On a mish and a prayer: 2degrees and TBWA\’s deep impact

Youtube Video2degrees and TBWA\ claimed victory in the March 2011 edition of Colmar Brunton’s Ad Impact Award with its animated ‘Bruce & Brian’ spot. And it’s come out on top again with a brand ad that trumpets the continuation of ‘the 2degrees Mission’.Using the irreverence and idiosyncratic style that has made Rhys Darby both a national treasure and internationally famous, the ad, which was once again produced by Film Construction, shows viewers how 2degrees offers fairer rates and Carryover Minutes, local call centres, business plans and nationwide coverage—even in Palmie. And it ends with a nod to the future—and perhaps to Richard Branson’s seemingly ever-expanding Virgin empire—by asking ‘where will the mission take us next?’ and directing viewers to ‘Mission HQ’, an interactive app that was developed by Tequila and is housed on the 2degrees Facebook page.

“This ad ticks all the boxes,” says Harriet Dixon, senior account manager at Colmar Brunton. “It uses appropriate humour to engage consumers, while cleverly updating them on the 2degrees mission, which makes it relevant and appealing. Consistent use of Rhys Darby aids memorability as a 2degrees ad.”

David Walden, Whybin\TBWA’s chief executive officer, says the agency is “really, really chuffed with this one”, because the bar gets raised higher and higher every time it produces another campaign.

“It carries across a range of customer contact points including retail and customer care channels and quite rightly celebrates the success it’s enjoyed in completely disrupting the telco market, connecting Kiwis and giving consumers better mobile phone deals,” he says.

2degrees recently announced it had gained 875,656 customers, up from 209,000 customers in February 2010 and much higher than most analysts expected. The recent increase is linked to its push into the small to medium sized business market and while there’s no doubt the customer figures are impressive, it is thought to have a bigger share of the lower-spending pre-pay market than its larger listed competitors and, unlike them, 2degrees doesn’t provide any other customer data, like the all-important telco metric of average revenue per user figures.

2degrees’ founding chief marketing officer Larrie Moore recently hung up the boots (chief sales manager Mark Cleary took over as acting CMO until a replacement is found) after a four years with the company but said it had been an extraordinary privilege to be part of creating what has quickly become an iconic New Zealand brand.

“2degrees is absolute living proof of ‘an idea whose time has come’ … The biggest buzz I get is building something from scratch or turning broken things around and, given the fact 2degrees has matured so much and so quickly since we launched, I’m now looking for another big challenge to get my teeth into … It’s been a real joy to be part of a great success story and I wish Eric and the team all the best for the future.  I will always have a very special relationship with this company and this brand.”

Youtube Video

A very close second in this round was Colenso BBDO’s ad for DB Export Dry, a witty take on the 1980s ‘wine epidemic’ that swept across New Zealand as beer drinking supposedly became unfashionable.

“We Link tested [pre-tested] this ad in an unfinished format and it’s great to see that following our recommendations the finished ad has had such a great impact,” says Dixon. “Using Link we can improve ROI.”

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