TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards 2017

TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards 2017: How VTNZ is driving for change

With a recognised ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ brand problem, VTNZ had to pull off the impossible. It flipped the script on its negative public image while turning an acknowledged grudge purchase into something resembling a pleasure.

By StopPress Team | October 31, 2017 | features

The challenge

In 2015, VTNZ’s brand was struggling. With a rapidly shrinking market share and operating in a highly competitive, deregulated market, the warrant of fitness provider had seen better days.

The biggest challenge was the profoundly negative association that dogged the brand. It had been described as a “Jekyll and Hyde”, a brand that people were suspicious of and struggled to connect with emotionally.

A brand audit confirmed the worst. 

“People saw VTNZ as two-faced with no soul. The brand lacked an emotional connection and relationship with customers. And most consumers had no idea what VTNZ offered beyond WoFs,” says VTNZ.

Add to this that no customer contact records had been kept, making one-to-one promotion impossible, and it was apparent that things were a mess.

VTNZ needed to create a new communications strategy reframe its image and create new perceptions around its product offering. 

The response

The decision was made to create consistent messaging across multi-media touch points and leave no space for competitors to challenge it via above-the-line advertising.

Launched in March 2016, the campaign focused on the most effective cost-to-reach mediums, with 45 percent of the budget focused on TV and radio combined.

A fresh brand proposition was established: ‘VTNZ keeps you and your car safe and on the road’ was neatly expressed in the new tagline ‘Road Ready’. 

A prominent brand identity was created featuring the Willie Nelson song ‘On the Road Again’, VTNZ’s signature orange colour and singing and dancing staff – to reveal the positive and energetic VTNZ internal culture that already existed in contrast to the negative legacy perceptions. 

The results

The final business results of the relaunch programme were outstanding, successfully driving growth into 2017.

Post-campaign research revealed that ‘brand warmth’ and appeal greatly improved, with one customer reporting that “they are very friendly and even dance and come out and wave goodbye when you leave”.

Market share decline was arrested and reversed. VTNZ outperformed sales targets for its Basic Service and sales of this product continue to grow in 2017.

ROI achieved for year one was positive at 33.4 percent.

The group attributes much of the success to solid initial research.

“What made this brand transformation so successful was that the insights were known first, before trying to get internal buy-in and before presenting to the board,” says VTNZ.

“This made for a more seamless sell-in and was likely the key driver in getting the brand campaign to market.” 

Campaign Name 
VTNZ Are ‘On The Road Again’
Company Name
Judge’s comment 
“Outstanding lift and brand visibility from 47 percent to 71 percent. Major lift in brand momentum. Clear self-awareness of their USP and leveraged well to create a strong point of difference in the market.”
Marketing Partners
Assignment Group, TRA, MBM 
  • This story will also appear in the Awards issue of NZ Marketing. 
  • To read more on the TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards 2017, click here.

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