Vodafone and DraftFCB focus on the doing, ramp up Kiwi factor with Boy star

Last week we welcomed Telecom’s new mascots Tommy and Boris, which took the telco steaming back into its heartland territory of New Zealandness and connectivity. Vodafone has long played the exotic foreigner role and, for obvious reasons, hasn’t really played—or needed to play—the patriotic card. But that’s all changed now, because it’s gone the whole Kiwi hog for its big new brand campaign, which features the tagline ‘Do Your Thing Better’ and celebrates the fact that New Zealand is a nation of doers. 


You can’t get much more Kiwi than Boy, and Vodafone and DraftFCB, which won the business early the year after a big pitch and a long wait, have enlisted the help of James Rolleston as the campaign frontman (there’s a nice cameo from the world’ most ethnically adaptable actor Cliff Curtis, too). 

It’s a fairly quirky affair, featuring possum milking, a robot dolphin and a man scootering the length of New Zealand, and in that regard many might see the Robber’s Dog-made spot as being more akin to 2degrees than the Vodafone of old (some may also see some similarities between this and DraftFCB’s ‘For the Places You’ll Go‘ campaign for The National Bank). But good on them for trying. Localising a global brand is bloody hard work. And it often goes against the conventional, supposedly cost-effective approach of tailoring international creative to each market. But subtleties and nuances are important if you’re trying to connect with consumers, so it’s good to see Vodafone recognising that by zeroing in on New Zealand’s innovative streak. 

Like the Telecom campaign, which has been set up with a brand ad but will go on to inform the whole retail strategy, there is plenty more activity planned for Vodafone’s new push (a digital activation lets users pick their top three interests from the Top 30 Things Kiwis most love to do and then delivers a selection of the best smartphone apps and online articles). 

It’s certainly an interesting period in the telco world. Telecom has been split, it has a new board, a new chief executive and, as Jason Paris mentioned to us last week, there’s a sense of optimism in the company. Vodafone, which has had a few handsmacks from the ComCom for misleading advertising in recent times, announced its intention to buy TelstraClear and take aim at Telecom’s hold on the home and business space. And 2degrees recently announced its one millionth customer. 

  • We’re hoping to have a chat with Vodafone’s chief marketing officer Greg Campbell at some stage today, so keep an eye out. 


Client: Vodafone New Zealand

Natalie Sutherland, GM – Marketing Strategy

Greg Campbell, Chief Marketing Officer

Liz Wilson, Head of Brand and Consumer Comms

Nileema Allerston, Head of Business Brand and Communications

GroupExecutive Creative Director Australasia: James Mok

Executive Creative Director: Regan Grafton

Creative Directors: Chris Schofield, Billy McQueen

Writers: Matt Williams, Scott Kelly

Art Directors: Freddie Coltart, Leisa Wall

Head of TV: Esther Watkins 

Agency Producer: Pip Mayne

Head of Client Service: Fleur Head

Group Account Director: Karla Fisher

Planning Director: David Thomason

Senior Planner: Hilary Dobson

Graphics: Reuben Boey 

Film Company: Robber’s Dog

Director: Adam Stevens

Producers: EP: Mark Foster / Producer: Larisa TIffin

DOP: NZ: Crighton Bone, USA: Richard Henkels 

Editor: Tim Mauger

Grade: Pete Ritchie 

Music: Peter Van der Fluit, Liquid Studios

Sound design: Jon Cooper, Franklin Road 

Inferno Designer: Leonie Willis 

Senior Media Planner: James Davidson, Spark PHD

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