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The Absolutely Positively Wellington legacy

Wellington’s transformation into the capital of cool is a bit of a tourism fairytale. The city was hailed as the ‘coolest little capital in the world’ by Lonely Planet Best in Travel.

Absolutely positive beginnings

In 1991 the local newspaper and design agency Saatchi & Saatchi created a campaign celebrating innovative business endeavour - ‘Absolutely Positively Wellington’ (APW). The campaign didn’t just speak to the corporate community as was the original plan, it was embraced by the people of Wellington. They fell in love with their city all over again.

The initial local print campaign soon expanded into a national television campaign. ‘Absolutely Positively Wellington’ is widely celebrated as the most resonant and memorable city brand in New Zealand over two decades after its humble beginnings.

Building the brand

In 1993, the Absolutely Positively Wellington brand and its driving spirit were adopted by Wellington City Council.  Investment was made into destination marketing and acclaimed developments such as that of Westpac Stadium, the multi-use Wellington waterfront and of course Te Papa.

Now consistently hailed New Zealanders’ favourite destination in the Mood of the New Zealand Traveller Survey, Wellington has been described by the world’s media as "absolutely positively addictive" (Australian Gourmet Traveller), “Cool-with-a-capital-C” (New York Times) and by movie director Guillermo del Toro as “Hollywood the way God intended it”. The Guardian summed up the city’s transformation when it wrote "Wellington has rebooted, bursting into bloom as a charming, artistic and sophisticated city."