ASB celebrates diverse longstanding title sponsorships

For more than 30 years through events such as ASB Polyfest, Diwali and Auckland Lantern Festival, ASB has celebrated diversity through a range of sponsorships which the company is heroing in its latest ad.

Fronted by writer and performer Courtney Sina Meredith, the piece centres on a bespoke poem crafted for ASB by Meredith, encouraging people to celebrate their differences and be who they are.

"When I wrote the poem I was thinking about the connections between us all, and how important it is to keep reaching out - to reach beyond our comfort zones, to be open to new ideas and different ways of being, and to discover the strength that exists in vulnerability,” Meredith said. 

"I also just approached the text from a place of celebration and abundance - the words flowed from there."

ASB general manager of marketing Shane Evans says Meredith, who is of Samoan, Irish and Cook Island Maori descent, was perfect for the campaign, offering a unique and intelligent perspective on modern New Zealand.

"Our brief for Courtney was really to highlight the work ASB does across our diverse sponsorships," Evans said.

"We have been big supporters of events such as Diwali, Polyfest and Auckland Lantern Festival for a number of years now and we think that’s something worth celebrating."

ASB brand campaigns manager Emma-Rose Forrester said it was exciting to include ASB’s own people in the ad.

"Everyone highlighted in this piece either works for ASB or is part of our ASB family in some way. I think we have created something really powerful and special."

The piece, which will be running through to mid-March, was created by advertising agency True.

Chief creative officer Craig Pethybridge says the idea behind the campaign was around inclusivity, equality and prosperity.

"We wanted the piece to be an anthem for progress, to encompass the feeling of being included, understood and accepted," Pethybridge says. "Because ultimately this is progress for everyone."

Meredith said the poem spoke to how she felt about the world, adding that there was an alignment of values between herself and ASB.

"We came together to make something special that aims to empower others to be their best selves, I can't think of a more beautiful kaupapa."

ASB has been the naming rights partner for ASB Polyfest for more than 30 years and has helped the festival grow into the major community event it is today. It has also helped as a major sponsor of Diwali and Auckland Lantern Festival for a number of years.

For more about ASB's community and sponsorship involvement, please visit https://www.asb.co.nz/community

About Courtney Sina Meredith

Courtney Meredith is a writer and performer based in Auckland. She is committed to the arts in New Zealand and is passionate about helping and supporting other women. Growing up in Glen Innes, Courtney was introduced to poetry at an early age by her mother and has been writing since.

Diversity poem by Courtney Sina Meredith

This is us!
We are the land we are the dance of light on water
Our voices weave together constellations of belonging
We are many hands hoisting tomorrow’s sun our truths are forever in bloom
We are dreamers, adventurers, thinkers, powered by our differences encircling mountains echo mother tongue
This is progress this is us 
Just see how far we’ve come
From the east to the west we honour our roots
The fish of Maui the waters of greenstone
From the north star to the southern lights 
We are the parivaar, the whanau, the team, the aiga 
Unique, imperfect, authentic, connected by a lineage of love
This is ours
This is us

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