Campaign Review: Can New Zealand win back tourists? Plus the verdict on Australian Avocados, Specsavers and Stockland

Mumbrella invites the industry’s most senior creatives and strategists to offer their views on the latest ad campaigns. This week: Leo Burnett Sydney's senior strategist, Bryan Wilmot, and 303 MullenLowe's Perth ECD, Richard Berney, offer their views on Tourism New Zealand's brilliant campaign, Australian Avocados' cultural moment, Specsavers' in-ad game and Stockland's 'fail'.

Brand: Tourism New Zealand
Agency: Augusto Group
The Verdict: Brilliant campaign with strong insight and an interesting audience strategy

Bryan Wilmot, senior strategist at Leo Burnett Sydney, says:

Wilmot say it is a fun video to watch with a strong insight

“What a year for ANZ tourism campaigns. While this is no Dundee, it’s a smart campaign showing it’s not just postcard shots, but personality that matters. It may appear to be trying to drive UGC [user-generated content] from tourists, but I think the ‘Get NZ on the Map’ call to action is actually pointed at Kiwis.

“If you Google it, Kiwis have long been sharing pictures of sans-NZ maps. The sense of these threads is that while Kiwis feel NZ is sometimes a forgotten down under country, they’re actually taking the piss out of the world for this ignorance. Just like it’s funny to Australians that people think we ride kangaroos, it’s funny to Kiwis that for a country bigger in land area than the UK with some sensational exports, it’s left off maps.

“So, while on the surface Tourism NZ is turning these map omissions into a humorous conspiracy theory, they’re actually tapping a deeper sense of national pride in a bid to make tourism advocates out of its citizens. This is about getting New Zealanders to show the best of New Zealand to the world.

“For this spot to effectively carry this strategy though, it needed a) global cut-through to spark interest, search and discovery amongst would-be tourists (the real audience) and b) to stand-alone
in case those consumers do not see further comms. Jacinda Ardern and Rhys Darby help deliver this internationally PR-ability and the creative construct allows the integration of key NZ ‘proof points’ such as great wine, and the fact that the country is only “three movies and meal” away.

“Overall, it’s activating a strong insight, utilising an interesting audience strategy and executionally, it’s a fun video to watch. I look forward to seeing how the campaign phasing evolves as it rolls out.”

Rating: 8/10

Richard Berney, executive creative director, 303 MullenLowe Perth, says:

Berney says the ad is brillaint

“Brilliant. Jealous.

“Terrific premise, literally ask the audience to help ‘Get New Zealand on the map’ for a tourism campaign. I leaned into this ad, delighted in every moment. The million-dollar question is: Does it compel me to consider NZ for a holiday?

“Honestly, a little bit. The self-mocking NZ charm tickles me into submission (loved Jacinda and Rhys combo), and the few key benefits on the pin-up board help – so I’m officially listening, but I’m not sold.

“That said, this piece is simply to set up the campaign and I’m gagging for more… So I’m primed for the social media slash retail slash whatever campaign is to follow.”

Rating: 9/10

Brand: Australian Avocados
Agency: Ikon Sydney
The Verdict: It shows potential, but the strategy falls short

Wilmot says:

“You can just see the planner slide: “We need to reposition avocados as more than a great-tasting ingredient, but as part of a great-feeling lifestyle.

“Strategically it’s not bad; avocados are having a cultural moment and capitalising on that to solidify their iconic status makes sense. However, the creative shows the strategy and it falls short.

“Australian Avocados had a stellar alignment they completely bypassed. While most brands toil to be part of culture, avocados have inadvertently become the symbol of a generational paradigm shift.

“Add to this their licence for an irreverent tone and being a product people genuinely love and you’ve got a recipe for truly impactful work. Instead, they’ve depicted a caricature of Millennial life, rattling off a laundry list of ‘passion points’ – exercise, wellbeing, fashion, internet(!) – and making a few gags on how avo improves them.

“The ‘Everything’s better with avo’ thought is a good one, with the potential to be an enduring platform, however they’ve not yet done it justice. Millennials connect with brands that live an ethos not just spruik one, so show me the ‘Airbnb Amnesty’ for people still living at home to spend a free night, instead of replacing a lawn bowls jack with an avocado pip. Bad planner idea but the point being that there’s real opportunity to go a little more chips-in for Australian Avocados.”

Rating: 6/10

Berney says:

“I think it’s good! Avos now have a brand personality. I don’t currently consider avocados an ‘Aussie’ fruit (yes, they are technically a fruit, the ‘matured ovary of a flower’) – but as a viewer, I’m now open to them taking a seat at the locals-only table.

“So it’s an ambitious strategy to position them as a local favourite full of local benefits, and importantly, I think Australians are ready to swallow it.

“Great creative too, nicely finished. However, there was too much to (ahem) digest. I didn’t have enough time to reflect or enjoy the avo observations – the commercial needed to take a couple items out of the shopping list, and then I could’ve actually enjoyed it rather than admiring it as I passed at speed.”

Rating: 7.5/10

Brand: Specsavers
Agency: Cummins & Partners
The Verdict: Not an original idea, but good branding with a practical message

Wilmot says:

“This spot is playing to a category insight like ‘Many people who need glasses will go a number of years before actually going to get tested’, and the strategy is to take the eye test to them. This isn’t an original idea, given Cochlear’s work last year. Not that this really matters – it’s different enough and I don’t think consumers will know or care – but it gives good basis for comparison.

“What I like about this spot is its use of BE to get people physically interacting with the eye test. The active challenge to ‘Spot the mistakes’ is an example of increasing motivation through gamification, and leveraging second screen behaviour to watch again (as per the CTA [call-to-action]) is an example of lifting the ease. As compared to the Cochlear execution, it is much simpler and more immediate and requires less of the audience.

“However, unlike Cochlear, I’m not convinced about the validity of the Specsavers test. It’s more about attention to detail than it is vision capability, and in healthcare where trust is used to close the knowledge gap between patient and professional, I question the integrity of using it.”

Rating: 7/10

Berney says:

“Great, and yup, great the second time.

“I like them. As in, when I finished watching the ad I warmed to Specsavers. I wouldn’t just go there to save dollars – now I enjoy their company. So this is good branding with a practical message.

“I don’t know whether the in-ad eye test is real, and I personally don’t think it matters. Terrific creative idea, deftly executed – disruptive and playful – human beans love that combo.”

Rating: 8/10

Brand: Stockland
Agency: CX Lavender
The Verdict: Lacks any real insight

Wilmot says:

“As a 29-year-old male without children, I’d be hard-pressed to tell you how mothers feel toward this piece of work. But it’s on this list, so I’ll have to.

“I like the comms approach. Build the brand by leveraging the emotion felt by many mothers around Mother’s Day rather than driving sales by speaking to gifters about gifting. It creates a nice
opportunity to rise above other advertisers at this time and cut-through. It’s a zag while others zig, similar in a way to P&G’s famous ‘Proud Sponsor of Mum’.

“However unlike ‘Proud Sponsor of Mum’, it’s a bit of wallpaper for two reasons. The first is that strategically it lacks any real insight. The spot’s message that motherhood is challenging but rewarding is an undeniable truth, but is certainly not a ground-breaking revelation. The second is the way they’ve activated diversity. Diversity in advertising is extremely important, but I think their pursuit of showcasing every possible type of mum has worked in opposition to telling any sort of story.

“If they had found a deeper insight, activated a story through the lens of a lesbian couple or a foster mother, they could’ve delivered a meaningful message in an inclusive way rather than being
explicitly inclusive to tell a generic message.”

Rating: 5/10

Berney says:

“Fail. And not because it’s a tired format – literally the mother of all montages. No, actually I think it would have connected fairly well with Mums. It’s a beautiful film, very inclusive, plenty of love and dashes of honesty.

“But I didn’t feel or understand the connection to Stockland. I did click through to make sense of the connection, and was still left wondering why on Earth Stockland was claiming this emotional high ground. Perhaps I’ll experience it the next time I visit a centre, because the click through did not make me feel like an understood mother. I still felt like a middle-aged misunderstood adman.”

Rating: 4.99/10

  • As told to Abigail Dawson. If you’re a senior creative or strategist who would like to take part in a future Campaign Review, please email abigail@mumbrella.com.au

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