Give em a taste of Kiwi

The recent BNZ “Is money good/bad?” campaign has stimulated some interesting debate, not least of which is around its ‘Kiwi-ness’ – or rather, the lack of it. The argument goes that surely a bank with NZ in its name should have advertising that’s oozing with heartland Kiwi schmaltz. Or at the very least, the commercials should have been shot here using local production crews and talent.

There certainly seems to be a trend at the moment of television advertising that celebrates our ‘Kiwi-ness’ and increasingly local clients are asking for it in their commercials. But it begs the question, do you have to overtly show it – even overplay it – for an ad to be quintessentially Kiwi?

Surely an ad created and shot locally will inherently be a Kiwi ad. You’ll recognise the landscapes, styles of houses, ethnicities, accents and humour as being from here. It’ll feel familiar and you’ll respond to it differently than you do to an ad that’s obviously foreign.

Interestingly, our recent series of animated commercials for Winstone Wallboards, about all the reasons homeowners should trust GIB® when renovating or building their homes, have been lauded for their ‘Kiwi-ness’. We didn’t set out primarily to dial up the Kiwi credentials of GIB®, but inherently these ads have – because they’re made here for here.

Of course, there will be occasions when dialling up your brand’s ‘Kiwi-ness’ is wholly appropriate, especially if it’s your differentiator. But otherwise, don’t try too hard. Trust that your ‘Kiwi-ness’ will shine through.

Drew is Creative Director of justONE and inherently Kiwi.