Carlton Draught Canoe with No Explanations

Carlton Draught have put their canoe ad online, along with the “no explanations’ ad, both 45 seconds. It’s all online at The Carlton canoe beer advertisement was launched on NSW televisions in March 2004. It featured male executives walking around their offices with canoes. Talk about phallic! It was the talking point in offices everywhere.

Carlton Draught Web Graphic

Click on the image below to play the video.


Canoe-carrying executive man in Carlton Draught TV AdThe Advertising Standards Bureau reveals the thinking behind complainst about the canoe ad. “Because it is a bit ‘dangerous’.” “Some crazy person would get out there and do it just like that.”

The agency response:

“The ‘Canoe’ is a metaphor for office politics and corporate egotism. The proposition of the ad is that we would be better off if we ignored the politics and enjoyed a beer. In response to the complaint, we contend that the TVC is pure fantasy and was never intended to portray reality, merely extravagant exaggerations not likely to be regarded as fact. The creative treatment is highly humorous, taking some of its cues from slapstick comedy.”


The Canoe ad was developed at George Patterson Y&R, Melbourne, by creative director James McGrath, copywriter Ant Keogh, art director Grant Rutherford, agency producer Pip Heming, account supervisor Paul McMillan, working with Carlton Draught marketing team Peter Sinclair, Andrew Meldrum and Jeremy Chard.

Ant Keogh and Grant Rutherford give some of their perspective on the making of the ad in a Sydney Morning Herald article:

“This TV campaign for Carlton Draught, came out of the brand theme: that Carlton Draught is a good, honest, real beer”, say Ant Keogh and Grant Rutherford from George Patterson Partners agency. “We already had the line, ‘made from beer’ which we felt was a good way of expressing that,” Keogh says. “So, we were sitting around thinking about notions of ‘true’ and ‘real’ which led us to think about the opposite: stereotypes of men which only really seem to exist on TV, not in the real world. Basically, we just started making fun of stuff we thought was a load of old nonsense. We started writing one of those overblown voiceovers that you hear in certain types of ads for men’s products. We got to the bit about, ‘A man needs to win, to get on top and stay there, and you can’t do that without …’ and we then started thinking about the ultimate male business accessory; something even more impressive than a Palm Pilot, a canoe!”

Filming was shot by Paul Middleditch via Plaza Films, Sydney, with director of photography David Burr.

Carlton Draught Web Site

The Carlton Draught web site, which went live in September 2004, was developed by Wednesday Media.

David Johnson of AustralianinFront did a lot of the work for it.

Also on the site you’ll find humorous press ads, thinking cap games, and links to favourite sites such as “You’ve been draughted”


The classic ‘Made from Beer’ ad.

Click on the image below to play the video.