Lotto and BNZ steal top spots for viewer-lead research on our favourite ads

Humour and heartstrings were highlighted this time around for our nation’s favourite ads on television. Viewers again were asked to rank their top picks, with a good mix of heartfelt and hilarious pulling the top spots.

ThinkTV, in partnership with TRA conducted the research between 26th July and 4th August this year. The researched asked viewers the key question ‘what is your favourite ad on TV at the moment?’ This encouraged candid feedback on which ads had captured the hearts and minds of audiences.

If one thing is clear from our top rated, its that viewers love emotional rollercoasters, cinematic tension and sweet treats. The latest results from Think TV and TRA’s bi-monthly research saw four new entrants make the top-ten – including an emotive new TVC from Lotto which secured the top spot.

Lotto’s chief marketing officer, Annemarie Browne had this to say about the result: 

“The Lotto NZ team is absolutely thrilled to see how much New Zealanders have connected with our new Imagine campaign – ‘Lost’ – and are blown away to have two campaigns voted by New Zealanders in the top ten. It was always going to be hard to trump ‘Armour Truck’, which Kiwis still love after 18 months in market, so we knew we really had to do something special this time around – which is how ‘Lost’ was born.

With ‘Lost’ we tried to create something a bit different that our players could get more involved with and spot something new every time they watched it. Achieving a result like this really proves all that hard work has paid off and we are delighted Kiwis are enjoying seeing ‘Lost’ on their screens – and the good news is, there is still more to come.”

Brands will be thrilled to hear that youth audiences are highly engaged in the ads they’re seeing day-to-day. The research found 43 percent of 18-24-year olds say TV ads are more entertaining to watch nowadays.

It is clear from the top picks that entertainment reigns supreme. With each contender bringing in an exciting storyline packed full of emotion that resonates with the viewer in some way. The top spots for this survey included;

1.Lotto ‘Lost’

Lotto’s ‘Imagine’ series has held a large share of audience attention as they nail squeezing every single human emotion into 90 seconds. The Lost ad was the type that brings in what viewers crave; entertainment. A dramatic story with emotional highs and lows, along with a moment of humour to ease the tension and an inspiring happy ending. What else could you ask for in a story.

Like all Lotto ads, the story is centered around the yellow ticket, one that has become a symbol for hope, excitement and of course, imagination.

Zavy social media analysis shows that the ad is generating positive conversation online too. Sentiment is strong at 37 percent ‘very likeable’ (Lotto’s average has been 24 percent ‘very likeable’ over the last year). While brands can achieve strong engagement numbers through investment in social, Zavy also looks at the shares/likes ratio to provide a non-investment-driven view of performance – i.e. for everyone that’s given it a casual like, how many thought it was something worth sharing with their friends? This ad performs well above average on the shares/likes ratio too.

“It is a nice message, it is well-acted and it is different from anything else on TV”

“It’s a real heart-warming ad. Grabs my attention with the storyline and ups and downs”

“It was such a neat happy ending story. Something that made me tear up, I’d love to win Lotto so it was nice to see a normal family that won after bad luck.”

2. BNZ ‘What Ella Wants’

Praised for depicting good values such as love and kindness, the BNZ ad used the single family dynamic to connect with a lot of viewers. The puppy at the end and the scene of happy families made this ad a strong contender for the top spot. Like last survey, the catchy music was a main player as to why this ad was so effective, leaving viewers feeling happy, cheerful and hopeful with a useful message about saving money.

“Because it shows that good things come to those who save, and puts some humanism back into banks who have a reputation of being cold and uncaring.”

“Catchy song, nice family values, good relationship.”

“I value kindness, and this Dad is going without to be incredibly kind and teaching his daughter the delayed gratification too. Great lessons.”

3. Speights ‘Dance’

Tearing down masculinity norms to highlight love and ‘bro-ship’ has kept this ad in the top three. The clever portrayal of the characters’ joint nerves and final relief waltzed its way into viewers hearts and minds. It’s lighthearted while still delivering an important message, helped along by great acting and humour.

“It’s heart-warming and enjoyable to watch. With a can-do kiwi attitude and comedy”

“Turns the blokey narrative of beer upside down by showing a guy doing something vulnerable but still making the act look totally savage”

“Favourite beer, mates helping mates, great music, not flashy, very laidback but sweet”

4. Nova ‘Broadband’

It’s clever, it’s quick, it rhymes, it delivers the message, what else could viewers want in an add. Apparently not much as the Nova ad jumps from number 10 in the first survey with 9 out of 10 people mentioning the brand name in their description.

Like song stuck in your head the witty back and forth between the characters is easy to remember and hard to forget. The ad was praised for its entertaining message which is also entreating and informative.

“It’s catchy. Well made. It’s an ad that has always stayed in my memory”

“It’s humorous, engaging and charming in a down to earth everyday way whilst being clever and visually appealing with a simple message.”

5. Mitre 10 ‘Roy, Kong’s out again’

Kiwi ingenuity shines through at the peak conclusion of the Mitre 10 ad, with the unexpected ending being a touchpoint for viewers interest.

Those mentioning this ad are likely to be in the South Island. Humour is the primary driver of appeal, and with 8 out of 10 mentioning ‘Mitre 10’ in their description of this ad, the love is being directed in the right place. 

(A personal gripe is that Kong just wanted a friend, and Roy should have just purchased a second Donkey.)

“It is amusing, clever and the solution to the problem is somewhat unexpected which adds a touch of brilliance to it”

“Fun and the local Mitre 10 has linked the advert by building a Kong inside the shop”

6: Pakn’Save ‘Stickman’

New Zealand’s enthrallment with a black stickman on a yellow background shows our ads don’t need big budgets to stick in the minds of viewers, just the jarring voice of Paul Ego’s portrayal will do. Pakn’Save’s Stickman remains a firm fixture over the past decade, with viewers praising the effectiveness of its simplicity.

“It is cheeky and simple but gets the message across very effectively”

“The ads are regularly changed and they always seem to come up with some amusing animated message that is entertaining and informative”

“The concept is simple and humour is clean”  

7: Cadbury ‘Mums Birthday’

Puppy dog eyes and sweet treats were not enough to keep this adorable Cadbury ad at the top spot, yet brand attribution is improving with more airtime, now at 7 out of 10 from 6 out of 10 at the last survey. The innocent haggling of the girl pulled us in, while the kindness and understanding of the owner tied it all together.

Those most likely to say this is their favourite ad were female, aged 45-60, with traditional values.

“It’s cute. I like that she’s thoughtful buying her mum a gift. And the shopkeeper who lets her buy it without real money is so kiwi & friendly”

“It’s just so different from other ads, the handing over of her precious items including her unicorn and for the dairy owner to give it back to her as change – so sweet.”

8. Meridian ‘Wind. Water. Sun.

Dropping from third position since the last survey, the use of a very Kiwi humour with a dash of suspense helped this message about the environment get noticed and remembered. A personal favourite, the hero’s journey we follow has us rooting for the protagonist, and therefore rooting for the cause he is working so hard to protect.

“Funny, simple, relevant and not hard selling electricity”

“Me and the kids always laugh when the ice cream falls on his head”

9. Lotto Powerball ‘Armoured Truck’

With two ads in the top ten, it’s clear that Lotto ads have a very unique way of bringing emotions through the screen, and the Armoured Truck is no different. The distinctive yellow ticket is the front runner in minds, which helped with the ad’s presence.

The shares/likes ratio isn’t quite as strong as the new ‘lost ticket’ spot but is still above average.

“They are engaging, and hit the heartstrings as well as the funny bone”

“It’s wholesome and amazing”

10. McDonald’s ‘Big Mac with Bacon’

This international behemoth of a company used classic Kiwi banter to connect with viewers. A very simple message was brought forward with humour and a connection to the cheeky actors who made the ad their own. The same two likeable characters are now being used to promote the all-day menu. 

“Funny. Charismatic actors.”

“It’s funny and well scripted. Actors have great comic timing”

“Just light-hearted and simple way to advertise the burger”

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