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What are New Zealand's five favourite FMCG TVCs?

TV ads

Ads might take a minute or less to play on TV, but their stories become embedded in people’s memory and our collective culture for a lifetime.

This is an enticing proposition for brand owners, but some are better than others at pulling it off. That’s why we decided to start tracking and analysing New Zealand’s favourite ads, the ones that stand apart from all the other ads in people’s memory as the one they like best.  

What’s more, we tend to see that the ads most liked by the general public are also the most effective at achieving results.

Here’s a quick look at the FMCG brands standing out from the pack with favourite ads in New Zealand right now:

First point to note, there aren’t any FMCG brands currently in the top ten favourites. Instead we have services, utilities and retailers. Some of this may be down to media budgets available to marketers in those categories, but what can we learn from the FMCG brands a little further down the list that are punching above their weight?

1. Cadbury – Mums Birthday – This ad was in the top ten consistently the year that it launched in 2019. Produced out of the UK but with a universally appealing story about a girl trading her most beloved toys for a bar to give to her Mum on her birthday. This ad isn’t just winning hearts, it’s also selling chocolate. New Zealand figures aren’t available to us right now, but we do know that since this ad started playing in the UK, Cadbury went on to become the UK’s fastest growing grocery brand.

2. Coca-colaLadybird - An iconic brand that have had a couple of ads appearing in the favourites list recently. Ladybird appeals to the Kiwi Code of connection with nature, showing how we can all do our bit to recycle and keep New Zealand beautiful. Coca cola also surprised Kiwis by choosing Taika Waititi to direct its global Christmas ad  staring local actor Cohen Holloway. Combining Cohen’s familiar face in a surprising new story about a dad journeying to the North Pole captured people’s attention, and also earned PR coverage extending the reach and engagement with this ad.

3. Sealord – Be Like a FishFirst launched in June 2017, this ad continues to evoke fond memories among Kiwi TV viewers. Like Cadbury, the product plays a central role in a heart warming story about the bond between a girl and her Dad as they learn to swim together. This campaign has also had a measurable effect on driving brand preference for Sealord.

4. Meadow Fresh – Growth Needs Goodness – There is a theme emerging here around parents and daughters. In the case of Meadow Fresh, they have centred the entertainment on a highly relatable kiwi rite of passage; being trusted to go down to the dairy on your own to pick up a bottle of milk. The relatable truth is what makes this ad likable and memorable.

5. Speights – The Dance – This has been a favourite ad since it first launched in 2019, and went on to win the Grand Effie for advertising effectiveness. No dads and daughters here, but a surprising twist on modern masculinity and mateship. The combo of familiar Speights mates in a new, but true context of learning a wedding dance together not only entertained TV audiences but also got them talking. The conversation around this ad is what gives it an edge, and Speights marketers cleverly close the loop from a likable ad on TV to cardboard cut-outs of the main characters at point of sale to remind shoppers at the chiller of the brand that made them smile at home on the TV.

The most important common element of all these ads is how the product plays a central role in the story.

None of these ads rely only on a logo at the end, nor do they try to shoehorn in a conspicuous consumption shot. Each one is essentially a demonstration of the product usage occasion, wrapped up in an emotive, entertaining story that is remarkable, rewarding and gets remembered.

Ask us about our Creative Edge framework that is designed to help you develop stronger creative executions and to measure their impact in market: email or call 09 377 8129.

headshot of Carl Sarney, Head of Strategy at TRA
Carl Sarney
Head of Strategy at TRA
Carl has 20 years of insight industry experience. He is specialised in brand and comms strategy with a proven history of effective work for his clients, including several gold awards for advertising effectiveness. His research work has taken him to just about every town in New Zealand to speak with people from all walks of life. He's also conducted qualitative research in eight more countries while based in London for two years and spent seven years as an ad agency planner before joining TRA in 2018.

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