To Sell a Microwavable Burger, These Ads Celebrate Things That Are ‘Better Than Expected’

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The thought of putting a hamburger in the microwave is pretty unsettling to most Americans, and judging by the U.K. ads we’ve seen in recent years for British brand Rustlers, the idea also requires some convincing across the pond.

In Droga5 London’s newest work for Rustlers, we see a series of scenarios that seem to be headed somewhere bad, only to suddenly take a turn for the positive. “Isn’t it great when things turn out better than expected?” asks each ad, ending with the tagline “Rustlers: Better than you think.”

While that kind of copy conveys an admittedly low bar, the spots certainly do the concept justice.

In the first ad, we see Red Riding Hood discovering that her grandmother seems to have been replaced by a wolf. Luckily, the story doesn’t end fatally for either of them this time:

In my personal favorite iteration, a school fight (featuring the kind of overage actors you expect to see in movies about such things) de-escalates into a dance battle between two intimidating squads.

The ads help establish a rebranding launched earlier this year, which includes new packaging and new market strategies.

“We have worked very closely with our partners, Droga5 London, to redefine the Rustlers brand purpose, tone of voice and positioning,” said Elaine Rothballer, marketing controller for the brand. “This has led to the development of a new campaign which brings this work to life through tapping into the powerful and true insight that Rustlers burgers really are better than you think.”

For years, Droga5 London has been creating oddly captivating work for Rustlers. In 2016, the agency showed a man enduring eight decades of suffering growing up in Britain, with a microwavable burger being one of the few simple joys waiting for him late in life.

More ambitiously (or some might say self-indulgently), Droga5 London also created a feature-length art film in 2019 about the history of the hamburger and Rustlers’ role in that dramatic series of events.

“With the platform ‘Better than you think,’ Rustlers tackle their perception issues head on, proving themselves a fearless brand once again,” said David Kolbusz, chief creative officer of Droga5 London. “We hope consumers appreciate the honesty and give their range the chance it deserves.”

The agency also notes that the seemingly endless morass of suffering we call 2020 is the ideal time to celebrate things turning out better than we’ve come to expect.

“In a year where pretty much everything has gone worse than expected, it’s important we celebrate that which is actually better,” said Ed Redgrave, Droga5 London creative director. “Like discovering Rustlers burgers are made with 100% British and Irish beef. That, really, is the best case scenario for a microwave burger—and the year 2020.”

CREDITS:

Agency: Droga5 London
Chief Creative Officer: David Kolbusz
Creative Directors: Ed Redgrave & Dave Wigglesworth
Creatives:                                    
Ed Redgrave & Dave Wigglesworth
Philippa Baines & Melina Filippidou
Ash Hamilton & Sara Sutherland
Lead Designer: Stephanie McArdle
Designer: Julia Kuisma
Motion Designer: John Beechey
Studio Director: Tim Larke
Group Account Director: Jonny Tennant-Price
Account Director: Georgie Bowie
Strategist: Guy Reason
Producer: Peter Montgomery

Production Company: Biscuit Filmworks UK
Director: Jeff Low
Md/Exec Producer:  Rupert Reynolds-Maclean
Producer: Jeff McDougall
Director Of Photography: Igor Jadue Lillo
Production Designer: Caitlin Byrnes
Hair & Makeup: Andrea Blunt
Costume Designer:  Alecia Ebbels
Editing Company (Offline): Work Post
Editor: Saam Hodivala
Edit Producer: Ben Tomlin
Postproduction: The Mill           
2D Lead: Dan Adams
Colorist: Alex Gregory
Post Producer:  Nicola Simmons
Sound House: String and Tins
Sound Design: Adam Smyth
Sound Producer: Charlie Howard
Music Composition:  Dance Fight – Jeff Low / Red Riding Hood – Audio Network

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