Created in collaboration with NOMAD, Armoury London and 2050 London, the new brand character epitomises technical efficiency with her no-nonsense attitude
From the Jolly Green Giant and Ronald McDonald, to Mr. Clean, Tony the Tiger, Colonel Sanders and the Energizer Bunny, advertising history is full of iconic brand mascots who have won the hearts of consumers, transcended the screen and – in some cases – become brands in their own right. But in recent years, few truly memorable new faces have joined their ranks.
Web hosting and cloud provider IONOS, which is founded in Germany, is aiming to reinvigorate the concept of beloved brand characters with an inimitable new heroine: Aunt Helga. A model of Teutonic efficiency, the small but mighty character is introduced in the new ‘I own this’ campaign and is instantly memorable for her silver skyscraper hairstyle, jet-propelled heels, furiously fast fingers, and no-nonsense attitude.
Branding agency NOMAD, creative production studio Armoury London and advertising agency 2050 London joined forces to create the Aunt Helga character as part of the pitch process for IONOS’ first UK campaign. In a departure from the traditional agency model of working, the team took a nimble and collaborative approach by bringing together creative and craft elements around one table – allowing them to develop the campaign and its hero character within the first round.
‘I own this’ is led by an entertaining 40-second TV commercial directed by Marc Sidelsky through Armoury London, which introduces the indomitable Aunt Helga and her mission to revolutionise web services for small businesses. Arriving on a typical British high street through a futuristic portal, with not a hair out of place on her towering beehive, she marches up to a local knitwear shop. Her power heels levitate her through the door where, to the owners’ astonishment and delight, she proceeds to transform their less than impressive website in seconds with her trademark catchphrase: ‘Relax darlings…I own this!’
The spot playfully trades on the ‘I own this/IONOS’ line, reaffirming Helga’s – and by extension IONOS’ – position as owning the web-related problems and design issues that can undermine even the very best new businesses and start-ups. The underlying message, a mainstay of the digital messaging and social media campaign, is that small business owners, having been empowered by IONOS to take control of their website, ‘own’ the running of their business, and can gain an advantage over the competition simply by leveraging Aunt Helga’s no-nonsense, globally respected German know-how.
Two additional 15-second films see Aunt Helga bring her signature German technical excellence, reliability and straight-talking style to help a plumber and a fitness trainer. The TV commercials are underpinned with a broad digital and social media push.
Media planning and buying is handled by A1 Marketing.
Claudia Frese, Chief Brand Officer at IONOS
“For small businesses, being visible and operating online is vital and essential. But this is on top of their day job and often out of their comfort zone. What result-oriented business owners want is to focus on growing their business, not on fixing their website. With our new campaign, we get to the point that: With IONOS, small businesses get things done. Because IONOS owns their web challenges efficiently.”
Terry Stephens, Partner and Executive Creative Director at Nomad:
“We loved working as a team to bring the character of no-nonsense, trusty Aunt Helga to life, and ensure her personality extended seamlessly across channels, from TV to Digital, Social to Display, and beyond. From the very first moment, we knew we wanted to turn the typical web-geek image on its head, and create a brand character that was humorous, powerful and memorable – making sure IONOS captured the hearts and minds of the British public”
Matt Hichens, Managing Director, Armoury London:
“This project has been an amazing experience from start to finish. Helping bring this ‘supergroup’ together has also genuinely helped us deliver the project, and points to a modus operandi that Armoury will be seeking to repeat on future commissions. What we all saw very clearly is that embracing a collaborative approach has allowed us to deliver a brilliantly branded, creative concept and character with high production values over an improbably short timeframe, something which Nomad, 2050 and Armoury are all extremely proud of.”
Adam Chiappe, Executive Creative Director, 2050 London:
“Creating a brand character who epitomized the efficiency of IONOS excited us from the start. The fact that characters have fallen out of favour of late for many brands was all the more reason for us to create one. Hopefully we’ll be having lots more fun with Aunt Helga in the future.”
Rafael Oliveira Göpfert
Production Company Armoury
Director Marc Sidelsky
MD & Executive Producer Matt Hichens
Agency Producer Lauraine Bhuglah
Producer James McLaughlin
Production Manager Robyn Warwick
Production Manager Will Parnall
Production Assistant Indy Calland
Production Assistant Eleri Shone
Runner/ Intern ames Hichens
Branding Agency NOMAD
ECD Terry Stephens
Advertising Agency 2050 London
ECD Matt Saunby
ECD Adam Chiappe
Head of Strategy Ben Tan
DOP Sam Goldie
Art Director Clare Clarkson
Costume Stylist Charlotte Walter
Costume Assistant Alice Walter
Stills photography Nick Eagle
Still image retouching Gary Roylance
Editor Mark Eddinoff
Post Platige https://platige.com
FX Supervisor Arkadiusz Arciszewski
Colourist Piotr Sasim
Producer Aga Górna
Music composition Out Standard –