Fruitful partnership nets bumper crop of Axis Awards for Rockit and Special

Sometimes it pays for the apple to fall a really long way from the tree.

Doing things differently and continuing to disrupt the commodity apple category has seen the team at snack sized apple company Rockit nab nine gongs at the Commercial Communication Council’s 2022 Axis Awards, including one gold.

The awards, which celebrate the enormous breadth of talent within the New Zealand advertising industry, were held virtually yesterday afternoon, due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Rockit™ Apple took gold in the coveted Design 360 category – which recognises a brand’s success across all its touchpoints – along with five silvers and three bronze awards in both the Craft and the Magazine and Newspaper categories. The accolades come 12 months after the innovative apple company partnered with agency Special to tell the story of its delicious, nutritious miniature apples.

Rockit Global Limited’s General Manager Global Marketing, Julian Smith, says the campaign was an instant hit, due to its cheeky interpretation of historical or fictional events involving an apple which “could have been vastly improved if the apple in question was a Rockit!”

“The three inserts created by Special were high-energy and humorous, and we loved them. Each ad told the story of either Adam and Eve, Snow White or Isaac Newton. They were clever and courageous – traits we look for in any partnership and certainly traits our consumers also value.

“To claim gold in the hotly contested Design 360 award was a particular thrill.”

Ads ran across newspaper and newspaper insert magazines throughout the campaign period in late 2021 and early 2022.

Special Founder and CEO/CCO Tony Bradbourne says it was exciting to bring home the awards for Rockit.

“Rockit are far from any ordinary apple, so we had to make sure we conveyed that attitude in this fantastic campaign,” he says. “It was great to be able to expand on the brilliant, distinctive visual world Heath Lowe, Richard Francis and the whole design team at Special has created with Rockit, and to inject it with some great copywriting with attitude from Matt Simpkins.”

It’s been a run of good fortune for Rockit when it comes to recognition for its global marketing effort. Just last month, the Hawke’s Bay headquartered apple brand scooped a host of medals for excellence in design at the Best Awards.

Special Founder and Executive Design Director Heath Lowe says the wins speak to the robust relationship that exists between agency and client. “Designing a brand to stretch across as many touchpoints as packaging, digital, animation, signage, livery and into advertising takes some serious collaboration and effort, but it sure is worth it when it works. And this little apple brand sure is working.”

Julian says the wins are rewarding, but acknowledges that a lot of hard work has gone into each one. “Nothing about Rockit’s marketing effort is accidental,” he says. “As a global brand growing fast, we’re laser focused on delivering exciting, innovative campaigns that pack a punch across our international markets.

“If our game plan looks a little different to what you’d normally see a fruit company doing, then we’re already winning. The aim is not just to set the bar, but to smash it!”

Rockit Global’s CEO Mark O’Donnell says the awards are further evidence Rockit™ Apple is well on the way towards its goal of becoming the world’s most loved apple brand.

“Good marketing gets great results,” says Mark. “We’re very proud of our association with Special and the creative thinking that has resulted in nine Axis Awards.

“It’s also great that we have the confidence of our Rockit growers,” Mark continues. “Without their 100% support, our brand and marketing campaigns wouldn’t be possible.

As harvest gets underway for Rockit here in New Zealand, it’s wonderful to be celebrating something so significant with the entire team.”