Campaign Review: Lifeline saving lives in 30 seconds and ISelect borrows from Bankwest

Mumbrella invites the industry’s creatives and strategists to offer their views on the latest ad campaigns. This week: White Grey's Chad Mackenzie and Bashful's Guy Marshall offer their views on Lifeline bringing brands together to save lives, Kogan taking on Amazon and ISelect trying its hand at animation.

Brand: Lifeline 
You’ve got 30 seconds to save a life
Agency: Thinkerbell
The verdict: A simple, fresh idea

Chad Mackenzie, executive creative director at White Grey, says:

“A beautifully simple idea that delivers a very precise message. Like it a lot. Even though we’ve seen brands donate media space before, there’s something about it that still feels fresh. Maybe it’s simply the tie into 30 seconds – whatever it is I’m pleased it’s happening and hope more brands get on board.

“It’s an idea that’s relevant any time of year, but heightened right now.

“I’m not sure I’d do anything differently, in fact, I wish I had been part of the initiative. It’s the type of charity that’s need is so great you can’t help but want to help. And this mechanic means brands can do exactly that with the switch of a key number.

“I really hope this works it’s socks off.”

Rating: 8/10

Guy Marshall, strategy director and partner at Bashful, says:

“These ads feel like one of those really good ideas that weren’t refined or executed beyond the first creative presentation. Considering the speed at which this was likely put together and the scale necessitated by the number of major brands involved this can largely be forgiven, but it does feel like a bit of a shame.

“Thinkerbell have done brilliantly to get this much exposure for Lifeline. If the goal was to get the brand in people’s living rooms with a simple message asking for support this idea has really delivered and done so in spades.

“What the campaign doesn’t do is explain what Lifeline is, why it helps or how your donation will practically work. 30 seconds isn’t long but I feel as though the messaging could have done with just a little bit of massaging to explain why Lifeline is essential beyond just a description of the increased demand for their service. The idea is perhaps a little too focussed on the construct itself rather than selling the organisation.

“Having said that, it is a simple, clever idea that no doubt will drive donations for Lifeline, an essential service at this time.

“Well done to those involved.”

Rating: 8/10

Brand: ISelect
Working From Home
Agency: Fenton Stephens
The verdict: ‘An ad for Bankwest but not as good’

Mackenzie says: 

“I have a hard time getting past the very familiar art direction on this one. It’s a shame as the script is incredibly relevant and speaks to all of our lives right now and the need for a product like ISelect is high. But, that animation style lets it down. I mean, the orange, the logo shape, the 3D animation style… it’s an ad for Bankwest I’m afraid. But not as good.

“I looked on the iSelect website to see if I’ve missed something and that style has been in the past, but there doesn’t seem to be any nod to it. If this is the look they’re going for then it feels like they’re going to need to invest in it and make sure it can be ownable.

“Because the scenario is on point and the script talks to our current state of play I can’t help but feel it could have been done another way. There are a raft of animation styles at our disposable and wish they had have chosen another one.”

Rating: 3/10

Marshall says:

“I like most people can relate to the insight in this campaign. And this is not just because my partner’s “home office” (the room formerly known as the nice little sunroom off the side of our bedroom) has a direct line of sight to my underwear drawer, a problem I contend with every morning as I dress for the day and Emma begins her first Chime meeting. The good people of Amazon’s marketing team do not know how close they come to this bracing and unwelcome sight.

“More crucially though, I can relate to this insight as it is the driving force for every marketing brief in the world right now. I’ve done a straw poll of three creatives from other agencies and they can confirm, with a degree of resignation, this is the brief they are working on regardless of brand or category. “How you live has changed but don’t worry; we’re here to help.” It is no longer a brief, it is THE BRIEF.

“And of course I can completely understand why this is the case. We have never seen such a rapid change in how we live. Good advertising as a cultural form reflects the times and when it becomes really successful it begins to influence them. I think the danger is that every brand has made, or is in the process of making the same ad, which would be all kinds of bad for all the obvious reasons.

“As far as I can tell, ISelect has a good product and a well regarded brand. This was true before COVID-19 and still is. Most importantly the fundamental reason why people engage with ISelect probably hasn’t changed either, they want better insurance and utility products at lower prices. ISelect are lucky, in a way that many businesses have not been, as their core product is as relevant or perhaps more relevant than ever.

“So rather than making THE AD from THE BRIEF why not just continue to remind people of what you do and why they need it in a way that is distinctive, surprising and impactful.”

Rating: 6/10

Brand: Kogan
Quick Smart
Agency: Hardhat
The verdict: Struggles to stand up to Amazon

Mackenzie says: 

“It’s a likeable campaign. Simple, catchy and fun. And you certainly get the idea that Kogan has a range of products. I get the sense that if Kogan hold this style for time to come the spots will get better and better. It could allow for a bit more freedom in the writing and even taking it into a more topical space.

“The one thing that I don’t love is the voiceover – it’s such a cliché ad voice. Apart from the ‘destroy your family’ line, the rest feels very expected. I reckon they’d be 10 times better with a voice that really brought the objects to life. It needs a personality hit to take the films up a gear.

“The line ‘what can you get at Kogan’ feels like the brand is trying to catch up to Amazon rather than create space from it. You could argue that the A-Z campaign has a very similar strategy yet puts the moments into life context. I get a very functional take out from Kogan’s strategy, but not a lot of emotional reason to take notice. Still, I can’t help but think if they hold on to this style and push it into a unique space it could become very memorable.”

Rating: 5/10

Marshall says:

“A few years ago I bought a MacBook Pro from Kogan. It was delivered with a charger that only worked with an American power socket. After three months of (increasingly irritated) phone calls I was never sent an Australian version, only adaptors so that it would work with local plugs. Eventually I gave up and bought a local version myself. Which is to say, it is hard to deliver a consistent customer experience when you run a large scale online marketplace. Few succeed. But it is probably the only way to achieve success because differentiating an online marketplace through communications is even harder.

“I’ve worked on that brief a few times and there’s very little you can say. Price, speed, service, range, or some Frankenstein combination of all four are essentially your options. If on a practical level Kogan is just Amazon with a smaller range and a less friendly user experience, it’s hard to build meaningful differentiation in anyone’s mind. Which leads you to the old formulation that you just need to build distinctiveness, you have the same product but you can have a very different brand.

“But how much do shoppers want a multi brand online retailer to have a highly distinct personality? I probably just want them to have the thing I need and then ship it to me in a timely fashion for a competitive price. These spots ultimately tell a range story. There’s nothing wrong with that but do I really believe they have range to compete with Amazon’s A to Z?

“What car you drive is a highly emotional choice, I personally refuse to drive a Porsche as it would make me look like a dickhead, and of course that is the only reason. The choice as to which online marketplace I should order my MacBook Pro from is a highly rational one. Ultimately Kogan needs a rational story to tell that has more meat on the bone than ‘we have lots of stuff you wouldn’t expect.’ Cheaper prices, faster, more accurate delivery, better customer service, which is it going to be?”

Rating: 6/10

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

Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.