Tank crush, drone drop, golf club smash: Tait Communications puts its products to the test

Two-way radio company Tait Communications has been putting its products through hell. The devices have been dropped 100 metres from a drone, crushed by a 52-tonne tank, washed in a dishwasher, set on fire, punched repeatedly by a boxer and, most recently, smashed with a golf club.

This veritable catalogue of medieval torture techniques was captured on film and posted to the company’s YouTube channel as part of the ‘Tait Tough’ campaign, which has been running for the last two years. 

The company has been doing this in an effort to emphasise the durability of its products. And while the campaign is simple, it’s also a smart strategic move for a Kiwi company fighting it out against some major international competitors. 

Although Tait is based in Christchurch, it relies on the international export market for 95 percent of its revenue. And this puts the company up against multi-nationals with much bigger marketing budgets.

The biggest of these competitors, Motorola, holds an estimated three quarters of the market, and has thus far been very effective at asserting its leadership position in the market. 

This has traditionally led consumers to believe that Tait’s products were inferior and made of materials that didn’t quite match up to the standards of the major companies. 

A simple perusal at the Tait quality certification would quickly debunk this notion; however, consumers rarely make purchases on the basis of acronym-heavy accreditation.

So, to cut through to an international target market made up by a wide range of different language speakers, Tait developed a campaign that wasn’t dependent on dialogue but that could still relay a strong durability message.

At the recent Magazine Publishers Conference, former Tait Communications marketing campaign and content team manager Hamish Hutton (now at MyMilk) referenced the ‘Will it blend’ campaign as one that he admired. And looking at the ‘Tait Tough’, it’s easy to see parallels between the two campaigns. Both are simple, low budget and impactful.  

But the Tait Communications branding approach isn’t only limited to quirky creative campaigns. At last year’s edition of TVNZ NZ Marketing Awards, the company picked up a gong for its P25 content marketing campaign, which served to out-teach competitors and positioned the company as an expert in the field. 

In the four months of the p25 campaign, the 732 content downloads generated have already resulted in two sales opportunities worth NZ$5.2 million. Even more significantly, the campaign directly led to over $150 million of sales opportunities, including new deals with existing clients.

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