MBF Accentuate The Positive

Australia’s medical insurance company, Medical Benefits Fund, launched it’s “Be Positive” campaign in May 2003 with a television commercial featuring the song, “Accentuate the Positive”. M & C Saatchi Sydney helped MBF reignite hope in the hearts of disillusioned Australians with the feel-good romantic spin on hopeless situations.

MBF Be Positive Smile

The ad starts with a smiling chap on the steps listening to his girl friend ranting, “That is it! I’m leaving right now! I’ve had enough!” He says, “I’ll marry her one day”. We’re treated to a series of vignettes in which people see their world with hope rather than despair, including the couple who add their twins to the population count of their local town. The ad finishes with the opening couple driving off. She’s still ranting. But their car has “Just Married” painted on the back!

MBF Be Positive Smile

MBF was not selling any particular products with the ad. It was a successful attempt to associate the brand with inspiration, hope and community support even in the face of negative experiences.

The TV advert was so popular with Australians that MBF worked with Mark Rivett, producer, composer, creative director with Song Zu Studios, Sydney, to release a whole album of swing music. Mark sings the song on the ad to the accompaniment of John Morrison Swingcity Big Band. Emma Pask joined Mark in the lead vocals for the album. Profits from the sale of the album were distributed via MBF Project Hope to charities working with children and young adults.

MBF Be Positive He Loves Me

MBF Be Positive Population Increase

MBF Be Positive Glass Half Full

MBF Be Positive Stop Worrying

MBF Be Positive Braces


The Be Positive campaign was developed at M&C Saatchi by creative director Tom McFarlane, art director Pedro Marin-Guzman, copywriter Ben Welsh and agency producer Rod James.

Filming was shot by director Melanie Bridge via The Sweet Shop.

“Accentuate the Positive” was written by Johnny Mercer and Harold Arlen for Bing Crosby’s 1944 film, “Here Come the Waves.” The song was recorded for commercial release by Bing and the Andrews Sisters on Dec. 8, 1944. Although Bing’s recording stayed on the pop charts for 9 weeks in 1945, reaching as high as No. 2, it was eclipsed by Johnny Mercer’s own version that topped the charts for two weeks in January. The song was nominated for an Academy Award in 1945.

You’ve got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between
You’ve got to spread joy up to the maximum
Bring gloom down to the minimum
Have faith or pandemonium’s
Liable to walk upon the scene

Be positive, yeah!