DDB NZ ranked in Ad Age’s top four shops

DDB NZ has been awarded a place in the top four of Advertising Age’s 2009 International Agency of the Year. Argentina’s Santo took the top prize, with Almap BBDO in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sid Lee in Montreal and DDB NZ making up the foursome.

Here’s what the magazine said about the Kiwi outfit:

DDB’s New Zealand shop is a master at mobilising Kiwis to participate enthusiastically in ad efforts aimed at them, from shaving their heads to become cranial billboards to guessing when a giant strawberry will explode.

For Air New Zealand, people flocked to a casting call for volunteers willing to have their heads shaved and sport a henna tattoo for two weeks that read “The end of the domestic check-in queue is coming.” DDB figured that anyone standing in line tends to look at the back of people’s heads, creating the perfect cranial billboard for announcing the airline’s new check-in service with no waiting in line.

When Mars’ Starburst became more popular than DDB client Pascall Fruit Burst, the agency took a minimal budget and created an online event around a single billboard.

The billboard featured a giant strawberry that was slowly inflated over a month next to an enormous sharp pin. Visitors to the website where a camera monitored the strawberry growing closer to the pin in real time guessed when the explosion would occur. More than 11,000 people visited the site, 6,000 made guesses, and purchase intent for Fruit Burst tripled.

Another effort boosted sales by 60 percent for Cadbury Moro, which had supposedly fallen to be only New Zealand’s fourth-favorite chocolate bar. The underdog-boosting campaign celebrated Fourthness, or everything that is fourth. People entered their own suggestions, with pictures and videos, for made-up categories like fourth-hottest person, at New Zealand’s fourth-best website, moro.co.nz. And Moro would turn up, for instance, at a charity fun run and give a very used car to the runner who came in fourth.

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