RAA introduces South Australians to Trev – a talking bearded bee in new campaign via kwpx


RAA has launched a new brand platform via kwpx featuring a distinctive, bumbling-but-well-meaning bee named “Trev” (a hat tip to very popular RAA ads of old).


A household name in South Australia, RAA has helped stranded motorists get back on the road for more than 120 years. But, by 2024 the organisation has an expanded remit and helps its  820,000-strong membership with everything from insurance to rooftop solar and places to plug in electric vehicles across the state.

Says Michael Healy, CMO, RAA: “Better to be a member isn’t something new for RAA really – the moment you walk into one of our buildings or talk to one of our people you can really feel how important it is to everyone that we do our absolute best for every single one of our 820,000+ members.

“RAA is the sort of brand grandparents give grandkids when they start driving, so it was important for us to be a bit more matter of fact when it came to repositioning and marketing RAA as a member-first organisation… it was time to put it on the tin so to speak.”

The new brand platform speaks to the evolution of RAA from a motoring association into a multi-faceted organisation servicing over 820,000 members across insurance, motoring, travel and a bunch of new and emerging categories. This means campaigns for the brand needs to not only be distinctive in RAA’s traditional categories and competitive sets, but also in new and emerging markets and products.

The integrated campaign launched on television, digital, and OOH in South Australia this month.

The films, produced by Darling and directed by Luke Shanahan, feature a series of South Australians who could’ve been better off were they RAA members.

RAA introduces South Australians to Trev – a talking bearded bee in new campaign via kwpx

Why a bee?

Says Healy: “While I’d love to have some imaginative and overly intellectualised answer that waxes lyrical about emerging trends, deep insights about how bees are critical to our planet’s survival, and millennials and tweens really feeling deeply about issues relating to bees; the answer is a lot more simple. Bees are yellow and black and the colour yellow is a very strong brand code for us, and more people tend to like cute bees than not… often advertising doesn’t need to be more complicated than that.”

It turns out RAA and kwpx weren’t wrong on that front, with reports from RAA’s locations all over South Australia that kids are already dragging their parents into RAA’s stores to get photos with Trev cut-outs, and stickers are appearing on laptops, lunchboxes and schoolbags across the state.

RAA introduces South Australians to Trev – a talking bearded bee in new campaign via kwpx

Says Healy: “RAA’s brief was first and foremost for a distinctive asset / fluent device to maximise attribution over the next five to ten years (ideally). We wanted something that you just don’t really see on TV from any other brand, so when kwpx came to us with Trevor the bee, animated by one of the world’s best visual effects companies, we felt pretty confident they’d nailed the brief,”

kwpx executive creative director Brenton Bleechmore says snaring Rising Sun Pictures (RSP) for the job came down to timing.

The Academy-Award nominated visual effects company had some capacity after completing work on Knuckles for Paramount when Hollywood was hit by the SAG- AFTRA strikes.

Says Bleechmore: “I know the SAG-AFTRA strike in Hollywood was bad for business, but it gave us a window with RSP we’re not sure we would have had otherwise.”

RSP is a South Australian-based company with credits on films such as The Fall Guy, The Marvels, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, and the Academy-Award winning Gravity, to name a few.

Rosa Johnston, RAA senior manager brand and sponsorships says the campaign is unlike anything she’s worked on before: “RAA is proudly South Australian, so when it came to strategically re-positioning the organisation we needed to be sure we worked with the best creatives in our state and beyond.

“Working with kwpx Darling our production company, our director Luke, RSP, and KOJO to create Trev [the bee] has pushed this campaign over and above our expectations.

“There’s no way to cheat production values, so Trev’s animated in every sense of the word. His voice, his eyebrows, his six little hands all make him feel real and like something our 820,000 members can relate to and be open to hearing from when it comes to informing our members how RAA can make things better and early feedback has been absolutely amazing.”

Says Bleechmore: “Trev the bee heralds a new era for one of SA’s oldest and most trusted brands.

“Trev is a brave refresh for a heritage brand. The fact our client trusted us and trust Trev to keep them moving in the right direction—at such a pivotal stage of growth—makes the work feel even better.”

RAA introduces South Australians to Trev – a talking bearded bee in new campaign via kwpx

RAA Group
Michael Healy: Chief Marketing Officer
Rosa Johnston: Senior Manager Brand and Sponsorships
Derrick White: Manager Advertising and Media
Britt Battams: Senior Campaign Coordinator
Roxanne Bilbija: Portfolio Specialist

Agency: kwpx
Brenton Bleechmore: Executive Creative Director
Josh Fanning: Creative Director
Sam Talbot: Head of Advertising
Ben Spry: Head of Production
Cassandra Demasi: Account Director
Sophie Ross: Account Manager
Joel van der Knaap: Senior Art Director
Andy Breeding: Senior Graphic Designer
James Baird: Graphic Designer
Jodie Palmer: Media Director
Oliver Whelan: Digital Media Director
Kellie Grant: Senior Media Manager
Sarah Aboulhosn: Media Manager
Tierney Duffy: Media Executive

Production Company: Darling
Luke Shanahan: Director
Annalise Menzel: Executive Producer
Jaime Gillespie: Line Producer
Eva Hodder: Production Manager
Shelley Farthing-Dawe: DOP
Amy baker: Production Designer
Dan Oliver: SFX Supervisor

Visual Effects House: Rising Sun Pictures
Jamie Macdougall: VFX Supervisor
Rachel Copp: VFX Producer
Jo Dean: VFX Production Manager
Emily Adams: VFX Coordinator
Jerry Tung: On set Supervisor
Liudmyla Chorna, Boini Bharghava: 2D Supervisors
Victor Glushchenko: Animation Supervisor
Bhupesh Bharbat: Lead Animator
Matthew Derecki, Mukesh Batra: Animators
Mariane Tostes, Rahul Bhardri, Brodie McCrossin: Animators
Anna Berdashkevich, Daniel Goodwin: Animators
Matt Crump, Bradey Strong, Kamil Salem: 3D Artists
Nathan Zeppel, Rajbir Singh Dhalla: 3D Artists
Pratik K Paithankar, Roselyn Tay: 3D Artists
Daniel Nees, Lalit Desair: 2D Artists
Shaun Hibbert, Thomas Steiner: 2D Artists

Post Production: KOJO
Marty Pepper: Editor & Colourist, Executive Director of Post & VFX
Lauren van Rensburg: EP of Post & VFX
Georgia Lippe: Post Production Coordinator
Suriyna Sivashanker: Data Manager
Aden Beaver: VFX Coordinator
Jake Barton:VFX Compositor
Alistair Scott: VFX Compositor
Rebecca Wells: VFX Compositor
Emily Benham: VFX Compositor
Casting: Heesom Casting
Casting Director: Angela Heesom

Music: Surahn
Surahn Sidhu: Composer and Producer
Sound: Astbury Audio
Justin Astbury: Sound designer
Photography: Jack Turner