Thursday, April 01, 2021

NZ storytelling ads

New Zealand has often used storytelling in TV advertising—in fact, it was one of the first things I noticed when I moved to New Zealand, though it’s much more common now. In any case, I really like them, and these are two that are running currently.

The video up top is “Lost and Found”, an ad for Trustpower and designed to promote the idea of getting electricity, gas, broadband Internet, phone, and mobile from the same company. I don’t know if that’s a good idea or not, but the ad is sweet and an interesting way of promoting the idea of belonging together.

The song in the background is “Lost and Found” by Age Pryor, A New Zealand performer, composer, and collaborator. I recognised his voice from a 2018 Trustpower ad, “We’ve got the time” (the 3-minute video from which the TV ad was cut is on YouTube). He appears in the ad and sings lead vocals. I didn’t know that was his name until the current ad: The ad came on TV, I recognised his voice, so I used Shazam to find out who it was. And now I know, so you do, too.

Another ad that, in this case, uses a couple to tell a story about a business’ products is one from the bank ASB:

This series of ads follows Ben and Amy as they navigate their way through, well, banking issues. The video above is the 45 second version of one of the current ads on TV, and it's one I quite like (another ad on TV at the moment, one promoting ASB’s Kiwisaver accounts, is on YouTube, and, while it’s good, I don’t personally like it as much as the ad above). Side note: The first word "Ben" says in the ad above is "Kashin", which is the name of a moneybox from ASB and later an elephant at Auckland Zoo.

Finally, and for background, a classic ad—from before the time I arrived in New Zealand:

This particular ad is form 1989 (some six years before I arrived in New Zealand) and introduced what came to be known as “the Anchor family” for the brand of dairy products they were were promoting. At the time, the brand was known as “Fernleaf”.

A couple years ago, Stuff published “The most memorable ads on New Zealand television ever”, and it include the Anchor Family series. They said this about it:
When the first ad featuring young Sam and her newly single dad hit our screens, it represented something of a revolution in New Zealand TV.

Up until then, television families were almost exclusively nuclear, but Fernleaf, as Anchor was then, showed a divorced couple navigating their new lives and their relationship with the daughter they shared.

The first episode of what became a soap opera in 45-second instalments made its debut in 1989 and, for the next eight years, we watched Sam grow up and her family morph and change – just as we grew, and morphed, and changed.
An interesting take on the series, I thought. The series was just ending when I arrived in New Zealand, but even then it was still obvious it wasn’t a typical ad. There’s a Facebook video that has all the ads, over some 20 minutes—which is a bit of a commitment. Still, if you zoom ahead to the last few ads, that will include the ads I saw.

I love storytelling ads, and always have. Lucky for me I'm in a country that often has them.


Roger Owen Green said...

I LOVE Lost and Found. Unfortunately, I can't see the ASB ad.
(BTW, my bank when I 1st came to ALB was ASB - Albany Savings Bank, which became Albank, which got bought by Charter One, which got bought...)

Arthur Schenck said...

Personally, I think geoblocking is a crime against humanity.

ASB was founded in 1847 as Auckland Savings Bank. After a convoluted history, including typical bullshit neoconservative economics, in 1989 it sold a 75% share of its ownership to the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. It became known as ASB Bank, despite the obvious crime against language. In 2000, Commonwealth Bank bought the remaining 25%, making ASB (ASB Bank, if you must…) 100% Australian owned. Like all our other major trading banks. The closest rival among NZ-owned banks is Kiwibank, which is owned by New Zealanders through the Crown.