If there’s one thing Kiwis like doing, its joining in. We love being part of the team of five million and participating together in cultural moments. Despite the upcoming election, team spirit thrived in Aotearoa during September, partly thanks to Te Wiki o te Reo Māori.
Our research shows that social posts around cultural moments generate seven times more engagement than other types of content. The higher the engagement, the more ROI a brand will see from the spend.
So many brands joined the celebration. The smartest brands joined authentically and helpfully. Because if there’s another thing we like, it’s brands that make it easy to join in.
Whittaker’s stay on brand to score September’s top post
Whittaker’s always perform well on social, particularly in competitions with their growing and highly engaged team of Chocolate Lovers. In the last month, they earned a net social sentiment score of 88% – rising to 99% when they joined the Te Wiki o te Reo Māori celebrations.
How did they do it? They played to their brand’s strengths: their generosity, their branding and their Chocolate Lovers, running a competition to win a special te reo Māori edition of their dairy milk chocolate block. Zavy Radar showed this post as the top overall for September – by any New Zealand brand or media outlet:
“Kia ora Chocolate Lovers! Who would you share a block of Miraka Kirīmi with? We have 50 to gift at random!”
This post received over 25,000 comments, 22,000 likes, and 1,500 shares. It offered fans an easy way to join in with Te Wiki o te Reo Māori with several commenting in Māori. Many commenters shared how pleased they were to see Whittaker’s joining in and asked that the updated packaging be permanent:
“Awesome to see a brand get behind Maori language week”
“Love this! Should make it an official print!”
“Ka Mau Te Wehi Whittaker’s! Seeing this makes my heart sing! Ka pai!”
“I hope this continues on all your products at all times of the year.”
“This is a great idea! Can you make it permanent?!”
“Thank you, Whittaker’s Chocolate Lovers, for contributing the revitalisation of Te Reo Maori. Tena rawa atu koutou”
Authenticity and commitment
Which leads us to the second trend for brands joining the celebration well: demonstrating that their commitment to te reo Māori is not limited to one week a year.
On a practical level, posts that show corporate social responsibility tend to yield long-term, quality engagement, and help shift “neutral” sentiment into “positive” sentiment. That’s why Spark’s Kupu is so effective: it’s not a flash in the pan social media post. It’s a truly useful tool, developed and updated over several years, that feels authentic to the brand’s focus on using technology to help Kiwis.
It’s also why our perennial #1, Air New Zealand looked beyond the week when phrasing the copy of their post. This post earned 4,661 likes on Instagram alone, helping the airline hang onto its number one spot.
“Kei te aha koe i te ra nei? Why not swipe through to practice for #TeWikiOTeReoMāori and beyond”
Finally, when McDonalds entered the conversation, they heroed their formal commitment to te reo Māori:
“We’ve worked with Taura Whiri/Maori Language Commission to bring more te reo Maori into Macca’s, so keep an eye out on your next visit.”
This post literally asks fans to hold McDonalds to account. And it speaks to the brand’s commitment to Te Reo, after being roundly criticised for a policy stating that English was their “McLanguage” in 2018.
Since then the brand has shown their work in this space: supporting bilingual menus in stores, and viral videos of customers and staff speaking Māori (not to mention an inclusive new Kiwiburger jingle with Anika Moa and Troy Kingi).
Of course, haters gonna’ hate. For McDonald’s, that meant comments about te reo Māori being “forced” on them. But it also meant other commenters shutting them down quickly and effectively.
That’s why commitment is so important when joining cultural moments. If you’re committed, fans will trust you and go to the mat to back you up. Loyalty in action.