That’s the tagline for Venture Hawke’s Bay’s new campaign promoting tourism to the Bay. Go to www.everythingunderthesun.co.nz and you can see how TV advertising focused on the Wellington market aims to attract vacationing families to our region. Take a look at the animated commercial … BayBuzz would love to know what you think. Call your Wellington friends and ask if they’ve seen the TV spot.

I really like this tagline. It captures the broad appeal of Hawke’s Bay, which is plenty more than wine, after all (no offence intended to my wine biz friends).

Here’s what Michael Wan, VHB’s marketing guy, says: “The campaign tagline ‘Everything Under the Sun’ was developed as part of a long term strategy. It is our intention to not only use it throughout this 12 month campaign programme (both phases) but to evolve it over the next 3 years. It was designed in such a way that we are able to leverage it across the other sectors we’re involved in, i.e. events, conferences, and even business. It is in no way designed to replace the Hawke’s Bay Wine Country brand. It works alongside this in a complimentary way.”

Hmmm … I’m not so sure about that. Given the intense politics surrounding local branding around here, I guess we’ll need to get used — for awhile at least — to the confusion of having both a “brand” (Wine Country) and a “tagline” (Everything Under the Sun).

To its credit, the wine biz was the first to realise that the uber-brand was the region itself. They moved opportunistically to lay claim to Hawke’s Bay … hence “Hawke’s Bay Wine Country.” Certainly that evokes warm and pleasant sensations, as a good brand should, but it doesn’t particularly sell Splash Planet, art deco, trout fishing, excellent schools or business opportunity. Maybe “Hawke’s Bay … Everything under the sun” with its wider connotations and three years of promotion will turn out to have even more appeal.

By intent or not, a contest has begun. Let the best brand win.

In any event, Venture Hawke’s Bay has put the first installment of a $200,000 domestic marketing campaign on the table, plus a re-designed 2010 Visitor Guide, and a new robust and full-featured Hawke’s Bay website at www.hawkesbaynz.com. Good on them. They’re doing what they are supposed to do.

Imagine Venture Hawke’s Bay as filling one of those multi-teat calf feeders, and think of Hastings, Napier, Wairoa and CHB as the calves …does that help you picture how it’s supposed to work?

It all looks well-conceived. But it’s results that count … in this case, more visitors to the region (not just ad impressions, number of brochures printed, e-newsletter sign-ups, or website pageviews … although these are indicators to watch). While the overall marketing effort needs to be sustained for real impact, we’ll soon see if this campaign is gaining any traction and “moving the needle” as they say. Count on BayBuzz to follow-up.

Tom Belford

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3 Comments

  1. There is absolutely no reason why the Hawke's Bay Wine Country regional brand, which has achieved wide recognition in the marketplace (within NZ in particular, and these people make up around 80% of visitors to HB) and the new tagline Everything Under the Sun cannot be complementary and work well together.

    It does not need to be one or the other and I firmly believe that even non-wine lovers relate to the Wine Country brand and many have an emotional attachment to it. It makes us proud to have such a great and believeable iconic representation which relates so well to the place we live in and makes us the envy of many.

    The logo has been used successfully in non-tourism applications, for example the Study Hawke's Bay group have used the brand including the words Wine Country in their international promotions and also by Real Estate companies to promote the region to potential national and international buyers.

    The gateway signage to Napier states Napier, Art Deco City in Hawke's Bay Wine Country. To me that is a perfect marriage of region and sub-region identity – wine and culture.

    The great thing about our region is that it is also a recognized family destination, thanks to Splash Planet and Marineland and the Gannet Safaris etc. but we also offer things that appeal to parents as well. There are many family-friendly wineries amongst our offering and I haven’t seen too many miserable kids when I’ve been out and about at them.

    At a regional tourism conference here in HB two years ago, highly respected Tourism NZ Chief George Hickton applauded Hawke's Bay for its retention of the Wine Country brand, acknowledging both its high recognition, its positioning and the importance of consistency.

    When we think of Bordeaux we think of wine, but there is a lot more to that region. They have a world heritage site (hopefully we will too one day) plus a surrounding natural environment not dissimilar to ours and a world class reputation for quality (hopefully we will one day too – oh that's right we're already well on the way!).

    Wine Country speaks of culture, of quality, of climate, of country, of fresh air, of space and of real people doing real things. Long live Hawke’s Bay Wine Country.

  2. Mmm, fully-featured but unfinished.

    Is it just me that has noticed that half the content is missing on the new VHB website???!!

    Living in HB, Working in HB, and most of the Business sections have no content.

    Couldn't they have been switched on once they were completed rather than making the site look half-finished?

    Half-finished is not a good look for the new regional website.

  3. re the 'Everything Under the Sun' T.V commercial:-

    I have made a point of watching the commercial and not do the crossword as I usually do through the commercials.

    I have seen it 9 times now. It took me 8 viewings to grasp the fact I could win a holiday in Hawkes Bay by investing a dollar and absorb what the internet site was. I'm getting old and dim.

    Hate the graphics , like the tune. I hope people out of town can be bothered concentrating and get the point

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