Aimed at the trade, appealing to the masses: PlaceMakers and JWT take Ad Impact accolade—UPDATED

Youtube VideoThey say there’s no truth in advertising. But PlaceMakers and JWT flouted that rule with their fly on the wall campaign focusing on a team of tradesmen building a house in Huntly—and the role of PlaceMakers’ expertise to ensure it all happens smoothly. And while the campaign was aimed at the trade, consumers have given it the big tick as well because ‘The Job’ has taken out Colmar Brunton’s Ad Impact Award for March.

Dreamed up by JWT and shot by Exposure’s Kevin Denholm over 10-11 days, the ad is part of a series that relaunched the brand earlier this year and pushed its slogan, ‘Together, we’re building New Zealand.’

In almost Attenborough-esque fashion, he says the goal was to capture the builders and tradesmen in their natural habitat, “which is when JWT’s managing director Simon Lendrum says they’re at their best. And there’s certainly plenty of ‘talent’ on display in the ads, even though there were no scripts or actors involved.

As a result, the campaign had a good whack of authenticity and the cheeky on-site banter and self-deprecating humour has resonated well with the target audience—and, perhaps because of its truthfulness and endearing Kiwi approach, it has also appealed to the masses.

At the time of its launch, JWT’s managing director Simon Lendrum hoped it would have enough appeal to run for 18 months. And with this victory, it’s looking good.

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“There’s nothing we love more than a good dose of Kiwi humour and banter,”  says Harriet Dixon, senior account manager at Colmar Brunton. “…It’s an authentic and entertaining take on a typical day at a building site. Despite taking the mickey, these guys take quality seriously, and are intent on doing a great job. They earn our interest through the humour, and our respect through their know-how. It’s just as you might imagine it would be in real life, which makes this campaign particularly credible, and strongly persuasive.”

UPDATE: While it’s still early days for the campaign, PlaceMaker’s chief executive John Beveridge says it has been very well-received so far.

He says the trade is a “slow burn”, but it’s certainly been noticed by the target audience (helped by the fact it launched with its sponsorship of the Super 15). And “the halo effect” means it has also noticeably boosted the retail side of its business at a time when it’s not a particularly buoyant industry (he puts this down to the fact that the DIYers like heading to the PlaceMakers drive through over the big box retailers because it makes them feel more like genuine tradies).

“I’ve been chief executive for three years and I’ve never had so many people get in touch and tell me they really love what we’re doing,” he says. “And I think we’re only up to number three, so we’ve got four, five and six to come and I’m hoping it’s going to build rather than peak.”

He says it’s also been really good for the staff and while the staff engagement survey is soon-to-be completed, anecdotally, they’re loving the new campaign.

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