Advertising solely in English just doesn’t cut it anymore, Aucklanders. The city has the highest percentage of overseas-born residents in the country – 2013 census data says it’s a whopping 40 percent. Over 1 in 5 people are Asian in Auckland, and Hindi is now the fourth most common language in New Zealand, after English, Maori, and Samoan. And don’t breathe easy, Wellington – 25 percent of you were born overseas, too.
That’s what Brandworld noticed, and so the content marketing company signed an agreement to work with ethnic media specialist Niche Media to get to work on this ever-more diverse audience.
BrandWorld’s Business Manager Cameron Harper says his team was noticing the broadening diversity of New Zealand’s new communities and wondering how to talk to them.
“Banks and insurance companies do talk to the groups, but is it in the right way? There are nuances with different cultures that you can get wrong, which may be as simple as a translation coming out wrong.”
He said it also astounded him when the guys at Niche media came out with some research describing how different ethnicities absorb media. “I used to think that when people arrive in New Zealand they just watch the regular TV channels. But 78 percent of Chinese people consume half or more than half of their media in Chinese. In fact for all the ethnicities Niche Media surveyed, results are similar, with more than 50 percent preferring to consume media produced in their own languages.”
What’s more, he says the familiar bands Kiwis born here grew up with – like AA, State, or BNZ – aren’t around back in places like Hong Kong or Seoul, so these people don’t know who those companies are. “We can’t just keep thinking that we can send out the same message and expect it to work,” says Harper.
Marty Pouwels, Niche Media’s Managing Director agrees. “Over 83,000 new immigrants have arrived from the Pacific, Asia and the Middle East and Africa in the last two years, most without any knowledge of New Zealand brands, but needing to purchase a whole range of products from cars and houses to food, furniture and electronics. So it’s a very powerful, high growth and relatively untapped market,” he says.
Harper says the partnership with Niche media has “opened up a lot more opportunities” for them even in the early stages. “We’re just doing an insurance pitch at the moment. For [the insurance company] it’s usually a general, wide-ranging pitch, but when we brought Niche into it, they realised ‘Heck, that’s a problem for us, we’re not communicating with those ethnic communities properly’.”
“But we’re not trying to pitch to the companies that talk only to these specific communities,” says Harper. “It’s about taking a mainstream brand that has a consistent message, keeping the look and feel, but changing the nuances slightly.”
In more than a decade, Niche Media has built up a level of knowledge about ethnic media use both here and overseas, which complements Brandworld’s client list, spread of clients and branded content experience.
Hindi radio station Radio Tarana is one example of multi-platform media that has come under the radar of major New Zealand brands, as a result of the increase of ethnic communities in New Zealand.
Chief executive Robert Khan says demand for Niche Radio-like language stations is growing rapidly. “Looking at Tarana as a brand, our listenership has increased due to the changes in population over the last 10 years, and “with the growing Indian population in New Zeland, the advertising agency gate keepers are now recognising the significance of brands like Tarana.”
He says ethnic communities tune in because benefits include “the preservation and development of culture and language, sense of community and belonging, promotion of diversity, having access to your own language entertainment – for example Bollywood – and being able to access news and information in your own language.”
Tarana also engages with its clients and audience through web, TV channel simulcast, print, smartphone app and is active on social media and YouTube.