Ad Nut
Mar 27, 2020

NZ telco company releases ads featuring 'someone you might know'

The highly targeted campaign plays to the local stereotype of ‘everyone knows someone who knows someone'.

To break from all the grimness taking over the news at the moment, NZ low-cost telco company Skinny launched a clever campaign to encourage customers to refer their friends and family.

Here’s the twist: the Friend-versiting campaign wants to put the ‘everyone knows someone who knows someone’ stereotype in New Zealand to the test by releasing 46 highly targeted national broadcast ads featuring 46 Skinny customers in each ad. Chances are, according to the brand, locals watching the ad on TV might know someone featured in any one of the spots.

The campaign launched this week, each one styled similarly but featuring a completely different talent. In each, a customer stands alone in a two-person, friendship scenario and performs mundane activities such as riding a seesaw or playing chess, while talking to the camera about Skinny’s mobile network coverage. Hindi, Cantonese, Samoan, and Sign Language versions of the ad are also running in prime-time TV slots without subtitles. See all 46 ads here

Plus, OOH placements feature recognisable faces from the community and are geo-located to reach those who are most likely to recognise them. On social media, customers can generate their own online ads in the same format, targeted to their friends and family.

Natasha Gill, TV producer at assigned agency ColensoBBDO, said: “This was the most complex campaign to ever blow through our building. Our tiny brains would melt every time we did the math on fitting so many people into a normal production timeline. But it was definitely worth it. Probably?”

It’s all quite brilliant, and Ad Nut is very much looking forward to seeing some familiar faces in the coming days.


Ally Young - Chapter Lead – Brand
Hunter Haines - Brand Partner – Social
Frith Wilson-Hughes – Chapter Lead - Social
Janine Casis - Paid Social Partner
Otto Gebhar -  Automation Analyst
Steve Imm - Skinny Product Owner
Krissy Martin - Customer Marketer – Skinny
Shannon Evans – Skinny Mobile Product Owner
Steve Hay – E2E Journey Specialist
Gareth Killip – Chapter Lead – Skinny DevOps
Rhys Huber – Customer Marketer – Trade
Emma Biggs – Legal Business Partner
Ryan Drew – Chapter Lead – Performance Marketing

Agency: Colenso BBDO
Media Agency: PHD Media
Trade and Digital Agency: Platform 29
Production Company: Good Oil

Director: Dave Wood
Executive Producer: Lee Thompson
Executive Producer: Andrew McLean
DOP: Crighton Bone
Editor: Simon Njoo
Colourist: Pete Richie
Online Editor: Richard Betts at Blockhead

Sound Design: Liquid Studios
Sound Design: Craig Matuschka
Music Producer: Tamara O’Neill
Music Producer: Shirleyanne McDonald-Shaw
Stills Production: Match
Photographer: Troy Goodall
Retoucher: Jason King at SixtyFour

Ad Nut is a surprisingly literate woodland creature that for unknown reasons has an unhealthy obsession with advertising. Ad Nut gathers ads from all over Asia and the world for your viewing pleasure, because Ad Nut loves you. You can also check out Ad Nut's Advertising Hall of Fame, or read about Ad Nut's strange obsession with 'murderous beasts'.

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