TVNZ and Toyota take a bow after New Zealand’s Got Talent’s impressive performance

New Zealand’s Got Talent launched with plenty of fanfare and massive ratings back in September, and, with Marlborough teenager Clara van Wel announced as the winner last night, it finished on a high note as well, cementing its place as the most watched show of 2012 and the biggest show of the past ten years. 


The final episode drew 939,000 viewers (this doesn’t include time-shifted viewing, which will be added later), which is just up on the launch and just below the second episode, which managed to crack the elusive one million mark. It was the number one show against all key demographics and also continued the show’s record breaking run by achieving the highest channel share performance of the series against AP25-54 (44.5 percent share, 20.5 rating). 

TVNZ’s head of sales Jeremy O’Brien says any time you get close to one million New Zealanders watching a show and 50 percent of the total TV viewing audience is a big night (those kinds of ratings tend to be reserved for the Olympics or All Blacks games, he says, and while Shortland St regularly wins 40-50 percent share of the total TV watching audience 5+, it doesn’t happen very often with other shows). And he says it exceeded expectations around both “audience delivery” and the value it was able to offer primary partner Toyota.

In addition to these stellar ratings, the show also has a few other feathers in its cap, as it was the number one trending topic on Twitter globally during the first episode and there were over 25,000 downloads of the New Zealand’s Got Talent app (voting data isn’t going to be released and he says voting revenue only makes up a small slice of the total package).  

And it’s also a great proof point to show that TVNZ is heading in the direction of big, integrated ideas that get significant impact for its partners, rather than lots of smaller ideas. 

“We’re placing a few bigger bets,” he says, something evidenced by the new branded content initiative announced at the new season launch. 

Shows like The Block, Mitre 10 Dream Home and the Top Model franchise offer partners opportunities to be part of the show itself, often slightly gratuitously (here’s looking at you Wild Bean). That isn’t an option for many of these music and talent shows (unless of course something like this was replicated with Toyotas as the car of choice) that are going off around the world, but O’Brien says the value for the sponsors with a show like this comes from being “part of the public’s journey, not just across TV, but across the week”. And, like all sponsorships, its success comes down to how much those partners are willing to invest in it. 

Toyota certainly invested in the show, kicking things off with the nationwide Talent Tour, offering exclusive behind the scenes content on YouTube and finishing up with the launch of the new Corolla on the show (the brilliant ad has had almost one million views on YouTube, which is more views than Hilux had over nine months, and, as of last week, it had only been shown five times on air, but initial sales are very good). 

Toyota has been an exclusive client of TVNZ for 25 years and has worked closely with TVNZ with other integrated campaigns, most recently and pretty successfully with the launch of the FJ Cruiser and the national tour that was shown on Breakfast. And Neeraj Lala, Toyota’s general manager of marketing, product planning and used vehicles, says that relationship continues to be strong and “allows us to deliver excellent results for our customers”. 

“Our customers and dealers have supported this competition over the past ten months and it was great to see the final last night. At Toyota we believe if you can dream it, you can do it. Our advertising reflects that and our sponsorship strategy is about helping New Zealanders achieve excellence on a local and international level. So when TVNZ first spoke to us about NZ’s Got Talent there was no hesitation. I think TVNZ has done an excellent job but one would expect that from them. The team at TVNZ of Jeremy O’Brien, Andrew Shaw and Bridget Snelling have been outstanding to work with.” 

P&G and Coca-Cola were also involved as sponsors (Coca-Cola recently signed on with The X Factor on MediaWorks, so it’s unclear whether it will return next year) and Lala says the appeal of such a property comes from being able to get mass reach and also be locally relevant, something supreme TVNZ-NZ Marketing Award winner VW has also recently discovered.

NZ’s Got Talent provided an opportunity for our customers and staff to get more engaged. It added value beyond the purchase of a car … The one main objective we always had as a team was to put on a world class show and that’s what TVNZ [and production company Imagination]achieved. When we look at partnerships like this, we look at how it will resonate; is it a good fit and alignment to our brand and brand values; and will our dealers have the opportunity to engage with the partnership. NZ’s Got Talent offered all that and more. At the end of the day you can spend millions of dollars on marketing, but if it doesn’t resonate with your customers or if your customers don’t believe it, it won’t matter how much you’ve spent.”










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As for the show itself, Van Wel, who performed original songs and played guitar, received $100,000 and a brand new 2013 Toyota Corolla. She is also headed into the studio to record her first single, ‘Where Do You Find Love?’, which will be released before Christmas.

Results of public voting for New Zealand’s Got Talent 2012

1. Clara Van Wel

2. Jessie Hilel

3. Evan Sinton

4. J Geeks

5. Fletcher Oxford

6. ‘Big Dane’ Moeke

7. Mihirangi Fleming

8. Olivia Turner

9. Dudley Fairbrass

10. Tawaroa Kawana

11. Logan Walker

12. Zane and Degge

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