TelstraClear, as we wrote in the cover story of the May/June edition of NZ Marketing, is something of a quiet yet consistent achiever among the major telcos. And, to celebrate its 20th year in New Zealand, show off its network and tell Kiwis what the company is all about, it has sent its 'mascots', the modern TC and his misanthropic old partner Bill, on a journey around the countryside.
"TC and Bill have been doing a great job for us for the last couple of years," says Luke Patterson, TelstraClear's group manager of marketing. "But they felt it was about time to have a break and get out of that white set. So they're off on a bit of a road trip and reminding us that TelstraClear has its own network—and also a history in New Zealand that now spans 20 years. So part brand, part celebration, they are appearing in a couple of brand ads for us over the next few weeks."
Despite a few lingering doubts back in the day as to whether the Australian-owned company was in New Zealand for the long-haul, TelstraClear has established a reputation as a solid business and government option and it has performed particularly well in the broadband space (it was up from ten percent market share in 2006 to 15 percent market share last year). It has recently dipped its toes in the consumer and mobile market, but, because it didn't have any retail presence or the media buying clout of its competitors, Patterson says not everyone knew about them. So, to increase awareness and "look like a big telco", he says it's all about being on television and, while there's no direct call to action, he says the new campaign by Assignment Group, Exposure director Kevin Denholm and animation by Flux, as well as the website www.jointhejourney.co.nz, aims to provide a bit more detail around what the company is all about.
Of course, there's no better way to get people interested in fairly dry topics like telecommunications than with outright bribery, so the site also features a big competition that's running for seven weeks.
"There are a couple of questions each day which win you some map pins. At the end of the seven weeks you will use those pins across a map of New Zealand and those closest to the prizes will win some cool stuff, including the Triumph Scrambler," Patterson says.
The site also includes pictures from the making of the ads and storyboards and new content will be added over the next few weeks. TC and Bill are also blogging their way down the country and posting clues and hints to the geography-themed questions.