Sorted’s spokesrodent promotes shrinkage with wonderous debt detection technology

The wise spokesrodent for sorted.org.nz has been helping to enhance Kiwis’ money smarts for almost ten years now. But in March the campaign took a different tack by upping the engagement rather than just driving traffic to the website. And the second part of its three part financial education campaign aims to highlight the ways Kiwis can better manage their debt.  


The Sorted website, with the help of Chrometoaster, was rebuilt and relaunched earlier this year and the simple yet catchy Think, Shrink and Grow slogan was introduced to be a memorable framework for the three most important dimensions of personal financial organisation. 

The first instalment, Think, featured the mouse, a magazine-loving woman and a judgemental fridge, and the next phase, Shrink, encourages Kiwis to make the distinction between productive and
unproductive debt, with a focus on the “dumb debt” theme that was
introduced in Sorted advertising in 2011 (slightly unusually for the digitally-focused organisation, it featured on Adshels and bus backs). 

In the new commercial, which was created with the help of GSL Network, DoubleFish, 8com and Yukfoo, the Sorted mouse is shown in deepest Kiwi suburbia putting its Geiger counter-like “debt detector” to use to spot the difference between productive and unproductive debt. 

The TV campaign is supported by outdoor advertising that encourages
people to consider the true cost of buying things on high interest consumer
finance (in April 2012, Kiwi consumers owed $3.6 billion in outstanding credit card balances that was incurring interest at an average rate of 17.7%, with a total annual interest cost of $638 million).  

“Consumer finance instruments such as credit cards and retail
finance agreements can be great for buying things if you use them in a smart
way, such as paying them off in the interest free period,” says marketing communications manager for the Commission for Financial Literacy and Retirement Income, Anna Griffiths. “But they can quickly
turn into dumb debt if you don’t manage them well. The classic dumb debt trap
too many Kiwis fall into is only paying off the minimum on their credit cards
each month.” 

When the campaign was launched, Griffiths said the mouse has changed quite a bit in the past ten years and new animation technology means it’s certainly a much more advanced—and slimmed down—rodent these days. 

Interestingly, Ken Double, the Double in DoubleFish, was there at Saatchi & Saatchi when the mouse (“Use your mouse, get Sorted”) was devised and he’s been involved with many of the different campaigns over the years. At the time, it was a fairly revolutionary approach, because rather than blasting viewers with a message, it directed them to a website. This is very common now, of course, but this was at a time when dial-up still ruled and work email was almost something a luxury. 


Sorted – Shrink

Agency – GSL Network

Creative Team – DoubleFish

Directed by Luke Shanahan – 8com

Mouse Animation/Post Production – Yukfoo Animation

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