Paper Plus spits some retail rhymes, hopes to rise about the Christmas rabble

DraftFCB has had a stellar year in 2013 and a few of its award-winning campaigns seem to be the kind that inspire the ‘I wish we’d thought of that’ phenomenon among competing agencies. That marks a change from previous years when it wasn’t quite as highly regarded for its creative output. But it’s tough to imagine its new Paper Plus campaign featuring anthropomorphic rapping presents will sit in that category. 

According to a release, the campaign, ‘A present’s not a present till it’s wrapped’, has been developed to challenge the traditional price-focused approach to advertising over the Christmas period. And it “employs a light-hearted, humorous approach to gift wrapping, encouraging Kiwis to put in a little more effort this Christmas, with help from Paper Plus”. In case you didn’t notice, it also employs a pun, old-school beats and some retail-related rapping that’s reminiscent of some of the classic and, with the benefit of hindsight, fairly cringey PSAs that aimed to raise awareness of serious issues in a way that would better resonate with the audience.  

“Christmas is a crucial sales period for Paper Plus, our biggest retail promotion of the year,” says Lyle Hastings, group marketing manager for Paper Plus Group. “A major challenge for our team during this time is how cluttered it has become across our competitive set. Our latest campaign is a new direction for Paper Plus and we believe it will stand out from the rest this holiday season. The team at DraftFCB have delivered a unique TVC and a creative expression of our brand. We’re thrilled with the finished product and we’re looking forward to seeing it on air.”

DraftFCB won the Paper Plus business from Hyde early this year, not long after it handed on the Westfield baton to Y&R for commercial reasons. And it continued the animated theme that emanated from its big rebrand in 2011

“Christmas advertising is often about the savings you can make, focusing on discounts and gift ideas with a festive overlay,” says Kamran Kazalbash, general manager retail at DraftFCB. ​“Not only is everyone shouting, they’re all shouting the same thing, and with this, some of the spirit of Christmas has been lost. We wanted to bring a bit of the fun back. We needed to have a hard-hitting retail component but we wanted to be distinctive, to do it with a smile, and remind people of the emotional payback of giving presents, rather than just the dollars and cents.” 

The new campaign launched with a 30-second TVC and it will run across a number of channels in both 30″ and 15″ durations. 

And if Michelle Obama can do it for obesity, we look forward to the upcoming album. 



Executive Creative Director – Tony Clewett

Creative Services Director – Jenni Doubleday

Copywriter – Alison McGarry

Art Director – Melissa Brinsden

Consultant Rapper – Nick Alcock

Head of Craft – Nick Smith

Senior Designer – Nick McFarlane

Head of Content – Pip Mayne

TV Producer – Codie Childs

Editor – Jared Yearsley

Sound Recording – Sale Street Studios

Sound Design – Codie Childs and Sale Street Studios

General Manager Retail – Kamran Kazalbash

Account Director – Hannah Downes

Account Manager – Milly Hewat

Planner – Emma Popping

Media Director – Blair Alexander

Media Manager – Luz Valanzasca

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