2degrees and TBWA\NZ ask people to switch off their phones (for a bit)

2degrees and TBWANZ are asking you to take a rest from your phone and enjoy more time in Real Mode through an app that rewards you for taking a break from your phone.  

Phones are amazing tools, but their overuse is becoming a problem. Research shows how much our screen use has soared over Covid. If we spend too much time checking, scrolling and liking instead of enjoying each other’s company in the real world, then it’s only fair telcos step up and look to address this.

To help encourage more balanced phone use, 2degrees and TBWANZ have launched an initiative that rewards New Zealanders for putting their phones down for a bit and spending more time with each other, for realsies. 

The initiative is supported by Real Mode, a simple web-based app which is available to New Zealanders on any network. The app is timer-based with the more time spent in Real Mode over the coming months, the greater the potential rewards. Rewards include real-world experiences such as restaurant vouchers and cinema tickets (Covid-dependent). This is designed to build positive daily habits, encouraging people to reconsider their phone behaviours and avoid endless scrolling. 

A 60-second TVC launches Real Mode and highlights the special, emotive moments we are all occasionally guilty of missing when glued to our phones. The campaign also includes digital, press ads, social, influencer and PR.

TBWANZ Group Chief Creative Officer Shane Bradnick says: “Phones are fantastic tools for connection, but they can also be a distraction that gets in the way of living – a fact that people are increasingly coming to recognise.

“Real Mode is an important initiative for a telco to take in the wake of Covid lockdowns, home-schooling, WFH and the endless screen time this has led to. As the telco that Fights For Fair, 2degrees has stepped up to do something about this in a fun and rewarding way.” 

Real Mode will be a long-term initiative for 2degrees with the first phase of rewards unlocked over the coming months.  

Ben Wheeler, General Manager of Marketing at 2degrees, says: “Real Mode brings to life our purpose, Fighting for Fair to make New Zealand a better place to live. It recognises how the disruptions of the last two years have shaken up how we use our phones. In some ways they have been life savers and kept us connected when we needed it most, but an unintended consequence has been screen overuse. Our research showed us 46 per cent of New Zealanders over 18 say they want better balance and to manage their use of technology, with this rising to nearly two-thirds (65 per cent) for those aged 18-39. 

“We want to start a conversation about how we use our phones. We want people to think about their phone habits and try to put their phone down when they should be in the moment. Phones should help us live our best lives, not detract from enjoying real life. 

“Real Mode is available for all New Zealanders, not just our customers and we invite everyone to use it.”


Agency: TBWANZ
Media Agency: OMD
Digital Agency: Digital Arts Network
PR: Acumen
Production Company: Collider
Director: Thunder Lips
Music: Painted Apple Moth
Sound: Factory
General Manager Marketing: Ben Wheeler
Head of Brand: Dave Pearce
Brand Manager: Haley Ashwell

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