SATC and Sugar & Partners bank on Kiwis' curiosity with a mysterious set of ads, which attempt to lure inquisitive viewers online (and to South Australia).
After being re-appointed as the South Australian Tourism Commission's (SATC) strategic and creative partner last year, S&P set about recreating the way in which Kiwis see South Australia through TVCs and a video-rich digital platform.
S&P managing partner Jeremy Johnston said in a release the campaign is a "big change strategically", moving away from a decade of direct-response TV and innovating the digital space after a 16-year relationship with SATC.
The TVCs, created to draw the audience to the new website, do so discretely by featuring mesmerising video of South Australia’s scenery and attractions by Kontent’s Simon Mark-Brown, with no information suggesting location, or even purpose of the ad.
Instead S&P rely on the audience's engagement and interest in seeking out further information, a way of translating South Australia’s brand essence to appeal to the curious according to joint creative director Damon O’Leary.
“What peaks curiosity more than some telly ads with no branding, no voice over and the challenge of ‘think you know it?’ tell us and you could win a holiday there.”
Creative director Dave Nash told StopPress S&P have never created a campaign like it.
"It was a brave concept but the marketing team both here and in New Zealand and in South Australia embraced it and loved the idea from the outset. It's a great example of a brand and its marketing team living up to its own beleifs."
Though straying from traditional push advertising, the gamble is paying off for S&P and most importantly SATC, with thousands viewing the new site in a matter of weeks.
The website replaces the monotonous task of reading and creating a travel itinerary into an easy video drag-drop experience. Users create a ‘holiday playlist’ which can then be shared with friends and used to book the holiday. There are also pre-made playlists to be booked as well.
Since the launch, 500 playlists have been created and over 3,500 playlists ‘shared’ on social media or via email. Users have accessed the site via mobile, tablet and desktop devices.
These views equate to a 16 percent increase in nights booked in South Australia through an SATC travel partner and a 20 percent increase in passengers compared to the same period last year according to the S&P release.
SATC New Zealand regional manager Stacey Cant said in the release 2015 was a great year strategically, with a strong global brand strategy and an innovative local campaign.
“We’re looking forward to using 2016 to take customer engagement to the next level and drive further bookings.”