Tower’s new ad, featuring a bike-stealing penguin

When I was about six (after sneakily watching one-too-many scary movies) I thought I could turn myself into a cool vampire with a special potion made out of potato chips and juice that had been left on a window sill overnight to gain extra “power”. Turns out old Raro and soggy chicken chips only makes you spew, yet I still had the confidence and imagination to try. And that’s the message this new ad by Tower is getting across by asking children the rather odd question: “What would you do if a penguin stole your bike?”

The ad, shot in Auckland’s West Harbour by Barnes, Catmur & Friends, is supposed to show how kids demonstrate their carefree approach to some of life’s more troubling dilemmas, and how with Tower Insurance, adults can get that confidence back too, a release says.

And while the concept of a penguin stealing a child’s bike is a bit strange, at least Tower is having a bit of fun, breaking away from a number of boring alternatives that could have been chosen with an area like insurance.

“When you were a kid, you were indestructible, able to climb any tree, bike down any hill, or defeat any monster. That was because you were confident that whatever happened, everything would be okay because there was someone looking after you,” Barnes, Catmur & Friends senior account manager Nicholas Gallagher says.

Unfortunately, a lot of that confidence fades with age, he says. “It probably has something to do with burgeoning adult responsibilities and the fact that bones take longer to set the older you get. But with forward-thinking Tower Insurance looking out for you and your things, you can get that confidence back.”

Gallagher says Tower wanted to look beyond a typical insurance ad. “ .. and for us to view confidence in a new way. We looked at the human truth that kids are confident, fearless and totally unfazed by things that would have adults in a tizzy.”

“We wanted a comedy animal that wasn’t too threatening so when he appeared the kids wouldn’t run away screaming,” he says. “The original penguin’s head had massive eyebrows and was a little scary so we got a new one made.”

Gallagher says there will be more ads released as part of the campaign. “It’s part of the integrated strategy … “ he says. “This integrated campaign will run across TV, digital, out of home – billboard, bus, adshel – and radio.”

And while we are on the subject of penguins, here is an insurance-irrelevant fun fact: Benedict Cumberbatch can’t say “penguins”.

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