Last night, the Fair Go team headed to the City Works Depot in Auckland to host the 2015 edition of the Fair Go Ad Awards in the space occupied by the Food Truck.
During the 2014 outing of the annual awards event, several technical glitches interfered with the fluidity of the show. However, this wasn't the case last night. Presenters Pippa Wetzell and Gordon Harcourt again took on the challenge of delivering the show away from the studio in front of a live audience, but proceedings were much smoother this time around.
Every year, the Fair Go Awards are a perennial favourite among viewers and last night was no different, with Throng data showing that 585,990 viewers across all ages tuned in to watch the action unfold (188,000 of these viewers fell in the 25-54 demographic). This number was up on both the 2014 and 2013 editions, which pulled in audiences of 567,600 and 569,700, respectively. The lift in audience numbers does not, however, match the 2012 haul of 749,600 viewers.
As is always the case, viewers were primarily interested in seeing which ads provoked the most ire in viewers and which were viewed as a (somewhat) welcome interruption to programming.
Worst ad finalists:
'Indepen-dance' for Kiwibank by Assignment Group.
'Get lost' for Hyundai by Shine.
'Funeral cover' for Cigna by Y&R.
'Assumptions' by Youi Insurance.
Last year, the worst ad went to Cigna Insurance for a funeral cover ad—and while the company was again among the contenders, it did not walk away wooden spoon this time around. This misfortune fell on Hyundai for its 'Get Lost' ad, which Harcourt said Kiwis simply found too shouty.
This sentiment does seem to ring true in the comments section on the Fair Go page, with various Kiwis saying they leapt for the mute button when the ad appeared on TV.
That said, not all the commentary was negative. Some fans of the ad also weighed in saying that it was a good expression of Kiwiness.
While no brand aims to win the title for worst ad of the year, the reality is that the 'get lost' spot got noticed and sparked debate—and this is something that's increasingly difficult to do in a fragmented media environment flooded with commercial messaging. If anything, this again reiterates that the worst ads aren't necessarily those that annoy viewers the most, but rather those which aren't noticed at all.
Although there's no obligation on brands to accept the award, Hyundai's Andy Sinclair and Shine's James Hall were good sports agreed to an interview with Fair Go and discussed the thinking the ad. They admitted that the ad was a bit too shouty and said they toned it down in later edits. But they also pointed out that the ad was based on a strong insight and that the young girl in the spot delivered a great performance.
"We think she's fantastic talent who will grace our screens for some time to come," Hall said.
- See the full interview here.
The Hyundai ad wasn't the only divisive spot to feature among the finalists on the night. Kiwibank's 'Indepen-dance' ad found itself in the unusual position of being a finalist in both the best and worst ad categories (the Fair Go team also did a parody of this spot).
Best ad finalists:
'Piggy Sue' for Vodafone by FCB
'Indepen-dance' for Kiwibank by Assignment Group.
'Pop's Gift' for Lotto Powerball by DDB
'Take a break, take a train' for Kiwirail by Celemenger BBDO
As it turned out, the voting public went for epic storytelling rather than dance moves, operatic scores or adorable piglets, choosing Lotto Powerball's 'Imagine' TVC as the best ad of the year.
To announce the victory to the the agency and the brand, Fair Go orchestrated a fake meeting of all the relevant executives, and surprised them with cake.
In speaking about the campaign, DDB chief creative officer Damon Stapleton told Fair Go that he believed the ad resonated with viewers because rather than focusing on material items that could potentially be bought with a lump sum of winnings, the ad instead told an authentic story that Kiwis could relate to.
“It’s not about Ferrari’s, it’s more about experiences. It’s about what you would really do if you won," Stapleton said. “If you’re going to tell a story that quickly, in a number of seconds, people have to believe it," "And I think that’s really where we really got it right because it was authentic, it was real, and making a good ad is all about telling an authentic story.”
- See the full interview with Stapleton here.
These sentiments were mirrored by DDB chief executive Justin Mowday, who said in a release: “It’s amazing to see the New Zealand public vote the Lotto Powerball film as the best ad in the country for 2015. We made a big call to focus on what we thought people really wanted to win – freedom, choice and time with family, rather than super-yachts and castles – and it’s worked really well both for capturing the hearts of the nation, and for sales. We’ve now also established a long-term brand platform with the ‘Imagine’ thought, which has literally endless creative possibilities for us to explore. A massive congratulations to Lotto NZ for backing this idea and capturing the nation’s imagination.”
In related news, Glen Eden Intermediate was also recently crowned the winner of the annual Fair Go Kids Ad Awards.