Menulog campaign – A human-centred review

Dave Yeates

For his entire career, to me at least, Jeff Goldblum has been an enigma. I’m never quite sure where he’s going to show up, what he’s going to do and whether his acting career is a means to an end or an end in and of itself. When he does show up, what I can be certain of without fail, is Jeff Goldblum’s undeniable swagger.

The new Menulog campaign is a fantastic example of how to think not only customer in when executing a brand campaign, but to also give thought to the conversion point and providing viewers with a brand ad that’s impeccably clear in its idea and wildly practical in its ask of the customer. 

Now, when you’re an app (Menulog is a take-away food ordering app), you have the distinct advantage of your brand being your product. They’re largely one and the same, which mean you can lean heavily into conversion advertising to land your big brand idea. Making the execution insanely practical. Only, how do you effect that conversion when we’re all sitting around watching TV often during dinner.

It’s the idea that important. And for the Menulog campaign, the idea is very simple – Less talk, more eat – and the execution here is mastery. Goldblum becomes “less talk”, while the app resolves the “more eat”.  The idea not only interrupts my thinking/watching, but I’m attentive because just like he does in film, this enigmatic swagger has me completely taken by what he might say, or do, next – even if it’s only for 15 seconds.

It’s like that moment you realise the movie you’ve refused to watch for so long is really quite good. So good, in fact, you find yourself questioning why you like it so much. I feel like the ad is self-aware, that it knows its role is to interrupt your viewing and Goldblum is perfect to ask for that attention.

Perhaps it’s just me and my little man-crush on Goldblum, but I can’t help feeling excited to see him on a local screen, talking about a local app. The real reason Menulog’s new campaign is so stellar: It’s meta enough to embrace its interruption.

Look, the bottom line here is desirability, and I think the best part of the execution is actually a case study on how to connect a brand ad to a product. Like BMW showing a passionate driver, the ad can remain brand-centric while also seeding the ideas behind the product, and how to best use it.

I think what I find most fascinating about the Menulog campaign is the charm. I chuckle every time I watch it – the nuanced details are clever, and the comedy is short, fast and even self-aware enough to be effective in even a 15-second slot.

I think, more than ever, television commercials are at their finest when they’re completely self-aware. When the agency running the execution can resolve the creative inside its media context: interruption. I was watching something; now I’m not. I was enjoying something else; now I’m not… and if a successful ad can do its job – “I was busy with my dinner / work / conversation; and now I’m not.” –  The interruption becomes the entertainment.

And that’s where that Goldblum-like wry grin emerges when I think about this brilliant Menulog campaign. At first, I’m curious, then I’m amused, and then I’m introduced to the brand before being shown how to use it. Only to have the whole thing resolved by the promise that links the comedy to the product: less talk, more eat.

 

Viability – Did the idea land? I think it’s fantastic. Goldblum plays the roll of “less talk” while the app resolves the second half of the promise. There’s a potential trade of on clarity of idea for the purpose grabbing attention, which is reasonable. 9/10

Feasibility – is it reasonable to expect this from Menulog? “Less talk, more eat” positions the brand and the product incredibly well and is a promise that fits the brand nicely. 10/10

Desirability – do I care? It’s a curious ad. More distracting than attractive. But that’s really the point. It makes me laugh and steers my attention cleverly to a feasible a viable brand idea. And for that reason, I care. 8/10

Total score: 27 / 30 – self-aware Goldblums

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