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Ryman’s Pioneers campaign picks up top marketing award

Written by David King
on December 03, 2021

Ryman Healthcare’s Pioneers campaign has taken top honours in the healthcare/beauty category of the TVNZ-NZ Marketing 2021 awards.
The brand campaign, which stars Ryman’s residents, was aimed to disrupt traditional brand advertising and stereotyping about life in retirement villages by celebrating real people who, far from retiring from life, pursue their passions to the full.
The Ryman ‘Pioneers a New Way of Living’ brand campaign has proved a hit with audiences In New Zealand and Australia, resulting in significant increases in brand engagement, enquiry and sales.

Ryman Group Chief Executive Richard Umbers thanked the residents who took part, saying they had stolen the show.
“The campaign captured perfectly the spirit, passion and the energy of our extraordinary residents who keep telling us that life is for living.
“There is no such thing as retirement, and our residents are proof that living in a retirement village means you can pursue your passions to the full.
The campaign, developed alongside agency VMLY&R, has been used in New Zealand and Australia and was executed in multiple video formats capturing the essence of Ryman Pioneers and their individual stories, large scale out-of-home, print, radio, real estate sales communications, and on-site sales experiences.
There was also a large social media campaign which sparked an enormous response.
The Pioneers campaign was developed on the back of extensive market research to reflect a generational change in retirement village residents.
The researchers discovered that the new generation of retirees sees themselves as young at heart. Today’s 75-year-olds spent their formative years in a decade of sexual liberation, drugs, political upheaval, civil rights and protests. When they retire, they’re retiring from maintaining a home, running a farm or working a 50-hour week in favour of more freedom to do the things they enjoy.
Traditional advertising targeting this audience was seen as patronising, portraying them as frail, withdrawn and lacking purpose when in fact they are adventure-seekers, fashionistas, musicians, artists and socialites.
The judges said the response to the Ryman’s new generation of senior influencers was ‘powerful and immediate’.
“Their refreshing media appearance didn’t just grab attention, it provoked an outpouring of pride, appreciation and interest in a generation long overlooked and misrepresented.
“It was a great long-term view for Ryman based on a fundamental insight that recognised a change in the target audience. Shaking up preconceptions, the new communications approach was cleverly activated,’’ the judges said.
Ryman Healthcare is New Zealand’s largest retirement operator and is also one of the fastest growing operators in Australia. Ryman opened its first village in Melbourne in 2014, and now has five operational villages and another seven to develop.
The campaign’s aim was to build on Ryman’s reputation as the market leader – Ryman has been named Most Trusted Brand in aged care and retirement living a record seven times – and build on it for the next generation of residents.

About Ryman Healthcare:

Ryman was founded in 1984 and has become one of New Zealand’s largest listed companies. The company owns and operates 43 retirement villages in New Zealand and Australia which are home to more than 12,750 residents and the company employs 6,300 staff.

Media advisory: For further information, photos, interviews or comment please contact Corporate Affairs Manager David King on 03 366 4069 or 021 499 602 or Communications Advisor Maryvonne Gray on 027 552 0767.

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