DCC spends $145,000 on new campaign: ‘Dunedin, A Pretty Good Plan D’

A new $145,000 campaign aimed at enticing New Zealanders to visit Dunedin, is getting a D-grade from many online.

The slogan — "Dunedin, A Pretty Good Plan D"— is Enterprise Dunedin’s self-deprecating and wryly humorous nod to the fact the southern city may not be people’s first choice of destination.

The Dunedin City Council’s destination marketing arm described it as "an intriguing, high impact new domestic marketing campaign" which highlights the city’s many attractions in an unfolding story of references to famous international visitor hot spots, with stunning creative imagery backing up the connection.

But Dunedin residents took to social media to disagree yesterday.

"I loathe this!!! Dunedin really needs to realise that it’s awesome and the best little town to live in, work in and visit. Stop apologising for being the best little city anywhere, and start wearing it with pride!" one person wrote.

Another said: "Not a winner, I’m afraid."

And another said: "Weak puns are a poor marketing tool as they can be interpreted easily in the negative context."

Ex-National MP Katherine Rich said it was "a bit Eeyorish".

The most positive reaction was: "It’s so bad, it’s actually rather good."

Enterprise Dunedin director John Christie said inspiration for the slogan came from the fact New Zealanders had to cancel their international travel plans this year, and many would have been heading to bucket list locations and activities overseas.

"Dunedin may not have been their first choice, but it is a pretty good Plan D and can offer alternatives that are comparable to those found in Europe, Asia, Australia and the United States.

"The initial focus of the campaign would be on the four to five-hour drive market, i.e. people in Canterbury and the southern South Island regions.

"It will then expand to the Wellington and Auckland fly market."

An image from Dunedin’s new marketing campaign. IMAGE: SUPPLIED
An image from Dunedin’s new marketing campaign. IMAGE: SUPPLIED

He said Enterprise Dunedin liked to be "edgy" with its campaigns and this one was "in-line" with others to make sure the city was noticed.

"You’ll always get a mixed reaction, no matter what you’re putting out there. So we were expecting this.

"Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, but what matters is that this has enough cut-through to get people to want to come and visit the city," Mr Christie said.

He made clear the campaign was widely discussed and supported by tourism operators and stakeholders before it was launched and made public.

The total package for all of the advertising (including transtasman marketing) would cost $145,000.

However, he was confident the campaign would have a significant financial impact.

"Prior to Covid-19, the domestic market was our largest in terms of spend, accounting for $527million in the year to March 2020."

The campaign also encouraged Dunedin residents to visit local attractions and use a new app offering special offers and promotion deals.


View all

"However, he was confident the campaign would have a significant financial impact". Well, he's right there.... minus $145,000.

Seriously. I have to dig deep to meet my rates increase to finance rubbish like this. This council need budgeting advise. Pay what really matters and stop wasting money on silly projects.

Hawkins is a genius. Money well spent. I can't believe people would be angry over the acts of this visionary leader. Ok Dunedin...how much more fraud, waste and abuse are you willing to endure by these losers before you say enough. These people are sick. They clearly have no idea what they are doing. Time to vote them off the island.

DUNEDIN - "our plan D".........governed by D*@kheads, set to be Doomed !

The gigilo industry is gonna get lit here

I doubt anyone can conceive of a Dunedin gigolo industry.

'Howzit? Alright?'

Yeah, nah! Self deprecating or whatever spin they're putting on it, it's just plain bad. Not to mention a complete waste of money.

Is Enterprise Dunedin a DCC owned company?
Eg do the ratepayers own it.
I would have thought a "plan B" would have been better or why not promote as a "plan A"
If the council had anything to do with this then it fits with the unbelievable waste of money on the street dots!
M Johnston

Enterprise Dunedin is part of the DCC which markets the city mostly to the visitor industry. If you want to know why a city council should have a travel agency/ business relocation/ tourist promotion department with a very large annual budget when this is not local government core business, you would not be alone. I think it has been a case of 'boiled frog'/bureaucratic CREEP -starts off small, gradually gets bigger and bigger and then becomes institutionalized. Is delegated certain responsibilities and given a budget and its spending decisions within that budget do not come to the council table for decisions or to the eyes of the public. Except in update reports on what has already been done. Enterprise Dunedin is subject to the Local Govt Official Information and Meetings Act. Just email the CE Dr Bidrose with anything you want to know.

They spent HOW MUCH on it!!!!

Mr Christie says they were expecting a bad reaction because they always do. Well how about making a positive slogan for once instead of a D for Dunce slogan.

Mr Christie, if you can't see anything positive about Dunedin then just get out of the job and let someone else have a go. But that would be a plan B, are you just waiting for the fourth option - you get sacked?

The value of the delegation annoys me. Better going to the Food Bank. 'Enterprise Dunedin' is the obfuscatory name of one of the DCC's 6 main 'teams'. See DCC organisational structure here: https://www.dunedin.govt.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/706778/DCC-Organ...
That in itself is highly questionable. As a rate payer, why would I want to pay a travel agency drumming up business from tourists? And why would I want the Councillors to delegate the power to spend $145,000 WITH NO INPUT FROM ELECTED REPS? When decision-making is delegated like this, it will not be on a public agenda so ratepayers might find out about it but only once it's a done deal. There's no ACCOUNTABILITY for this decision to WASTE $145,000 because, as a matter of delegation, it's a staff or operational matter and even Councillors won't be able to get much info because their job is governance, not management and the CE calls the shots on the latter. If you didn't follow all that, I am not surprised. The best way to stop this kind of idiot waste of money would be simply to DISBAND Enterprise Dunedin. It is NOT local government core business - not by a long shot.

The stupidity ledger grows? The mayor has stripped us of any pretense of democracy. He is now stripping us of any dignity by wasting our money on ego trips.

I moved to Dunedin with my family nearly a decade ago. My partner and I had visited Dunedin numerous times for business. What struck us was the paramount beauty of the place. Since living here, what has struck us like a bat, is the ongoing shear stupidity and arrogance of the DCC and ORC. One ridiculous thing after the next, as the power poles lean, the drains back up, the roads full of potholes, rubbish in the streets, the landfill overflowing and the ever increasing rates, while they are funding everything but the nessessities. Don't even mention the jolly bus service! The vibrancy, architecture, natural beauty, the good hearts of the people and the local businesses, so much potential here, yet the residents are treated as a sub culture and cash cows. The DCC is by all accounts confrontingly controversial, immature and arrogant. Dunedin continues to be let down by a handful at the top. The fundamentals, the very basics, are not well addressed nor taken pride in. The good foundations, sadly.....are missing. We look forward to better local governance.

I hope "Plan E" for Dunedin is sacking the entire council, with very few exceptions!

Better yet, let's bump that to "Plan A"! I am absolutely sick of this wastefulness and idiocy!

It is crazy how bitter people in Dunedin are about their council. I find it the worst thing about living in Dunedin.
It is an upbeat city witha good vibe and friendly people but there is a small element that just can not help themselves and complain about the council but dont run themselves and do better. It is pathetic really.

View all