Daily BulletinDaily Bulletin

News

  • Written by Dan Fastnedge, Lecturer in Advertising Creativity, Auckland University of Technology
Small budgets, big ideas — what a viral porn awareness campaign tells us about New Zealand advertising

When the New Zealand government wanted a campaign to keep kids safe online, naturally it turned to a couple of naked porn actors to get the message across.

Actually the government turned to video advertising agency Motion Sickness, which in turn created Sue and Derek, who turn up naked at a boy’s house to talk to him about real relationships.

The ad went viral. With more than 22 million views worldwide, it has been praised for its use of humour to address tough issues. Experts have hailed its contribution to the debate about online harm.

It’s just the latest example of a unique advertising culture that makes up for in creativity what it lacks in deep pockets.

There’s more where that came from.

The “Keep it real online” campaign is far from the first time Kiwi advertising has used humour to broach controversial subjects. Film director Taika Waititi’s “Blazed” employed his signature comedic approach to tackle drugged driving.

Read more: Social media platforms need to do more to stop junk food marketers targeting children

Elsewhere, the drink-driving campaign “Legend” gave New Zealand the now iconic line, “You know I can’t eat your ghost chips.”

The “Pre-testie Bestie” campaign used authentic millennial humour and language to combat fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. It became YouTube’s most successful public awareness campaign in Australia and New Zealand.

Other examples include “Champions for Change”, which addresses unconscious bias, “Go Balls Out”, which confronts testicular cancer, “If It’s Not Gay, It’s Not Gay”, which addresses homophobia, and “Give Nothing to Racism”, which tackles human rights.

Small, tight, unique

What seems to set New Zealand apart is a combination of smaller budgets, tighter agency-client relationships and a unique sense of humour.

New Zealand advertising budgets are tiny compared to those in larger markets. This rules out epic shoots but puts more emphasis on creativity.

Celebrity endorsements are also rare since New Zealand doesn’t have many high-profile celebrities and advertisers can rarely afford international stars. The exception might be Prime Minister Jacinda Adern and her husband who made special appearances in a comic tourism pitch to “get NZ on the map”.

Rather than rely on endless repetition of an ad, New Zealand agencies would rather spend their smaller budgets on creating and crafting commercials that are engaging, memorable and shareable.

The “Keep it real” campaign is a great example of a good idea being shared organically and having a far larger reach than the modest media budget would have allowed on its own.

Getting intimate with clients

Like the budgets, New Zealand marketing teams are tiny compared to overseas. But, as with the budgets, this has benefits. Smaller teams mean fewer levels of approval and easier access to decision-makers.

Smaller, more intimate teams allow for more open discussions about concepts both within the client organisation and with advertising agencies. As “Keep it real” shows, small and agile teams can collaborate effectively and creatively to address controversial subject matter.

Read more: Brands may support Black Lives Matter, but advertising still needs to decolonise

That campaign – which includes billboards, posters, print ads, social media and its own website – took only four weeks to create. This is even more impressive given the client was the government and several of its agencies, including Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Education and the police.

Kiwi comedy

Another important but intangible ingredient is the New Zealand sense of humour and the way it informs local culture. Laconic, understated and self-deprecating, it’s perhaps best summed up in the deadpan laughs of The Flight of the Conchords and the films of Taika Waititi, such as Boy and his vampire comedy, What We Do In The Shadows.

As comedian James Nokise put it, “Kiwi humour sort of comes from late-night chats round a table, either in the kitchen, pub, or garage … we’re small enough that we’ve managed to take the kind of intimate family humour and apply it to the whole country.”

Read more: Children can be exposed to sexual predators online, so how can parents teach them to be safe?

This comic sensibility comes through in the country’s advertising. It’s ideal for discussing subjects some people find awkward or hard to tackle – such as talking to children about online pornography.

As the first comment under the “Keep it real” video on YouTube says, “Wow they never do anything like this in the United States lol.”

Creativity v COVID-19

The timing of the “Keep it real” campaign was also opportune. New Zealand had just entered strict lockdown and people were spending their days learning and working online. A little comic relief was very welcome.

Since then, advertising agencies have been finding creative ways to help local businesses – offering free media space, pay-what-you-want website design, strategic planning and even a way to sell bagels during a pandemic.

The country is now out of its COVID-19 lockdown and Kiwis are being encouraged to get out and support local businesses. Hopefully, this kind of nimble, ingenious and brave creativity will be an integral part of the economic recovery too.

Authors: Dan Fastnedge, Lecturer in Advertising Creativity, Auckland University of Technology

Read more https://theconversation.com/small-budgets-big-ideas-what-a-viral-porn-awareness-campaign-tells-us-about-new-zealand-advertising-141529

Vital Signs: Shorter meetings but longer days – how COVID-19 has changed the way we work

arrow_forward

The Conversation
INTERWEBS DIGITAL AGENCY

Politics

Did BLM Really Change the US Police Work?

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has proven that the power of the state rests in the hands of the people it governs. Following the death of 46-year-old black American George Floyd in a case of ...

a Guest Writer - avatar a Guest Writer

Scott Morrison: the right man at the right time

Australia is not at war with another nation or ideology in August 2020 but the nation is in conflict. There are serious threats from China and there are many challenges flowing from the pandemic tha...

Greg Rogers - avatar Greg Rogers

Prime Minister National Cabinet Statement

The National Cabinet met today to discuss Australia’s COVID-19 response, the Victoria outbreak, easing restrictions, helping Australians prepare to go back to work in a COVID-safe environment an...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Business News

Reinventing The Outside Of Your Office

Efficient work is a priority in most offices. You need a comfortable interior that is functional too. The exterior also affects morale. Big companies have an amazing exterior like university ca...

News Company - avatar News Company

Kaspersky and Ferrari partnership: tailoring cybersecurity for an iconic brand

Kaspersky is commemorating the 10 year anniversary of its strategic partnership with iconic, global brand - Ferrari. The cybersecurity company is a sponsor of the brand’s Formula One racing team...

News Company - avatar News Company

Instant Steel Solutions Review

Are you keen on having the right guidance, knowledge and information about the right kind of steel purchases for your industries? If yes, then you are in the right place. There is no doubt that ...

a Guest Writer - avatar a Guest Writer



News Company Media Core

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion