'A Pretty Good Plan D': Mixed reaction to Dunedin marketing campaign

Dunedin's new campaign for trying to entice Kiwis to venture to the southern city has prompted a mixed reaction online.

"Dunedin, A Pretty Good Plan D" is a nod to the fact that the southern city may not be people's first choice of destination, the city council's marketing arm says.

The self-deprecating campaign was launched by Enterprise Dunedin, which describes the new marketing campaign as "intriguing" and "high impact".

Past campaigns for the city include: "I am Dunedin" and "Dunedin: "It's all right here".

"We are conscious that Kiwis had to cancel their international travel plans this year and many would have been heading to 'bucket list' locations and activities overseas," Enterprise Dunedin director John Christie said.

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

The campaign's first focus will be on people living within a 4-5 hour drive of the city - those in Canterbury and the south of the South Island. It will then expand to Wellington and Auckland.

Before Covid-19 the domestic market was Dunedin's largest, accounting for $527 million in the year to March, Christie said.

"For the many Dunedin businesses that rely on tourism, the current economic downturn makes attracting New Zealand visitors to the city over the next six to eight months crucial to their survival."

He said the compact city had plenty of destinations that international tourists raved about and he hoped Kiwis' perceptions would be changed by the video campaign. It's also encouraging Dunedinites to visit local attractions with a new app offering special offers and promo deals.

The campaign has prompted a decidedly mixed reaction online, with former National MP Katherine Rich saying it was a bit "Eeyorish".

Another person on social media said it was "so bad it's actually rather good", while another said "Isn't Plan D a dating app?"

Dunedin's ageing network of amber high-pressure sodium streetlights, viewed from Signal Hill, is...
The new marketing campaign has been ridiculed on social media. Photo: ODT

NZ's worst town slogans? You be the judge

New Zealand's towns and cities have a history of hit-and-miss marketing slogans, some of them unofficial. They include:

• Ashburton - Whatever it takes

• Wairoa - The Way NZ Used to Be

• Featherston - If you lived here, you'd be home by now

• Timaru - Touch, taste, feel

• Foxton - The Fox Town of New Zealand

• Stop and taste Te Puke

• Matamata: 'You matter in Matamata'

• Gore - A little bit wild, a little bit out there

• Hamilton - More than you Expect, which replaced "Hamilton, Where it's happening"

• Dannevirke - Take a Liking to a Viking

• Porirua - P-town (Mayor Nick Leggett insisted on using the moniker for several years but it was never made official)

• Right up my Hutt Valley

• Tempt me Tauranga

With ODT


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Relaxed theme.

"Dunedin. We might put some pants on".

"Dunedin, why not holiday in a Dump?

No wait ... it's clever because it's self-deprecating!

How about 'Dunedin: Moana, Toroa, Kekeno, Kai'?

Momona, I'm falling under your spell.

Well, I learnt something today;
pessimistic or gloomy.
"they were an Eeyorish bunch, always looking on the dark side of life"

Yes, a new one for me too.
Eeyorish, describes most of New Zealand actually, aligns with the 'tall poppy syndrome' too.
Really gets me. that here we are, living in a paradise that those from other countries flock to see, yet we rubbish it and trash it so outwardly. And then we see little ole Dunedin, abused and critisied mercilessly, and yet, very arguably one of the best cities to live in.
The unjustified negative opinions can weigh heavy for some. What's wrong with Invercargill? Gore is great! Oamaru is a beaut wee place, Gisbourne is very pretty and Northland is frankly just amazing. Taranaki, Coromandel, the West Coast, the Central Plateau and the simply amazing Central Otago. We a blessed to live in a diverse and stunning selection of amazing vistas in a very small country. Something to celebrate I think........but Plan D? Dunno about that. Give me Dunedin any day :)

So, you're pooh-poohing the slogan ?

Yeah, nah, Dunno.....more leaning to the fact that plan D is reading as "down the list", when in fact, Plan 'Dunedin' should be on TOP of the list. I've been fortunate enough to have seen nearly every corner of our wee NZ paradise, at length and in detail....Dunedin, in my humble opinion stands out a country mile. One of NZ's best 'secret' places. For the life of me, I do not understand why people insist on running it down. In fact, those that do, should be charged with treason and given a long holiday in NK and then hung drawn and quartered on their return! If you're going to have a slogan, make it positive and intriguing. "Dunedin, Welcome, Don't Tell Anyone".

"Dunedin.....it's not Invercargill"

"Shush, don't tell anyone, or they'll all want to come"

I think the person(s) who came up with this "Plan D", were almost certainly brainwashed from a very early age ... from primer 1 to form 7 ... the mighty big "D" in red crayon on the top right corner of the test paper was highest score they ever acheived !

Slogans are all generally pretty awful.. unless they are funny, and this is funny.

For my fellow illiterates, eeyorish is defined as "pessimistic or gloomy"

Maybe it should be a slogan that evolves...such as:

Dunedin ... more than the home of ....

..."... the Otago Peninsula", "... the Steepest Street in the World .... confirmed", ...Six60"", "New Zealand's oldest University","....New Zealand's largest covered stadium", "....best Golf Club in the world.... St Clair ....!"...Speight's" "...the ODT".

Allows a evolving bundle of marketing theme's...?

Once again DCC employees proving they are simply inept.
Really, a slogan that says yeah, its not a great spot, but if you are desperate to leave home you might as well come to Dunedin. We wouldn't personally choose Dunedin but its somewhere to go.

Sack the lot and hire someone with some brains and imagination. Mind you, with the current council and DCC leadership I'm not sure anyone with those qualities would want to work there - let alone visit Dunedin.

How about Dunedin: "We Don't Require a Slogan"
or, Dunedin: "Slogans Are so Last Week"

Interesting. You’ll find people outside of Dunedin like it especially those who’ve been before and enjoyed it. My verdict...cool!

How about trying to market Dunedin as Plan A?

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