Carlton Draught Flashbeer Audition – What A Feeling!

Carlton Draught has released ‘Flashbeer’, the latest viral television commercial in the ‘Made from Real Beer’ campaign. A panel of men and women is interviewing a bearded young man, ready to dismiss him on the basis of his lack of experience in the brewing industry. But the man has a plan. The needle drops on the record player and we hear the voice of Irene Cara, singing the lines of ‘What A Feeling’ from the 1983 movie, Flashdance. Kevin Kavendish, somewhat bulkier than the original Jennifer Beals, leaps around in a leotard, providing a performance reminiscent of Napoleon Dynamite‘s dance in support of Pedro’s run for Student President. The highlight involves a glass of Carlton Draught.

Dancer in Carlton Draught Flashbeer Ad

Needless to say, the cynical interview panel becomes an enthusiastic audition panel. The ad finishes with Kavendish breaking through the doors of Carlton Draught’s brewery, now dressed in civvies. The super: “Through the power of dance, Kevin did become a brewery worker and he still drinks Carlton Draught”. Click on the image below to play the video.

“Kevin Kavendish. You say you want to become a brewer at Carlton Draught and yet your resume suggests you have no experience brewing beer whatsoever.”
“Well I really love beer sir”.
“Well that may be so Mr Kavendish but Carlton Draught has very exacting standards. So unless you have something else with which to impress us it’s good day.”
“But I…” “Good day Mr Kavendish”.

Dancer in Carlton Draught Flashbeer TV ad


Following Carlton’s “Big Ad“, Flashbeer is a deliberate departure from the epic, special effects-laden ads it sent up, but shares the same “Made From Beer” campaign theme and the sense of humour.

The new ad was created by the same “Big Ad” creative team: creative director, James McGrath, copywriter Ant Keogh and art director Grant Rutherford, from ad agency, George Patterson Y&R, Melbourne, with account director Paul McMillan and account managers Dan Beaumont, Sally Chapman.

Creative director, James McGrath, said, “It was a pretty tough call, this time around, following up the Big Ad. We were always aware that whatever we did next would suffer comparisons. And for that reason, we worked longer than usual on creating the concept.”

Flashdance DVDWriter, Ant Keogh, said, “Grant and I were fairly keen to avoid going down the same path as last time, and certainly didn’t want to try to out-big the big ad. Which was tricky with everyone looking over our shoulders saying, “So…. what’s the next one? How are you going to top it?” Basically, we thought the answer to that was not to try and top it. Instead we went for a more modest concept. This time around, the whole idea was to send up the notion prevalent in films from the 80’s like Flashdance, Footloose, and Fame where “the power of dance” can solve any problem. Those kind of stories always cracked me up. Even Michael Jackson’s film-clip for the song Bad had that same idea, where you can apparently use dance-moves to overpower a New York subway gang.”

Carlton Draught Flashbeer print ad

Grant Rutherford, Art Director, said, “Flashdance had the most iconic and therefore funniest dance to send up. It’s full of fantastic dramatic moves which become comedy as soon as you substitute a fat guy for Jennifer Beals. For that reason we were pretty confident we had a good comic premise from which to start adding layers of detail and gags.”

Dancer in Flashbeer TV ad

The production team from Big Ad, director Paul Middleditch and producer Peter Masterson, from Plaza Films returned to shoot the ad, as did director of photography Andrew Lesnie (Lord of the Rings). Middleditch and Lesnie emulated the 1980s film style of Flashdance, picking up tips from interviews with the creators of Flashdance in 1980s cinematography magazines.

Kevin Kavendish is played by Aaron Bertram, who learnt Jennifer Beals’ dance moves with the help of choreographer, Lisa Ffrench (correct spelling). To the film crew’s amazement, Bertram pulled the dance off without injury.

Other staff included include art director Rebecca Cohen, casting agent Kirsty McGregor (McGregor Casting), editor Peter Whitmore (Winning Post), and sound engineer and designer Barry Stewart (Sound Reservoir).

Photography was by Chris Budgeon.

Fosters will follow the online launch of ‘Flashbeer’ with television (September 22), cinema and poster campaigns, in much the same way as the Big Ad (which has now received over 3 million hits on the web). The strategy was to make a longer than average memorable advertisement, offsetting the extra media spend by playing less often.

Flashdance Music

Irene Cara What A Feeling AlbumAgency producer, Romanca Jasinski had the job of securing the famous Flashdance “What a Feeling” music. Irene Cara loved the idea and was happy to lend her original track from the ad.

Check out Irene Cara’s album, “What A Feeling” at

Flashdance..What A Feeling – Single – Irene Cara on iTunes

Lyrics for ‘What A Feeling’

written by Irene Cara, Giorgio Moroder and Keith Forsey

First, when there’s nothing but a slow glowing dream
That your fear seems to hide deep inside your mind
All alone I have cried silent tears full of pride
In a world made of steel, made of stone

Well I hear the music, close my eyes, feel the rhythm
Wrap around, take a hold of my heart

What a feeling, bein’s believin’
I can’t have it all, now I’m dancin’ for my life
Take your passion, and make it happen
Pictures come alive, you can dance right through your life


Now I hear the music, close my eyes, I am rhythm
In a flash it takes hold of my heart

[chorus (with … “now I’m dancing through my life”)]

What a feeling

What a feeling (I am music now), bein’s believin’ (I am rhythm now)
Pictures come alive, you can dance right through your life
What a feeling (I can really have it all)
What a feeling (Pictures come alive when I call)
I can have it all (I can really have it all)
Have it all (Pictures come alive when I call)
(call, call, call, call, what a feeling) I can have it all
(Bein’s believin’) bein’s believin’
(Take your passion, make it happen) make it happen
(What a feeling) what a feeling… [to fade]

‘What A Feeling’ won Cara an Oscar (1983 Academy Award) for best song, a Golden Globe award (1984) for best original song, along with a number of other awards.