Summer dollars: Stihl, Ryobi and AEG target Kiwi consumers as weather warms up

On 19 October, the NZ Herald ran a story promising Kiwis a long, hot summer Labour weekend. And if the modern art of divination known as weather reporting is anything to go by, then this could signal the start of the warmer months to come.

And given that Kiwis are likely to spend more time outside over the next few months, several power tool companies have launched campaigns on the range of products that Kiwis might be inclined to use during their gardening endeavours under the summer sun.

DBB has created a new brand campaign for Stihl Shop, which compares the consumer to Julius Cesar and his garden to a Roman Empire waiting to built. 

The 45-second TVC, released under the ‘Love Your Land’ positioning, follows a typical DIY Kiwi as he uses his Stihl tools in a backyard, which is paralleled to a forestry wonderland.  

Speaking about the experience of creativing the spot, DDB creative director Mark Lorrigan said: “We shot a man in the forest, and everyone is happy. Usually you go to jail for that.”  

Group business director Scott Wallace took a more business-oriented approach to his response, but still managed to fit in a reference to a 1994 Disney film, saying: “‘Love your Land’ is the new theme for Stihl Shop and will be the marketing platform for the next two years,” said Wallace. “This spot is designed to launch the new brand line and channels the Stihl Shop customer, who isn’t just a handyman, but a landscaper, a designer, a builder, a creator. They are the Lion King of their backyard – their Prideland.”

By focusing on the at-home consumer, Stihl is continuing the approach, which has seen the company enjoy significant success in recent years. But this hasn’t always been the case.

Back in 2009, the top five selling the top five selling Stihl products were all Chainsaws. They were sold mostly to loggers and farmers, and shunned by regular Kiwis who found them too expensive an investment for basic weekend jobs. 

To tap into this market, Stihl launched the ‘You’ll only need one’ campaign, which redefined the brand’s product range, traditionally considered ‘good but expensive’, as a valuable purchase that could over time save the purchaser money.

The campaign was carried over a range of humorous spots, eventually leading to a 68.7 percent growth in total unit sales over a five-year period—and in the recent sales report the transformative effect of the campaign was clearly evidenced by the fact that the top five selling Stihl products were a Linetrimmer, a Blower, a Hedgetrimmer and two Chainsaws. 

The success of Stihl in diversifying its sales portfolio led to the company winning a 2013 TVNZ Marketing award in the transformational category, and the company is clearly aiming to continue this trend with this new campaign again targeting the average Kiwi consumer.         

But Stihl isn’t the only company trying to coax Kiwis into purchasing their tools. Ryobi and AEG are both also airing quirky ads (conceptualised and shot internationally) on local TV channels.

The Ryobi spot is trumpeting the superiority of cordless technology with a spot shot in slow-motion that shows a weed-eater approaching a solitary flower before stopping on account of insufficient cable length. Fortunately, the company’s new cordless alternative provides a solution to this evasive intruder of the floral persuasion.          

For its spot, AEG used the story of German arm-wrestler Matthias Schlitte to illustrate that “anyone can experience unexpected power with AEG trade tools.” 

Credits for Stihl campaign:

Client: STIHL Shop
Managing Director: Jim Bibby
Sales and Marketing manager: Jochen Speer
Marketing Manager: Stace Hall
Marketing Co-ordinator: Sarah Gujer

Agency: DDB Group New Zealand
Executive Creative Director: Shane Bradnick
Creative Director: Mark Lorrigan

Head of TV Production: Judy Thompson
TV Producer: Celia Rowe
Strategic Planner: Rupert Price
Group Business Director: Scott Wallace
Production Company: Goodoil
Director: Rhett Wade-Ferrell
Executive Producer: Sam Long
DOP: Andrew Stroud
Editor: Rhett Wade Ferrell and Steve Gulik
Online: Crayon

Music Composition: Liquid Studio’s, Peter Van de Fluit
Audio Engineer: Craig Matuschka

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