Spark says 'Little can be huge' in newly launched brand campaign via Colenso BBDO, Auckland

Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 11.43.43 am.jpgSpark has unveiled its 'Little can be huge' brand platform, via Colenso BBDO, to celebrate the little victories in life that can add up to huge wins.
Says Sarah Williams, head of brand, communications and experience at Spark: "'Little can be huge' is an idea that we kicked off first with our people through an internal brand platform called 'Little Victories', that encouraged our people to celebrate the little victories that they and our technology creates that can be huge wins for Kiwis.

"We're now extending that idea in our new brand work. 'Little can be huge' is just as relevant for the hundreds of thousands of businesses and millions of Kiwis we work for every day. It's a way of thinking and working that our people have really got behind, and we're excited to share it with New Zealand."
Says Levi Slavin, CCO, Colenso BBDO: "Whether it's a call that turns someone's day around, or the huge opportunities that a little connection can unleash, 'Little can be huge' is an incredibly versatile idea. It's allowed us to uncover a variety of truly inspiring New Zealand stories."
'Little can be huge' lands this week via a 60" manifesto film, OOH, press, and social. In the coming months, many of the 'Little can be huge' stories in the manifesto will also be brought to life on screen across broadcast and social.

Client: Spark
Clive Ormerod, General Manager Marketing
Sarah Williams, Head of Brand, Communications and Experience
Hannah Watson, Brand and Communications Manager
Agency: Colenso BBDO
Media: PHD
Production Company: FINCH
Sound: Franklin Road


The Judge said:

I dislike manifesto style ads, but you need them occasionally to solve problems where you have to say a lot and need to talk to a lot of people when the target audience is all New Zealanders.

Manifesto ads are also the last resort you only pull out when all else has failed - done it myself a few times with difficult clients.

Verdict: This is vomit inducing. Getting a young girl to act and provide the VO is a cynical attempt to please the client with an option you know they can't say no to. Anything else requires someone putting a stake in the ground. Still, I can't slag it off too much, for I too have pulled out the young girl card (and she does a great job - hats off to the director for getting the performance).

But, most sad of all is the 'little country' cliche at the end. It just cements its place as a PC, cliched and rather tired effort.

What he said... said:

Have to agree. Spark have been rudderless without a strategy for some time now and this is just a poor attempt to make themselves feel better. This is too nebulous to be a brand platform which makes it nothing more than an ad platform. They probably don't know the difference.
It seems to be what they do every August - spend loads to say very little. In the meantime they see significant drops in customer numbers and all they can do is throw free streaming services at the problem.

Judge #2 said:

Half of me wants to say it's quite a nice spot. It will make Kiwis 'feel' something, which I'd imagine is the brief in a nutshell. But the other half of me wants to ask how many damn cliches we can fit into 60 seconds. And I agree with Judge #1...the ending is painful. How long are we going to play this 'little old country punching above its weight' card? The other unfortunately thing is it's quite obvious to see where different parts of the business have gone 'we want our bit in there too'...the inclusion of business in particular being a less than subtle deviation.

Ultimately, not a bad crack, in my opinion. But just imagine what else you could do with the millions of dollars spent making this.


Little detail said:

Why does the kid sound like an Aussie?

Judge #3 said:

Hmmm, do we think that this is being analysed from the point of view of adland and not the average consumer that it is aimed at. For example. Judge 1, you make some excellent points in regards to the inner workings of getting an ad to screen but the reality is, consumers won't give a toss about any of that.

The message in this ad is simple, I think will resonate and it is delivered in a way that I feel will get people to take notice. Not everything has to reinvent the genre - sometimes the best thing for your clients business is to do something like this.

Judge #4 said:

One of the industries biggest spenders got with the most creative agency and they created cliche. I think that's the reason they're judged so harshly. I just really want them to surprise that too much to ask?

What about the children... said:

Beats the domestic violence spot they launched with...emphasis on beats.

Judge #5 said:

It's shit.

The Judge said:

Further on this topic (and hopefully my final message), last night my wife and I accidentally caught this on regular TV (we were waiting for Netflix to load). Her reaction summed up what was so obviously wrong with this commercial - the strategy.

'Little can be huge' doesn't ring true for Spark. They're a huge company. Trying to masquerade as a little company, no matter how you try to spin it, isn't believable. They're not 2degrees from earlier this decade. This is a challenger strategy. But they're anything but.

In truth, this strategy should have been stopped by the agency. But, I don't want to blame the people on College Hill, it's the fault of the client to insist on such a vacuous strategy being taken through the line (I saw a print execution on a bus stop Adshel this morning - it still didn't ring true)

At the end of the day, I really admire most of the big work that comes out of Colenso, but this misses the mark and seems out of touch.

Little can be huge, but Spark is already huge.

Good luck when the measures come through in six months.

Judge #5 said:

Bet the planner must be stoked their strategy vid was remade as the TV spot!

Judge Dredd said:

I'm pretty sure that Spark, Colenso or the audience doesn't care what anyone posting on here thinks.

If only they knew... said:

It came from the internal mantra of "little victories". It was meant to mean what small things have you done today that have actually offered a little win to the team, our customers or the business? They love it and start meetings asking that question of each other. Obviously if they're all having these wins then the whole business will succeed.
If that weren't cringe enoigh they think it's such a good idea that they can talk to the rest of the country about it and that we'll all love it too.
These guys...

Judge Judy said:

Agreed with Judge Dredd. The campaign has been received incredibly well country wide, so the opinions of a hand full of people on here likely wouldn't affect them much.
And the comment of Spark trying to pose as a little company? Where was that implied? It would be more signalling something small to Spark can have a huge impact on the customers lives. Or am I reading into it too much?

Pat Burden said:

I love the ad, and find it captivating every time I see it. I listen carefully, and find the child's voice (presumably a little girl) charming and touching at the same time. It sure has made me remember SPARK because of the ad - right from the first time I saw it! And I love the ending - N.Z. IS a little country, and they can be justly proud of their achievements despite being small. So ..... good on yet. Spark!

Maggie said:

The ad looks beautiful but it is rather cheesy. More importantly the cutesy voice of the child sounds contrived and almost makes me feel nauseous - if I ever hear it come on I have to leap in and turn the sound off . Please find a child who can say little and doesn't lisp so we don't have to listen to 'liddle' 50 times.

Helen said:

It sounds like an adult posing as a child. It is cringeworthy. I hate it.

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