Yeah right tagline a keeper

JOHN ANTHONY
Last updated 05:00 08/06/2014
Tui billboard
GOING WELL: Kiwis can't get enough of the Yeah Right campaign.

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Love it or loathe it, Tui's "yeah right" campaign is here to stay.

This year marks 20 years of the catchy billboard campaign, which also coincides with 125 years of brewing Tui beer.

The campaign's yeah right punchline has been so catchy it's become part of the Kiwi lexicon - up there with the likes of "yeah nah" and "sweet as".

Tui marketing manager William Papesch said as long as consumers liked yeah rights, then Tui's parent company DB Breweries would continue producing them.

"When we speak to consumers over a beer they tell us basically we can do anything with the brand but don't take away the yeah rights," Papesch said.

Yeah right billboards first appeared in 1994 initially as a central region campaign.

It took an already existing New Zealand saying and turned it into a sometimes controversial, pop culture catchphrase.

In the past seven years the Advertising Standards Authority has received 30-odd complaints relating to Tui billboards with two of those being upheld.

"I guess over the years we have ruffled a few feathers and sparked some conversations," Papesch said.

"But that's what the yeah rights are all about. We don't set out to offend anyone."

More than 5000 yeah rights have made it to billboards over the past 20 years.

It has also been made into three books, the first of which was a bestseller with more than 30,000 copies sold, Papesch said.

"Primarily what we look to do is focus on topical things that are happening and that are on people's tongues anyway and just put a bit of a Tui spin on it."

The digital era had helped fuel the campaign, Papesch said.

"Within 30 minutes we can have something up there if it's what people are talking about that's big news." People then shared Tui yeah right posts on Facebook and other social media sites which helped reach new audiences, he said.

Most billboard yeah rights only lasted about four weeks on the market, he said.

With the total mainstream beer market declining over the past six years and craft beers on the rise, Tui has realised that it can't rest on its laurels however.

Traditionally Tui's advertising has been dominated by yeah right billboards and television ads featuring bikini clad brewery babes. But last year Tui teamed up with external agencies and launched two award-winning campaigns aiming to once again shake up mainstream beer advertising.

Tui looked to achieve this with its "beer plumber" and "catch a million" campaigns. Launched last September beer plumber was an an online video prank documenting a group of mates plumbing a friends house with kegs of Tui and the reaction which followed.

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DB hoped to get one million views in the first two weeks of the video's release.

It reached that target in 24 hours.

The original video now has nearly 5 million views on YouTube and reached an estimated global audience of 314 million through different media.

"Why it was so successful was because the content was so authentic," Papesch said. "It happened for real. We didn't fudge one part of it." A few months later Tui backed up beer plumber with its catch a million campaign which ran during the 12 Black Caps one-dayers and T20 matches against the West Indies and India.

The concept was simple. If a spectator wearing a Tui T-shirt and a match lanyard cleanly caught a six with one hand, they won $100,000 in cash. In total $1.3 million in prize money was up for grabs with $100,000 on offer at 12 games, plus two $100,000 prizes at the final one-dayer.

But only two people successfully made the $100,000 catch - both in Hamilton.

Papesch said even though catch a million achieved one third of the reach of beer plumber, Tui still considered it successful because of the effect it had on the New Zealand market.

Tui distributed 60,000 T-shirts across the promotion and New Zealand Cricket experienced a 54 per cent increase in match attendance after the first catch.

One in five people in the stadium were wearing Tui T-shirts and interest in cricket reached a three-year high, Papesch said.

Tui estimated the value of each catch in terms of public relations at half a million dollars, he said.

During catch a million Tui also reached its highest share of the beer segment in two years. It also helped New Zealand Cricket and DB Breweries win best commercial partnership at this year's New Zealand Sport and Recreation Awards.

There's no yeah right on that one.

FIRST HOMES ARE A CATCH

Both of the two cricket fans who each won $100,000 in Tui's Catch a Million campaign last summer plan to put the money towards first homes in Hamilton.

Michael Morton, 28, and Jatinder Singh, 22, were the only two spectators who successfully caught one-handed sixes in the Catch a Million campaign, which ran during the 12 Black Caps one-dayers and T20 matches against the West Indies and India last summer.

Both men had $100,000 deposited into their bank accounts within a week or two after making their catches.

Morton and Singh, both Hamilton residents, immediately put their winnings into term deposits before deciding what to do with the money.

Morton said life hadn't changed too much since taking the catch and he's still working at the same sports retail job.

After a small spending spree, Morton and his wife put the money in the bank before planning to buy a house.

"We bought a couple of things . . . A big telly, a nice new bed . . ."

Morton said he's not a big drinker but when he does it's usually Tui.

Singh caught a huge six from Corey Anderson during the second Black Caps v India ODI at Seddon Park.

A Waikato University management student, he delayed deciding how to spend the money until his October graduation.

"I chucked it into a term deposit for three months just to let things settle down a bit. Having that money will probably bring it [the house] forward a few years."

Singh says, despite being put up in a hotel by DB after his win: "Whenever I go to the liquor store now I feel obliged to buy Tui - but I've always been a Tui drinker."

- Sunday Star Times

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