The 100% Pure New Zealand campaign is now in its 13th year, is held up as a master-class in tourism marketing and has helped turn New Zealand into one of the strongest country brands in the world. And Tourism New Zealand is aiming to replicate the international influx of visitors following The Lord of the Rings trilogy with the release of a new global campaign by the Sydney and Auckland offices of Whybin\TBWA and Curious Film that "invokes the magic of Middle-earth".
The 'yes, it's actually a real place' approach certainly worked last time when The Lord of the Rings films brought the punters streaming in. This time, however, the connection between The Hobbit and New Zealand has been made more explicit by the powers that be. And, in a slight shift away from its recent reliance on digital to get 'active considerers' from other markets across the line, it's taken to TV to showcase some of the country's wonders.
And here's the extended version:
"Millions of people have seen The Lord of the Rings trilogy and we expect millions more to watch The Hobbit trilogy ...," says chief executive Kevin Bowler. "Our objective is to show people that while New Zealand stars as the fantasy world of Middle-earth, what people see in the cinema is actually a real place just waiting to be explored. Not only that but you can have some amazing adventures and experiences within movie-like landscapes."
Narrated by acclaimed actor Sir Ian Holm and featuring music by Dave Whitehead, who was a sound editor for The Lord of the Rings trilogy and is sound designer for The Hobbit, the brand film gives potential visitors to New Zealand a flavour of what they might expect when they get here.
“We wanted to blend storytelling techniques used in the cinema with real stories of New Zealand, to get across to audiences the world over that New Zealand is a magical place where the lines between real life and fantasy blur," says Andy Blood, TBWA's executive creative director. "This led us to 100% Middle-earth is 100% Pure New Zealand—a parallel universe, which to all intents and purposes is real.”
"This was definitely a challenging brief because the end result needed to deliver a tourism message that leveraged the movies but was not about promoting the movies," says Justin Watson, Tourism New Zealand general manager marketing communications. "The team at Whybin\TBWA [which won the account in November] rose to the challenge and have developed a strong and compelling idea around Middle-earth and an execution that makes you proud to be a New Zealander."
The campaign launched on newzealand.com on 23 August and will appear across TV, cinema and digital in Australia from 26 August, followed by the Western and Eastern markets in September and October respectively, along with digital media, social media and public relations campaigns.
The campaign will direct people to newzealand.com where they will be able to interact with scenes depicted in the brand film and then link directly to travel providers and offers so they can click the book now button.
Air New Zealand, which has labelled itself the official airline of Middle-earth and is in the process of filming a new hairy-footed safety video, will also screen the advert on Air New Zealand domestic jet flights from 24 August.
"We are working closely with our partners Warner Bros. Pictures, Wingnut Films and Air New Zealand to maximize all the tourism opportunities available," he says.
Executive Creative Director – Andy Blood
Executive Creative Directors: Matty Burton & Dave Bowman (TBWA Sydney)
Creative Director: Craig Farndale
Digital Creative Director: Ross Howard
Copy Writers: Ryan Price, Lucy Morgan, Andy Blood, Tammy Keegan
Art Director: Cece Chu, Craig Brooks, Andy Blood
Designer: Chris Lewis
Head of Strategy – Hristos Varouhas (TBWA Sydney)
Senior Planner: Julie McIver
Agency Producer: Jackie Clark
Group Head: Natasja Barclay
Account Director: Mandy Eckford
Senior Account Manager: Julia McKee
Account Executive: Lynlee Smith
TBWA\Digital Arts Network for newzealand.com website:
Creative Director: Mark Zeman
Account Director: Stephanie Creasy
Project Manager: Louise Leitch
Senior Designer: Jonathan Mead
Production Specialist: Andrew Zen
Production Specialist: Nigel McHardy
Developer: Sam Kwan
Developer: Patrick Li
Production Company – Curious
Director: Darryl Ward
Film Company Producer: Andy Mauger
Film Company Executive Producer: Matt Noonan
DOP’s: Lachlan Milne, Darryl Ward
Editor: Tim Mauger
Music Composer/Producer: Dave Whitehead, White Noise Ltd
Music Engineer/Producer: Mike Gibson, Munki Studios
Audio Post: Digital Post & Factory Studios
Audio Engineer: Clive Broughton
Re Recording Mixer Cinema Versions - Park Road Post - Mike Hedges
Colourist: Pete Richie, Toybox
Online: Nigel Mortimer, Curious
Stills Photography: Fraser Clements, Match Photography