Bait and twitch: Ogilvy injects some local charm back into the Holden brand

  • Advertising
  • February 11, 2013
  • Ben Fahy
Bait and twitch: Ogilvy injects some local charm back into the Holden brand

It's been a while between brand ads for Holden, with the car company favouring Clarke Gayford, a stark warehouse and a bit of glitchy electronica to spruik its various models recently. But, with the help of Ogilvy and Robber’s Dog, it's taken a slightly more creative, emotional and story-based approach with a nice new spot featuring a twitchy main protagonist who, like the self-harming, car-loving cat in the Toyota Corolla campaign, finds unexpected peace in his vehicle.  

"It felt right to inject some warmth and local charm back into the brand," says executive creative director, Angus Hennah. "The spot espouses the therapeutic benefits of getting away from it all in a real driver’s car.”  

Executive director Paul Manning says this piece was driven by Hennah, who started as ECD in July last year, and he worked closely with Robber’s Dog director Luke Shanahan to get it right. And, while Manning says locally produced brand ads for car companies have been few and far between during the last few rather difficult years for the automotive industry, things are improving (20 percent increase in new car sales over 2011) and, as evidenced by the success of the likes of Hyundai and VW, he says both Ogilvy and the client recognised how important it was to "ground the brand in here in New Zealand and give it real meaning to New Zealanders". 

Shanahan says directing Twitch was an absolute pleasure and "it was one of those projects where all involved had total faith in the idea". 

"That unity meant I got to make executional decisions based on good storytelling alone," he says. "I think that unity shows in the final spot."

This new campaign comes amid rumours that Holden was set to part company with Ogilvy in New Zealand, but Manning says he has no idea where that rumour came from and he read about it at the same time as everyone else did. It was even more perplexing because Manning says Holden "had a year of great growth" in 2012, with "the brand and sales performing very well". 

Holden sold the second most new cars behind Toyota in 2012, with 7,922 units shifted, or ten percent market share (Toyota has 20 percent of the new car market). And its Captiva was the third most popular model, selling 2,506 units. 


Agency – Ogilvy & Mather New Zealand

Client – Holden

Executive Creative Director – Angus Hennah

Copywriter – Matt Simpkins

Art Director – Darran Wong Kam

Agency Producer – Amanda Kabel

Group Account Director – Sandra Daniel

General Marketing Manager – Marnie Samphier

Production Company – Robber’s Dog

Director – Luke Shanahan

Producer – Mark Foster

Editor – Tim Mauger

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Is consolidation the way of the future?

  • Advertising
  • January 18, 2019
  • Caitlin Salter
Is consolidation the way of the future?

The tail end of 2018 brought with it some major announcements between media companies and the booming out-of-home market. Nearly two months since NZME and Go Media enacted their partnership and MediaWorks and QMS Media announced their proposed merger, we have a chat with media agencies to see whether the latest developments are a sign of things to come.

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