It’s what inside that counts: Y&R and Curious raise the bar with HRV’s new push—UPDATED

New Zealanders are well accustomed to seeing ads extolling the virtues of our country—and our character. And while the first piece of work for HRV by Y&R certainly shows its fair share of majestic landscapes and quintessentially Kiwi scenarios, there’s a darker, more honest side to the new campaign that references the fact the quality of our housing stock leaves a lot to be desired and aims “to reinvent the New Zealand home invironment”. 

As the website says: “Today most Kiwi homes are below World Health Organisation standards. On average, they’re 2-4°C colder than the recommended temperature. Many are also damp, mouldy and poorly ventilated. And these are all starting points for an unhealthy inside environment, and a great home for harmful allergens—but not for kids. It’s time we brought our beautiful environment inside.”

In the past, HRV relied on the comedic appeal of Marc Ellis and a few high-profile sponsorships like the HRV Cup to push its barrow. And while some of the ads by The Brand Group were fairly basic (oversized cardboard mosquitoes being slammed in the window) and cringeworthy (here’s looking at you creepy Richard Hadlee), that approach obviously worked well, with over 110,000 homes installing an HRV system.

But the bar has certainly been raised a fair way with the impressive new ad shot by Curious Film. It still features Marc Ellis, albeit in voice only and with a much more serious tone, and it adds a bit of class by using a great song, Home by Edward Clarke and the Magnetic Zeros.

MEC, Y&R’s independent media arm, took care of the channel strategy, planning and buying.

UPDATE: This from an HRV release.

HRV chief executive Bruce Gordon says the new campaign is about more than simply pushing a brand message, it is gaining awareness for a wider issue which affects the whole country.

“The standard of our housing is something that HRV takes very seriously and has done for some time. This ad is about acknowledging the problem, one which sees us lag behind the rest of the world in our home health standards, and taking responsibility to do something about it,” he says.

The World’s Purest Invironments campaign delivers the message in a uniquely Kiwi way, reminding us that the New Zealand we have grown up to love, with its untouched landscapes and clean, fresh air, should be the one we experience where it is most important – in our homes.

Y&R Executive Creative Director Josh Moore explains the campaigns focus on fronting up with a frank and honest assessment which ensures the full weight of the New Zealand housing ventilation issue is not misunderstood.

“In meeting with HRV we could tell they were serious about the crisis facing the nation, and about their role in fixing it,” says Moore.

“The dire facts that came through as part of the brief – that most New Zealand homes fall well below global standards for heating, ventilation and air purity – we have incorporated as central themes throughout our ad.”

The campaign is a departure from HRV commercials of the past which have played off the character of the irreverent Kiwi bloke Marc Ellis. While the new advert receives a voice over treatment by Ellis, it is a more serious Marc and a more sombre and at times inspiring message he delivers.

“Having Marc working with us on the campaign was a perfect fit. Just as HRV continues to evolve from a cheeky Kiwi start up to the market leader in providing total healthy home solutions, so too has Marc grown into a father, an entrepreneur and a genuine New Zealand success story in his own right,” says Moore.

The campaign translates the brand idea across all visual touchpoints, starting with an elegantly streamlined evolution of the HRV logo which features cleaner lines, a removal of the directional arrows and a new tagline: “For the world’s purest invironments”.

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