Lion’s rebrand for James Squire beer is anything but ordinary

The campaign by Milk+Honey United takes on an epic Game of Thrones-like tale to introduce its new brand.

Australia-based creative agency Milk+Honey United has launched an epic campaign for Lion’s James Squire Beer that aims to capture the essence of HBO’s Game of Thrones.

The campaign, called “Ordinary Be Damned,” brings the brew’s new mascot to life in a cinematic 90-second film, shot by Justin McMillan and narrated by the grizzled tones of Scottish actor Rory McCann, known for his role as “The Hound” on Game of Thrones.

The film, set in London in 1776, follows James Squire, a man who “seemed destined to live an ordinary life,” doing extraordinary things like gambling, being taken slave on a pirate ship and robbing unsuspecting civilians. 

The film culminates with Squire sitting at the head of a table in a brewery, drinking a beer he brewed – his “humble hobby.” He is positioned as a maverick who didn’t have a problem breaking the rules to get to that table.

The new platform marks the first master brand campaign for the James Squire portfolio, the foundation of the brand’s relaunch. The goal is to make James Squire the preferred choice of beer in a category that has grown “boring and cliché,” said Milk+Honey United founder Steve Jackson.

“James Squire as the central character helped us define his life as anything but ordinary, and the tagline reflects that roguish and rebellious spirit,” he said. “From the man to the product, that slogan was the brand’s truth, as it reflected the brew’s spirit and captured an honest tone born from Squire’s heritage, something that was absent in the category.”

The agency chose McCann to narrate the spot thanks to his “dark, brooding tone,” he added.

“Have you heard that voice? There’s nothing else like it,” he said. “As soon as [McCann] started reading the script, we grinned from ear-to-ear.” 

Andy DiLallo, co-founder of Milk+Honey United, said the agency’s ability to push the envelope creatively in the campaign was thanks to the trust it has earned with Lion Australia as one of its founding clients. 

“The fit was natural from day one with the Lion team,” he said. “The parallels between the James Squire brand and our own clicked.”

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