Swear words + kids connects for Contact

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JWT Auckland’s new campaign for power company Contact Energy brings to the screen the complexities of home life, with doses of humour, and illustrates the brand’s vision to help New Zealanders live more comfortably with energy.

“This is our play about the times it’s OK to say swear words,” JWT Asia Pacific’s Singapore-based regional corporate comms director Cris Prystay told M+AD.

“It’s very innovative and sets Contact apart, both in how they are positioning their brand – and also from the kind of advertising generally done by most power companies.

“There’s a good car crash and a pink lady dog and the dad doll’s arms go really fast. The main point is to tell people they can spread their Contact Energy payments across the whole year so their winter bills aren’t so sweary.”

Sofa Sagas, which spans television, radio and online films, turns a family sofa into a stage for a series of short shows performed by two children and their toys. The kids wonder why babies make mum tired, why men can’t breastfeed and why dad had to put cash in the ‘swear jar’ after opening the family’s power bill.

The campaign highlights how Contact Energy understands families, and is changing how they do things to help customers better manage their family life and finances.

“We’re chuffed with the Sofa Sagas, not only as really funny spots, but also as an incredibly stretchy creative platform,” says JWT ECD Cleve Cameron. “Through the role play of children we are able to take on topical and gnarly social and business issues. It’s the child’s guide to an adult world. It’s entertaining and episodic in nature, rather than merely a bunch of ads.

“What started as a great idea has been elevated to something quite special through some brilliant copywriting, much of which was written on the semi-permanent set located within the agency.”

Each performance provides content for ads, social media, even activity books for school holidays. The first run of ads, which includes several TV and online films, launched last week, and a series of shorter, 10-second spots for TV3 Weather launched on Friday.

“We’re changing the way we do things at Contact and the ads have been produced following two years of in-depth qualitative and quantitative research into the homes and everyday lives of our customers and New Zealanders,” says Nicholas Robinson, Contact GM Corporate Services.

“More and more, our customers are looking for practical support to help them manage their households and their household expenses like energy, which plays a vital part in creating a comfy, cozy home.”

The campaign positions Contact, which is one of the country’s largest publicly-listed corporations and the second largest power company, as a company that gets its customers, and sets it apart in the category.

“Hats off to the team at Contact, for their clarity of vision, desire to make a difference, bravery and absolute faith in the creative process. It’s been a lot of fun,” said Cameron.

To watch the first four spots, click on the link:



Client: Contact Energy
Marketing and Communications team: Nicholas Robinson, Belinda James, Bronwyn Barberel
Agency: JWT
ECD: Cleve Cameron
Senior Writer: Hayley Marks
Art Director: Mariona Wesselo-Comas
Head of Planning: Jacqueline Smart
Account Service Team: Donna Drinkwater, Katya Frolova, Thomas Mendey
Digital Team: Peeyoosh Chandra, Anthony Brosnan, Courtney Sit
TV Producer: Two Birds/Mary Wall
Production Company: Sunday Punch
Directors: Nigel McCulloch, Ryan Hutchings, Jarrod Holt
Producer: Anna Stuart
DOP: Duncan Cole
Set Design: Rosie Guthrie
Editor: Cushla Dillon
Grade: Peter Ritchie
Online: Blockhead/Nigel Mortimer
Audio Post: Factory/Clive Broughton
Music Composition: Iain Gordon
Media Agency: Mediacom (Julie-Ann Hedges, Hannah Eastwood)

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