Y&R gets rhythmic for its new Countdown platform

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Countdown’s busting out all the rhymes in a new brand platform, its first campaign by Y&R with support from Ogilvy Media.

The one minute 30 second TVC, We Can Help With That, features a rhyming voiceover offering tips to help in any food situation—from getting kids to eat vegetables, to serving the in-laws a roast, and when you’ve blown your budget buying a spa pool instead of food.

In October last year, after 20 years with O&M, Countdown appointed Y&R as its lead brand agency and Wellcom Group as the partner responsible for day-to-day advertising production. Countdown is a subsidiary of Woolworths Group NZ.

Debra Brooks, Countdown’s head of brand marketing, says the new brand platform puts the company’s “incredibly committed and hard-working team” front and centre.

“We want to celebrate that commitment and communicate our philosophy to our customers,” she said. “Let’s be proud of that, not just internally but externally too.”

“We’ve harnessed the powers of Supergroove, the dulcet tones of Oscar Kightley & Kirk Torrance, and a cast of great Kiwi talent to bring our brand to life.”

As well as the TVC, Brooks says Countdown worked with the Y&R team to create a new brand and retail platform, brand design and launch campaign.

“We’ve harnessed the musical powers of Supergroove, the dulcet tones of Oscar Kightley and Kirk Torrance, and a cast of really great Kiwi talent to bring our brand to life.”

Dave Chambers, Countdown’s managing director, says over the last few years, the company has worked to transform the way it works and team culture, and this new brand platform illustrates that.

“Countdown leads the industry in a number of important ways, including being New Zealand’s first supermarket to phase-out caged eggs and single-use plastic carrier bags. The ‘we can help with that’ brand platform is the perfect vehicle to tell our story and to talk about what’s at the core of our business.”

Jono Key, managing director at Y&R, says to be given the responsibility of refreshing one of New Zealand’s biggest brands was both daunting and exciting.

“I can honestly say this has been one of the most collaborative, thoughtful and fun campaigns the agency has ever been involved with. We have a platform that is a great expression of Countdown’s culture and brand purpose.”


Client: Woolworths NZ
Head of Brand Marketing Countdown: Debra Brooks
Head of Marketing Strategy: Wadim Schreiner –

Agency: Y&R NZ
CEO / CCO: Josh Moore: (Outgoing)
Managing Director: Jono Key
Copywriter: Nicholas Dellabarca
Art Director: Liz Richards
Head of TV Production: Anna Kennedy
GAD: Campbell McLean
Senior Account Manager: Sabrina Jensen
Account Manager: Aneka Burden
Senior Planner: Craig McLeod
Head of Motion: Amanda Sasano
Head of Studio Production: Paul Gibson
Head of Design: James Wendelborn

Production Company: Goodoil
Director: Matt Kamen
Executive Producer: Mark Foster
Producer: Anna Stuart
DOP: Crighton Bone

Post-Production: Blockhead

Photographer (Match Photography): Fraser Clements
Audio: Franklin Road
Producer/Music Licensing: Jonathan Mihaljevich
Composer: Jim Hall
Head of Sound Design: Shane Taipari

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