Ad Of The Week
Cats are famously independent creatures, and the idea of a cat two- or three-timing its supposed owners with multiple households is one rich with comic potential. NZ Post, in its charming and funny recent ad, exploits that potential.
A courier for NZ Post is making his rounds. At each stop, a lovely ginger cat greets him. It begins to dawn on him that it’s the same cat. Just on its own, this would be entertaining, but the ad builds at least two twists into its sixty seconds, and even a bit of mild peril too. Watch it for yourself to find out how the cat’s story resolves!
It’s a great ad and fully deserving of its 5.1-Star score, which puts it in the top percent of ads worldwide. Not only that, it has strong Fluency (showing people quickly pick up who it’s for) and an exceptional short term Spike score.
What makes it do so well? It’s stuffed with elements which get the attention of the right-brain – which as readers of Orlando Wood’s Lemon will know, are more effective in creating positive emotional response. It has a strong central character (two, if you count the cat) and a lot of between-ness in its non-verbal communication. It has a strong narrative. And it also has a really good soundtrack, a cover of the Beach Boys’ “I Get Around” which is appropriate and funny without being too dominant in the mix.
All of which is enough to raise “Cat” well above the standard animal-themed ad. But it doesn’t explain how it performs so well on Brand Fluency, which helps push its Spike score high too. The ad doesn’t make a great show of overt branding until the end, but it has a secret weapon. The courier’s immediately recognisable NZ Post uniform means you know who “Cat” is for right from the beginning, and it can get on with telling its story. It’s a great example of a brand using its distinctive assets well, letting it brand its work without boring or distracting the viewer. Add the great storyline, and you have an ad which succeeds on all fronts.