The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

The Best [None Ad] Idea by Adland Of The Year …

Have a look at this …

Now I know some of you – mainly Mr Dodds – argues it is an ad, but I disagree.

Yes, what I’ve just shown you is a case study video, but the fact is, the agency behind it – the ridiculously good Colenso – developed the speed dial to solve the problem of drivers going too fast … then created the advertising to promote their solution.

That is very, very different to what most agencies would do … which would be to just make another ad.

Don’t get me wrong, a lot of the speed campaigns have been very successful in NZ, but this is something that fundamentally tackles the problem when you’re sat in front of the steering wheel, rather than sat in front of the television.

I am hugely jealous of it … but then the guys behind it, headed by my mates Nick Worthington and Nick Garrett, are seriously good.


I wrote a while back how I believe Square was an embarrassment to adland – and banks – and I still stand by that, which is why it’s so wonderful for me to see an idea that is so seriously good, simple and clever coming from an ad agency.

And guess what, it came from the old ‘insight and creativity’ partnership.

In these days where adland likes to pretend they’re scientists, academics and technological geniuses … it’s great to see the simple, infectious power of a good insight, some creative people and a big dollop of imagination.

Congrats Colenso but this sort of thing isn’t unique to you and I just hope this ignites the desire in adland as a whole to solve problems rather than focus on just making ads.

Jesus, who am I???!!!


That is seriously good. Not sure how practical it would be to implement but it’s a fantastic idea and so much more than just an ad.

Comment by Pete


1. The video (guessing it’s an award entry) doesn’t sell how good the idea really is. Feels they enjoyed making the video more than coming up with the speed dial.
2. @Pete and George. Bet this is cheaper than your google car.

Comment by Bazza

Exactly – that’s why I said it was an ad. Or a corporate promo film.

The idea of humanising the driver’s cocoon is a good one. But the execution, while cute, is really not tested. There’s four users in the case study which is pretty small even for a case study. There’s no control group etc etc.

And there’s no consideration of the possibility of a driver looking at their personalised speedo, falling into a reverie about their kids and driving through a red light. Or worse.

The world changed some time ago. Today you need to make the thing work. Really really work. Then you can shout about it.

Comment by John

thank fuck youre not in charge of fucking patents or the wheel would still be locked in fucking form filling red tape. its a fucking smart idea. smarter than an ad telling people to slow down and a quick fucking look says they have some evidence to say it had an effect and fuck all evidence to say it made parents sentimental for their ankle biters and crash into a bus stop of oaps.

Comment by andy@cynic

I didn’t say it wasn’t a nice idea. But you’re wrong about the “evidence” and the record shows that I was in favour of the wheel.

As for it being better than an ad telling people to slow down – well of course it’s better than that, but that’s not saying much. I think you make people slow down by making it impossible for them not to – not by hoping an idea will encourage them to do so.

After all, many people with their own kids in their car drive too fast.

Comment by John

But I accept that the market has determined that I know nothing and the above is thus invalid.

Comment by John

dont put yourfuckingself down doddsy, you know more than a planner. oh, i fucking get what you mean.

Comment by andy@cynic

To be fair, they’re saying they were exploring whether it would work rather than saying it definitely does work. That said [1] there’s huge amounts of evidence to say the insight about children influencing the speed that parents drive is true and [2] the early results do suggest the speed dial may have a similar effect on drivers as it would if their kids are in the car.

Are there other possible outcomes? Yes.

Does this mean it’s definitely right? No.

But I think it’s fair to say it’s much than [1] “Baby on board” stickers or trying to address a driver when they’re in front of the telly instead of the steering wheel.

But that’s by the by. The fact is, they developed an idea that could have this effect. Yes it needs more proof and scale, but instead of doing another TV ad, they developed a solution and then used media to amplify it and for me, that’s better than 99.5% of what most agencies do.

Comment by Rob

Sticks and stones.

Comment by Pete

ill fucking throw them all at you if you keep up with your sad nerd war.

Comment by andy@cynic

Seems the Mountain View mob no longer believe in doing no evil. Ha.

Comment by Rob

look at you 2 sad fucks. you think youre chuck norris but youre a piss weak version of charlie fucking brown. one makes the same fucking product over and over again and the other makes shit that appeals to the sorts of twats that act like isis if they cant have a green tea fucking latte. no one cares. no one fucking cares.

Comment by andy@cynic

I have to agree.

Comment by Rob


Comment by andy@cynic

Like old times.

Comment by DH

what shit is doddsy talking. its much better than a fucking ad. its also much better quality scam than the usual shit. i like colenso though. they make good shit and when you think they come from a country that makes portland look like new york, you have to wonder if fucking sheep gives them extra creative powers.

Comment by andy@cynic

It’s excellent. I’m jealous as well.

Comment by George

I like the thinking and the expression of it (the dial) is very charming. I wonder how practical it would be to include in every car? If it is, it would be an interesting differentiator for VW if nothing else. I hope it becomes more than an award submission. It deserves to be.

Comment by Lee Hill

Maybe you could fit it in one of your planes and see if it works.

Comment by DH

[…] is something that has been done in many ways over the years, including the brilliant Speed Dial by Colenso [video here] … but this was something even […]

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