NZ SAYS '39'

Short List
TitleNZ SAYS '39'
CategoryB02. Breakthrough on a Budget
Production AUGUSTO Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
Production 2 DARKHORSE Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
Production 3 HAUMI Gisborne, NEW ZEALAND
Additional Company TOURISM NEW ZEALAND Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
Additional Company 2 NEW ZEALAND RUGBY UNION Wellington, NEW ZEALAND
Additional Company 3 AIR NEW ZEALAND Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
Additional Company 4 PEOPLE OF NGāTI HIKAIRO Kawhia, NEW ZEALAND


Name Company Position
Stephen England-Hall Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Officer
Lauren Vosper Tourism New Zealand Global Manager, Public Relations and Major Events
Brodie Reid Tourism New Zealand Director Marketing
Greg Wafelbaker Tourism New Zealand General Manager Asia
Setsuko Yajima Tourism New Zealand Japan Marketing Manager
Joanna Gourley Tourism New Zealand Japan PR Manager
Takahide Nakazawa Tourism New Zealand Japan Social Media & Content Manager
Yuka Gray Taguchi Tourism New Zealand Project Co-ordinator
Danelle Mouat Tourism New Zealand Project Manager
Tony Bradbourne Special Group New Zealand CEO/CCO
Michael Redwood Special Group New Zealand Managing Partner
Rory Gallery Special Group New Zealand Head of Strategy
Heath Lowe Special Group New Zealand Executive Design Director
Arnya Karaitiana Special Group New Zealand Creative Director
Stu Mallarkey Special Group New Zealand Executive Creative Director
Jack Nunn Special Group Australia Creative Director
Nils Eberhardt Special Group Australia Creative Director
Storm Day Special Group New Zealand Head of Client Service
Sandra Daniel Special Group New Zealand Group Business Director
Sam Hall Special Group New Zealand Account Director
Amelia Daly Special Group New Zealand Senior Business Director
Rachael Williams Special Group New Zealand Account Management
Heath Davy Augusto Executive Creator Opportunities
Rich Robson Augusto Creative Director
Matt Sellars Augusto Creative Director
Yukihiro Oguchi Dentsu PR
Aya Yamamoto Dentsu PR
Eiichi Kitajima Dentsu PR
HIdeyuki Matsumoto Dentsu PR
Yuma Mikumo Dentsu PR
Liam Taylor DARKHORSE Co-Founder
Graeme Heald DARKHORSE Head of Production
Karl Johnstone Haumi Director
Nick Dwyer Goodmood Director

Why is this work relevant for Creative Strategy?

You’re in charge of Tourism New Zealand (TNZ). The year is 2019. The Rugby World Cup (RWC) is in Japan. An important country for New Zealand tourism, yet the Japanese people’s interest in visiting New Zealand had waned. But there are problems. You don’t speak the language. You’re not an official sponsor of the world cup. You don’t have the budget to run a traditional ad. And it would be inappropriate to hijack their event. Our creative strategy identified the opportunity to create a tourism campaign about the Japanese, rather than New Zealand. This resulted in an ROI of 9.25:1.


The Rugby World Cup, 2019. TNZ sought to evoke an emotional connection and demonstrate a ‘closeness’ with Japan at the 2019 RWC. The event was seen as a unique opportunity to strengthen diplomatic relations, in hopes that this would reflect positively for trade and tourism. We set aside three objectives to pursue: • Generate $20m earned media for Tourism New Zealand during the Rugby World Cup. • Create positive traction for Tourism New Zealand’s digital channels in Japan. • Create an event that leaves people with a more popular opinion of New Zealand and New Zealanders.

The Interpretation of the Challenge (30% of vote)

Japan’s brand appeal towards NZ was in decline. New Zealand depends on Japan as a key tourism market. The RWC 2019 in Japan would put the mighty All Blacks and New Zealand on the world stage, providing a unique opportunity for Japan to fall back in love with New Zealand. Our budget was relatively limited. Some of the world’s biggest brands present at the event, we were competing for attention against Heineken, DHL, Land Rover, Emirates, and Mastercard to name a few. We didn’t have an official sponsorship. There were a number of very strict rules that had to be navigated, like not being able to mention the rugby world cup. The desired outcome was a creative idea that would earn significant PR, and one that would translate through the language barrier.

The Insight / Breakthrough Thinking (30% of vote)

We set out to understand what was unique about Japanese culture Strategically, we identified if Japanese people saw a bit of their culture reflected in ours, they’d be more likely to visit New Zealand. We needed to identify our common ground and shared values to demonstrate ‘closeness’. The Japanese care deeply about hospitality In Japan, ‘omotenashi’ is an attitude to hospitality - acting in service to a guest’s needs without ever needing to be asked. New Zealanders share this value Manaakitanga; a Māori value loosely translating to ‘hospitality’ – the way that travellers are made to feel welcome. Our key insight emerged: Great hospitality and treating people with respect are cornerstones of both Japanese and NZ cultures. Leading to our strategic breakthrough: We decided not to make a campaign about New Zealand, but instead make a campaign thanking the Japanese for their amazing hospitality (demonstrating the values between both countries).

The Creative Idea (20% of vote)

The brief became: Pay our respects to the Japanese by creating a gesture of thanks for their generous hospitality towards New Zealanders during the RWC In Japan, numbers are used as shortcuts to specific things, this would help with the language barrier. 39 or ‘San Kyu’ is a way of saying ‘thank-you’. We created a cultural showcase called “NZ says ‘39’ (thank-you) for being our hosts.” The All Blacks arrived in Kashiwa for a launch event with global media, wearing jerseys with 39 on their backs, introducing the idea. PM Jacinda Ardern made an appearance at one of the events Air NZ changed their Tokyo flight number to NZ39. The All Blacks took ‘39’ to the field, bowing to pay their respects to their hosts at the end of every game. ‘39’ was the symbol of NZ’s experience throughout the tournament – the Japanese felt the cultural bridge and respect.

The Outcome / Results (20% of vote)

‘NZ Says 39’ was launched to over 50 Japanese, global and NZ media outlets. The estimated advertising value was $41.1 million NZD. This equates to a media ROI of $9.25 for every marketing dollar spent. 2. Create positive traction for Tourism New Zealand’s digital channels in Japan Social media followers increased to >50k (>200%). Average engagement rate: 5.7% >14m views. 1,078,179 visits to the Japanese, (top among all countries). 51,123 visits media website visits. 3. Create an event that leaves people with a more popular opinion of New Zealand and New Zealanders >7,000 attended the cultural events. 79% had a better opinion of New Zealand, and felt New Zealanders were friendly, welcoming and respectful. 53% were more likely to visit New Zealand. Brand appeal increased to 40% in Japan (highest in 3 years). (Source: TNZ Active Consider Monitor).