DENTSU, Auckland / ASB / 2021
There are 530,000 small businesses in New Zealand representing 93% of all businesses. They’re the engine room of the economy, accounting for 28% of employment and contribute over 25% of NZ’s GDP
When New Zealand moved into total COVID-19 lockdown, they were all forced to shut their doors. The economy came to a halt and a health crisis became an economic one.
These small businesses, the lifeblood of the New Zealand economy were no longer able to serve the communities they were so invested in and immensely important to.
ASB Bank wanted to help kickstart the economy by helping small businesses get through these government enforced lockdowns.
The objective was to inspire the New Zealand Public with a feel-good story that instilled consumer confidence as well as increasing ASB Bank’s brand love scores by 2 points.
We looked at what we could give to truly make a difference. Financial support? Sure, so we did that, along with the other banks. Then we needed something unique to ASB. We turned to our sponsorship portfolio and that was our ‘Ah-ha’ moment.
We had the All Blacks. The most marketable team in the world. A sponsorship worth millions. And a stand at Eden Park, New Zealand’s most famous sports ground. Could we use these properties to help? It had never been done before, they are both highly protected national treasures.
We sure as hell could. And we did.
ASB Bank dedicated the biggest assets they had in their arsenal to their biggest asset - their small business customers.
The biggest contingent of famous New Zealand rugby players ever assembled - All Blacks, Maori All Blacks and Black Ferns - were going to personally promote small businesses.
The key outtake we wanted from the New Zealand Public was ASB’s commitment and support to SME recovery. The plan was
Create interest and excitement around the campaign with a three-phase PR campaign: tease, launch and reveal
Use the element of surprise and delight to maximise media coverage, withholding the name of the small business until the opportune moment
Extend the surprise to the small business itself, revealing they were the new naming rights owners just days before it was announced to the public
Hero the small business as the face of the campaign and put the owners forward as the main media spokespeople to achieve nationwide interest
Maximise earned media opportunities aligned with key target audiences, leveraging consumer, business, mainstream, sports, regional and international media
Amplify the campaign through both ASB and Eden Park owned channels and networks
A national TV, OOH, PR and digital campaign encouraged small business owners to apply for their own All Black sponsorship. Each entry was analysed by a financial team at the bank and the legal and marketing team of our sponsorship stakeholders. 1000s of campaigns were then ideated. The information provided in the application acted as a creative brief to the creatives. Consultation with the small business and the New Zealand Rugby Union refined the executions that included a digital film, OOH, bus or press ad, PR support, Facebook, search and digital spend and free targeted media placements.
But one lucky business, Coopers Catch, a small fish and chip shop, received a lot more - winning naming rights to NZ’s national stadium, Eden Park, becoming the first naming rights sponsor of the famous ground in its 117 year history. It’s name beamed around the country for the All Black’s biggest game.
The news leak resulted in Newshub, TVNZ (New Zealand’s largest new shows) and NZ Herald (NZ’s largest newspaper) breaking the news that Eden Park was set to give up naming rights, with the announcement debated further through conversations on Twitter and Facebook.
The distribution resulted in 35 pieces of coverage across tier 1 media, business, consumer and sports media, despite the identity of the chosen business being kept under wraps.
The second media release announcing Coopers Catch as the selected small business, resulted in 57 pieces of earned coverage across tier 1, broadcast, consumer, marketing, business, sports and regional media outlets.
The owners of Coopers Catch visited 12 radio newsrooms and participated in interviews with leading business, sports and consumer broadcast radio stations.
PUBLICIS CONSEIL, Paris