Y&R flicks the switch on first campaign for Electricity Authority, reinvigorates ‘What’s my number’

Y&R NZ has picked up where FCB left off by launching its first campaign for What’sMyNumber.org.nz since winning the Electricity Authority account after a competitive tender earlier this year.

The new campaign, unveiled over the weekend, features a series of of people in torturous work-based scenarios and aims to remind Kiwis of what they endure in order to earn their salaries.  

“When you think about what we go through just to earn our shiny little pennies, it makes a lot of sense to hang onto them,” says Wellington-based creative director Scott Henderson. “The more value you place on the savings, the more reason you’ve got to take a couple of minutes and check your power deal.”

In addition to launching the new campaign via TV, outdoor, digital and ambient creative executions, the Electricity Authority has also refreshed its website by adding some new functionality to improve the user experience. And, in an effort to showcase the new design, Y&R NZ has also created a 15-second YouTube spot that is themed to match the imagery being used on the updated site.    


Todd Collings, the programme and procurement manager of the Electricity Authority, says that he believes Y&R’s first campaign “will bring some fresh new energy to ‘Whats My Number’.”

The ‘Whats My Number’ campaign was initially launched by the  previous account holder FCB in 2011, and resulted in a slew of awards for the agency. But the applause for the campaign was not unanimous. After the campaign ran its course, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment published a report that found that ‘What’s My Number’ had not not led to lower retail prices overall and didn’t increase competition. Some Labour Party-affiliated commentators also felt that the success of the campaign, which  had saved 70,000 kiwis $16 million and led to 350,000 website visits, did not justify the $15 million price tag attached to it.

When questioned on the efficacy of ‘What’s my number’, FCB’s managing director Brian van den Hurk threw his weight behind the campaign by quoting a contradictory report from Statistics New Zealand.

“Statistics NZ said the cost of rent, rates, insurance and food had risen in the three months, but the market was caught out by a fall in other household bills that had consistently risen in the past decade. Electricity prices dropped 0.3 per cent in the September quarter [2011], only the third time in the past 40 quarters that retail prices fell,” he said.

Despite FCB’s continued support of the campaign, the agency decided not to take part in the pitch when the account came up for review earlier this year. This decision, as it turns out, proved quite serendipitous, because FCB recently picked up the Mercury Energy account, a win which would not have been possible if the agency still had the Electricity Authority on the books (it’s thought that agencies cannot provide services to an energy company while working with the Electricity Authority).

Y&R NZ’s decision to reinvigorate the campaign will no doubt also be attributable to the fact that the agency sees it as an effective idea with the potential to reach more people. And by retaining the crux of FCB’s concept, Y&R NZ also removes the need to reintroduce a fresh concept to Kiwi consumers, who are already familiar with the ‘What’s My Number’ campaign.


Agency: Y&R NZ
CCO: Josh Moore
Creative Director / Writer: Scott Henderson
Art Director: Lisa Dupre
Ideas Director: Jason Wells
Head Producer: Christina Hazard
Head of Motion Graphics: Michael Frogley
Executive Digital Producer: Bruce Murray
Senior Account Manager: Charlie Lee
Senior Media Planner: Kate Thomson

Production Company: Robber’s Dog
Director: Luke Shanahan
Managing Director: George Mackenzie
Executive Producer: Mark Foster
Editor: Tim Mauger 
Post production: Blockhead
Sound design: Franklin Rd – Shane Taupiri

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