TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards: Kiwibank’s support for New Zealander of the Year wins it Best Purpose-Driven Marketing Strategy and more

As a New Zealander of the Year, Kiwibank identified an opportunity to spread its message while also backing an award-winning cause.

The Challenge

Kiwibank has long championed its purpose of ‘Kiwis making Kiwis better off’ but come 2019, it faced a challenge of key brand metrics– differentiation, likeability, consideration and intent— trending down.

It was trying to overcome a cluttered category of overseas-owned competitors and large budgets so looked to its sponsorship of New Zealander of the Year to spearhead its purpose and reset it in the minds of New Zealanders. A perfect fit and proof point of its purpose, Kiwibank has been the principal sponsor of New Zealander of the Year since 2009. Though a large-scale event, there was a problem in there being no natural place for it to play except as a sponsor looking for a halo effect.

Previously, it has leveraged announcements of finalists and winners but this year, to find scale it stripped the partnership back to its bones, looking for an insight that would allow Kiwibank a more active role.

The Response

That insight was found in the entries of the work of winners. That work has scale, impact and engagement so Kiwibank focused on the work that won the award, not the winner.

When Mike King, a mental health advocate, was named New Zealander of the Year, Kiwibank was ready to support his cause.

It had identified his affirmation ‘I am Hope’ as a powerful statement every Kiwi could relate to and set an ambition to get all New Zealanders to share the statement by adding it to their Facebook profile picture in a special frame.

On top of this, Kiwibank used the Facebook frame to drive donations for King’s Gumboot Friday initiative – an example of Kiwis making Kiwis better off.

The Result

With its campaign crafted around New Zealander of the Year, Kiwibank had a goal to reach 15 percent association with the event and achieved that with 27 percent.

For its work, positive opinion of Kiwibank was up 76 percent on average based on campaign tracking since 2015.

Hoping to appeal to 18- to 24-year-olds, Kiwibank managed to see 18-24 and 24-30 demographics have the highest awareness of the ‘I am hope’ campaign at 89 percent and 79 percent respectively.

This awareness was driven by the reach of 2.3 million on social media and 2.5 million impressions the campaign generated. All up, media coverage reached a cumulative audience of 16 million – all with less than $3000 media spend.

But most importantly we helped New Zealand have a conversation about depression and suicide and gave King a truly national platform for Gumboot Friday that raised $1.2 million for youth counselling and support.

Financial & Banking, Best Use of Sponsorship, Best Purpose-Driven Marketing Strategy


Marketing Initiative
Kiwibank Created a Movement Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Kiwibank and I Am HOPE

Judges’ Comments
“They reinvented a 10-year-old sponsorship and managed to engage a wide audience in a nationally significant issue. Put sponsorship back in front of corporate engagement. Raised awareness of the Bank, the New Zealander of the Year and Gumboot Friday, and the work Mike King is doing. By focusing on the work rather than the individual the sponsorship engaged communities with impact far wider than the individual. The Sponsorship created a level of warmth around the Kiwibank brand, outside of the bank’s customer base. This was demonstrated by the outstanding results across social media, researched brand lift and funds raised for the Gumboot charity.”

Marketing Partners
Fuse, OMD

Best Use of Sponsorship: ASB, Goodman Fielder NZ, J H Whittaker & Sons Best Purpose-Driven Marketing Strategy: Biosecurity New Zealand (Ministry for Primary Industries), Countdown, Engineering New Zealand, Mercury, Perpetual Guardian, The Movember Foundation

This piece was originally published in the 2019 Awards Issue of NZ Marketing magazine. To get a print copy, subscribe here.

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