Irish agency lands Tiger beer contract

Rothco scores a first with global account for non-Irish brand

A scene from one of the futuristic Tiger beer ads filmed in Bangkok

A scene from one of the futuristic Tiger beer ads filmed in Bangkok


Three young men of different ethnic backgrounds enter the homely Oscar’s bar, where shockwaves resonate as they pick up their bottles of Tiger beer. Suddenly the low-rise Asia n environment is transformed into a skyscraper.

It is a tale of the rise of one of Asia’s megacities, with elements of Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Tokyo.

This advertisement for Tiger is the work of the Irish-owned and Dublin-based advertising agency Rothco. It has just aired on Vietnam ese television and will soon roll out across the continent.

Global business
Tiger Beer originated in Singapore in 1932 and is now sold worldwide. Anthony Burgess ’s debut novel Time for a Tiger , part of the Malayan trilogy The Long Day Wanes , was named for the brew.

Rothco was asked last year to pitch for the global business of Tiger Beer, which is part of Heineken-owned Asia Pacific Breweries, based in Singapore. The agency pitched against six others, including big international players like Y&R and Ogilvy and, in winning the account, made Irish advertising history.

“We seem to be the first Irish agency to win a global account for a non-Irish brand when were chosen as the lead global creative agency for Tiger Beer,” says Rothco partner and client director Richard Carr.

Rothco’s success is also seen as a boost to the Irish industry and to its efforts to grow globally.

The Tiger Beer strategy is informed by the idea that Britain was the centre of things 200 years ago, the US 100 years ago and that now it is very much Asia’s time.

For Rothco, which has 83 employees, the campaign itself was transformative, as it switched its attention from a low-growth economy such as Ireland to high-growth Singapore and Asia more generally.

“This is a really significant contract for us,” Carr says. “To be awarded a global contract is very significant. We had a lot of help from Enterprise Ireland too.

Asian megacity
“Over the last nine months we have been developing a new global advertising campaign which taps into the pulse of the Asian megacity.”

The TV ads were shot in Bangkok over a six-week period, and the campaign has just kicked off in Vietnam, Carr adds. “It will be available in other markets, but we don’t know yet when. Our objective is to try and develop a piece that works in every market.”