Stolen from your mum’s purse? Relieved yourself in a swimming pool? Told someone that, no, they don't look fat in that? Boundary Road and Barnes, Catmur & Friends are looking questioningly at you. And a new 'scientific' online survey seeks to gauge Kiwi honesty, with a campaign asking cider-drinkers or free-stuff-sifters to answer 15 questions in The Great Kiwi Honesty Test and win a season’s* worth of the new bevvie, Honesty Box Cider.
The cider and its campaign are all about carrying on a tradition of honesty in New Zealand, because, according to the website, “ever since the days you could leave your keys in your horse while you nipped into the dairy, Kiwis have been an honest bunch”—maybe. It does ask you if you lied in the survey after you completed it, so there’s many opportunities to fess up even if you couldn’t handle the deep, searching honesty it required.
The agency’s creative managing partner Paul Catmur took a trip around rural New Zealand and was perhaps cynically eyeing up the roadside honesty boxes stuck outside orchards, because that’s when he had the idea for the campaign.
"You look at the honesty boxes and you wonder who puts in the right stuff and who doesn’t,” he says.
Catmur says the feedback has been mixed (“Some people were maybe a bit uncomfortable being asked whether they had ever had gay thoughts about a colleague”) but, like the success Boundary Road Brewery has found recently from its interactive—both in medium and in customer interaction—campaigns, you can’t argue with the 7,500 online entries since the launch last week. That’s a lot of honesty data that can be spun into extended campaign gold down the track.
“We’re going to publish the results, in the way that Durex do a sex survey every year that found out people in Tauranga and Invercargill are more into bondage. Who knew? Maybe we’ll find out people in Wellington are more honest than those in Auckland, which wouldn’t surprise anyone really. It’s always interesting to see how people answer and what grouping you get – the way that people from different regions answer. And also, have people lied for sexual gain? I suspect that would be 100 percent, male and female, nationwide.”
The media placement of the ads for the beverage has also been deliberately provocative, getting them placed opposite editorial that “referred to similar matters”. One placement involved an ad running opposite a lingerie trends page in Fashion Quarterly, asking “Your friend asks you if she looks fat. Do you tell her?”
*three boxes a week for four months.