TVNZ: Show Promo Campaigns: The Pacific and Go Girls

Two very clever TVNZ show promotion campaigns were launched this month using digital channels at the heart of the campaigns.

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The first was a  very public dog-fight to garner attention. But not an animal dog-fight mind you. In an elaborate ambient campaign, Colenso BBDO has re-enactied a World War II dogfight to promote the TV ONE mini-series, ‘The Pacific’, produced by Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg and Gary Goetzman. The ten-part mini-series focuses on the stories of three marines during America’s battle with the Japanese in the Pacific during World War II.

Utilising the expertise of the New Zealand Warbirds Association and pyrotechnics company Van Tiel, those in Mission Bay, Auckland watched as a real New Zealand Kittyhawk took on two Japanese fighter planes. The dogfight was visible from anywhere along the beach. The aerial feats is just one many clever acts as part of the campaign to launch the new show.

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Last week a giant mural featuring hundreds of copies of authentic letters sent by marines, along with photo’s,  was unveiled on Symonds Street. The letters, complete with browned edges and yellowing paper, were also sent out to random households as part of the promotional effort.

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The campaign for the mini-series also includes a wall-length billboard covered in letters written by WWII soldiers who fought in the pacific. The outdoor spot is at ground level which allows passers-by to stop and read each letter.

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An interactive web site was also produced by AIM Proximity.

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The second campaign is something much more personal and frankly a little bit cheeky. Whether it took place in the McDonalds carpark, behind the bikesheds or on your wedding night with candles, rose petals and Kenny G, the first time is a big occasion. And TVNZ’s online social experiment aimed to find out a little bit more about the nation’s sexual history by getting users to plot the location where they lost (or perhaps misplaced) their virginity.

The online Virginity Map was created to promote TV2’s local drama Go Girls and was AIM Proximity’s response to a brief asking for an engaging and fun way to allow fans to get to know the characters and interact with the show (are we witnessing a lowest common denominator theme in the national broadcaster’s promotions?).

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South Pacific Pictures, the makers of the show, wrote the biographical information for each of the core characters and their pins/sins can also be seen. And viewers – who must be of age to register – can also ‘drop a pin’ (euphemism alert!) on the map and show the world where they lost their innocence. And joyous (or horrible) memories of the experience, anonymous or otherwise, can also be added.

Christchurch: where virgins fear to tread Bridget Snelling, TVNZ brand and business marketing manager, says New Zealanders, somewhat surprisingly, seem to like talking about their making of proverbial whoopee.

“The Go Girls site is enjoying a spectacular traffic boost around the Virginity Tracker launch, representing more than 12,000 page impressions last Sunday, which is on top of ramping numbers behind the regular TVNZ Go Girls site.”

The average user session duration is at at two and a half minutes and the Go Girls Facebook page added 3,025 fans (up to a total of 11,221, which is getting close to Shortland Street levels) and had 581 wall posts, comments and likes. And this, Snelling says, shows the application is doing its job and creating engagement.

“Most people love it, some don’t, but there’s no major outrage,” she says. “And it’s connecting with the audience, which is the point.”

AIM Proximity creative director Michael Barnfield says Go Girls is extremely popular with women in their 30s, even more so than the age group portrayed in the programme.

“For these viewers the website becomes more of an element of nostalgia, and we’ve found that our female audience, and plenty of men too, are only too willing to relive their ‘first time’ now that the memory is at a safe distance.”

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TVNZ general manager of marketing Charlotte Findlay says viral marketing, alongside more traditional media, is an increasingly important tool to get viewers and particularly young viewers, to engage with content.  She didn’t mention, however, that viral marketing seems to take on a new, slightly more repulsive meaning when it has to do with the exchange of bodily fluids.

“TVNZ is committed to bringing New Zealanders content they can dive into when they want, where they want,” she says. “We see online applications like this one as an extension of that philosophy, so you’ll see us doing more and more of this sort of activity.”

Wellington region completely exhausts supply of virgins TV2 marketing manager Aimee Glucina says the potentially controversial site was intended to enhance viewers’ experience of the show.

“While there have been specific episodes that deal with the characters losing their virginity, the site is meant as a bonus for fans of the show; a light-hearted and harmless way for our viewers to have a bit of fun . . .We know that the Virginity Map is a little risqué, but so is the show. We feel that the tone of the site is fun, tongue in cheek, and captures the fun, flirty nature of Go Girls.”

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