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From Ketut to Superhumans - 2012's Best Ad Campaigns




8.1.2013


Campaign: Rhonda and Ketut, AAMI
Shona Nielsen, Media Strategist





It was always going to take something special to top the “Lucky you’re with AAMI” branding ads of the late Oughties, and many of us thought AAMI’s luck had deserted them when they first served up Rhonda in the AAMI safe driver rewards campaign in 2011.

But it seems they’ve hit the jackpot this year, delivering three excellent commercials featuring the now famous Rhonda and Ketut, whose budding romance has seen them described as the couple foremost in the hearts of Australians.

Rhonda is now the face of AAMI’s ad campaign which has now evolved into a spoofy love story with a massive social media following. Bali now even sells singlets and shirts with various sayings from the ads.

I think that the success of this campaign has been because:
-    Rhonda’s character is relatable to the audience
-    We’ve grown to know her over multiple ads
-    We can relate to holidays in Bali (well especially those in the West)
-    But most of all, Love prevails – we love a romantic story and there’s a real anticipation for the next instalment

AAMI has done well to integrate their social media and audience responses. The ads feel like they’ve grown organically, rather than being overly planned.

As much as this is my favourite ad of 2012, I look forward to seeing some solid evidence of the campaign’s overall effectiveness.

Campaign: Meet the Superhumans, Channel 4 - Paralympic Games
Regan Shepherd , Senior Digital Producer



The Meet The Super Humans campaign by Channel 4 to promote the 2012 Special Olympics coverage was a standout campaign of 2012.

The TVC was launched at the exact same time across 78 channels in the UK.

The campaign aimed to change your perception of people with disabilities and it certainly achieved its goal.

Leveraging the real life stories of the UK’s Special Olympics Team and featuring the track Harder Than You Think by hip hop legends, Public Enemy, the TVC builds a real sense of anticipation and excitement about the event. Their billboard campaign was pretty cool too, poking fun at the “normal” Olympians.

Paralympic Games Billboard

Unfortunately their website didn’t quite hit the same level of excellence.

Campaign: Dumb ways to Die, Metro Trains, Melbourne
Anna Werchowiecki, Account Executive



Consuming medicine that’s out of date or using your private parts as piranha bait are both considered dumb ways to die by Metro Trains in Melbourne. Add to that the fact that they rhyme, this catchy tune has captured attention and gathered momentum via social media such as YouTube and Facebook and is my favourite campaign for 2012.

No longer will Melbournians run across the tracks between the platforms or drive around the boom gates at a level crossing because as the song says, they may not rhyme but they’re quite possibly the dumbest ways to die.

This campaign targets a younger demographic, who are more likely to display risky behaviour around trains and in train stations, by producing a humorous, catchy song partnered up with a humorous YouTube clip. Clear and effective in its message, it is sure to go a long way in decreasing risky behaviour in train stations.

Campaign: Beer Chase, Carlton United Brewers
Costa Lazos, Art Director



WHY? Because everyone loves a good old fashioned car chase. The TVC starts off like a classic joke: Four thieves walk into a bar…This sets a comical tone to an already hilariously odd-looking group of guys. Police give chase and the thieves leave their loot but hold onto what’s most valuable – cleverly placing value on the product and keeping Carlton Draft beer at the focus of the entire beer chase. The foot chase is an exciting parody of every Hollywood classic car chase from the 1980s. The entertaining ride makes me smile every time. The cheesy 80s sound track perfectly complements every cliché!

Campaign: Arnott’s Shapes Sizzling Summer
James Gillespie, Regional Creative Director



Watching TV at the end of a full-on day, I tend to go into a trance as most ads blend into one another, only punctuated by the television station’s own ads and their shameless self-promotion.

Amongst this warzone of blah, one ad has stood out for me that is fresh and uses the added element of quirk. The Arnott's Shapes – Sizzling Summer ad, has a very retro style with the record player, exercise bikes and “inappropriate short shorts”.

When viewing ads like this I always think about the pitch process and how this idea would have been presented and sold to the client. The must have been a great pitch  with the client fully trusting and committed to taking Shapes from the preferred 70's French onion dip accompaniment, to a refreshed snack aimed at today’s hungry teens.

Success ultimately relies on the talent selected; stand out characterisation and a memorable tune or tagline.

Arnott's Shapes Sizzling Summer is a great ad and one I never tire of seeing even as I lay comatose on the couch.

Campaign: Nissan Nevada Boulder
Michelle Hagan, Account Executive



It’s our job to tell a story, break the mould and build on a brand’s reputation; the Nissan Nevada Boulder advert does just that. A creative, humorous story about “Australia’s most powerful tradie” avoids the car ad clichés; the overseas model cruising along the winding road in amongst stunning scenery as a masculine voiceover lists the features). Instead, this advert is subtle and entertaining.  Through strong imagery, talent (two ‘good looking roosters’) and music (classic 90s Aussie Rock), this clever ad builds on Nissan’s reputation for safety and reliability, not needing to promote a deal or even a price.

Campaign: AutoPong, Daimler
Jarrod Greenwood, Head of WA/SA/NT



I love the out-of-home ambient market but unfortunately many campaigns fail to nail the wow factor. This campaign is the exception. BBDO created this experiential event for car-maker Daimler to showcase their new electric car at the Frankfurt Auto Show.  They created an interactive version of the classic arcade “pong” replacing the paddles with cars.  Members of the public got to play the game and experience the driving fun of an electric car in an interactive way. The campaign went viral with countless comments on social media and blogs, as well as a lot of media attention that generated even more online and offline chatter for the brand.

Campaign: The New Up! Volkswagen Australia
Kylie Macey, Account Executive



The first time I watched this ad, I missed the first half but as soon as the old man referred to the woman as a man, I realised he couldn’t see and he thought he had been travelling in a monster of a car. The ad instantly made sense. Humor adds another perspective and helps deliver messages to a less attentive audience, especially, a younger crowd - as we tend to skip over all the information stuff. This was an amusing way to explain the ‘monster features’ of this small car and every time I see this ad I chuckle.

Campaign: Drummond Golf
Gavin Upham-Hill, Studio Manager



Drummond golf ads, “campaign of the year” probably not. But, to my mind, they’re definitely worth a mention.

They are a great example of how a little bit of humour reduces the need for massive budgets.

Brett Ogle, not taking himself too seriously, is a refreshing approach to the use of celebrity.
The ads are short, to the point and convey their message in a light and simple manner.

They are continually updated with a new ad every couple of months, keeping the theme interesting.

I have to confess I have never actually stepped foot in a Drummond golf outlet, but If I was asked randomly by someone where to go for golf gear I would defiantly say “Drummond Golf would be worth looking at”.  I think that speaks volumes for the effectiveness of this campaign.

What was your favourite ad campaign in 2012? Share your comments below. 


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