Competition with no losers

In marketing schools, they teach you that marketing is like a battlefield, and that in order to prevail a brand should compete with other brands. Because of that perspective, marketing terms like campaign, target market and target audience are used, reinforcing the belief that indeed marketing is war.

But does it really have to be so? What if you stop looking at your most aggressive competing brand as such and you start looking at it as your potential best ally?

This is exactly what Air New Zealand did just before the last Rugby World Cup final.

Case: Air New Zealand &  Qantas

Australia and New Zealand are neighboring countries with a fierce sporting rivalry – rugby. Air New Zealand and Qantas are two rival airlines, and sponsors of their national teams – the All Blacks and the Wallabies. With both teams in the final in London, a rare opportunity to maximize these sponsorships presented itself. However, in order to tap this opportunity, the mindset had to be changed.


Despite being competitors, Qantas and Air New Zealand worked together to create a complimentary narrative to a global event. Together, they entered into the spirit of the game and the tournament, their efforts humanized their sponsorship of their sides.


The approach? To challenge each other. To create a narrative that’d capture the imagination of both the global rugby loving public and the press. #AirlineWager. An Extreme Challenge that saw Air New Zealand and Qantas raising the stakes on one of the biggest sporting events of the year.

It all started with a tweet from Air New Zealand to Qantas – a wager over the result of the big game. Qantas agreed, and in the days that followed, Air New Zealand proposed to Qantas that if they lost they’d paint their planes black. Qantas replied with their own paint job suggestion and #AirlineWager began to trend globally.

The results for both airlines: with zero media spend the wager had 16.3 million impressions online in just one week. #AirlineWager trended on both Twitter and Facebook and reached over 2.5 million people in Australia and New Zealand through the airlines social media channels alone.

Burger King & McDonalds

A somewhat similar opportunity for rival brands to collaborate with initiated by Burger King, who suggested to McDonald’s to collaborate in the creation of a first of its kind “McWhopper” to promote ‘peace one day’ NGO. Regretfully for McDonalds’s, they declined the offer, which resulted in a remarkable success for Burger King.

Yonathan Dominitz
Yonathan Dominitz

Yonathan Dominitz is founder of Mindscapes. A trainer and a leader of creativity and innovation boosting projects for ad agencies and companies. Yonathan has personally conducted projects in numerous companies and leading global advertising agencies across the US and North America throughout Europe to Japan, China and Asia Pacific. He is a frequently invited to run creativity workshops and is a keynote speaker at the Cannes Lions festival, Eurobest, Spikes Asia and more.

Yonathan is sharing his thoughts about advertising to Edasi’s readers every month.