Marketing plays of the week: beds, beersies and betting

NZ Defence Force ambushes Aucklanders, a big 'nah, yeah' for Beersies campaign, and Sleepyhead vamps it up

#1

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi

Client: NZ Defence Force

Some Auckland joggers have grown accustomed to being humbled by Royal New Zealand Navy personnel powering past while they’re on their daily run. But to have an entire platoon ambush you on your morning jog would be pretty intimidating. That’s the crux of the latest TVC from the Defence Force. NBR’s own publisher, Todd Scott, is the first victim in the video. He says it was a “pleasant and novel distraction” on his morning run but he was shocked nonetheless.

The overall campaign is aiming to get recruits ‘Force-Fit’ in preparation for the entry-level fitness test and includes a mobile app with information on the armed forces’ training regime – so I find it a bit puzzling it’s not made clear at the end of the video that the campaign is targeted at aspiring recruits. But the Defence Force says it felt an obligation to not only help prepare future recruits but to also “inspire the whole country to join us in making fitness their mission”. As part of the ongoing ‘Force-Fit’ campaign, the TVC with be reinforced by bus adshels, outdoor exercise events and ambient signage appearing around the country.

#2

Agency: FCB

Client: Health Promotion Agency

FCB’s ‘Say Yeah, Nah’ campaign has succeeded in making ‘beersies’ a common phrase in Kiwi society. Even if it was a bit of a mixed result - as one marketing man pointed out to me – with ‘beersies’ now sometimes used to encourage more drinking, the opposite of the campaign’s intent, it nonetheless helped earn FCB the Most Effective Agency going at the Effies this year. These spots are the first phase of the new ‘Not Beersies’ campaign, which glorifies water. Health Promotion Agency general manager Tane Cassidy says the follow-up campaign will be familiar to the target audience and will “build on the success” of the previous campaign.

The commentary and pouring of the glass are obviously satirising typical beer commercials. But isn’t there the potential for it to backfire, with some viewers becoming thirsty for, well, beer? Mr Cassidy says this was considered during the planning phase. “We talked to drinkers about any unintended consequences such as the message being flipped and being seen to promote drinking,” he says. “However, respondents appreciated that ‘Not Beersies’ was part of the ‘Say Yeah, Nah’ campaign and understood the purpose of the concept.” There are a total of six spots that are currently running on TV (see the rest here) and the campaign will continue across outdoor, in bars, on digital screens in liquor stores and online.

#3

Agency: Barnes, Catmur & Friends

Client: Sleepyhead

This TVC from Sleepyhead lulls us into assuming it’s a *yawningly* boring bed ad. But things take a turn for the weird and creepy when the sleeping beauty smiles at the viewer, revealing protruding fangs. It’s an effectively sudden change of tone but, at the same time, it’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it ad, so although it’s a great creative spin on a standard ad format, I wonder how many viewers will notice the vampy teeth… The TVC will appear across TV and online.

#4

Agency: Sugar & Partners

Client: TAB

Naturally, TAB faces a difficult challenge when advertising because it can’t afford to glorify gambling too much. The latest TVC launches a 40-week campaign surrounding live racing and sport. A release says it “signifies a big step change in marketing for the TAB, from campaign specific to an always-on approach”. The video uses a rollercoaster as a metaphor for the highs and lows of gambling but visually it focuses on the sports. And while the ad’s concept is good, the execution is far from appealing, with wooden acting and some poor graphical effects rendering it cringe-worthy. The cheap shot at tennis moans managed to make the immature child in me smile but, in the end, I’m not in. Sugar, I know you can do better.

#5

Agency: Shine

Client: Fairfax

Newspaper publishers NZME and Fairfax are trying incredibly hard to sell advertisers on the notion they’re “not just a newspaper company” anymore. NZME probably has an easier time convincing media agencies after the integration of the NZ Herald with The Radio Network and GrabOne. But Fairfax is always quick to remind us that Stuff has the most traffic of any local news site. Fairfax marketing director Campbell Mitchell says the company has a “unique portfolio of media assets that reach eight out of ten New Zealanders.” The video isn’t particularly appealing by any means but, as it’s intended to be an intro video for a boardroom meeting, it will suffice. See NZME’s video as a comparison – it’s far more edgy.

#6: Subscriber pick

Agency: .99

Client: Tower Insurance

An NBR subscriber pointed out to me that last week Tower Insurance ran a full page ad in the New Zealand Herald giving some exposure to its new policy of replacing houses destroyed by fire (see the full NBR story here). The company is the first to offer full replacement following a widespread move after the Canterbury earthquakes to specific sum insured policies. The move itself has been welcomed but the ad in the Herald, which was presented in a letter format, was a failure of imagination. Such an appealing policy could have used a bit more creative appeal.

Send marketing plays to: cgibson@nbr.co.nz