A new advertising campaign for the road now m' />

Sipping lattes and sporting designer labels would be seen by many Aucklanders as "very Ponsonby Rd".

A new advertising campaign for the road now makes light of the way in which others view the urban strip.

The "Very Ponsonby Rd" billboards feature typical scenes juxtaposed with humorous headlines.

A couple gazing at a menu board is captioned: "Decision-making - Very Ponsonby Rd".

In another a woman shopping is tagged: "Working out - Very Ponsonby Rd".

The campaign is run by the strip's business association Ponsonby Road Promotions and the creative was done by Ponsonby-based communications agency Metromedia.

Traditional suburban main streets such as Ponsonby Rd had to define themselves more strongly as competition from large shopping malls intensified, said Metromedia director Paul Manning.

Ponsonby Rd also had to compete with neighbouring shopping strips in the central city and Newmarket.

It was important that the Ponsonby Rd brand remained strong and was on top of peoples' minds when they chose where to go for their weekend coffee fix, shopping or nightlife, he said.

"Very Ponsonby Rd" was born out of conversation. When talking to people about the area the agency found that they would make a statement then add, "that's very Ponsonby Rd".

The saying had almost become colloquial. Ponsonby Rd suffered the same type of banter from Aucklanders that Auckland did from the rest of the country, said Manning.

He did not see the campaign's play on that as negative but as lighthearted spin.

"We are taking the mickey out of ourselves a bit. I think that's what people want to see.

"To say something is 'very Ponsonby Rd' is actually a virtue, I think."

The billboard campaign was primarily designed to draw new shoppers and social folk from within central Auckland to the strip and from the affluent and non-affluent suburbs.

"Ponsonby's not necessarily as stuck up as some people think," said Manning.

"Even though it's funky it's not necessarily posh. People still walk up to the dairy in their jandals - it's a real melting pot."

The billboards have been positioned at five central-city locations. The campaign will also extend to T-shirts, banners, postcards and print media.

The last billboard campaign, which ran for a year, positioned Ponsonby as a boutique village, with statements such as: "There's no McDonald's on Ponsonby Rd."