Building a new brand for NZ: Vodafone NZ rebrands to One NZ and launches new campaign


At the end of last month, Vodafone NZ announced its rebrand to One NZ – a journey that began three years ago when Infratil and Brookfield bought Vodafone NZ off Vodafone Group and appointed Jason Paris as CEO.


Since then, the question has always been when, not if, Vodafone NZ will rebrand.  This change needed to take place when the time was right.

Paris brought in Andrew Stone from TwoViews to lead the team through the rebrand. Industry veteran Andrew was tasked with developing the strategic direction of the project as well as to build and lead the team that would be required to deliver the transformation.

With a focus on finding the right people to bring the rebrand vision to life, Stone seconded Nick Worthington from Tuesday Club to be the creative lead. The appointment of Georgia Mahaffie as the new head of brand and marketing at Vodafone NZ, completed the senior line up of the core team.

Says Georgia Mahaffie, incoming head of brand and marketing, One NZ: “The challenge was for the new brand to be more reflective of a NZ company and drive a simpler and better experience for everyone.

“To deliver on the brand promise, I wanted to create an environment where we would welcome the smartest creative minds, the best specialists, work collaboratively and challenge ourselves to deliver, big audacious work.  Egos were parked – great ideas were developed and the best ones picked up and backed.

“We took a different approach and formed a wider team based on individuals instead of companies.”

The unorthodox approach resulted in a team of talented specialists from across Vodafone (including brand, retail, business, employee, digital, in-house production, experience and legal) and a stellar team of external individuals and businesses including:

  • Nick Worthington and team from The Tuesday Club – Creative leadership
  • Derek Lockwood and Blake Enting from MisterWolf – Identity and brand system, digital build
  • Terri Collier and the team from FCB Media – Media strategy and partnerships
  • Matty Burton and the team from DDB Aotearoa – Creative development and support
  • Sarah Munnik from Pead – Public relations
  • Greg Forsyth from Makebits – Digital builds and management
  • James Polhill and Damon O’Leary from Hello Limited – Business
  • Craig Muller and the team from Uno Loco – Events and experience

The sculptures and films were directed by The Glue Society with production completed by Revolver.

Working under a tight NDA and complete secrecy, the team was briefed to create a brand-new world for One NZ and to make sure that 90 percent of New Zealand knew about it.

In the lead-up to the rebrand announcement the team built and installed a 40m wide Vodafone sign at Deer Park Heights in Queenstown. This installation served two purposes.  It acted as the set for an awe-inspiring TVC and it served as part of the pre-announcement campaign. When letters started to disappear from the sign, speculation began as to what was going on.

At the same time, the letters were removed from the physical activation, letters started to disappear from Vodafone NZ’s network banner which reaches more than 1.5M phones across the country. This tease generated wide reach and awareness across a range of channels and created unprecedented online engagement.

In keeping with the ethos of One NZ, sharing the rebrand with staff first was a key component of the announcement strategy. Customised launch events in more than 70 retail stores and care centers across Aotearoa went live ahead of the external announcement, as well as three simultaneous launch events in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

The through-the-line launch was carefully curated to reveal more information every two hours on the day of the rebrand announcement. This also saw the clever transition of the Vodafone logo into a Kiwi and ultimately into the new One NZ logo to tell the story of change.  Appearing in all major media titles, on all major TV stations, multiple page take-overs and out of home placements meant that One NZ couldn’t be missed.

The team also announced a new business strategy, ‘The one for business’ to show One NZ’s leadership in safety and security – along with the announcement of a new business security offer.

At the same time One Good Kiwi was launched, a digital giving platform that is giving $1.2 million a year to good causes supporting rangatahi.  Designed to be interactive, fun and easy to use the One Good Kiwi app was #1 for downloads in the app store on the day of launch with engagement continuing to grow.

Says Mahaffie: “I’m so proud of what we’ve created.  We have a new local brand that truly reflects who we are and it has been immensely satisfying to share this news with New Zealand. This is just the start of what is to come.”