Revealed: Why AAMI’s Rhonda and Ketut ads are so popular

You’ve probably seen, and possibly fallen in love with, the recent AAMI car insurance ads featuring Rhonda and Ketut.

They have had such amazing cut-through. My daughter received a big floppy hat for her birthday recently and put it on and immediately said “You look so hot today, Rhonda”, and without prompting, seven other kids responded in unison with “like a sunrise”, quoting a line from the ad.

Another friend said that a kid came back from school holidays with a white sunglasses mark and all his mates are now calling him Rhonda.

 If anyone has gone to Bali recently they will no doubt have seen the ‘Rhonda is mine’ T-shirts. A new AAMI ad released during the AFL Grand Final was even trending on Twitter, and more importantly, AAMI has experienced a 21% increase in sales since the first ad was released last October.

So what has made this ad get such amazing resonance? It is based on three things:

  1. 1. The ‘relatability’ of Rhonda. Rhonda is an everyday woman that people can relate to, not some gorgeous slim model often seen in TV commercials.  We care about characters that we can relate to. You find yourself looking forward to the next Rhonda ad.  Besides the American Super Bowl, when do you normally look forward to watching a TV commercial?
  2. 2. The subtle use of humour. Rhonda referring to her Bali trip as exotic and her interpretation of Ketut’s “You look so hot today, Rhonda” line as flirting, when he is obviously referring to her badly sunburnt skin, is funny and real.
  3. 3. Being different. It’s a move away from typical car insurance ads where people have been in a car accident. It is only in the latest instalment when Rhonda returns home from Bali and is relaying her interpretation of her meeting with Ketut to her friend, that a minor car accident occurs.

In marketing, like in leadership or business, we dream of getting that amount of cut-through with our messages but there are some lessons we can learn from the ‘Rhonda’ ads:

  • Deliver your messages in a way that people can relate to and care about.
  • Use humour appropriately.
  • Be prepared to do something different.
  • Follow this and you never know – you may be hot like a sunrise.

Gabrielle Dolan is a global thought leader in business storytelling and an expert in making good presenters inspiring.  For more information or workshop details click here. This article first appeared on LeadingCompany. Download your free LeadingCompany eBook “10 Key Considerations for Succession and Business Exits”.


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