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The results of the Marketers’ favourite ads survey from TRA

You know your favourite ad – but do you know New Zealand’s?
The results of the Marketers’ favourite ads survey from TRA

We’re not our customer – right? With all of our marketing nous, we’re drawn only to the best creative and most effective advertising. Or so we like to think. The question is, are our tastes really that different from consumers’? If advertising is doing its job well, it will prompt emotion and inspiration in us, putting the brand front and centre in our minds – just think about the classic Kiwi ads of your childhood, and how clearly you remember the brand they were promoting.

We were curious to put this to the test, so after finding out New Zealand’s favourite ads, we, in collaboration with the Marketing Association, posed the same simple question – “what’s your favourite ad?” to marketers. Specifically, to you, the MA membership. We also asked what made the ad so special.

The results are in, and – this may or may not surprise you – they were very similar to the broader population vote. Is this because ads appeal on an emotional level and will still appeal to the wily brains of marketers, or because marketers can simply recognise an epic piece of creative?

We believe the answer to be a bit of a mix of both, with many of the survey responses still referencing emotions and tugging on heart strings, but we did see an awareness that some brands just aren’t strongly linking the ad to the brand itself, which reduces the effectiveness – and these ads were consequently rated lower by marketers.

As well as counting up votes, we used TRA’s Creative Edge framework to evaluate the ads’ execution. The 'Three R's' of Creative Edge' measure how likely an ad is to grab people's attention (Remarkable), entertain them (Rewarding), and how strongly the brand is linked to the creative idea (Remembered). It seems as if marketers are more aware of these principles and will award a higher vote to an ad they see as nailing these three R’s.

Want to learn more about New Zealand’s favourites? Head over to TRA’s Mainframe to read strategist Lloyd Thomason’s full analysis of the Favourite Ads survey results. You’ll see that there’s a little movement in the list, with ASB taking the #1 spot.

Here are the top 5 favourite ads – as voted by marketers.

1. Trustpower – Meant To Be Together / Four Leg Good

Are marketers even more emotional than the general public? It seems as if we’re particularly susceptible to a story that tugs on the heart strings. The top ad for marketers was Trustpower’s Meant to be Together, pipping consumer favourite ASB to take the number one spot. The emotional storytelling of this ad earned this accolade, with marketers commenting that “the Trustpower Ad was a real stand out tear-jerker this year. It's a heart breaking, heart-warming and stays on your mind long after you've seen it” and saying how “it stirs up emotions of grief, loneliness, compassion, love, joy; emotions all humans can relate to.”

2. ASB – Ben and Amy

Although Ben and Amy were the crowd favourites and voted into the top spot by regular New Zealanders, they came in a close second for marketers. It seems marketers appreciate the sophisticated branding of the ad, as well as the modern take on Kiwi life and sense of humour that comes through in the storylines. “Everyone's talking about it, and all the yellow throughout plus the elephant makes certain people are talking about ASB not any other brand,” said one respondent. It was also called out as being relatable and heart-warming, with standout characters that stick in people’s minds. That focus on distinctive assets helps this ad stay “Remembered” and strongly links the ad to ASB.

3. PAK'nSAVE - Stickman

It turns out Stickman is a hit with marketers, reaching the number three spot on the list of marketers’ favourite ads (he was only given fourth place by consumers). The strength of the ad boosted the humble Stickman above the storytelling of other ads, with marketers commenting on attention grabbing and humorous persona of Stickman, and the distinctive branding.

“It’s uniquely PAK’nSAVE, entertaining, regularly refreshed and constantly evolving,” commented one survey respondent. “You can tell there is a strong communication strategy behind it.” As soon as you see the yellow and black colours, you know it's a Pak'n save ad.

4. ANZ – We Do How

For, marketers ANZ’s ‘We Do How’ replaces Westpac in the top 5. Perhaps this is because marketers are more conscious of the need to link the creative idea strongly to the brand, something ANZ does excellently. Marketers called out the “natural branding” of the ANZ ad, as well as the sweet story.

Westpac’s Together Greater campaign was ranked third by Kiwis but came in eighth for marketers – with comments from marketers on how, despite the compelling story, it’s not as strongly tied to the Westpac brand.

5. McDonald’s – New Mac Family

It seems the sweet and relatable New Mac Family appeals equally to New Zealanders and marketers, taking the number five spot on both lists.

The story taps into a societal tension – overuse of technology versus genuine moments of connection. It gets families thinking about pausing screen-time to connect and explore the country instead.

While the work isn’t overly strong in its use of brand codes, the story resolves with the family enjoying McDonald’s, and the unmistakable jingle at the end does some heavy lifting too. Packaging and jingles can be powerful distinctive assets – especially if you’re an established brand like McDonald’s.

Rounding out the Marketers’ top ten:

6. Waka Kotahi – Safe Limits
7. Sky Sport - Introducing The Watch / Life Needs More Sky
8. Westpac – Together Greater
9. V Energy – Can You Feel It
10. KFC – General promotions

Read more about New Zealand’s favourite ads and creative effectiveness over on TRA’s Mainframe.

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