An industry leading idea for NZSKI’s marketing may have been creatively risky, but its uniqueness managed to disrupt the market and challenge the status quo.
When the risk pays off
NZSki’s 2022 Earlybird campaign ‘You don’t have to choose’ was created by NZSki’s in-house sales and marketing team to build positive brand perceptions and increase pre-commitment sales, for the 3 Peak Season Pass.
With a concept parodying popular reality TV shows, Shark Tank and Dragons Den, where entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to investors, the campaign was championed by 12 short videos alongside hundreds of still assets. Ski area managers from Queenstown’s Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, and Canterbury’s Mt Hutt, pitched their mountain to the ‘dragon/shark’ (a local snowboarder) throughout the videos, highlighting why their mountain was the best.
The twist in the message was, if you buy a 3 Peak Pass ‘You Don’t Have to Choose’, a communication very different from the usual beautifully edited video showing classic blue-sky ski days and fresh snow.
The ‘You Don’t Have to Choose’ campaign centered around authenticity, creativity, and brand storytelling, using inhouse people. The intent was to disrupt the market and shake up ski industry marketing by creating a campaign with more impact and cut through than other ski advertising.
The aim was to build three separate and unique mountain brands, while driving sales of one multi-brand product, through sharing the individual attributes that differentiate each of three mountains, and then tying them all together with the offer of a 3 Peak Pass.
The media-channels mix resulted in the strongest engagement for any of NZSki’s previous sales campaigns, with over 25 million impressions and a massive 35 percent increase in website visitation from the New Zealand market alone. Digital Channels included Facebook (Story & Newsfeed), Instagram: (Story, Newsfeed & Reels), TikTok, YouTube (15 sec video ads) EDM’s, SMS, Google Display Network (Dynamic and HTML5), Programmatic (Stuff, NZ Herald, Metservice), Paid Search (ROAS), TVNZ & 3 Now On Demand, Digital Billboards, and Radio.
Videos were scheduled to premiere on a weekly basis, starting with a teaser to raise curiosity, followed by weekly premieres of three videos at a time. This resulted in over 1.53 million video views across the campaign.
The blooper videos were released organically every other day on social media, with other display advertising matching the videos through the schedule.
Remarketing was key to the strategy moving people through the sales funnel of dream, plan, and book. Once a person saw the first video, they would go onto a remarketing list with a higher intensity for 72 hours, before moving into a wider remarketing pool.
The budget focused on awareness activity in the early weeks of the campaign before shifting to remarketing in the final week. Conversion tracking excluded guests that had already purchased from the paid activity. This was supported with first party data to build look-a-like targeting lists.
Another engagement layer was added at the beginning of the campaign, inviting viewers of the teaser video to a website to tell NZSki which mountain they would choose and why; with the chance to win a 3 Peak Pass. This competition gave some brand sentiment data, great soundbites about the brands, and resulted in 2,903 responses, achieving both sales and brand perception objectives.
Best In-House Marketing Initiative
NZSki – You Don’t Have to Choose (Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Mt Hutt)
Grow Digital; BlackbirdNZ (Jeremy Black)
“NZSki developed a focused campaign and were agile to uncertain and changing market conditions. They brought a unique approach to the category with a good media mix. Their in-house development extended to talent, and they achieved a lot with a small base. They optimised their campaign well to changing circumstances, and their use of bloopers to increase engagement showed a level of brand relatability.”
Bachcare; NZME; Plato Creative; Walker & Hall; Xero
This article was originally published in the September/October 2022 issue of NZ Marketing. Click here to subscribe.