Q+A: Marketing the Santa Parade

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The Farmers Santa Parade is an Auckland institution with an immense amount of commercial support from many NZ companies. Organiser Pam Glaser has run the show for 28 years since emigrating from South Africa, where she was a marketing manager at Sun City resort.

She spends weeks each year from Labour Weekend immersed in preparations for the annual parade (held last Sunday). No two days are the same when managing an event of this multitude – from on boarding sponsors, charity partners and volunteers, managing budgets and logistics, overseeing PR and marketing to liaising with float designers.

She did the post-match interview with M+AD …

Do any ad agencies/PR companies get involved in voluntary work with the Parade?
The promotion of the parade is a combined effort of the organiser, media partners, a sponsor team and the sponsor’s agencies and in-house corporate relations and marketing teams. The Farmers Santa Parade is a terrific asset for the city and funded via corporate sponsorship from Farmers, community trust funds and a small contribution from Auckland Council. The promotion of the parade is funded by the corporate sponsorship.

Does the Parade have its own dedicated ad agency/PR agency?
The Auckland Children’s Parade Trust is the overall manager of the event and its promotion, but there’s a huge team and extensive resource that support the parade beyond this.

NZME, Pead PR, 99 lend weight
Farmers in-house corporate relations, marketing and design departments are all involved and they work with Auckland agency 99’s The Workshop to produce the creative for radio and TV advertising (The Workshop is a specialty division of 99 that deals with client-driven creative). As well as this Farmers work closely with associate sponsor NZME to plan and place the media schedule. Mt Eden-based Pead PR heads up the PR side.

What do they do?
Pead PR looks after the media relations activities, a role it has filled since 2006. Pead PR focuses on generating fresh and contemporary story ideas around the parade and works across various platforms to drive excitement and engagement around the parade among visitors and attendees.

This year Pead PR extended their activity to include blogger and influencer engagement work and selected a handful of parenting bloggers to create content in the lead up to and during this year’s parade. The Farmers team works closely with the Auckland Children’s Parade Trust on the advertising strategy and content in the lead up to the parade. While the strategy is to honour the tradition of the 83-year-old parade, Farmers also work hard to promote the parade highlights each year.

Do they work pro-bono or do you pay them?
The event has been exceptionally fortunate to have a naming rights partner such as Farmers which contributes in a huge number of ways including providing a lot of much needed resources and financial support. This includes Farmers’ in-house design team, marketing, and corporate relations. Public relations and advertising costs are also covered as part of Farmers partnership role.

Thank you.


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