Puns fly across print and social media after Air NZ and Westpac announce partnership

It’s been just a few days since Air New Zealand announced its departure from Airpoints partner BNZ to team up with Westpac, but banking brands have fast taken action pushing themselves out through social media via sponsored posts (featuring an array of creative airline puns) to make sure they’re not overshadowed by the new partnership deal. Here’s what BNZ, Westpac, Kiwibank and ANZ have been up to.

Since announcing it’s joining forces with Air New Zealand, Westpac has wasted no time in terms of marketing, showing off the new deal through launching a new ad via DDB promoting its Airpoints deal on new credit cards, saying on its Twitter page “Airpoints have landed at Westpac. Welcome aboard,” (we told you there would be flying puns). Air New Zealand also featured the ad on its Twitter page.

Westpac has also released a print ad of an aeroplane with a translucent layer over top in Westpac’s signature red reading, “Welcome aboard”.

In addition to the print ad, Westpac has also sent out a few special packages.

(Image credit: Meg Singleton)

Westpac’s new products will initially include Westpac Airpoints MasterCard, Westpac Airpoints Platinum MasterCard, Westpac Airpoints World MasterCard and Westpac Airpoints Business MasterCard, according to its website.

Westpac external communications manager Chris Mirams says there has already been strong interest in Westpac’s programme, “…the strength of our offer and the value customers place on Airpoints has seen strong interest in our new programme, particularly from GlobalPlus customers.”

And while Westpac is basking in the glow of its partnership with Air New Zealand, BNZ has also taken to social media to say it’s “retiring the fleet”, which it’s also reiterated in a print advert.

On its Twitter and Facebook pages a link leads to a page explaining how it’s “… bringing GlobalPlus in to land” and includes details on how a new generation of rewards is coming, with links to different pages discussing the rewards in more detail. The company also sent out EDMs to GlobalPlus customers with details of the changes, and what this means for them in terms of new benefits. 

BNZ will be replacing the Airpoints scheme from May 1 with a cash-back offer, which would see customers gaining $1 for every Airpoint they would have earned under the current scheme.

And to make sure it’s not pushed into the background by Westpac, Kiwibank has been posting ‘Don’t forget we’re Airpoints partners too!’ type comments through social media. Kiwibank posted on Twitter and Facebook, reminding customers it’s been “…helping Kiwis fly with Airpoints credit cards for a while now”. It accompanied this message with a deal, which ends just over a week after BNZ’s GlobalPlus products stop receiving Airpoints dollars. The deal lets customers get up to 125 Air New Zealand Airpoints dollars when signing up to get an Air New Zealand Airpoints MasterCard and spend $500 in the first three months. The bank says it will also waive the annual account fee for the first year.

The bank says since the announcement that Air New Zealand would be partnering up with Westpac, there has been an increasing number of people applying for credit cards. Kiwibank head of marketing, communication and content Regan Savage told StopPress, “Change in the industry often creates an opportunity,” he says “… and accordingly we are seeing an increase in both customer enquiry and the volume of applications for our Airpoints Credit Card.”

According to ANZ spokesperson Peter Barnao, “ANZ now has more customers earning Air NZ Airpoints on their Credit Cards than any other provider and we’ve seen a sharp rise [since Air New Zealand teamed up with Westpac]in interest from others who are keen to keep earning Airpoints on their credit cards.”

ANZ also sent out direct mail promotions to current customers offering 100 complimentary Airpoints to those who sign up for an ANZ Airpoints Visa credit card.  

In related news, Audi announced in January that it’s joining forces with Air New Zealand Airpoints, which will see Kiwis being able to earn or spend Air New Zealand Airpoints Dollars on their next Audi purchase, according to a release issued by Air New Zealand.

“From next week [February 2015], Airpoints Dollars will be earned on all new and used Audi vehicles. The entry level new A1 will accrue from 400 Airpoints Dollars, while the top of the line R8 will earn from 2,000 Airpoints Dollars at Audi’s nine authorised dealerships nationwide. Airpoints members will also be able to redeem their Airpoints Dollars to help purchase their next new or used Audi vehicle from any one of Audi’s authorised dealerships.”

Air New Zealand has outlined a few perks of being an Airpoints customer on its website. One of these is the ability earn 2.5 Airpoints Dollars for every day a customer rents an Avis or Budget Rental Car. Customers can also scan their Airpoints card at any store that Fly Buys is accepted and earn Airpoints Dollars. Retailers include Z, New World, Mitre 10, Noel Leeming, Unichem and Contact Energy.

When customers scan their Airpoints membership card at a Fly Buys Partner they automatically earn Airpoints Dollars. Air New Zealand also has an Airpoints Mall where customers can spend their Airpoints dollars. Another sweetener is its current deal where customers can earn double Airpoints through the Apple online store. Customers can also earn Airpoints dollars through staying with Air New Zealand’s hotel partners.

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