The Great Deal Wars of 2011 heat up as GrabOne embraces television

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Youtube VideoWe’re accustomed to seeing marketing fluff from the seemingly never-ending range of new daily deal sites in our inboxes or on our web browsers. But, in what could be seen as evidence that group-buying has gone mainstream in New Zealand, GrabOne is facing up to increased competition and promoting its discounted wares with the help of a couple of new TVCs.

“The main reason we first invested in a TVC is that a lot of deal sites are now entering the market,” says GrabOne’s marketing director Campbell Brown. “We want to be front of mind and make people think of our deal site first.”

And, having launched in 13 regions in the nine months of existence, he says it also makes sense to have a national presence.

GrabOne, which is a joint-venture between APN and serial entrepreneur Shane Bradley, is at the head of the pack in terms of voucher sales and a lot of its success in comparison to its fairly similar competitors seems to be attributable to cross-promotion, with plenty of ad space being utilised on nzherald.co.nz.

“For New Zealand there’s nothing else like that at the moment. The market is getting competitive but we’re doing well.”

Previous advertising was mainly digitally focused with a mix of some print media and Brown says a lot of the additional numbers adding to the database (he says an average of 12,000 people are joining each week) came from that oh-so treasured word of mouth and the site’s viral momentum. But in classic start-up fashion, GrabOne decided to ditch the middlemen and do everything as cheap—and as quickly—as possible.

Small Town Media, which made the recent NZ Notworth News parodies, produced the ads.

“We’ve launched a lot of stuff in a short time. It was a risk going with a new, small company like Small Town Media, but they really delivered. I couldn’t be happier with the finished product.”

Originally AIM Proximity created the initial script and creative idea, but the company decided to go as direct as possible due to timing and budgetary efficiencies. Brown also did the media buying direct, saving more money but not so much time. Still, the production from start to finish was completed in two weeks.

On the first day the TVC aired, 1600 people liked the GrabOne page on Facebook. The second day, 1500 people. Now the total number rests around 92,000.

“We’re analysing the TVC on a day to day basis. What transactions were generated, what revenues were generated, how our social media is performing, how many people are signing up, everything.”

While Cudo also has an ad running on MediaWorks channels at the moment and Treat Me has used its Trade Me network effectively for its launch (it sold 20,000 $1 Burger Fuel burgers and 15,000 Wholly Bagels on its first day), Brown says the ethos of innovation at the company has helped, if not steered, its success so far.

“We’ve got a talented development team and a big sales force that meets with clients in person, not talking over the phone.”

So what’s next? Another ad? Another website? Another partnership, much like its recent dalliance with Air New Zealand’s grabaseat?

“Watch this space.”


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