Foodstuffs and Colenso BBDO veered away from traditional supermarket advertising when they started promoting New World staff as products and parodying infomercials in last year's Fresh Every Day campaign. And while it's still looking for laffs in the latest instalment, it's dialled up the surreality with talking yams and houses filled with bread.
The new ads will launch on Sunday and highlight the Daily Baker and the Fruit and Vegetable Pro, which are played by staff members from Hokitika and Kumeu respectively.
Group brand director Jules Lloyd says the company has been very happy with the response to the first round of commercials, both in terms of customer and staff feedback and increased sales (while the ads no doubt helped in that regard, there's no doubt Foodstuffs has also benefitted from the pressure its main competitor Progressive has been put under in recent months and the success of the Little Shop promotion is an added bonus).
"It would be fair to say it's been a really positive year," she says, rather coyly.
Lloyd says the first set of commercials were a creative way of drawing attention to New World's strengths: its fresh departments and the quality and expertise of its staff. But she says it was important to extend and evolve the campaign rather than simply doing the same thing again, so it's become even more "playful and humorous" and added in more of a storytelling element. And because it's so unusual for grocery behemoths to take such a kooky approach, she says it moves the brand and the category along (interestingly, Progressive has gone the other way, farewelling its family of brand mascots and deciding to focus largely on price, animations and ex-MasterChef contestants in its TV ads).
“These new fresh stories and characters have allowed us to introduce even more comedy and fun into our series of ads," says Lloyd. "We see our real estate agent Jacqui, willing to do anything with bread to sell a house and experience Lance’s panic once realising he needs to discover the world of produce to impress a work colleague on a date. Our people are core to New World’s success and, once again, real staff, are central to these ads."
While she says Pak 'N Save has also profited from its use of humour, that hasn't influenced fellow Foodstuffs brand New World.
"It's not for any other reason than to tap into the psyche of New Zealanders. We don't take ourselves too seriously and everybody enjoys a laugh. Brands can take themselves too seriously at times and overly earnest advertising doesn't get people's attention."
She says the best thing about this campaign was the fact that client, agency (Colenso BBDO) and director (Nick Ball from Finch) were all on the same page and she says you need a high level of trust and collaboration if you want to do something as different as this.
“I get asked how we get work like this through for a supermarket," says Steve Cochran, executive creative director at Colenso. "The answer isn’t simply by having a client that buys it. It’s by having a client who demands and encourages it. That means we’re always looking forward to the next brief … and that’s a great space to be in."
As for Little Shop, which took a step up this year with more partners and extra products, Lloyd says it's gone gangbusters and Steve Bayliss, group general manager of marketing, says the results are well ahead of last year. The extras have all but sold out and he says he's enjoyed the extra activity created by suppliers such as Sealord, Anchor and Mobil.