Given New Zealand’s feverish excitement during the Olympics when our gold medal tally was greater than that of the usually better performing Australian Olympic team, there’s still a fairly healthy dose of ‘friendly’ rivalry between the two nations. Over the years there’s been a bit of talk about New Zealand becoming the seventh state (and it happened briefly during the Games when, for the first time since 1912, the two nations came together as a rogue state known as Aus Zealand) and, from a marketing perspective, plenty of companies have decided to take care of business in New Zealand from Australia. But subtleties and local nuances are important when it comes to communications, as TVNZ-NZ Marketing Award winners Volkswagen and Z Energy can attest, and some things that work in other markets might not work here. And that’s the card British American Tobacco has played in the latest instalment of G2 Sydney’s animated Agree Disagree campaign, which taps into New Zealand’s patriotic, independent, Aussie-hating streak and questions the wisdom of following Australia’s lead on plain packaging legislation.
Browsing: Steve Rush
In the past, the tobacco industry has largely acquiesced whenever regulation has been imposed on it—and whether it be forcing manufacturers to put health warnings or graphic images on packs, smoking bans, retail restrictions like those implemented recently or seemingly imminent tax hikes, there’s been plenty. But the threat of plain packaging, which has recently been given the go-ahead in Australia, has been something of a tipping point for the industry and, in an effort to convince Kiwis that doing the same thing here is tantamount to theft, British American Tobacco has taken the unusual step of launching an above-the-line campaign.