Baa-baas, Baaarcelona and baaar snacks: AA’s talking sheep discuss life and insurance

We already had Life Direct’s sloth and Speight’s ginger bear, and now the AA has introduced a pair of yellow sheep—via a life insurance spot by Rainger & Rolfe—to the growing catalgoue of animals in Kiwi advertising. 

Alina Godfrey, senior account director at Rainger & Rolfe describes the spot as a much-needed departure from the the dreary approach that usually typifies life insurance advertising.

[It’s] an original idea that gives the AA Life brand personality, differentiation and successfully asks for the order – this is a category that needs creativity,” she says. 

The quirky spot features a ram and its son—both donning yellow wool—chatting to each other about their favourite things, before they shift to the more serious matter of life insurance. 

“In an environment where consumers clearly believe in life insurance but are frustrated with a lack of differentiation, we needed a platform to stand out and deliver our message simply and in a more engaging way,” says Godfrey.

Given that life insurance adverts typically tend to be quite dry, tending closer to the infomercial line, it comes as something of a surprise that the client gave the spot the go-ahead. 

Suzanne Wolton, general manager of AA Life, says the insurer wanted “a truly Kiwi approach” for the new spot.  

“Our iconic merino sheep’s coat is the perfect analogy for the great coverage our Live Cover product offers New Zealanders,” she says. “The AA continues to be one of NZ’s most trusted, enduring brands. In a competitive category we wanted to stand out with a serious offer, told with warmth, likeability and good humour.”

The campaign has been launched via 60-second, 30-second and 15-second TV spots, but Wolton says that there’ll also be a strong digital follow-up.

“It’s actually a pretty comprehensive, integrated campaign,” she says. “In the short term we plan to drive volume, awareness and enquiries from television – but once prospects are in the system, we have a number of ways to drive conversion. Watch this space, ‘Lifecover’ is just the start.”

On the other side of the insurance divide, Sovereign NZ has also been inspired by the lighter side of life to release a spot via Chemistry Interaction* that features random Kiwis sharing their thoughts (this is in line with the new ‘Life. Take charge‘ positioning adopted last year). 


AA Life: Suzanne Wolton, Miranda Cook
Rainger & Rolfe: Jen Rolfe, Alina Godfrey, Hugh Walsh
Film, animation: Film Construction, Flux Studios

*Correction: this article previously stated incorrectly that Sovereign’s campaign was developed by JWT.

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