Colenso and Michael Hill to wave the Kiwi flag at Super Bowl

From relatively small-scale beginnings in Whangarei in 1979, Michael Hill has over the last 36 years grown into an international enterprise that today has 280 stores globally employing about 2400 staff in a variety of roles. And as a culmination of this ongoing growth, the company is set to feature alongside the world’s major brands in what is arguably advertising’s biggest showcase, the Super Bowl.

Michael Hill International’s chief marketing officer Joe Talcott says that the decision to invest in air time during the Super Bowl has been made to get the Michael Hill Brand in front of as many people as possible in the key markets of the United States and Canada. 

In launching the new campaign, Michael Hill will also be unveiling a new brand positioning called ‘We’re for Love’ via two TVCs that are set to screen during the Super Bowl.

The commercials will air during the game in the Chicago area (first ad below) and Canada (second ad below), but viewers in New Zealand and Australia will be treated to the first television viewing on Sunday night (local time) when the campaign airs on all major networks across the two countries.

The new positioning and the pair of spots were both conceptualised by Colenso BBDO, which won the jewellery company’s global creative account after an international pitch last year.   

After winning the account, Colenso’s chief executive Nick Garrett said that the agency would be required to strengthen the brand for a big push into the US and Canada—and marketing pushes don’t get much bigger than an ad at the Super Bowl. 

This year, Colenso BBDO will be the only Kiwi agency to have an ad featuring at the Super Bowl, and it’s also thought to be the first instance of a Kiwi agency ever having its creative work on display at the event (if there have been some others, feel free to pop them in the comments section).               

To produce the campaign, the creative team approached over 1,200 real people on the streets of New York, asking them what they would do for love. A total of 30 participants were selected to appear in the final creative, and their facial responses to love are segmented throughout the two spots.  

The decision not to use a collection of the flawless models that have come to typify stereotypical jewellery ads gives the spot a gritty authenticity that is more reflective of the people who actually live in major cities. 

“We are advocates of love, in all its forms,” says Talcott. “We believe everyone regardless of age, sex, and relationship status will find something that resonates with them.”

Thus far, Michael Hill has been successful at connecting consumers with jewellery that “resonates with them”. The company’s international financial results released in August 2014 showed the largest annual revenue for the Michael Hill Group in its history.  The Group recorded a 9.9 percent increase in total revenue of $483.9 million in the 12 months ended 30 June, up from $440.2 million in 2013.


Client: Michael Hill
Agency: Colenso BBDO
Creative Chairman – Nick Worthington       
Executive Creative Director – Steve Cochran             
Group Business Director – Angela Watson 
Project Director – Helen Prangley 
Head of Planning – Andy McLeish  
Client – Joe Talcott, Chief Marketing Officer
Client – David Keeling, Creative Director
Client – Mike Parsell, CEO
Client – Sir Michael Hill, Chairman of the Board of Directors
Media Agency – Spark NZ, OMD Australia, Media Experts North America        
Production Company – Webber Presents    
Production Company Producer –  Tom Claxton, Webber Presents
Production Company – Artifex Productions 
Production Company Executive Producer  – Lavanya Radhakrishnan, Artifex Productions
Director – Magdalena Wosinska, Webber Presents
Sound Design – Shane Taipari, Franklin Road

*This list is incomplete. Further credits will be added later in the day.

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