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The Mission continues (to win) as 2degrees takes annual Ad Impact Award

Youtube VideoAs part of the Ad Impact Awards, Colmar Brunton asked approximately 4000 Kiwi consumers for their thoughts on all of last year's new brand ads and the top six were announced a couple of weeks back. But the big annual winner is 2degrees and TBWA\'s ‘Mission HQ’, which scored significantly above average across the board in all the key impact measures.

Respondents were asked four key questions via an online panel about the new TV campaigns that had aired that month: did you notice it? Did you know who it was for? Did it engage you, stand out and arouse your interest? And how did you feel or act after seeing it? The results were then compared to Colmar Brunton’s vast normative database, which is based on the more than 72,000 ads that have been tested around the world over the past 30 years

"With a massive index score of 363 on branding, it is definitely remembered as a 2degrees ad and with the impact index of 177 and persuasion index of 189, it is an ad that ticks all the boxes," says Colmar Brunton's senior account manager Harriet Dixon.

Youtube Video"We also have an award for the most entertaining ad of the year, which goes to the V ‘Paintball’ ad by Colenso, with an enjoyment index of 168, significantly above our norm," she says. "It is also well remembered as a V ad, with a branding index of 256, and a very high talkability index of 235."

Youtube VideoThe most impactful new product launch of the year went to the Ice Bar Co's ‘Ice Chef’ ad, also by Colenso, which successfully communicated the launch of this new ice bar range with a new news index of 288 and a difference index of 221.

TBWA\'s David Walden was chuffed with the accolade, but says he's not particularly surprised with the result.

"I’ve always had faith in the public's good taste and remember Goldstein won People’s Choice 49 weeks out of 52 in AdMedia People's Choice and yet was never recognised in any industry awards," he says. "2degrees is a really simple proposition and it has connected with Kiwis like no other telco. I am really proud of the work as it is uniquely Kiwi but it’s also not self-indulgent humour. It’s relevant and engaging. So it should renew our faith in brands investing in quality advertising to talk to their audiences."

Malcolm Phillipps, who recently took over as the new chief marketing officer at 2degrees after the departure of Larrie Moore, says it's really exciting to be named as the winner of the annual Ad Impact title.

He says the quality of the comms has certainly played a critical role, but the company's success comes down to the whole marketing mix, like the pricing, the customer care and the regular product innovations like Pay Monthly and Carryover Minutes. And each time they've launched something new, he says they've had a great campaign from TBWA\ and Film Construction director Steve Saussey to back it up.

The Mission HQ campaign directed people towards the Facebook page, which now has 75,000 fans, so while he says social media has been a focus from day one, it is becoming increasingly important.

"I guess this campaign was different because the call to action was to Facebook and we asked consumers to ask us what we should do next," he says. "And more and more of them want to interact with us there."

As an activation stunt linked to the ad, Phillipps says it gave away a few cans of 2degrees cola and, in what he says is a credit to the power of the brand and its ability to stretch further into people's lives, they all thought it was a great idea. And while there's no firm plans to follow in the footsteps of Richard Branson and branch out into other sectors—or, slightly disappointingly, to set-up 2degrees HQ on a private Caribbean island—he says the main insight gleaned from the campaign was that people wanted them to keep improving, evolving and shaking up the market.

The strategy to aim for the low hanging, lower spending fruit and gradually try and shift into the higher spending categories was unavoidable, but it is working, he says. Smartphone penetration is now close to 30 percent and as it is now offering phones like the Samsung Galaxy S2—and as its reputation as a good value telco provider continues to grow—he says it's "starting to attract the right kind of customers".

After the merger of Mitchells, Carat is 2degrees media agency and its business director Gareth O'Connor crunched a few numbers about the top six ads. 2degrees had the lowest number of TARPs and this, he says, shows that it's not just about TV weight. It's also about strategic media buying and good creative.

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"We know spend doesn’t create impact," Dixon says. "You need to have an impactful ad, then you can get more bang for your bucks."

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  • We asked our readers to vote for their top ad to see if it matched with the consumers' views. 40 percent went for Whittaker's and Assignment Group's Swear by the Slab, 21 percent went for Toyota and Saatchi & Saatchi's Hilux monkey and 18 percent voted for 2degrees' and TBWA\'s 'The Mission HQ'.

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