New Zealand Marketing

Popular & effective Aotearoa’s top- 10 favourite ads

MARKETING ASSOCIATIO­N has partnered with TRA to reveal New Zealand’s best-loved advertisem­ents. Here, TRA Strategist­s Carl Sarney and Lloyd Thomason look at what really resonates and what that can teach us.


THE RESULTS ARE IN. TRA asked more than 1000 New Zealanders what their favourite TV ads are — and for a second time, ASB’S ‘Ben and Amy’ has come out on top. In partnershi­p with Marketing Associatio­n, we also asked marketers for their opinions, so we could see how their picks compare with the rest of New Zealand’s.

As well as an unprompted survey question, we used our Creative Edge framework to evaluate the strength of the favourite ads’ creative execution. The ‘Three R’s’ of Creative Edge measure how likely an ad is to grab people’s attention (Remarkable) and entertain them (Rewarding), and how strongly the brand is linked to the creative idea (Remembered). Let’s find out how the top five ads, according to New Zealanders, did.

1. ASB ‘Ben and Amy’

This is an excellent example of a campaign wearing in, not out, taking the number-one spot for a second time since March 2021. ‘Ben and Amy’s Little Window Shopper’ (pictured opposite, top) is feel-good fun, with great Kiwi humour. Memorable lines like, “Hey mince and cheese, get a wriggle on!” bring a smile to viewers’ dials, while the story of a young girl getting a job to save up for the watch of her dreams taps into the Kiwi code of earned success.

In devising this ad, ASB appear to have taken inspiratio­n from one of New Zealand’s most effective long-term campaigns, which also happens to be one of theirs. ‘Goldstein’ captured hearts and minds for 11 years though a well-loved character and ongoing story developmen­t. Like Goldstein, Ben and Amy are well on their way to becoming iconic, instantly recognisab­le brand characters for ASB.

2. Trustpower ‘Four Legs Good’

The second execution of Trustpower’s ‘Meant To Be Together’ brand platform is even more moving than the first, and this time, it’s neck and neck with ASB for the top spot.

An adorable, three-legged dog finding a home with a grieving, elderly man (pictured, opposite, bottom) is guaranteed to hit people in the feels. New Zealanders love this ad for its heartwarmi­ng and uplifting story, which may even bring some to tears.

Unfortunat­ely, there are people who really enjoyed the ad but don’t know who it was for. Trustpower’s purple is present throughout the TVC, but it’s subtle. And unlike ‘Ben and

Amy’, characters aren’t used consistent­ly across executions or touchpoint­s — a missed opportunit­y. The campaign earned wonderful feedback, but Trustpower should keep an eye on branding and message outtake. ‘Meant To Be Together’ compares new-found friendship with bundling energy and telco services, and this link can be easy to miss.

3. Westpac ‘Together Greater’

Like Trustpower, Westpac also won over Kiwis with a story about new-found friendship. With echoes of treasured

childhood books such as Wherethewi­ld Thingsare and Thegruffal­o, ‘ Together Greater’ performed well above average on its Creative Edge Remarkable score. Gorgeous landscape imagery and a Kiwi rendition of the classic song Standbyme make it a rewarding watch.

However, with weak branding and a tenuous link to banking, Westpac might not get the credit. ‘ Together Greater’ scored well below average on Remembered. It could be that the child and monster haven’t had time to become establishe­d, but then again, it’s not clear whether making them synonymous with Westpac is the strategy (we’ve since seen them being used more). It’s early days for this new brand platform, and it’ll be interestin­g to see how Westpac bring their ‘ Together Greater’ promise to life beyond advertisin­g.

4. PAK’NSAVE ‘Stickman’

Stickman is no stranger to this list. Fourteen years old and still making Kiwis laugh, the campaign is a masterclas­s in long-term brand building. Witty, disarming and down to earth, it perfectly captures New Zealanders’ unique sense of humour, and a lot of effort goes into keeping the jokes edgy and fresh — Stickman is well tuned into the society around him and often weighs in on hot topics.

The Stickman character, distinctiv­e voice, and black and yellow world are instantly recognisab­le brand codes for PAK’NSAVE, and the brand makes the most of them. Stickman doesn’t just win on distinctiv­eness, but on differenti­ation too — he’s a constant reminder of PAK’NSAVE’S low-cost positionin­g. This helps the brand fend off intense competitio­n.

5. Mcdonald’s ‘New Mac Family’

This sweet and relatable story continues to be a hit here in Aotearoa. First released in 2018, it was repurposed last year to promote the Mcdonald’s Family Big Mac range.

The story taps into a societal tension — the overuse of technology versus genuine moments of connection. It gets families thinking about pausing screen time to connect and explore our beautiful country instead. The work isn’t overly strong in its use of brand codes, but the story resolves with the family enjoying Mcdonald’s together, helping to transfer positive feelings to the brand and the products it sells. The unmistakab­le jingle at the end does some heavy lifting too. Rounding out the top 10:

6. Sky ‘Life Needs More Sky’ 7. ANZ ‘We Do How’ 8. Waka Kotahi ‘Safe Limits’ 9. KFC General promotions 10. V Energy ‘Can You Feel It’.

What can we learn from New Zealanders’ favourite ads?

As you might expect, favourite ads tend to perform well above average on Remarkable and Rewarding. Creative Edge’s Remembered score is where we see the most variation, with some of the ads on our list performing below average.

Creating a favourite ad is no easy feat, so it’s crucial to make sure the brand gets the credit. A massive amount of effort goes into creating advertisin­g that Kiwis love, but this effort is wasted unless it’s easy for people to know who the ad is for.

The good news is that increasing performanc­e on the Remembered score doesn’t have to come at the expense of

creating work that Kiwis love. ASB and PAK’NSAVE are both excellent examples of favourite campaigns that are instantly recognisab­le as coming from their brands.

So how do you create an unmissable link between brand and creative?

Brand codes: Know them, weave them through executions and use them consistent­ly across touchpoint­s.

Build to last: People lose the thread when a brand is constantly changing what it stands for and how it shows up. To create a brand platform that’s built to last, keep the work consistent­ly surprising while avoiding unnecessar­y change. Make what the brand does or sells part of the story: Although any Cadbury ‘Gorilla’ fan will remind you that this isn’t strictly a must, it can definitely help. A wildly entertaini­ng story with no clear link to what the brand does is at greater risk of misattribu­tion.

 ?? ?? Carl Sarney.
Lloyd Thomason.
Carl Sarney. Lloyd Thomason.
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