New Zealand gets a $20 million marketing boost through new partnership, as Air New Zealand unveils new look

Airlines and tourism marketing entities go together like raspberry and Coke, and following some successful recent partnerships, Air New Zealand and Tourism New Zealand have upped the stakes, agreeing to a one-year, more than $20 million deal to promote travel to New Zealand, an increase of around 80 percent on the previous year. 

Air New Zealand and TNZ will each invest $10 million over the coming year in the key markets of Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, North America, the UK and Europe. They will also increase their activity in India and Indonesia. 

Previous collaborations have included leveraging The Hobbit trilogy (the trailer for part two, the Desolation of Smaug, has just been released and its 'Unexpected Briefing' safety video recently won a Digital Innovation Asia Award for Most Inspiring Content); joint advertising campaigns in Australia, Japan, China, North America and Europe; hosting over 180 international media to New Zealand and activity to educate the trade on New Zealand, including a recent familiarisation for 140 travel agents from North America, the United Kingdom and Europe; and hosting international media. And Air New Zealand chief executive Christopher Luxon says this deal will deepen the airline's relationship with TNZ.

TNZ chief executive Kevin Bowler says partnership activity remains a key priority for the organisation in its new three-year marketing strategy (TNZ has also thought to have struck up Memorandum of Understandings with Qantas, Jetstar and China Southern Airlines in the past). 

"This MoU follows the Government’s announcement of a $158 million boost in tourism funding over the next four years enabling us to enhance and expand our marketing efforts,” says Bowler. “Tourism New Zealand welcomes Air New Zealand’s decision to also lift its co-investment in marketing New Zealand in parallel to the Government’s boosted commitment, meaning we can do more together. Working in partnerships is proven to extend the reach and effectiveness of our campaigns. This additional marketing investment will build on the strong visitor arrival growth achieved over the first four months of 2013.”

Over the next 12 months, the organisations will continue to jointly promote New Zealand to travellers through advertising (TNZ spends the vast majority of its marketing budget on interactive advertising, trying to get those in the 'active considerers' category to stump up with some cash and make some bookings), PR activity, and working closely with trade partners and on campaigns that actively target business events.

Air New Zealand will also introduce its new aircraft livery, which has dropped the blue in favour of black and white and features the quintessentially Kiwi fern. As NZ Herald editor Shayne Currie quipped on Twitter, it looks like "a lovely midriff tattoo". 

The new design, which was created by Designworks, involved extensive consumer testing, including focus groups in New Zealand and overseas. In a survey, 78 percent of respondents said it fit well with the Air New Zealand brand and New Zealand's identity. And in a StopPress survey of one, it seemed like everyone who got to fly on its last black plane, which was created as part of the airline's All Blacks sponsorship, was unduly excited about it. 

The new livery will be rolled out later this year, with the majority featuring the white design and a limited number getting the dark treatment. 

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