AA Smartfuel and Air New Zealand nab Ad Impact Awards

AA Smartfuel and Air New Zealand were the recipients of Colmar Brunton Ad Impact awards for March and April respectively. Air New Zealand doing so through its TVC promoting its retrospective exhibition at Te Papa in celebration of its 75-year history, and AA for its loyalty card offer illustrated through the eyes of a charming taxi driver.

April’s winner, ‘Edward’s story’ for AA Smartfuel was created by Rainger & Rolfe and shot by Exit Films and follows Edward, a Korean immigrant who moved to New Zealand a number of years ago, as he hoons through the streets of Auckland in his taxi and humorously narrates what it’s like being a taxi driver in the city, discussing the nature of his job and the people he meets.

“Portraying a character not dissimilar to 30 Seconds’ ‘Spray and walk away’ ambassador, this advert portrays a taxi driver who makes the most of his AA Smartfuel card and shows off the benefits along the way,” Colmar Brunton account director Harriet Dixon says. “The ad uses humour to deliver the message, and relies on the functional benefits of the card for Kiwi drivers.”

“Consumers found the ad relevant, appealing and suggested that it would make them more likely to use AA Smartfuel,” she says. “These factors culminated in a highly persuasive creative that made an impact on viewers. This ad also showed strong signs of shareability, with a significantly high proportion of viewers claiming it’s the sort of ad they would share with friends.”

Dixon says other top contenders were RaboDirect and Newstalk ZB’s response to the Paul Henry breakfast show.

March’s winner, Air New Zealand’s ad by True promotes its exhibition at Te Papa which showcases the last 75 years of the airline’s history, present and the future.

“The advert cleverly portrays the differences and similarities experienced by those travelling on an Air New Zealand flight 75 years ago to those travelling with them today,” Dixon says. “The story illustrates the different stages each passenger goes through from check-in to landing, contrasting the journey we experience today to the journey of travellers from Air New Zealand’s distant past.”

Air New Zealand managed to create an advert that was both persuasive and engaging, whilst also maintaining strong branding throughout, she says. “Many viewers identified the ad as being distinctive and interesting, as well as the sort of ad that they would talk about with friends. With the story being easy to understand and the high enjoyability factor, the creative was successful in building overall appeal of the brand.”

The airline announced earlier it would bring the exhibition to Auckland where it will open at Auckland War Memorial Museum in November this year.

The interactive display features crew uniforms, showing how the style has changed over the years, tracking the progression from the early military styles, the Dior-inspired 1960s look, the funky seventies outfits, and of course today’s Trelise Cooper designs (which are available for visitors to try on).

Visitors also get treated to traveller and crew stories delivered through mixed media displays that touch on various aspects of Air New Zealand’s history. From there, the exhibition honours the pioneers, providing a series of snapshots of the inventors, pioneers and daredevils that took the risks, which allowed the company to progress over the years.    

Air New Zealand has celebrated its anniversary by holding various competitions and promotions, including a mid-air game show, a chance for customers to win back their fare and a themed flight across the Tasman.

Runners up for March were Speights with ‘We will’ and Jim Beam’s ‘Devil’s cut bourbon’ spot featuring Mila Kunis.

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