DCC Media Release – Brand Dunedin

Dunedin City Council
Media Release

Seeking ‘Dunedin’ Stories

Last reviewed: 24 Jul 2010 7:00am

The ‘Insiders Dunedin’ social media site www.InsidersDunedin.co.nz will be launched next Monday, 26 July, with a ‘Tell us your story’ competition for Dunedin residents. This will be the first stage of the Brand Dunedin marketing strategy.

Prizes will be awarded for the best 30-second video, best photograph and best mini-story about Dunedin, local characters or ‘hidden gems’. The competition will run until Saturday 11 September 2010 and winners will be announced on Wednesday 15 September.

It is hoped the campaign to discover Dunedin ‘stories’ will engage the public, encourage participation and stimulate a sense of parochialism all of which will reinforce Dunedin beliefs and values while uncovering ‘hidden gems’ that could be used to promote the city in local, domestic and international campaigns.

Members of the public will be invited to vote for their favourite story, photo and video on the Insiders Dunedin on the homepage. Entrants will be encouraged to have their friends and families join and vote.

The competition launches the beginning of a new Dunedin campaign and is part of a two-year process in which the 8 brand partners have worked together to develop a genuine city-wide collaborative approach to all future Dunedin city marketing.

The brand partners are Allied Press, Dunedin City Council, Dunedin Venues, Otago Chamber of Commerce, Otago Polytechnic, Otago Southland Employers’ Association, Tourism Dunedin and the University of Otago.

The aim of Brand Dunedin is to create a profile that will enable Dunedin to present itself in a compelling and cohesive way and attract like-minded people to consider the city as an attractive place in which to live, work, do business, study and to visit.

Contact DCC on 477 4000.

DCC Link

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Design, Economics, Politics, Project management

26 responses to “DCC Media Release – Brand Dunedin

  1. Maybe it is just me, but the example “stories” used for this Branding seem to be rather odd e.g the Edmonds cookbook story, and the lost wallet story.
    For a good advertisement for Dunedin, have a look at this:

  2. David

    Looking at the terms and conditions for the Insiders Dunedin competion, it appears they are running what’s known in the industry as a rights grab scam.

    They can use any entries for any promotional purpose in any publication, and they don’t have to pay you a thing for your creative work.

    These sort of competitions are considered totally unethical by photographers as they trick people into giving away what can be thousands of dollars of rights, just for the right to enter.

    I wonder if the organisers know they are running something that is considered in the industry as a scam?

    • Elizabeth

      Yes David – I’m sure they know.
      I wouldn’t touch Insiders Dunedin with a barge pole. And I hear this budget – just a cool $500,000 – has had no discussion or approval from Councillors whatsoever. What have DCC staff learned in the last two years of misguided spending on the stadium. Sweet FA.

  3. Elizabeth


    @mqtodd My old home town! RT @iThnk Using Social Media To Re-brand A City: Maybe you’ve heard that Dunedin (NZ) is rebranding http://bit.ly/ajQ9oc

  4. Anonymous

    The $500K budget is a misnomer; it’s the marketing equivalent of what Customer Services Agency did with the free wireless – they had a budget of around $20K, they did a half-arsed tender process and turned it into external cost. Same thing here, same pot, different spoon. Possibly without even the half-arsed tender process.

  5. Richard

    The funding was signed off by Council in the Annual Plans.

    Councillors’ ideas were sought at a workshop just as those of the other stakeholders were. We were later briefed on progress and then again on the outcome.

    Dunedin is the brand. Always has been.

    Coincidentally, this turned up today. An Aucklander’s [former Dunedinite’s] take “on using social media to rebrand a city”: http://bit.ly/bJh7WN


    {You read it here first folks! From our co-Tweeters, @SocialSammy recently moved to Sydney from Dunedin; his business partner @MooreofAndy was Dunedin based, now Tokyo? -Eds}

  6. Anonymous

    Also founded TEDxDunedin…with…Luke Johnston. Of InsidersDunedin.co.nz.

    Elsewhere, they call this “astroturfing”. Here in Dunedin, we refer to it now as “Grassmaster”.

    • Elizabeth

      So turned off by the Insiders Dunedin exercise that after the DCC press release I never went back. Thus managed to miss the less than subtle connection.

      • Elizabeth

        oh yep

        urban dictionary – astroturfing

        the act of creating a small organisation and making it appear to represent something popular for the purpose of promoting a particular entity, cause, etc. (a play on grassroots in the sense of a popular movement originating among the common people, ultimately from AstroTurf, a brand of artificial grass)
        The practice of astroturfing [is] a widely used form of propaganda, as evidenced by the media coverage it receives.

        a form of propaganda whose techniques usually consist of a few people attempting to give the impression that mass numbers of enthusiasts advocate some specific cause. This is often done by conjuring up a phony organisation(s) that never existed.

        “Astroturfing” is the act of trying to boost one’s image online with fake comments, paid-for reviews, made-up claims and testimonials.
        The GOP, Palin, and Cheney, are getting pretty good at astroturfing.

  7. Richard

    ‘Astroturf’ and ‘Grassmaster’ are something quite different.

  8. This is my take on it
    After thinking more about this… It has nothing to do with critical mass and running a successful social media campaign… It’s about getting Rights Free images from photogs. I don’t agree. As creatives you should be ashamed. Please read the terms and conditions of this competition.
    It’s our job to educate not to take advantage of less experienced creative people.

    Also see on Flickr on the Terms and Conditions.

    • Elizabeth

      ### D Scene 8-9-10
      Where the bloody hell are we? (page 1)
      Dunedin tourism operators don’t appreciate the irony of promotional material for a campaign designed to attract people to the southern city being placed over the top of bollards designed to signpost tourists around town. #bookmark

      See page 3 stories by Wilma McCorkindale:
      Tourism the No 1 issue
      Covering up city signs ‘ridiculous’


      Register to read D Scene online at http://fairfaxmedia.newspaperdirect.com/

      ‘30 tourist signs across the Dunedin City catchment were covered with the Insiders material, except for two around Baldwin St. They cost $230 each to cover.’ -D Scene

  9. kate

    And how much are they going to cost to replace the maps? What resource consents were gained for the ads – compared with street furniture being maps, and who has a right to complain if other businesses advertise their products on these bollards, over the maps in the future?

    • Elizabeth

      I take it the removal of the Insiders crap is wrecking the maps? So item cost far greater than the $230 per bollard cited in D Scene.

      How not to advocate for Dunedin *sob* – our beloved pretty city with (sniff) ripped tourist maps…

  10. Personally, I like the Dunedin Insiders campaign, so far, and don’t care much for those map stands now covered by Insiders … they were not very well designed, and I doubt you really need a whole lot of permanent maps in the inner city of a small town anyway.

    Good points about the copyright on photos by regular folks though, I think that’s fairly standard in competitions, but yeah, they could (and should) soften it, promise a small compensation for contributors, that sort of thing. Especially given that the whole feel of the campaign is about involving and rewarding people. There seems to be this default setting where events and organisations assume that their terms have to be big and mean. It’s those lazy, dumb, ambitious assumptions that we have to act and talk in certain ways, or design and build facilities in certain ways …

    The campaign sounds expensive, like all these things, but we can see that heaps of that money will have already been used in advertising and in printing (money going back into local economy). Let’s see how it goes over time, how durable and beneficial it is … those things have to be weighed up with the cost (we always have kneejerk reactions to cost, where our own money is used).

    The new campaign looks way better than its predecessors, and it’s a bit democratic and a bit innovative. Yay! The DCC didn’t do it in-house. Big improvements all round. A design colleague said he thought it would be too sophisticated to work in Dunedin. We’ll see.

    • Elizabeth

      Question: It doesn’t matter about the locals – will the ‘campaign’ (joke) attract domestic and international tourism.

      Never seen such a shocking effort from a city that has so much to promote.

      Not helped by the blogger/tweeps who have connections with the ‘creators’ and thus feel the urge to promote the campaign from afar as if they’re groovy-discoverers.

  11. Hi All

    Sorry I’m a little out of touch with Dunedin chat. I try to stay tuned in with Dunedin talk, but it doesn’t travel all that well across the tazzy….

    Anyway after reading all your comments I wanted to state a few things…

    1) I wrote the blog post about Insiders Dunedin because I personally thnk it’s an innovative way to re-brand the city – I stand by this. Yes Luke and I are great friends (you’ll see that I disclose my relationship in the comments on my blog).

    If Luke was involved in a re-branding campaign that was boring and not using social media I never would have written about it…

    2) On photo’s I understand that this is a concern, I’ve sent links to the comments on my blog and the comments here to Luke for him to consider….it’s not my campaign so I’m not able to say what will happen. But if it was me I’d be using creative commons attribution licencing…would that make you happy?

    3) With the mis-spent budget….the campaign has only just started and I’d advise you to reserve your judgement on how well this money has been spent until the campaign is done. From what I hear (which isn’t all that much) it sounds like there are some cool features coming…if you think that all you get for 500k is a ning sight you must taking crazy pills….

    4) As for attracting internationals – again to early to judge – this is only the first stage in the promotion. It’s not aimed at the international market hence “InsidersDunedin”.

    5) Andy still lives in Dunedin….hence the reason for the Dunedin vibe of our blog/site.

    My take on the whole thing is that if you’re not worried about photo’s & stories being used then you should get behind it….if it bothers you then this is clearly not the right campaign for you to jump into…but I’d think about exactly how ‘valuable” those photo’s and stories are if they’re not shared!

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Wed, 15 Sep 2010
      City branding campaign catches on
      Dunedin residents appear to have got behind the city’s new branding campaign, providing 316 photographs, 84 stories and 17 videos, which will now be used to promote the city.
      Read more

      • Elizabeth

        Strategy and development general manager Dr Sue Bidrose said this week the project had gone quiet. One reason for that was the council’s marketing budget had been re-routed to promotion for the Rugby World Cup last year.

        ### ODT Online Wed, 11 Apr 2012
        Branding funds flowing towards ‘Dunedin Inc’
        By David Loughrey
        The much vaunted Brand Dunedin campaign – an up to $500,000 campaign designed to take the place of “I am Dunedin” – is about to get a serious push two years after it was launched. While the Rugby World Cup drained funds for the campaign last year, the Dunedin City Council is hoping the promotional material will be used across local government and business, resulting in the city becoming “Dunedin Inc”.
        Read more

    • Elizabeth


      @rebeccacaroe Dunedin Community marketing project – half fails http://goo.gl/fb/LOcgV

  12. Hi Again

    FYI – I chatted with Luke about attribution and you shouldn’t worry about it – quoting Luke:

    “We have no intention of using the stories without crediting them.”

    Hope that helps put all your minds at ease…

  13. Hype O'Thermia

    We got our branding didn’t we? Through genuine consultation for a change. what’s more:

    D U N E D I N –
    It’s highly rated.

  14. Oh dear, oh dear, a re-launch required. That about sums it up.
    Easy come (bad ideas / bad graphic design), easy go (your dollars).
    Hail the Second Coming. What, no media release at the DCC website ?

    ### ODT Online Wed, 27 Feb 2013
    Insiders Dunedin website relaunch
    By Rosie Manins
    Insiders Dunedin is being relaunched tonight in an effort to rejuvenate its use by the city’s population, for the promotion of Dunedin as a whole. Initially launched in 2010, the Insiders Dunedin website was part of the $500,000 Brand Dunedin campaign spearheaded by the Dunedin City Council and used by seven ”brand partner” organisations, including Tourism Dunedin. It encouraged the city’s residents to share their stories, photographs, videos, blogs and other information about Dunedin on a website, to promote the city to visitors. But after initially gaining recognition, the website fell flat.
    Read more

  15. Hype O'Thermia

    What’s the point, I mean from the p.o.v. of contributors? Aren’t they more likely to write this stuff on their facebook pages or their blogs? Looks like an idea that would have been brilliant if only it weren’t so half-baked. There are advantages for one party – those who thought of it – but they didn’t bother to ask themselves about the other parties’ motivation – if any.

  16. Calvin Oaten

    Hey! I see the main point is to let all the ‘Hoi Poloi’ taste the new cocktail proffered, asking for suggestions to name it as a Dunedin concoction. Brilliant! Just another ‘piss up’ under the guise of PR promotion. How about: 1 part Speights three star, 2 parts lemon juice, 1 part bitters and 3 parts absinthe? It could be called the “Dunedin Cherry Chuckle”, and at $27 a glass it might just about pay for the whole project. Oh, I forgot, the ‘Alker Seltzers’ would be extra.

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