Ad of the Day: Tango

BBH's absurdly muscular campaign for the soft drink is a scream

BBH London's new campaign for Tango, the British soft-drink brand, really pumps me up.

Folks who enjoy the beverage in these superbly silly spots growl "AAARGH!" at full volume and flex their suddenly enormous biceps, pecs and delts after morphing into ridiculously ripped, bikini-sheathed, spray-tanned muscle-hulks—owing presumably to Tango's "orange intensity."

Parental warning: Your kids will be screaming "AAARGH!" all summer long.

Most notable among three new commercials is "Cornershop," which features a turbaned clerk who sips some Tango, transforms into a bling-draped bodybuilder—a fusion of Mr. T and Terry Crews (now that would be awesome!)—and engages in a wild-eyed pose-down with a similarly pumped-up customer before AAARGH-ing at a perfectly ordinary older woman who walks up to the register. The stereotypes-on-steroids setup is so ridiculously overblown (turban, accent, convenience store, gold neck chain, Indian background music) that subversion is surely intended, though I wonder if the client and agency are fishing for complaints (or mentions such as this) to build some buzz.

"No offense was intended," David Kolbusz, the agency's deputy executive creative director, tells Adweek. "It's a comic, exaggerated world we're inhabiting. And based on the Twitter feedback so far, the most polarizing thing about the campaign seems to be the screaming." He adds: "The drink has a long, rich history of irreverent advertising, and this campaign is no exception."

It's especially cool that the supporting players remain unfazed by the magical metamorphoses of their friends. Note the schoolgirl in "Swings," who never stops texting but calmly cuts down her newly chiseled chum, deadpanning, "Shut up, Shannon, you well fancy him," when the pal bellows AAARGH! during their discussion of boys.

Tango is owned by Britvic, also the parent of Robinsons fruit drink, for which BBH created one of the year's best ads, "Pals," about two boys who share a close friendship—with a secret revealed in a sweet paternal twist at the end. Tango's campaign isn't quite a stunning, but the brand's first TV push in five years succeeds on its own loopy terms, with Biscuit Filmworks director Tim Godsall maintaining an appropriately off-kilter tone and brisk pace, and the performances are excellent. That includes the soccer lads in "Footy," with three young pals bonding as one transforms into a flexing, wire-rimmed faux-Hercules.

He's really the dad of the other two, right? He isn't?! AAARGH!


Client: Tango

Agency: BBH London

BBH Creative Team: Gary McCreadie, Wesley Hawes

BBH Creative Director: Justin Moore, Hamish Pinnell

BBH Deputy Executive Creative Director: David Kolbusz

BBH Producer: Glenn Paton

BBH Assistant Producer: Jemima Bowers

BBH Team Director: Alex Monger

BBH Team Manager: Maggie Grigorian

BBH Strategic Business Lead: Becky Russell

BBH Director of Engagement Planning: Kevin Brown

BBH Strategist: Tom Callard

Production Company: Biscuit Filmworks

Director: Tim Godsall

Executive Producer: Orlando Wood

Producer: Rick Jarjoura

DoP: Steven Keith Roach

Post Production: The Mill

Editor/Editing House: Tim Hardy @ Stitch

Sound: Factory

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.