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Collage of various imagery pertaining to the campaign examples in the article.

5 national campaigns we loved

Join Gerry from Thinkerbell as he goes through his top 5 campaigns of the past year

2023 was a great year for Australian advertising. During the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity - the “Oscars” of Advertising - Australia’s creative firepower was ranked 7th in the world. Agencies picked up a haul of two Grand Prix, one Gold Lion, 14 Silver Lions and 12 Bronze Lions. This is no small feat; Cannes Lions are notoriously difficult to win as the competition is humongous. So, bon, bon, oui, oui, a brilliant outcome, and a massive jump from being in 11th position the year prior. 

 I must admit award shows like Cannes, D&AD, Australian Effies, etc. are an inspiration and an incredible source of heartfelt envy (in the most positive, competitive kinda way). Today, I’ll share some campaigns with you, I wish I had made, and one we did make.

 Those campaigns were chosen to exemplify a few different weapons we have in our strategic arsenal: manufacturing a point of difference; tapping into the cultural Zeitgeist; modelling desired behaviour; breaking habits; exploiting earned media vs. paid; the power of being distinctive and using a brand’s distinctive assets to its advantage. 

1.    Fitchix 

I am sure every one of us has bought eggs in the supermarket and felt overwhelmed by the sheer choice. Free range, cage-free, barn-laid… the options are endless. Enter the Honest Egg Company who developed bespoke software and a pedometer for chickens to measure how many steps their free-roaming chucks are actually taking, and then print their stats on the fit chick’s eggs to inform all prospective buyers. Brilliant. It’s fun, insightful, and the right bit of stupid. The campaign engineered a tangible point of difference in a category that is literally littered with beige claims and pastel-coloured cartons. Additionally, what I love about this campaign is how it tapped into human behaviours and beliefs. Thereby reinforcing learned memory structures and shortcuts, i.e. more steps = healthier AND freer/less cruel. Eggcellent. 

2.    ‘Til it’s done

Marketers love a cultural tentpole moment to demonstrate their brand’s relevance. Think April Fools day, Halloween, Taytay in town, or alike. Last year, however, the majority of marketers missed and/or underestimated the cultural impact the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia would have. More evidence that we are still living in a misogynistic country … but I am digressing. In their campaign to drive viewership, the Matildas took an empowering stand against the tyranny and inequality of male dominated sports. ‘Til it’s done became a rallying cry for female empowerment. The results: The audience for the Matildas vs. England semi-final reached a staggering 11.15 million people, smashing all previous AustralianTV viewing records. Go the Tillies.   

3.    Aldi’s a rainy goodbye 

The Aldi work in Australia is a masterclass in strategy and creativity. Their brand platform Good Different and their unique tone of voice consistently fuels new messages and behaviour change initiatives. A rainy goodbye wraps a desired behaviour, i.e. do your first shopping at Aldi to save money (and top up other items Aldi does not offer in other Supermarkets), in an emotional love story, borrowing heavily from movie tropes. It’s a hilarious twist in the world of predictable supermarket ads that makes the brand feel human, fun and, dare I say, fresh.  

4.    Tastes better 

If I had a dollar for every ‘taste’ brief I’ve been given, I would probably not be writing this article. ;-) It’s a tough brief. Super subjective. And not really quantifiable. Although apparently, 8 out of 10 brand managers believe that their product tastes better than the competitive product. I am being facetious here. So, when I saw Pepsi Max’s stunt launching on International Burger Day supported by earned, shared and paid media, I really liked it. Whilst the idea was loosely connected to a product truth (Pepsi’s acidity makes it great for fatty fast food meals), it was more the challenger attitude and its gusto that made me look up and notice the campaign. And it’s that jolt that might stop people from habitually ordering Coke and trying Pepsi instead. It’s worth a shot, or a large serve.     

5.    Christina Aguilera’s hand bag

One of Menulog’s distinctive brand assets (DBA) is their delivery bag. Together with Indie designer By Weave Collection, we re-imagined it and created a star-studded designer bag that was fit for Christina Aguilera, the lead protagonist in Menulog’s international brand ad. Christina is also one of the most photographed women in showbiz. So, instead of Menulog’s hard-earned media budgets, we let paparazzis and glamour media platforms do the talking. And they did. The campaign reached a phenomenal amount of Australians and ignited social chatter, thereby making Menulog très en vogue. A little lesson about the effective use of DBAs and how to drive earned media by making a splash in culture.   

Meet the author 

Gerry Cyron from Thinkerbell

Inspired by Vance Packard’s ‘The Hidden Persuaders’, Gerry started his quest to understand how people tick, what drives them, their motivations, fears, and desires; and then use that understanding to build brand narratives for commercial gain, social change, and/or behavioural change.

Gerry began his professional career as a Management Consultant 20 years ago in Germany at BBDO Consulting. He has since worked in Singapore, Melbourne and Sydney. Gerry has worked across a broad range of local and international brands across many, many categories.

His work has been recognised and awarded in major award shows. The Won Report named him the 2nd most awarded Planning Director in the world. Whilst all shiny metal is nice, what drives him is effectiveness and innovation. To him, solving a genuine business problem or societal ill through innovative thinking that is scalable is inspiring.

This article was originally published on 1 March 2024