Federation and Waxeye’s transformer house is July’s Ad Impact Award winner

Linea Weatherboard’s transformer ad, created by Federation and Waxeye takes out the Colmar Brunton Ad Impact Award for July with its hero ad which makes the product look pretty tough with a transforming house.

On a stormy night while everyone sleeps, the weatherboard house becomes a towering transformer, marching unscathed through lightning strikes, muddy ground and relentless coastal conditions of New Zealand. The family inside is well protected and has no idea – apart from the little girl who is having a grand old time looking out the window as it all happens.

“New Zealanders are certainly sitting up and paying attention to this ad. Even though it features a transforming house it is played out really well to involve the Linea Weatherboard and show consumers how using this product can protect your home,” says Harriet Dixon, account director at Colmar Brunton. “With our ever changing weather this message certainly resonates with Kiwis, being highly relevant with our home being our biggest investment and housing our loved ones safely so important. It is a particularly newsworthy and credible message that creates a high impact and strong emotional affinity towards the brand. Building a strong desire for consumers to want to use this product for their own home.”

Federation created the script and storyboard. It says on its website that James Hardie Linea Weatherboard was traditionally marketed to architects, developers and group builders – business-to-business only. “We saw the opportunity to go direct to the consumer because research showed us that even if their builder or architect offers a recommendation, it’s often the homeowner who makes the final decision.”  

Federation’s strategy was to communicate the selling points of the weatherboards in an entertaining and visually compelling way, and make it both rational and emotional.  

Waxeye used live action photography mixed with digital animation. It was the first time with transformers for Waxeye, and Waxeye executive producer Peter Mayo says the combination of a live action (the real-world house and the family) with a computer creation (the robot) is always challenging, “but it was a very enjoyable one”.

Waxeye’s website says it designed and built a “strong, yet caring robot ‘Dave’”, who “needed to hero the Linea product whilst be sensitive to the house which he transformed from.”  

James Hardie is an internationally-operating Australian building products company. In addition to its facilities in New Zealand, it also manufactures in the United States, Australia, Chile, and the Philippines. It has an annual revenue of $A1.5 billion and more than 2,500 employees.

Other strong contenders for the Ad Impact award were Just Juice’s Flatville by Colenso BBDO and Assembly, Kleenex Cottonelle by Ogilvy, and Sour Patch Lollies directed by Taika Waititi.

“Just Juice’s new cartoon ad was particularly enjoyable and created a strong emotional connection with the brand.Kleenex Cottonelle delivered some extreme new news to consumers in a compelling way, driving strong motivation to try their Cleansing Cloths. And Sour Patch lollies created an affinity towards their brand with their paintball lolly TV ad, a well enjoyed ad using the sour then sweet treat to play mean,” says Dixon.

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