An Epic R&B Ballad Anchors the Year's Most Ridiculous Yet Romantic Beer Ad

DB Export gets in the Valentine's Day mood

Is drinking a low-carb beer a gesture of romantic love? 

It is in Colenso BBDO's amusing new long-form ad, which is really more of a music video, for New Zealand brewer DB Export. Titled "I'm Drinking It for You," it features an R&B ballad sung by a pair of ordinary Kiwis, who croon about everything they can still do, one-handed, for their partner—leaving the other hand free to hold bottles of DB Export Gold Extra Low Carb. 

The ad's stars are "two of New Zealand's brightest new singing talents, Keshia and Tom," the agency tells us, not facetiously at all. They recorded the single—which is available to hear on Spotify and Apple Music, naturally—and perform, admirably, in the music video. 

I'm Drinking It For You

Timed to Valentine's Day, the video is meant to recognize male and female drinkers equally, which is unusual for the beer industry. 

"DB Export Gold Extra Low Carb is the delicious, full-flavored answer to the divided state of the modern world," client senior marketing manager Tony Wheeler said in a statement. 

"It's great to see a beer brand give a one-handed salute to stereotypes, and speak to everyone equally," added Beth O'Brien and Thom Darlow, the Colenso BBDO creatives behind the campaign. "This work is a huge leap forward for beer advertising in NZ," they added—before "attempting to clap one-handed," according to the press release. 

Damien Shatford from The Sweetshop directed the music video. "R&B is the best! I always knew it stood for romance and beers," he said. 

Added Sweetshop managing director and executive producer Fiona King: "We love romance, great beer and stories at Sweetshop. All inseparable. It was an absolute pleasure to acknowledge that drinking beer has a rightful higher purpose." 

Colenso BBDO and DB Export are best known for their Brewtroleum and Beer Bottle Sand campaigns, both of which had an environmental bent. 

The new campaign is wide-ranging. Beyond the song and music video, the effort will include beer bouquets for couples to give each other on Valentine's Day, a remix of the song that plays in gym classes, live performances of the song around New Zealand, dedication hours on the radio, karaoke beer tastings, and a digital service that lets fans write their own lyrics and send them as a digital singing telegram to their loved ones. 


Client: DB Breweries
Sean O'Donnell - Marketing Director
Tony Wheeler - Senior Marketing Manager
Agency: Colenso BBDO
Director: Damien Shatford
Production Company: The Sweetshop
Sound Design & Mix: Liquid Studios
Music Production:
Online: The Machine Room

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Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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