parked car re-enact the 90s as they start lip-syncing to TLC’s 1999 hit “No Scrubs” (at least until a girl gets in the passenger side of her best friend’s ride and interrupts them).

This idea that a treat can feel liberating and brighten a dull day is popular territory for FMCG soft drink and snack brands. And it’s a common trope because people really respond to it – see last year’s 5-Star Wrigley’s ad with a gum-chewing businessman jiving to Carly Rae Jepsen. It’s a way for brands who aren’t seen as indulgent to tap into the same underlying insight as premium FMCG products – times are tough and people want a treat and a bit of escapism.

Yazoo and agency Digital Natives are the latest brand to find success with this approach. Not only is it a 5.1-Star ad, it gets Exceptional ratings for short-term Spike and for Brand Fluency too. In fact, the only milk or milkshake ad we’ve seen get a better score is the legendary “Accrington Stanley?” Milk Marketing Board ad, which aired well before the Yazoo ad’s stars were even born.

There’s a host of potential activations around the ad, like lip-syncing challenges on TikTok, but the core commercial is easily good enough to stand on its own. And it’s not difficult to see why the concept works so well. It lets the brand use loads of elements which attract the kind of broad-beam, right-brained attention that helps brand-building happen.

So by using a classic tune Yazoo have a built-in cultural reference, and “No Scrubs” has a melodic hook that works better than a purely rhythmic soundtrack in driving that broad-beam attention. You also have a heap of between-ness – unlike most dancing in ads, this dance routine feels goofy, spontaneous and human, and setting it all in the car gives it a quirky intimacy too.

Best of all for Yazoo, with this scenario set up, there’s a ton of opportunity for the brand to build on a great start with later activations, turning their first 5-Star ad into the first of many.

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