Comedian Rhys Darby Stars In New Campaign For Xero

Flight of the Conchords’ Rhys Darby dons roller skates and a jetpack in work by Engine Creative

By Creative Salon

Xero demonstrates how its products can help small businesses master the task of doing their business finances in a new campaign starring comedian Rhys Darby, best known for his work in Flight of the Conchords.

The campaign is by Engine Creative. It is the agency’s first work for Xero since being appointed to handle the UK account earlier this year, with a brief to create a distinct brand identity.

The strategy is built on the insight that accounting and book keeping isn’t something to be ‘boshed’, ‘done’, or ‘smashed'. It’s at the heart of any business, and crucially important to have control over if you want a healthy company.

The campaign sees Rhys Darby in a series of tongue-in-cheek analogies about how difficult running a business can feel. We see Darby taking part in what seems like a normal marathon but as he talks about how it can feel for small business owners to keep up, we realise it is anything but. Rhys suddenly finds himself running through a desert and then sucked into quicksand.

But with Xero in hand (literally, as a smartphone app) the feeling of being overwhelmed is replaced with that of ease and control. Rhys is suddenly in a fun run, on roller-skates, then takes off with a jetpack. He reminds us to search ‘Xero with an X’ followed by the new brand positioning of ‘healthy business’ is 'beautiful business'.

The over-the-top analogies are continued in out-of-home and digital ads, colliding the worlds of health and business in a distinctive way. .

John Coldicutt, marketing director, UK & EMEA at Xero, said: “While many small businesses have been rightly focused on survival, they are starting to look further down the line. Now is the time to help them to recover and rebuild. Using Xero to take control, and master the inner workings of their business will be crucial to this, which is why Engine’s Healthy Business proposition is such a perfect fit for our brand.”

Billy Faithfull, chief creative officer at Engine Creative, said: Our ambition was to make sure that anyone watching would be utterly clear about what Xero is and what it can do for their business. Colliding the world of health and business gave us a really powerful platform and having Rhys Darby deliver it will ensure it cuts through the noise, with a self-deprecating tone, on roller-skates, with a jetpack, in a desert.”

The campaign breaks on 15 May and runs for an initial five weeks, across television, radio, online video and out-of-home.



Marketing Director: John Coldicutt

Head of Brand: Rob Foulkes

Brand marketing manager: Sam Daniels

Marketing campaign manager: Emma Roddy

Marketing campaign manager: Flaka Jasari

Agency credits:

Chief creative officer Billy Faithfull

Creative director Steve Hawthorne

Creative Jack Tibbs, Michael Arthey

Design Paul Kennelly, James Blakeborough, Elif Gurbuz

Chief design officer Matt Fenn

Client MD Louise Hayward

Business director Eve Bui

Account manager Dom Kocur

Production director Bradley Woodus

Assistant producer Henry Davies

Integrated project directors Austin Vernon, Liz Boothby

Chief strategy officer Gen Kobayashi

Strategy director Nicola Dyball

Senior strategist Alpesh Patel

Director/ Production Co Benji Weinstein / Smuggler

Producer Barty Dearden

Editor Aaron Dark @ Saints Editorial

Post production Untold Studios

Sound design Tony Rapaccioli @ Wave

VFX executive creative director Neil Davies

Executive post producer Ian Berry

Post producer Ellie Joseph

Post production Assistant Jordan Malonga

VFX supervisor Alex Gabucci

VFX lead Sebastian Caldwell

VFX Artists Cindy Libbrecht, Clara Malleviale, David Ince, Florent Sanglard, Greta Kossowska, Lee Matthews, Luke Massingberd & Marcel Ruegenberg

Grade George Kyriacou @ Black Kite Studios

DoP John Toon

Talent consultant Melsie Bourne @ The Bourne Consultancy


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