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The Year in Review: Sunil Unka

Moa has gained a reputation as the trickster god of the Kiwi beer fraternity with its cheeky, often controversial and, some might say, 42 Below-esque approach to marketing. Last year it gave the French the finger and became a slightly unexpected sponsor of the New Zealand Olympic team. And now it’s put the cat amongst the pigeons by kicking off a rather heated debate about what it calls ‘craftwashing‘. Moa’s marketing manager Sunil Unka looks back on 2011. 

1) Favourite campaign that isn’t yours: Youtube VideoNek minute. Great awareness building for Levi Hawkins (and backed up by bombing down the Bullock track). Also, Ghost chips. NZTA creating memorable and repeatable sound bites.

2) Favourite campaign that is yours: Finally something drinkable from Marlborough – billboard, print ad and t-shirt. It works on a number of levels for us, grounding Moa in New Zealand’s world famous winemaking region and positioning Moa above our internationally trailblazing sauvignon blanc brands. It gives a nod to the origins of Moa, introduces the concept of approaching beer with the same discernment as wine, projects the brand personality and it also managed to ruffle a few feathers.

3) Least favourite campaign: The excruciating man marketing. The worst offenders: Mammoth, Ranfurly and Speight’s.

4) Best brand: Powershop. Despite the pink making my eyes bleed, dictators provide some of the most recognisable imagery and there is something warmly amusing about stripping all the evil out of these awful little men.

5) Best stoush: Definitely not the best, but maybe the most ridiculous – Green Man vs DB over Radler, which is technically a low strength beer style. Why bother?

6) Heroes: Mr Vintage. While the RWC and All Black sponsors (and their agencies) repeatedly collapsed the scrum, Mr Vintage simply said “Keep Calm Piri’s On”.

7) Villains: Saatchi’s. You know what you did wrong.

8) Most memorable marketing moment: I am going to have to say our Pakistani Backhander. I have never had a simple jpeg image result in threats of nuclear war on New Zealand. Settle down, it’s not our fault Pakistani cricketers cheat.

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