Kiwis have spoken: NZ’s top 10 favourite ads

Insight agency TRA asked 1000 New Zealanders to share their favourite TVC, and the people have spoken: ASB’s ‘Ben and Amy’ took out the top spot, with Sky’s ‘Life needs more sport’ coming in second. 

The survey, conducted in March, looked at a nationally representative sample of 1000 Kiwis aged 18 to 60. Open-ended responses were manually coded to look at frequency of mentions. Participants were asked why they liked their favourite ad, and how it made them feel about what was being advertised.

The top three ads were united by a uniquely Kiwi sense of humour. After ASB and Sky came Pak’nSave’s reliably funny Stickman one-liners. Electric Kiwi’s ‘Song Ban’ and TrustPower’s ‘Lost and Found’ ranked fourth and fifth, with Mercury, KFC, Lotto, Nova and AA Insurance rounding out the top 10.

TRA Managing Director Andrew Lewis says: “New Zealand’s favourite ads all showcase the kind of engaging storytelling that connects with viewers. These creative ideas have emerged from listening to the audience, getting to know them and understanding their cultural context. The result is ads that are memorable and gets brands into customer conversation – like ASB’s Ben and Amy.”

Head of Strategy for TRA Carl Sarney adds: “New Zealand’s favourite ads all demonstrate TRA’s three principles of creative effectiveness in their execution. They’re remarkable, or surprisingly different from what other brands are doing, they’re rewarding, offering audiences entertainment value, and remembered – committed to their brand and ad idea across all touch points.”

1. ASB – Ben and Amy

Throughout 2020 ASB released several executions featuring Ben and Amy, and the characters continue to provide uplifting entertainment value. Nearly twice as many Kiwis mentioned this campaign as their favourite than the next most favourite by Sky. Tracking shows a very positive effect across all brand metrics.

2. Sky Sport – Life needs more sport

Identifying this as a favourite soon after its 2019 launch justified continued air time. Two Effie awards in 2020 indicate the campaign is also getting business results.

3. PAK’nSAVE – Stickman

The ultimate example of being consistently surprising in the NZ ad landscape, Stickman was recognised for sustained success and received the Grand Effie top prize for effectiveness in 2019.

4. Electric Kiwi – Song Ban

This has been a polarising campaign – some people love it, others can’t stand it. But as a challenger brand, polarising is a great strategy to get Electric Kiwi talked about. In 2020, the brand won Consumer’s People’s Choice.

5. TrustPower – Lost and Found

TrustPower really leaned into best-practice theory on the power of emotional storytelling, even using neuro-research techniques to optimise emotional response at the concept stage and final edit.

6. Mercury, Kiss Oil Goodbye

Leveraging the power of surprise with a clever reframing of electricity and a catchy song amusingly sung in Kiwi accents, social media metrics also indicate strong engagement and positive conversations.

7. KFC

Kiwis love KFC’s micro-comedies. By leveraging brand codes like the striped bucket, fried chicken and The Colonel, these ads have a cumulative positive effect on brand building.

8. Lotto, Lost Ticket

Shooting to the top of the favourite ads list upon launching, Lotto has given it continued air time. The ad won gold at the 2020 Effies.

9. Nova

Nova and their Greg Grover character have unashamedly bashed audiences over the head with their brand, but in an entertaining way.

10. AA Insurance, Live a Little Freer

This campaign has had a steady presence in TRA’s favourite ads. A memorable soundtrack over relatable household accidents has kept audiences smiling and AA top of mind.

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