When it first launched, Tui Catch a Million immediately became one of the most successful pieces of branding New Zealand had ever seen.
The promo saw people at summer cricket games wearing branded t-shirts, in the hopes they could catch a six one-handed, to win a million bucks. In the past, it’s kept people talking about Tui all summer. The problem was, three seasons in, its popularity was starting to wane. This time around we couldn’t rely on newness, World Cup interest or even regular access to the Black Caps as a media hook. We knew that New Zealand as a nation would be excited for the return of Tui CAM but the excitement would only last a short period, certainly not the whole summer.
Our mission was to re-launch the concept with Kiwis. And the solution? Divide and conquer. Kiwis love seeing ourselves succeed on the world stage, and small town pride is even more potent. We decided to harness that pride, and get small towns excited at the possibility of one of their own getting a slice of the cash.
At relaunch we took the Black Caps athletes to almost every nationwide radio station, plus three TV shows where the journalists themselves tried their hand at a million dollar catch. That maximised the single morning we had access to the athletes.
Next, a carefully chosen media partner. Who better to front a guerrilla campaign than a guerrilla commentary team: Hauraki’s Alternative Cricket Commentary. We spread the word that they were ill-advisedly given the Tui million dollars to take care of. The ACC transformed its notorious caravan into a vault for our prize and parked it at every match, reminding punters of how tantalisingly close their town was to the million dollar catch.
The media of each town and city hosting a match received a unique press release challenging it to be the location of a million dollar catch. That led to headlines like “The catch is back” in the Ashburton Guardian, “Catch a Million if you can” in the Dominion Post and “Catch a Million back after two-year hiatus” in the Waikato Times. We then created diagrams of each hosting stadium which used data to show where you had the best chance of making a catch.
We made sure each of our catchers became local icons. Craig in Dunedin, Mitch in Auckland, Rudi in Hamilton and Rob in The Mount became richer in fame and fortune as they were interviewed in their local papers and radio stations. That translated into national coverage.
Early on, inconsiderate punters were endangering those around them with their catch attempts. We negotiated new Tui CAM Zones to keep the public safe and make the competition even fiercer. This kept everyone happy – a win-win.
We achieved a PR value that brought return on investment to 7600%, not bad for a consumer promo. The new inter-town rivalry helped to whip the country into a frenzy, and consumers found a new level of excitement in the Tui Catch a Million promotion.