Fiji looks to go large as tourism office puts feelers out for global agency

  • Advertising
  • January 23, 2012
  • Ben Fahy
Fiji looks to go large as tourism office puts feelers out for global agency

Barnes, Catmur & Friends won the Tourism Fiji account in mid-2009 and set out on its mission to grow New Zealand visitor arrivals from 100,000 per year to 120,000 by 2011. Since it took over, and despite the ongoing political uncertainty, arrivals have gone up 18 percent on the back of some good creative comms, including an enticing TVC, a billboard that showed how hot it was in Fiji during the New Zealand winter and a well-received Adshel promotion that 'Fiji'ed' a few hundred locals. But, despite these local results, Tourism Fiji has decided the best approach to "ensure the best possible return on the Fiji Government’s significant annual investment in marketing Fiji to the world and to effectively position Fiji competitively into the future" is to find a lead global advertising agency to develop and implement a new global masterbrand strategy. 

It is expected the successful agency will be based in Fiji, Australia, New Zealand or the USA (California) and incumbent agencies in those markets have also been invited to take part. What that means for Barnes, Catmur & Friends in New Zealand is unclear, but, given those results, creative managing partner Paul Catmur says it's possible the global account could be led from here.

Youtube VideoInterestingly, one sneaky mole called us this morning to say it's not looking good for the Kiwi agency as the TVC it created with Flying Fish didn't get used in Australia because it cost too much to get the rights for the song 'Lucky You' by Kat Edmonson. Catmur says the Australians did look into using the TVC in that market and the cost of the music rights was a factor in the decision not to use it, but, given the fairly significant media spend allocated to the campaign in New Zealand, it certainly wasn't the only reason.

According to a release, the national tourist office’s decision to put the work up for tender follows on from an extensive destination marketing audit completed in late 2011, a key outcome of which highlighted the opportunities available to Tourism Fiji in taking a global approach to brand communications.

As such, the successful advertising agency will be required to develop a new Tourism Fiji global brand idea and communications style, which will be adopted and implemented locally in each of its international markets. The agency will also be required to implement media campaigns in its local market.

A shortlist will be selected and invited to participate in the pitch via a full creative and strategic proposal, with the winner announced before June 2012.


  • Agencies wishing to participate in the review should send company details by email to acting chief executive Michael Meade at mmeade@tourismfiji.com.fj by no later than Wednesday 8 February 2012.

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