Skinny Phone It In



Skinny is a low-cost telco in New Zealand who promise to keep their prices low and customers happy.

With tiny budgets, we needed a campaign to grow:

  • Consideration
  • Lowest price perception
  • Sales


Previous AV-led campaigns have been successful at making obvious the sacrifices Skinny makes to keep their prices low without compromising on quality.


We didn’t want to throw the playbook out, but with significant increases in TV costs, and our budget down YoY, we simply couldn’t afford to have an AV led media strategy.


Still needing the high reach and high trust of AV, we decided to keep the A but remove the V.


An audio led approach would cost effectively deliver us the same reach, and was under-utilised by our competitors, giving us a disproportionate SOV.


But we needed to make it feel Skinny and demonstrate our commitment to saving money on our creative executions.




It’s obvious to everyone that radio ads are cheaper to make than TV ads


But our idea was to make it even more obvious, by not paying anyone at all.


Introducing…. Skinny: Phone It In


Rather than pay for a studio and voice actors, we turned media placements into radio scripts and placed them around the country, inviting everyday Kiwis to phone in and record their very own ad for Skinny.


By turning mobile phones into ‘recording studios’ and having everyday people be the free talent in the ads, we would once again create a real and fun demonstration of the lengths Skinny go to keep prices low.


The problem was radio scripts are text heavy with no imagery…. other than Skinny’s distinctive bright orange border, they didn’t tick any creative best practices.


So, to get people to phone in, the media needed to drive the creativity.




The communication strategy was built to deliver to three key principles:


  1. Record-ability– the media placements needed to consider the audience’s ability to actually read the script and be physically able to pull out their phone and call up to record the script.  Highway billboards were out.


  1. Pique attention– the creative wouldn’t capture attention, so we needed impactful media placements that would turn up in unexpected places to pique people’s interest.


  1. Context is king – to sustain their attention, we needed to work incredibly closely with our creative partners to ensure every single media touchpointhad a bespoke script that spoke to the mindset or moment the person was in


Once we had the recordings, we’d then push throughout the airwaves to reach as many New Zealanders as possible.


Try saying ‘the beguiling allure of Skinny’s splendiferous mobile network’ after a few drinks. That’s what scripts on coasters in pubs asked drinkers to record.

Pie packets and coffee cups encouraged those taking a break to dial in – “Maybe it’s the caffeine talking but I’ve never been so pumped up about a telco!’’

Commuters were targeted via posters on platforms, posters outside law firms referenced the clientele, and mirror decals in barbers offered an alternative to small talk.

60” TV ads spoke to insomniacs at 3am, while post-credits cinema ads spoke to superfans waiting for Easter Eggs.

In total, we had 34 individual executions across 34 hand-selected media placements, each crafted to make the most of the environment.

All supported with a nationwide radio partnership talking about the campaign and where to find scripts, while 30” radio ads played the various scripts at heavy weights across the country.




Our campaign reached 77% of New Zealanders, resulting in a massive library of 2,500+ radio recordings – all proclaiming Skinny’s low prices and happy customers, delivered straight from the mouths of mobile users…. of whom 64% were NOT Skinny customers.

Most of our ads were recorded by other telcos’ customers!

And it didn’t cost a cent to record.

And it worked!

Consideration and low-price perceptions jumped to record levels and sales went through the roof.