Contact and Genesis have been trying their best to up the love with, respectively, recent campaigns involving cute kids trying to explain family life and My Kitchen Rules sponsorships. And now Nova Energy has added to the energy melee with the launch of a new rhyming nationwide brand campaign via Clemenger BBDO and Taika Waititi.
Over the past three years, Wellington-based Nova Energy has gone from a group of three businesses to a unified national energy company with more than 100,000 customers. And it has ambitious goals to continue that growth, both in terms of customers and revenues, and now that it is providing energy into most regions of New Zealand, chief executive Babu Bahirathan says it was important to get its story out there (it has also updated its website).
So is embracing rhyming a smart play to get attention? Or a bit of a cringeworthy cop-out? In an article by Steve Martin, co-author of Yes! 50 Secrets from the Science of Persuasion, he says "there are several reasons why putting your message to rhyme can be quite a persuasive and effective strategy".
One reason concerns the fact that lots of people do like ads that rhyme. And, even if they do not, the fact remains that rhyming ads tend to be more memorable. As a result they are also more likely to be talked about and repeated to others. Surprisingly, rhyming ads are not only more memorable, they are also perceived as more accurate.
... People find rhyming phrases easier to process mentally than non-rhyming ones. And because we all, to some extent, evaluate how accurate something is based on how easily we can process the incoming information, rhyming statements are typically judged as more accurate than non-rhyming ones.
Bahirathan said in a release that the campaign "supports its refreshingly different approach to providing great value energy".
"We’re a nationwide, New Zealand-owned company, and we treat our customers the way you’d expect of a genuine Kiwi organisation," Bahirathan says. "We keep things straightforward and easy to understand, and our team is based right here in New Zealand. So you can talk to a local person when you need us. These are some of the reasons we’ve won awards for our service - like the Roy Morgan customer satisfaction award for gas provider of the year 2012 and 2013 and just last week the Best Energy Retail Contact Centre at the 2014 CRM Contact Centre Awards."
And Clemenger BBDO's executive creative director Philip Andrew got into the spirit of the ad and sent this comment through: "Michael and Joanna from just over the road at Nova knocked us over with their request to advertise Nova. We were bowled over and the result is this TV spot which is working moreover."
Interestingly, the ad features a door-knocker, something the electricity sector industry has been taken to task over in the past. And, unlike real life, the homeowners seem happy to see him. Last year, following a survey that revealed New Zealanders found the practice annoying and intrusive, Genesis Energy and its subsidiary Energy Online committed to stop doing it.
At the time, Genesis Energy’s general manager marketing, Chris Watney, said the research showed 81 percent of Kiwis didn't like door-to-door salespeople coming to their home and two thirds of New Zealanders would like door-to-door sales to stop completely. It also showed that some New Zealanders were dealing with more than 36 sales people a year knocking on their door. So, in keeping with its 'In it for you' brand campaign, it pulled the pin on the practice, despite the fact that it was a steady stream of customer acquisition.
"The more we looked into it and took people’s opinions into consideration, the more we realised stopping it was the right thing to do. We care about what New Zealanders want and so the shift we’ve made reflects that," Watney said.