How to create a love brand for an Indigenous language


Te reo Māori is for everyday people in Aotearoa New Zealand, with 8 out of 10 New Zealanders seeing it as part of their national identity. At Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori / Māori Language Commission, we’ve spent the past 35 years promoting te reo Māori as a language all New Zealanders can be part of. In recent years, we’ve achieved this through building a love brand around te reo Māori that is valued and highly sought after. This brand has become synonymous with celebrating the language and is seen all over the country on television, billboards and online during Māori Language Week. A week where all New Zealanders are empowered to celebrate te reo Māori together, in their own way.   This love brand was built through the strategic use of digital platforms and mobilising people through social movements and storytelling. This workshop will be focused on how people can build a brand around an indigenous language that everyone can be part of in an effort to normalise its use.

Te Toko Reo is the partnerships and promotions arm of Te Taura Whiri i te reo Māori (Māori Language Commission). They lead the strategic communications, partnerships and digital engagement for the Commission. The storytelling expertise and digital strategy of this team created Te Wā Tuku Reo Māori / The Māori Language moment. In 2020, this digital campaign saw over 1 million people - one fifth of the population of Aoteaora New Zealand - celebrating te reo Māori on the same date and time safely during a global pandemic. The Māori Language Moment created the largest, single Māori language event in world history and won the International Public Relations Association’s top award in 2021.