Creating an integrated partnership campaign fit for a King

In a lively tribute to the royal coronation festivities, the strategy, creative and production unit, TVNZ Blacksand & Partnerships combined their talents to create an extraordinary integrated partnership campaign, ‘Like A King’, showcasing five local advertisers. StopPress caught up with GM of Blacksand Partnerships Aaron Dawson to find out what went into creating this unique offering. 

Recognising the King’s Coronation as a unique opportunity, the TVNZ Blacksand and Partnerships team set to work to captivate viewers by blending content and commercials in a way that honoured this significant moment in television history and offered Kiwi businesses the chance to be part of the nationwide conversation. 

Accompanied by possibly once-in-a-lifetime programming, the campaign ‘Like A King’ features the iconic Suzanne Paul, imparting her sales expertise in a series of witty TVCs, seamlessly integrating royal etiquette with Arnotts, Burger King, Flight Centre, Liquorland, and Summerset brands. 

Liquorland Head of Marketing & Customer Experience Angela Hurstsays Liquorland had been looking for some bigger brand awareness opportunities that would stand out. 

 “Since the Coronation really was a once-in-a-lifetime (or maybe twice, for some!) opportunity, we decided to take the leap and get involved in this fun campaign idea. Liquorland is a brand that is about helping your occasions come to life and the ‘Like A King’ campaign provided us, and consumers, a great excuse to celebrate.”  

With commercials airing on TVNZ’s channels and TVNZ+, viewers also had the opportunity to watch them consecutively during an ad break takeover on Seven Sharp the Friday before the Coronation, as well as during the Coronation coverage the next day. 

Tapping into the glamourous nature of television, the TVNZBlacksand team wanted to “create fame moments for our clients”, Dawson says. 

Aaron Dawson.

After the success of TVNZ’s first multi-client campaign, which celebrated Shortland Street’s 30th birthday, it was just a matter of looking for the next event that would provide the right level of national conversation. 

“We were looking at events or live TV moments that audiences are preparing for, or the nation’s preparing for – something of significance where we know there’s going to be a good audience platform.” 

The key to this was flipping the usual content-led production way of thinking on its head to consider advertiser-led content, blurring the lines in an appropriate way, to bring value to audiences and advertisers alike. 

Dawson says with ‘Like A King’ it was important to try to meet the needs of all viewers and get the tone right. 

“The audience could understand it was playful by using someone with an English pedigree like Suzanne Paul, who has a well-known name and who is used to representing different brands.” 

As for the actual creation of the advertisements, the team shot all five commercials and two promos consecutively in one day, requiring cooperation from guest-star Summerset residents, five brand partners, and a corgi. 

“[Suzanne Paul] was a superstar,” Dawson says. “To make this work a cost-efficient option for our clients in this market, we had to bundle all the filming into one day.  

“To do that in a day that takes professionalism and dedication. Holding a dog, which was very fluffy, meant that in between shoots, she would get a lot of hair in her mouth. 

“But I think that’s her experience in the market around commercialisation and knowing what she was walking into.” 

The feedback about the campaign has been largely positive, says Dawson, with people telling the team it was an ad they didn’t feel like turning off. 

“To hear things like that, it was absolutely fantastic, because we want people to engage with it and pay attention to it, so the brand’s got massive value out of it.” 

The Blacksands and the Partnerships team are looking at new opportunities to recreate this successful model in the future. 

“We have got a continual unit looking at proactive opportunities and there’s more to come,” Dawson says. 

View the campaigns here: https://sales.tvnz.co.nz/advertise/blacksand-partnerships/like-a-king/

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