All is not as it seems: Skinny calls in the help of some not-so-famous faces to launch new brand platform

Clint Eastwood and Sarah Jessica Parker are among the names starring in Skinny’s launch of a new ‘Get the Skinny’ brand platform by Colenso BBDO, the first campaign since the agency’s appointment in May.

Created in collaboration with PHD and Platform 29, the campaign features Ben Affleck, Julia Roberts, Michael Jordan, Clint Eastwood, Sarah Jessica Parker, Anthony Hopkins, and Michael J. Fox professing their love for Skinny. However, all is not as it first appears as the seemingly big-budget A-list production, in fact, stars real Kiwis with famous names.

Ben Affleck is from Dunedin, Clint Eastwood from Pukekohe and Sarah Jessica Parker from Warkworth.

The use of real-Kiwis without slick acting, polished smiles and ball skills is a clever display of Skinny’s low-cost roots as its avoiding the multimillion-dollar endorsement deals.

Beyond the video, there’s also Rhys Darby, a farmer from Huntly who extolls the virtues of switching to Skinny in a billboard and adshel campaign.

Brand manager Ally Young says the new brand reflects Skinny’s promise, adding it’s cheeky, clever, and moves from a youth brand to one that stands for every New Zealander.

Colenso was appointed as the lead creative agency for Skinny in May, when Spark consolidated the Spark and Skinny brands into one agency.

The agency is the above the line lead across brand, product, activation and social. This move saw the Clemenger Group of agencies Colenso BBDO and PHD manage the multi-brand strategy and communications across both Spark and Skinny.

Colenso’s appointment is not unnoticed when looking back at Skinny’s previous campaigns which have featured animated characters unlike real people in this new campaign.

And with this new campaign rolled out on TV, it’s a change in mindset since StopPress checked in with Skinny in 2016 when it was promoting its wireless broadband with The Collective. At the time, Young said being a smaller company, meant it generally didn’t have a huge marketing spend and TV was an expensive way of spending up all the money. 

“We made the decision not to go on TV and decided we needed to get our dynamic message across somehow, that’s why we’ve put it into cinema and YouTube.”

It appears to have grown since then and reflecting this were Spark’s H1 FY18 results. They were reported in February and at the time, Spark managing director Simon Moutter said: “At the more price-sensitive end of the market, Spark’s sub-brands Big Pipe and Skinny have continued to resonate well with price-sensitive customers, securing the majority of our broadband connection growth in the half year, alongside the growth of Skinny Direct’s mobile service.”


Client: Skinny
Brand and Communications Manager: Ally Young
Head of Brand and Communications: Sarah Williams

Creative Agency: Colenso BBDO
Production Company: The Sweet Shop
Director: Damien Shatford
Production Company Executive Producer: Ben Dailey
Production Company Managing Director: Fiona King
Sound Design: Liquid Studios
Media Agency: SparkPHD
Digital Agency: P29

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