TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards 2019: Skinny uses famous names to win Best Marketing Communications Strategy

To secure its future, Skinny brought in the help of some famous names to help out.

The Challenge

In 2018, things were make or break for Skinny. Customer numbers were stagnating and the master brand Spark was wondering if it was worth continuing to invest in the brand.

In order to survive, Skinny needed to attract a wider, more profitable customer. Adding to the challenge was the three largest telcos Skinny is up against with a minimal budget to compete.

The Response

After getting together with all agencies, Skinny developed a strategy to:

  • Completely rework its brand platform
  • Announce a new brand purpose that the team would all be accountable for
  • Leverage its low-cost roots to create brand fame with a cheeky Skinny twist On the point of its low-cost roots, Skinny couldn’t afford expensive talent to help achieve this, so it created a celebrity-endorced campaign using everyday Kiwis with big Hollywood names.

However, the names like Clint Eastwood or Ben Affleck aren’t enough on their own to give the talent influence so Skinny set out to name the non-celebrities famous in their own right.

To do that, the Kiwi celebrities were plastered around the country in non- traditional above the line channels, from Bravo TV appearances through to Women’s Day ‘pap shots’.

It also manufactured media coverage that real celebrities achieve using unprecedented editorial placements across multiple media partners. Then, it created a massive ‘Orange Carpet’ event, to amplify their new celebrity status. Alongside bringing in the famously- named Kiwis, Skinny also had to engage the entire organisation and all stakeholders in the form of buy-in.

This saw the Spark brand team step down the Spark brand and give Skinny the stage.

Next, the legal team was brought in to make sure all steps were taken to avoid a potential letter from an actual Hollywood celebrity. Finally, the Skinny team was engaged to make sure everything they do goes through the lens of ‘we’ll do anything to keep prices low and customers happy’.

The Results

The power of the idea was in its authenticity. These were real Kiwis with actual celebrity names who were genuine Skinny customers. After just six months, consideration was at an all-time high and all the customer base was the largest it’s ever been.

A risky move for the brand, it didn’t want to muddy its media spend so removed all other campaigns (including hard converting retail) from above-the-line to give the brand campaign clear air.

That move delivered, with instant acquisition increase within the first month – unheard of for a pure brand campaign.

The campaign has been so successful, that Skinny’s future has now been firmly cemented with Spark CEO Simon Moutter saying: “The combination of an outstanding campaign and great value offers has taken Skinny to another level over the past year. The commercial outcomes have been exceptional and Skinny has cemented its future within Spark Group’s portfolio of brands.”

Category
Best In-house Marketing
Company
Engineering New Zealand
Marketing Initiative
Wonder Project
Marketing Partners
Dick&Jane, Fortyfive Website – Springload
Judges’ Comments
“The judges were unanimous that this is a wonderful and commendable entry. From insight development, partner engagement, strategic planning and ultimately in creative output the team have demonstrated an insightful, thorough and committed approach to creating the best work possible with the resources available.”
Finalists
Electric Kiwi, J H Whittaker & Sons, Mercury, Noel Leeming, Trade Me

This piece was originally published in the 2019 Awards Issue of NZ Marketing magazine. To get a print copy, subscribe here.

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