Pearl Fishers and Sol3 Mio tenors deliver for KiwiRail

02 April 2014 10:10AM

A visually stunning advertising campaign combining New Zealand scenery, Kiwi-Samoan tenors, and a soaring 19th century aria has significantly boosted KiwiRail Scenic Journeys market penetration.

Shot from the air, the ad follows the TranzAlpine across spectacular South Island terrain accompanied by an aria from Bizet’s 1863 opera, The Pearl Fishers, sung by award-winning Sol3 Mio tenors Moses MacKay and Pene Pati.

KiwiRail Passenger Group (Passenger) General Manager, Deborah Hume, says the 90 and 30 second ads ran from October 2012 to January 2013 in cinemas alongside the new Hobbit movie, on primetime television, and YouTube.

The ad aimed to provoke an emotional response in viewers and influence buyer behaviour around taking the long-distance TranzAlpine, Northern Explorer, and Coastal Pacific trains, Dr Hume says.

“While the TranzAlpine is a well-established brand, the Northern Explorer and Coastal Pacific services are less than two years old and we were focussed on increasing market awareness and patronage on all three services.”

Two ‘before and after’ Research NZ surveys confirm Scenic Journeys market penetration increased significantly between September 2013 when the campaign began and January 2014 when it ended.

Dr Hume says 500 New Zealanders were asked about their awareness of KiwiRail Scenic and its long-distance services to ascertain, as a result of the campaign, if awareness levels of the Scenic brand and its services in New Zealand’s market had increased. The research also examined whether greater awareness had resulted in potential customers having increased interest in purchasing a ticket for one of the services. “Happily the answer to both questions was, yes,” she says.

Comparing the two results showed significant increases in prompted, total prompted, and unprompted awareness of KiwiRail’s advertising. The February 2014 results showed 49% of respondents aware of KiwiRail prior to the survey had seen recent advertising about KiwiRail Scenic Journeys, compared with 25% in September 2013.

Awareness of both the KiwiRail Scenic Journeys brand and the three service brands had also increased. In particular, in February 55% respondents had heard of the Northern Explorer, up from 44% in September, a 25% improvement in awareness of the service.

Overall, in February 62% of those surveyed had heard of KiwiRail Scenic Journeys compared with 52% in September, equalling a 19% overall improvement in brand awareness. A great result, particularly as general market scaled-up brand campaigns would be deemed successful if they achieved even a 5-10% brand awareness improvement, Dr Hume says.

“We’re looking forward to seeing this increase in awareness turn into more New Zealanders, their friends and relatives and foreign tourists using the services,” she says.

Watch the KiwiRail Take a Break. Take a Train ad here.

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Media contact: Helen Corrigan, Helen.Corrigan@kiwirail.co.nz, 027 435 9464