Some see the National Government's 'Conservation for Prosperity' mantra as oxymoronic. But whatever your thoughts on the approach, it's clear that public/private relationships will become an increasingly common funding model for the Department of Conservation. And Dulux has followed on from Air New Zealand and signed up for a three year $1.5 million deal that will see it provide a total of 54,000 litres of paint to keep the department's huts, buildings and assets looking their best.
Hadley Vaughan, Dulux senior brand manager, says it's probably taken the best part of a year to get this partnership over the line, and he sees it as being mutually beneficial.
"The value to them on top of the [18,000 litres of paint a year] is that we're running a pretty comprehensive marketing campaign that hopes to engage New Zealanders back into DoC. And for us, we've got a colour range called Dulux Colours of New Zealand, so we're trying to reconnect Kiwis to that by helping to protect the places they love."
It also gets to test its paint in some of the country's harshest environments and prove to consumers that its products will work anywhere. And, as the company has been in New Zealand for 70 years, he says "it's also about giving something back", so in addition to the paint, it has also dedicated $150,000 to a biodiversity protection scheme.
Essentially, he says, Dulux is a paint production company, so while it will be offering guidance, it will be leaving most of the painting to DoC's sizeable operations team.
Director general of DoC Al Morrison announced the partnership at a function at Konini Lodge on Taranaki last week, and this hut will be one of the first DoC properties to benefit from a lick of paint.
"They are special places that international visitors and New Zealanders like to come to and we want the huts to look good when people arrive," Morrison says.
Five paint palettes will be available to "complement the unique surroundings of each hut". Many old former Forest Service huts are an iconic bright shade of orange, such as Ballard Hut in the Kawekas, and DoC media advisor Reuben Williams says "all the colours that have traditionally been used on the huts will be matched by Dulux and made available for use on the hut network. This includes the DOC orange which will remain and will be known as 'DOC Rescue Orange'."
To announce the new partnership, Dulux is running a 60 second TVC created by Clemenger BBDO and The Picture House and is pointing viewers towards the central hub, protectingourplace.co.nz, where they can vote on which huts will be dolled up next. They can also suggest which of DoC's 973 huts should be added to the list and go into the draw to win the ultimate DoC experience by virtually painting a hut (this was made by Touch/Cast its media agency is OMD).
"We would like people to be involved in our Facebook page. But we're not FMCG. People might be in the market for paint every five years, and after they've decided to paint their kitchen, the next decision is colour." So anything that gets colour into their hands, like MyColour, is a good thing for the brand, he says.
Last year, Air New Zealand signed up for a three year partnership with DoC worth the equivalent of $1 million annually. The airline is able to use the tracks in its marketing (as it did with the recent Bear Essentials of Safety) and a fairly stretched DoC has been able to call on its resources, both in terms of species relocations, marketing muscle and much-needed funding.
Fonterra is also thought to be in discussions with DoC about a deal, potentially adding its name to the likes of BNZ (which sponsors kiwi), Genesis Energy (which sponsors the whio), Mitre 10 (which sponsors the takahe trust), Meridian (which supports the Living Legends treeplanting scheme and many other regional partners.
Agency: Clemenger BBDO, Wellington, New Zealand
Executive Creative Director and Writer: Philip Andrew
Art Director: Tony Haigh
Writer: Dan Moth
Producer: Jen Gasson
Editor and Director of Photography: Aaron Hilton
Director and Director of Photography: Greg Schmezter
Production Company: The Picture House
Retoucher: Niels Hunefeld
Account Team: Brendan McElroy and Louise Cheeseman