While Sky was officially founded 28 years ago in 1987, it was first beamed into New Zealand households 25 years ago. And to celebrate the silver anniversary it's got a bunch of artists to capture the essence of why we watch TV. And it's also repaying the loyalty of subscribers by offering them an opportunity to win one of 25 fan experiences in New Zealand and around the world.
Since its rebrand to 'Come with Us' a few years ago, Sky has been working hard to promote its Kiwi credentials, whether through pointing out that it shoots over 300 live events a year and employs around 1000 people or launching Sky Next, a scheme to support up-and-coming athletes. When we spoke with director of marketing Mike Watson last year for a NZ Marketing cover story, he said that goal was helped after News Corp sold its 44 percent stake in the company and he talked about his ambition to replicate the Air New Zealand evolution from "a quasi-government entity into a great, innovative Kiwi success story". To do that, it's also been trying hard to close the gap between public perception and company reality and striving to become a more likeable brand (the hiring of John Campbell as a host for the All Blacks test in Samoa was an opportunistic masterstroke).
In keeping with that local push—and in keeping with the large number of companies that try to add some cool factor by working with artists—it has employed the services of local artists to celebrate the polarity of TV, with the Art & Anarchy theme created by Dean Proudfoot and Askew One, the Good & Evil theme created by Toby Morris, the Heroes & Villains theme created by Michel Mulipola, the Triumph & Tragedy theme created by James Stewart and the Glamour & Grit theme created by Gareth Jensen.
As it says in a release: "So good, it’s evil. It’s that duality that makes us human and drives our fascination in human stories. We crave the clash of good and evil, the battle between heroes and villains, we revel in the glamour and grit, the inevitability of triumph or tragedy and question the dissonance of art and anarchy. Whether back in 1990 or today in 2015, people still love TV for the same reasons; to be inspired, thrilled or transported to another universe. So we keep scouring the world to bring our customers a vast array of programmes and stories to enjoy. And it is these timeless stories that were the inspiration behind our five themes."
The images are also being put on New Zealand-made artisan chocolate and sent out to friends of the Sky family.
Sky is also buttering up its customers and has put together an array of impressive prizes, from trips to Croatia where Game of Thrones is filmed to a filming of John Oliver's Last Week Tonight in New York and many more (including an inter-code match picked up by Sideswipe).
"We’ve been on an exciting journey over the past 25 years,” says Sky's director of communications Kirsty Way in a release. “We’ve been bringing Kiwis amazing TV for a quarter of a century and whatever our customers enjoy on Sky, there’ll be a fantastic prize to match their tastes. We’ve always been proud to offer the widest and deepest range of content available in New Zealand and that breadth of coverage is reflected in our ‘ultimate bucket list’ of prizes.”
And in a nice touch, it's giving long-time customers more chances to win (the comp starts next Wednesday).
“That means the people who have been with us since we began in 1990—and there are several thousands of them—can have up to 625 entries in the competition,” says Way.