Celebrating advertising effectiveness
Every three months, TRA, in partnership with Thinktv, survey regular New Zealanders to find out which ads are resonating and which creative is going the distance. On the back of the April edition of the Favourite Ads Survey, LLOYD THOMASON gets insights from the marketers behind the brands on what makes their respective TVCS resonate with audiences, and so effective for their brands. The survey is simple, and asks a nationally representative sample of over 1,000 people a simple, unprompted question; “What is your favourite ad on TV at the moment?” People were also asked why they like it and how it makes them feel. The most frequently mentioned favourites make up the top 10 list. NEW ZEALAND’S 10 FAVOURITE ADS IN APRIL 2022 1. Trustpower – Meant to be Together/four Legs Good 2. Westpac – Together Greater 3. ASB – Ben and Amy 4. Mcdonald’s – General promotions 5. ANZ – We Do How 6. V Energy – Can You Feel It 7. Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency – Safe Limits 8. Cadbury – Mum’s Birthday 9. KFC – General promotions 10. Mitre 10 – With You All The Way By looking at the themes across the favourite ads, and speaking to the marketers behind those ads, we can share key learnings about how to craft remarkable, rewarding brand stories that get remembered and ultimately translate to sales results. By applying TRA’S Creative Edge Framework to each of the public’s favourites, the strength of the ad’s execution was able to be assessed. THE ‘ THREE R’S’ OF CREATIVE EDGE MEASURE HOW LIKELY AN AD IS TO: • Grab people’s attention (Remarkable); • Entertain them (Rewarding); and • How strongly the brand was linked to the creative idea (Remembered). It takes powerful performance on Remarkable and Rewarding to land an ad a spot on the top ten. But it’s a healthy score on Remembered that ensures the brand gets credit for its powerful creative. The most effective campaigns achieve healthy scores across all Three R’s. 1. TRUSTPOWER – MEANT TO BE TOGETHER/ FOUR LEGS GOOD This heartwarming story of a three-legged dog finding friendship with an elderly man has viewers feeling ‘full of emotion,’ ‘warm fuzzies,’ and ‘hopeful’. A few respondents even mention that it brought them to tears. No surprise then that it performs strongly on being an ad that people want to talk about. Carolyn Schofield, Head of Brand at Trustpower, says they’ve had massive amounts of positive feedback on social media as well as organic PR with journalists and radio hosts talking positively about the ad. Carolyn notes that the plan is to stick with the platform long-term with ‘Meant to be together’ staying consistent across multiple stories. Think Specsavers or Snickers. She says they have seen a significant improvement in brand perceptions among those who have seen the ad versus those who haven’t. With two different executions in TRA’S favourite ads list so far, there’s no doubt Trustpower know how to create work that moves people. Carolyn said that educating non-marketing stakeholders on best practice thinking, such as Field and Sharp, that’s grounded in data, was key to getting a long-term emotional storytelling strategy over the line. 2. WESTPAC – TOGETHER GREATER This epic story is enjoyed because its imaginative, heartfelt, and shares an uplifting message of kindness and connection. Suraiya Phillimore-smith, Chief Marketing Officer at Westpac, says that ‘ Together Greater’ has earned an “overwhelmingly positive response from customers”, with fans sharing videos of them enjoying the spot alongside babies and pets and even requesting soft toys of their favourite monster. Suraiya notes that arriving at the platform required a lot of research and customer testing which uncovered the core insight – people didn’t want banks telling them what to do, but to stand alongside them, empowering them to achieve their goals. The emotional storytelling used to bring ‘ Together Greater’ to life is clearly resonating. Westpac is seeing positive gains in consideration for both customers and non-customers. Since our December run of the Favourite Ads Survey, we’ve also seen improvement in performance on ‘Remembered’. This is most likely due to continued exposure to the campaign and use of the characters in followup executions and touchpoints. Westpac has been wise to give the hero execution the time and space it needed to wear in. 3. ASB – BEN AND AMY Through strong creative commitment to their platform and characters, ASB has got to a place where the whole of the campaign is greater than the sum of the parts. New executions remind viewers of past ones they’ve enjoyed. And Kiwis have become invested in Ben and Amy’s story; looking forward to seeing what comes next. The work is loved for being wholesome and positive. And importantly, for resonating at a cultural level. It’s rewarding in its use of Kiwi humour. Further, the central story of Ben and Amy working hard to achieve their dreams taps into the Kiwi code of earned success. Ben and Amy are becoming iconic and instantly recognisable brand assets, ASB achieves the strongest creative edge score across the board. Bianca Osborne, HO Business Marketing at ASB, says that the distinctive brand characters have been very successful in building ASB’S strongest ever brand metrics. “Importantly, branded recall and likeability is really strong. Delivered by our consistent use of characters, our warm tone, and the cultural truths we tap into.” 4. MCDONALD’S – GENERAL PROMOTIONS Mcdonald’s do an excellent job of wrapping their promotion work up in rewarding stories that Kiwis enjoy. Entertaining spots like a beef farmer hiding his secret love for the Mcspicy chicken burger or the Quarter Pounder being the only thing a dad and son can agree on go down a treat. It’s an impressive feat for promotion work to find a place so high on the Favourite Ads list. It might come down to Mcdonald’s inclusion of moments that make Kiwis smile. Luke Rive, Director of Marketing at Mcdonald’s, notes that the team always “aim to bring a smile to people’s faces and build an emotional connection that will ultimately drive a visit to restaurants.” And it’s working. Recent campaigns have translated into strong sales, with all promotional products exceeding sales forecasts. “A common thread through these campaigns is that consumers have rated the ads highly on ‘enjoyed watching’, again proving the link that engagement drives action,” says Luke. 5. ANZ – WE DO HOW ‘We Do How’ demonstrates ANZ’S commitment to giving New Zealanders the practical help they need to start their financial wellbeing journey. Viewers feel a rush of joy in seeing the hard work of Sameer and his family pay off when he finally achieves his dream of becoming a Black Cap. And the work achieves a strong Remembered score through weaving in ANZ’S brand colour and leveraging the banks’ history as a Major Sponsor of New Zealand Cricket. As a result, ANZ have seen significant lifts in advertising recall and this has carried down to growth in consideration. But it’s more than an outward-facing advertising campaign. Astrud Burgess, General Manager Data and Marketing at ANZ, says: “It’s always been important for our staff to feel actively involved in everything we do.” With the development of the platform, the team engaged each business unit on how it might show up for them and gave staff the opportunity to reflect and feedback to create shared ownership around the brand promise. Internal initiatives included the ‘Book of How’ which brings to life the power of ‘how’, and the ‘Deck of How’ which includes 52 ideas to help improve financial wellbeing. 6. V ENERGY – CAN YOU FEEL IT ‘Can You Feel It’ is fun and upbeat with a twist of dark humour for good measure. The bugs sing along to ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go-go’, a catchy, energetic song that’s full of positivity as they enjoy a classic summer road trip. But it’s the dark humour that takes this ad to the next level where they perform the equivalent of a hit-and-run. The head bug says: “That’s unfortunate,” as he turns the windscreen wipers on to get rid of a splattered bug. Kiwis love this unexpected twist and quotable line. The spot performs strongly on Remembered too. It’s clear that careful attention has been given to brand attribution. The ad opens with the bugs buying a V at a gas station and they keep a can in their hands from that moment on. The van and lead bug are ‘V-green’ too. There’s no mistaking who this likeable ad is for. 7. WAKA KOTAHI NZ TRANSPORT AGENCY – SAFE LIMITS ‘Safe Limits’ aims to increase public awareness and understanding of the fact that some speed limits are no longer fit for purpose and how setting safe speeds plays an important part in keeping everyone safe. A tough brief to create a favourite ad from, but Waka Kotahi did just that. Adrian Stephenson, Principal Marketing Advisor, says speed limit changes can be polarising for some and so Waka Kotahi chose ‘a light-hearted approach’ to get the message across. Passing cars constantly interrupt a conversation between ‘clip board man’ and two young girls on why the speed limits are being reviewed. The misheard responses and sheer confidence of the young girls leads to memorable lines and classic examples of dry Kiwi humour. Viewers like the ‘natural behaviour from young people questioning authority figures’ and the way they speak – ‘so natural, so real, so NZ.’ 8. CADBURY – MUM’S BIRTHDAY There are other executions of ‘ There’s a glass & a half in everyone,’ but this is the favourite. It was in the top 10 consistently the year it launched in 2019 and is back again. Produced out of the UK but with a universally appealing story about a girl trading her most beloved toys for a bar to give to her Mum on her birthday. Kiwis love it because it’s a cute and heart-warming display of generosity. Further, it feels very down-to-earth in its use of a family that are not particularly ‘well-to-do’ and a setting that is imperfect and warts and all. Mum’s Birthday’ is a reminder of the efficiency that can be achieved from creating an iconic and effective ad – you can keep using it year after year. 9. KFC – GENERAL PROMOTIONS KFC continue to deliver some of the most entertaining product and price promos in New Zealand. The 15” spots follow a consistent structure that packs a punch with likeable jokes that keep love for KFC front and centre. As Ella Fairley, Senior Marketing Manager at KFC puts it: “We tell the stories in a distinctly KFC way; injecting our brand codes, humour, and championing Kiwis to let down their guard and just enjoy being in the moment.” Further, a lot of work goes into building relevance through using the Kiwi Codes and monitoring social media trends to understand what’s resonating with Kiwis. 10. MITRE 10 – WITH YOU ALL THE WAY From the moment where they first awkwardly bump into each other to the hug at the end of their project – ‘With You All The Way’ is jam-packed with rewarding moments. People love the humorous, borderline romantic, depiction and celebration of Kiwi mateship. One fan went as far to say, “I want to go and have a look at Mitre 10 and make a friend!” Jules Lloyd-jones, Chief Marketing Officer, says that the platform centres on Mitre 10’s greatest asset and point of difference – the people. “With You All The Way is a promise that we’re there to help our customers get their projects done right.” The spot has one of the highest scores on Remembered for ads we track. Jules also notes that it’s “rallied the teams together around the promise and given them a sense of belonging and pride to be part of our Mitre 10 family.” The Favourite Ads Survey, compiled by TRA and Thinktv will be completed quarterly providing an annual project sample size of more than 4000 Kiwis. Results of the next survey will be released in September. WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED? Looking at the ads that make the favourite list, we can arrive at five key principles for creating popular and effective work. BUILD TO LAST Aim to create work that wears in, where you can add depth and meaning to it over time. And give your hero execution the time and space it needs to become familiar and loved. USE EMOTIONAL STORYTELLING TO CREATE REMARKABLE AND REWARDING WORK The trick is to create stories that don’t just grab attention, but hold it. And it works for promotion work just as well. Including little ‘smile moments’ can make all the difference. TAP INTO KIWI CODES AND CULTURAL TENSIONS With the exception of Cadbur y, careful work has gone into creating ads that resonate with Kiwis at a cultural level. This makes them even more relatable and enjoyable. LIVE YOUR BRAND PROMISE INSIDE AND OUT It can be useful to think of your people as your first audience. Involve them and take them on the journey as you empower and inspire them to deliver to the brand promise in new ways. DON’T JUST RELY ON YOUR LOGO AT THE END It’s no use creating a favourite ad if people can’t remember who it is for. ASB, ANZ, V Energy, and Mitre 10 are good examples of how strong branding doesn’t get in the way of creating a favourite.