Whittaker’s take out Kantar Supreme Ad Impact Award for 2022

Out of 159 TV ads tested as part of the 2022 Kantar Ad Impact Awards, Whittaker’s television commercial ‘Whittaker’s J.H. Returns’ has taken out the top spot, receiving the Supreme Ad Impact Award.

Throughout 2022, Kantar’s monthly winners demonstrated a strong presence of Kiwi brands that created impactful copy with themes showcasing brand history, authenticity, local pride, and using quintessential Kiwi humour to help endear them to consumers. 

Once again as in 2021, based on the metrics that matter in creating impactful advertising, another local brand has triumphed.

As the first in the brands new campaign ‘Best is always Better’ and marking a shift from brand ambassador Nigella Lawson to Karl Urban as J.H Whittaker, the ‘Whittaker’s J.H. Returns’ reinforces the brands’ heritage, Kiwi-owned, family-made values.

Brian Turner.

Brian Turner, Creative Development & Brand Strategy Insights lead at Kantar, says when it comes to strong brand memorability, ‘Whittaker’s J.H. Returns’ stood out and excelled across the three main pillars that help brands come strongly to mind later during purchase decisions; being impactful, enjoyable and having strong branding.”

“It performed very strongly on branding, where it was placed equal first across all the monthly winners, but was also seen as entertaining and engaging, finishing second and third respectively on the metrics associated with these pillars,” he says.

“Undoubtedly, these impactful results will have helped set the brand up for both short term sales success and contributed to its long-term equity building.”

He says the core ingredients of ads that generate strong branded memorability don’t really change. “Ads which are most impactful – those that we know generate the strongest brand memorability – are those that earn and keep our attention, often evoking strong emotions that reward us for our time, and critically make the brand integral to the storyline, or place it centrally in our thoughts. On all three measures, Whittaker’s J.H. Returns did this superbly.”

“Additionally, brands that are also true to themselves, that leverage their strengths and build on the equity they have, prime themselves for advertising success, as do brands that adeptly reflect New Zealand values and culture.  Many local brands do this well – not least this year’s winner, Whittaker’s!”

With the ad balancing familiarity while keeping it fresh, Liv Glazebrook, Whittaker’s Marketing Manager, says the “brand story was at the heart of the creative” while all of the usual brand cues remained prominent such as “the music, the look and feel and the cheeky yet unreserved tone of voice”.

Liv Glazebrook.

“The freshness was brought about by the change across many areas, the largest of course being Karl Urban playing J.H. Whittaker. However throughout the execution Karl delivered an impeccable warmth and welcoming manner that we feel defines the Whittaker’s brand in itself,” she adds.

Iconic New Zealand and Whittaker’s from start to finish, it’s this that appeals to New Zealanders and aligns with Whittaker’s own brand story.

“The impact of Karl himself was magic, along with the details that the production team put behind every element to pull audiences into the time travelling world of J.H. Whittaker.”

As for lessons learnt during the process of making this campaign, Glazebrook says she and the team learnt not to be afraid of revisiting ideas.

While it was originally thought this ad wasn’t going to be made, a fortuitous change in circumstances allowed this decision to be reversed and production was able to progress.

“Both the Whittaker’s team and our agencies were flexible, focusing their effort into delivering of this campaign within a shortened time frame that ensured the high quality output we were after,” Glazebrook says.

“The main challenges at this time were not unique to us or this campaign, it was weather and Covid. We had contingency plans for both, but fortunately we didn’t need to deploy them. The weather just held (with a bit of post-production magic) for everything to go ahead as planned. Thanks to the amazing director, Peter Burger, who was so professional to work with.”

Glazebrook says the win is an “[a]cknowledgement to the both the Whittaker’s team, agencies and production team that taking a bold risk and changing the brand approach and brand vehicle has paid.”

Congratulations to the Whittaker’s team and MBM, a great result that can be built on for further success in 2023!

For more monthly Kantar Ad Impact winners, click here.

To read more about this award winning ad click here.

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