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James Squire 'Ordinary Be Damned' (2022) :90 (Australia)

“Ordinary Be Damned” is the bold new brand platform for Lion’s James Squire, just launched by independent creative company Milk + Honey United.


The new campaign, featuring voiceover by actor Rory McCann, best known for his portrayal of The Hound in “Game of Thrones”, connects the brand to the modern drinker by injecting the statusful world of premium beer with the authentic swagger of James Squire himself.  


James Squire pioneered an extraordinary life. He possessed a chancer’s spirit that carried him from the bowels of a convict ship to the splendor of his own brewery – Australia’s first. He turned adversity into opportunity and broke every rule on his way to the top.


“Ordinary Be Damned” is Lion’s biggest statement for the beer brand to date.  The integrated campaign, running across cinema, TV, social, radio, and out of home establishes James Squire’s audacious philosophy and approach to life.  


The campaign includes this film shot by director Justin McMillan in Tasmania - chosen for its wild, filmic landscapes and historic architecture - and striking photography shot on location by Ian Butterworth. Every element is designed to reflect the brand’s own attention to detail and craft.     


“James Squire seemed destined to lead an ordinary life,” begins McCann’s narration.  “He went to church, remembered his manners, respected the law...”  But while the dark and brooding voiceover describes an undistinguished life of a common man of the time, the epic visuals tell a very different story, depicting many of Squire's actual audacious adventures.  


The spot culminates in a single dynamic camera move which takes viewers across the old brewery courtyard and into a banquet hall, where the charismatic chancer is seated at the head of the table.  Closing with the line “James Squire was content just being an ordinary man”, the new “Ordinary, Be Damned” brand line — and Squire’s unflinching gaze — say otherwise. 


"Ordinary Be Damned marks a significant part of revitalizing James Squire with our first masterbrand campaign”, said Malcolm Eadie, Portfolio Director at Lion. “Squire led a bold and intrepid life full of ingenuity, that was anything but ordinary – a spirit that continues to be relevant for consumers today.”


Milk + Honey United cofounder Andy DiLallo said, “James Squire and the entire Lion team will always hold a special place in our hearts and history, as one of our founding clients. We set out to prove what is possible creatively even during a global pandemic and the result, we’re proud to say, is anything but ordinary.”


“Most brands would kill for an origin story like this,” added Steve Jackson, co-founder of Milk + Honey United.  “But as good as it is, we didn't want to simply tell his story.  We wanted to create an enduring platform and attitude that allows James Squire, the brand, to think and act like James Squire the man; always turning up in culture just as he turned up in life.”

Client: Lion Australia 

Agency: Milk + Honey United, Sydney

Production: Fortress Films

Director: Justin McMillan 

Editor: The Editors

Post Production: Alt FX

Music & Sound: Song Zu

Photography: Ian Butterworth, Louis & Co 

Media Agency: Universal McCann 

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