The New Zealand Herald
2024 Finalist

The New Zealand Herald


Auckland, New Zealand

Category Brand Awareness Campaigns

Overview of this campaign

The New Zealand Herald commissioned a nationwide brand health research project in 2022 that isolated a key issue facing the business. 

Three years previously the Herald became the first major news provider in NZ to introduce paid subscriptions –adopting a hybrid model that offers both free and ‘Premium’ content. While the initiative had been successful in bringing in paid subscribers, research identified it had impacted perception among casual readers that ALL the Herald’s content sat behind a hard paywall. 

This was a concern. The Herald business model is built both on both subscription-funded and advertising-funded revenue streams – the latter dependent on a healthy free audience.  

Nonetheless it represented clear opportunity too. If we worked at overturning the misapprehension, we might significantly lift readership, improving conversion by raising recognition of the Herald and its preference as a reader’s main news source. Boosting familiarity would significantly impact on consideration among the total market, particularly among those seeking free news.  

Further analysis identified the key metrics most likely to boost ‘Preference’ and ‘Consideration’ –notably the assessment of the Herald’s ‘Trustworthiness’, its ‘Quality stories’, and its ability to deliver the ‘Latest breaking news’. 

Research also identified that New Zealanders weren’t fully aware of the ways in which the Herald informed their world, particularly across audio channels.  

These insights helped guide the development of our new brand strategy, driven by a new vision to become ‘New Zealand’s Herald’ –representing a company commitment to open up areas of New Zealand where brand preference was historically low. 

Our task was therefore first to establish a new positioning for the Herald, and secondly to breathe life into it by way of a new engaging multimedia campaign, created exclusively by our in-house creative team. 

In this way we would drive the perception of the Herald as a main news source by bolstering familiarity, connecting its touchpoints, and engaging new audiences in a way that was highly distinctive and relatable to all New Zealanders. 

Results for this campaign

Executed across digital, radio, outdoor, social, TV, cinema and print channels, our campaign launched in late 2022. 

Hammering home our commitment to deliver value by way of relevant, trustworthy, high-quality content, the campaign was bound by a new positioning: ‘News worth knowing’. 

Creatively, our strategy spoke to embedding our brand code into the minds of Kiwis up and down the country. 

Central to this was a focus on implanting the gothic ‘H’ brandmark. Distinctly ours, the ‘H’ exudes credibility, authority and trust, representing a brand that has been faithfully reporting on events and issues for over 160 years. 

Meanwhile, a custom audio track was developed to connect our campaign to Herald content broadcast across our owner’s radio station network and podcasts. Consistent use of a single, emotive audio theme gave audiences distinctive cues to the content’s origin. 

It worked. We were blown away by the results as the campaign exceeded expectations and demonstrated growth in all target metrics. 

Compared to the pre-campaign period, our readership rose by a remarkable 28%. 

Readers’ ‘Preference’ to choose the Herald as their main news source increased by 22%; ‘Consideration’ rose by 27%. 

Our readers’ perceptions of the Herald made a dramatic upswing. ‘Quality stories’ and ‘Latest breaking news’ both shot up by 30%.  

Significantly, ‘Trustworthiness’ was boosted across both our free and paid audiences –in the case of our free audience by 23% –with 72% viewing the Herald as ‘non-biased’. 

Our NPS trend has steadily improved since the brand campaign was launched, up over 10 points year on year. 

The gothic ‘H’ has shown high recognition across New Zealand, with the logo correctly recognised and recalled by 86.5% of respondents, putting us well ahead of our nearest competitor, and demonstrating strong recognition and correct linkage to the brand –proving it is an asset to retain and continue using moving forward. 


Source: NZH Brand Health Survey via Perceptive. Pre-campaign average Mar–-Nov 2022 vs. Campaign average Jan-Dec 2023. 



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