|Product / Service
|G01. Local Brand
|COLENSO BBDO Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
|COLENSO BBDO Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
|PHD Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
|DRUM Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
|GOOD OIL FILMS Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
|LIQUID STUDIOS Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
|PLATFORM 29 Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
|Creative Director - Copywriter
|Senior Integrated Producer
|Head of TV
|Chief Creative Officer
|Tribe Lead Brand Experience
|Chapter Lead - Brand Marketing
|Brand Partner - Social
|Chapter Lead - Social
|Paid Social Partner
|Skinny Product Owner
|Skinny Mobile Product Owner
|E2E Journey Specialist
|Chapter Lead - Skinny DevOps
|Customer Marketer - Trade
|Legal Business Partner
|Chapter Lead - Performance Marketing
The best creative use of media is one that turns everyday customers into lifelong brand evangelists. By this criteria, this campaign is a world-class example. Skinny, a low-cost Kiwi telco, unleashed the power of their happy customers in one of the greatest media-led audio-visual campaigns in the history of New Zealand’s telco market.
New Zealand is home to Skinny Mobile; a low-cost telco with only a 10th of the ad spend of their nearest competitor. Seen as a small market player, it was hard enough for consumers to even know about them, let alone consider joining them. But those that did join Skinny loved them, which is why, despite having only 23% awareness, they had won the Consumer NZ’s People’s Choice Award 5 years in a row. That’s why our brief was simple; take the smallest brand, with a tiny budget, in one of the world’s most tight-knit countries, and grow them into a mass-market player.
The idea was to try and reach everyone in New Zealand with an ad hosted by someone they knew. A direct, word-of-mouth campaign that operated as a nationwide broadcast. We cast hundreds of Skinny customers from all around the country and made them stars of their own campaigns. Then we gave each one of them a media budget to target their ads to their friends, family, workmates, and acquaintances. To shoot that campaign we flew each of the happy Skinny customers to Auckland, put them up in a 2-star hotel, and made them work 14 hours a day for the measly pay of $1000 for 3 day’s work, and talent usage fees in perpetuity. Despite this low-cost treatment, they loved us for it, becoming HUGE advocates for the brand, happily being interviewed by local newspapers and radio stations, and turning into better evangelists than any paid celebrity money could buy.
A Nielsen report on the efficacy of word-of-mouth shows that recommendations from friends and family members are 92% more effective than regular ads. That’s why our target audience were the friends, family, and workmates of each of our happy Skinny customers. And every other New Zealander too. We cast them from all over the country so that their influence would go as far as it could. Then we geo-targeted them, alongside out-of-home, radio and social to reach those most likely to recognise them. Wherever they worked, played, lived, or even grew up, they were visible. After that, we handed over our tiny media budget, and helped them to target people they knew on whichever social channels they were on. They told their friends, who told their friends, and so on, and so on. That’s how a tiny telco turned each of their happiest customers into their own media channel.
We shot hundreds of identical spokesperson campaigns, with hundreds of identical 30-second TV ads, hundreds of identical billboards, bus shelter ads, radio spots, and social films. Every campaign was identical to the one before it, except it featured a different happy Skinny customer with the same dialogue, same settings, same looks to camera, and the same jokes. Some of those customers spoke different languages, so we shot the campaigns in their native tongues, with straight translations from the English script. We flew each cast member to Auckland for a 3-day shoot, where they lined up to take their turn to deliver their line to camera. In the process, our cast became the most tight-knit group of brand evangelists on earth – taking every opportunity to sign their friends and family up to Skinny, despite being paid almost nothing for their efforts.
The Skinny Friend-vertising campaign reached 98% of New Zealand. Skinny’s consideration rose from 32% - 44%. Skinny’s awareness rose from 23% - 38%. Skinny’s Net Promoter Score (NPS) rose to 58%, well above Verizon (7), AT&T (15), and T-mobile (35).
Skinny mobile was a tiny brand with a tiny budget that used New Zealand to its advantage. The best thing about this small country, is that it’s a small country. That means everyone knows someone, who knows someone, who knows someone. That’s why this tight-knit community of five million people and thirty million sheep made it possible for Skinny to turn their happiest customers into a media channel, and produce a campaign that operated at a national broadcast level. In other words, this kind of local media idea could only work in New Zealand. And it did.