Beast wars: BP’s lost rabbit beats Vodafone’s lost pig in Colmar Brunton Ad Impact award

The idea of multiple discovery is that “scientific discoveries and inventions are made independently and more or less simultaneously by multiple scientists and inventors.” It happened with the theory of evolution, it happened with the discovery of oxygen and it’s happened a lot in advertising, something James Hurman discussed in a story in Idealog a few years back. And, following on from the Vodafone spot that chronicled the struggles of a courier driver trying to locate the owner of a piglet named Piggy-Sue, BP and Ogilvy & Mather also pulled at the heartstrings with a 90-second spot that showed a motorcyclist going to extreme measures to reunite a bunny with its young owner. So won the battle of the lost creatures? According to Colmar Brunton’s Ad Impact research for May, it was BP that won out over Vodafone, despite being beaten to the punch by the telco.

This was the first major brand ad that BP had launched in the local market since the ‘Be Road Happy‘ campaign, which was released in 2011 shortly after the unveiling of the Z Energy brand. Shot by Rob Sarkies from Waitemata Films, the spot tied BP’s revamped positioning ‘Go your way’ to the local market with a fairly far-fetched story that gives a nod to the beauty of the nation’s landscape while simultaneously showcasing the capabilities and reach of the petrol company’s network (although letting an employee instantly put an image on its network of digital screens shows some major creative license). 

Colmar Brunton’s account manager Harriet Dixon says cute animals and kids will always be a strong emotional draw for viewers. And that combo worked really well for BP, which isn’t exactly at the top of the heap when it comes to most-loved brands after the spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the general scepticism of oil companies. 

“We know that an emotional connection is powerful for any advertisement, and this particular creative scored significantly higher than our norms for brand love. Most importantly for a highly impactful ad, the story is really well connected to the BP brand, by showing the man visiting multiple BP stations throughout his journey, with the BP staff aiding his quest and helping the hero return the rabbit to the owner. The ad was very enjoyable and more than half of viewers said they would talk about this ad with their friends. The story was clearly engaging and got consumers to care about the characters involved, resulting in making the BP brand more appealing.” 

Vodafone and FCB’s Piggy Sue ad came a close second and consumer director Matt Williams said at the launch of its Digi-Parenting campaign last week that the launch of the new brand ad had been very successful and had already brought some impressive results.

Vodafone New Zealand’s head of brand and insights Bart De Beucker said this ad marked the next stage in the evolution of the brand and that both the telco and its previous mascot James Rolleston felt it was time for a change.

Rolleston’s last ad released around Christmas won the Colmar Brunton Ad Impact ad of the year award and FCB’s James Mok says it was a fitting end to the partnership. 

“He delivered some great value for the brand, but brands and campaigns evolve,” says Mok. “It’s actually risky to just keep something going, because it stops offering a surprise for the consumer in a highly competitive category.”     

Fly Buys was third with its ‘If you do stuff, get free stuff’ TVC via Clemenger BBDO, which uses a catchy tune to explain the various rewards available with the loyalty programme.


Campaign: BP ‘My BP Story’ – Peter and the Rabbit

Client: BP
Product: Brand
National Marketing Manager: Leigh Taylor
Senior Marketing Specialist: Simon Grigor

Agency: Ogilvy & Mather New Zealand
Creative Directors: Richard Loseby, Martin Hermans
Senior Writer: Richard Loseby
Art Directors: Martin Hermans, Billy McQueen
Creative team: Richard Loseby, Karl Fleet, Martin Hermans, Billy McQueen
Planning Director: Debby Giness
Group Account Director: Maggie Antone
Account Director: Eduardo Hernandez
Senior Account Manager: Neil Walker
Head of TV: Amanda Kabel

Film Production Company: Waitemata
Director: Rob Sarkies
Producer: Julie Elstone
DOP: Andrew Commis
Editor: Tim Mauger
BP VFX Supervisor: Martin Spencer
Colour Grader: Dave McLaren
VFX Creature Post: Lakshman Anandanayagam
Animal Wrangler: Animals on Q – Jazmin Vette
Music Composition: Liquid Studios – Peter Van Der Fluit 

About Author

One of the talented StopPress Team of Content Producers made this post happen.

Comments are closed.