TBWA’s smart device in sheep’s clothing

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AUCKLAND, Today: TBWA is currently running a new campaign for the ANZ Healthy Homes initiative, starring “Mr Humfreez”. TBWA CCO Shane Bradnick said: “Behind his friendly appearance, Mr Humfreez features cutting-edge technology yet he has no screen, no wires and doesn’t need charging.”

The smart device in sheep’s clothing uses the power of nature to educate Kiwis about the humidity and dampness issues that impact their homes, their lives and their environment.

Resembling a ram and sustainably created using wood, wool and ink, Mr Humfreez was developed in collaboration with Professor David Correa from the University of Waterloo in Canada. Prof Correa and his team are experts in natural hygroscopic material, a substance that readily attracts water from its surroundings, through either absorption or adsorption.

Mr Humfreez has been calibrated so his hygroscopic horns fully uncurl when the relative humidity level exceeds 65%, and the thermochromic ink on his nose turns blue when the temperature drops below 18°C – standards set by the World Health Organisation for a healthy home.

One in six Kiwis are affected by respiratory diseases, the highest in the developed world  and a disproportionate number of those affected are under 14 years old.

“The ANZ campaign is appearing on TV, OnDemand, digital display, online, PR, social, OOH and in-branch.”

Mr Humfreez has been meeting pupils at an Auckland school to gauge their reactions and interest with a potential schools programme in mind. Leading the educational feasibility study is Dale Bailey, founder of Core Education and former director of collections research and learning at Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington.

Bailey said: “In New Zealand we have a huge awareness and understanding issue when it comes to healthy homes. Mr Humfreez helps children learn about science, technology and design as well as what makes a home healthy.

“When that happens, they’re more likely to go home and have a discussion with their parents about what they learnt and get the conversation started.”

Bradnick said: “ANZ is committed to helping Kiwis live in warmer, drier, quieter homes and this means  Kiwis need to have an understanding of what a healthy home looks like and it can be a challenging topic. Mr Humfreez helps overcome this challenge by creating a talking point to start a conversation.”

The Mr Humfreez campaign has appeared on TV, OnDemand, digital display, online, PR, social, OOH and in-branch.


Client: ANZ
Agency: TBWA\Group NZ
Product Design: TBWA\MAKE
Content Production: TBWA\BOLT
Public Relations: TBWA\Eleven
Development Partner: Professor David Correa, University of Waterloo, Canada
Production Company: Flying Fish
Post Production: Mandy VFX
Sound Design & Mix: Liquid Studios
Music: Liquid Studios

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