Here’s to 20 years of Absolutely, Positively Wellington

Youtube VideoOn 4 September 1991, a classic Kiwi slogan was born. 20 years later and, love it or hate it, the Absolutely Positively Wellington brand is still doing the business. So, to celebrate this auspicious anniversary, the good folk at Positively Wellington Tourism and Touch-Cast created a video charting the brand’s history. 

While it has become part of the Wellington furniture, the campaign wasn’t even the city’s idea. It was Wellington Newspapers. Advertising revenue was suffering due to the grim reality of the post-80s stockmarket crash. So it went to Saatchi & Saatchi (not to be confused with M&C Saatchi), gave them some space and asked them to make some magic happen.

Youtube VideoSuch was the response that within a few months the campaign was turned into a classic TVC featuring a true Wellington icon: the guy rollerblading down the street while talking on a massive cellphone.

In 1993 Absolutely Positively Wellington was officially adopted as the city’s brand after it was gifted by Wellington Newspapers. And the logo remains on rubbish bags and parking tickets today.

While many town branding initiatives smack of desperation *ahem, Wellywood, ahem*, the outwardly parochial Absolutely Positively Wellington has helped transform the city into a bonafide cultural destination and, based on recent visitors figures, Lonely Planetendorsements and the success of innovative marketing campaigns like the WLG pop-up restaurant, which has been shortlisted alongside Madame Tussauds and a little tourism attraction called Disneyland in the Asia-Pacific SABRE PR Awards, the ethos still inspires the marketing activity and the organisation’s attitude.

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