TRA Journal

Kiwis have spoken: ASB’s Ben and Amy Is NZ's Favourite ad of summer, taking out # 1 spot for second time in row

Hannah Cooke

The use of lovable characters and emotional storytelling has seen ASB’s Ben and Amy voted New Zealand’s favourite ad this summer in TRA’s latest round of research. Importantly, the campaign isn’t just popular and entertaining but well-branded, meaning ASB gets all the credit.

The latest edition of the Favourite Ads Survey, by leading independent research and insights agency TRA, asked a representative sample of more than 1,250 Kiwis, aged 18 to 60 years old, a simple question designed to encourage candid feedback – “What’s your favourite ad on TV at the moment?”

TRA’s proprietary framework, Creative Edge, was then used to evaluate the strength of the ad’s creative execution, measuring the ‘three R’s’; how likely an ad is to grab people’s attention (Remarkable), entertain them (Rewarding), and how strongly the brand is linked to the creative idea (Remembered). The newly released results of the research have provided some fascinating insights into effective advertising.

Lloyd Thomason, Communication and Brand Strategist, TRA, said he was not surprised Ben and Amy had topped the list for the second time since March 2021 as Ben and Amy’s story clearly engages Kiwis.

Thomason said: “In times of COVID, Kiwis are looking for plenty of light-hearted relief and memorable lines such as “Hey mince and cheese, get a wiggle on!” match Kiwi humour to a “T”. Like Goldstein before them, Ben and Amy are well on their way to becoming iconic and instantly recognisable brand characters for ASB. The campaign hits the Three R’s criteria head on.”

Shane Evans, Chief Marketing Officer, ASB said: “We are delighted Ben and Amy has been voted New Zealand’s favourite ad for a second time in a row. ASB has a legacy of telling great stories through our ads and as a result Ben and Amy have become real cultural touchstones in New Zealand. We love what they say about our brand and we look forward to continuing their story.” 

The highly remarkable and rewarding storytelling of Trustpower’s Meant To Be Together and Westpac’s Together Greater saw the campaigns take second and third place respectively. In comparison to ASB however, connection back to the brand was weaker.

TRA also partnered with the NZ Marketing Association to ask over 200 marketers which of the top 10 were their favourite ads – and the results were well aligned. But for marketers, ANZ’s We Do How replaced Westpac in the top five.

John Miles, CEO, Marketing Association, said: "It's always useful to understand what's striking a chord with mass-market New Zealand, and what better way to learn than looking at New Zealand's favourite ads on TV. It's fantastic to see evidence that remarkable, rewarding advertising is what New Zealanders love, and that our brilliant marketers can achieve this in a way that makes brands more memorable too."


Mitre 10’s ‘With You All The Way’ deserves an honourable mention, frequently mentioned by marketers as a favourite unprompted and very nearly making the top ten for the public – placing 11th.

 “A massive amount of effort goes into creating advertising that Kiwis love. But this effort is wasted if people don’t know who the ad is for. The good news is that increasing performance on ‘Remembered’ doesn’t come at the expense of creating work that resonates. ASB and PAK’nSAVE are both excellent examples of favourite campaigns that are instantly recognisable as coming from their respective brands,” Thomason concluded.

Read more about Favourite Ads on Mainframe.