16 years ago, the 100% Pure slogan was born (after being conceived by an Australian agency). And, despite a few naysayers pointing to the fact that it's not entirely true, it's widely recognised as one of the world's most successful tourism marketing campaigns. For the past three years, it's had a distinctly fantastical feel as part of the 100% Pure, 100% Middle Earth campaign, but rather than chuck it all out and start again, it's decided on an evolution, both in terms of the comms and the visual identity.
Chief executive Kevin Bowler says the past three years of riding on the coattails of The Hobbit movies to raise awareness of New Zealand as a destination have been extraordinarily successful, with international visitor numbers at record levels. But he says it was time to move the campaign on. Enter 'Every day a different journey'.
“For the next phase of 100% Pure New Zealand, we’ll be emphasising our story of closeness and diversity – how our amazing landscapes and activities are all within easy reach ... The new commercial shows travellers move seamlessly from one spectacular experience to the next, exaggerating the ease of movement with a series of film transitions. For example, in one transition the couple dive under water in Abel Tasman National Park, only to emerge in Lake Taupo."
The commercial, which features a remix of the hit ‘Young Blood’ by New Zealand band The Naked and Famous and the dulcet tones of Sam Neill, will appear on television and in cinemas in its biggest market of Australia, and online and in paid online media activity across all Tourism New Zealand priority markets from July 1 2015. Like most of its big campaign work, the commercial was conceived by Whybin\TBWA Sydney, with the local office of Whybin\TBWA\DAN on digital duties. The ad was shot by the Sweet Shop.
The brand has also been given a new visual identity, and it called on renowned New Zealand typographer Kris Sowersby to design a special font.
“The font had to retain the essence of the existing 100% Pure New Zealand logo but introduce an authenticity of our people and this place, making it something that can only be from New Zealand," says Bowler. "Once designed, we then asked carver and artist, RangiKipa, to carve the letters out of native Kauri timber using traditional skills. The wooden blocks were then inked, printed and digitised to create a distinct and original typeface and logo mark we’re calling ‘Pure Pākati’. By creating the logo and letters from native timber, the grain of the Kauri has become part of the visual identity that Tourism New Zealand will use in all its advertising and promotion work."
Bowler says the identity is now "unmistakably from this place" and he is confident that no one else in the world has created their identity design quite like this (the documentary was shot by Farmer Clark).
The design will be used in all Tourism New Zealand activity, including marketing, display advertising, for exhibitions, and for newzealand.com.
The 100% Pure New Zealand campaign is also key part of the wider New Zealand Story, an initiative that defines the distinct attributes that makes this country and people unique and appealing to international consumers, investors and potential immigrants.
“Just as ‘open spaces, open hearts and open minds’ underpins the New Zealand Story, so too are these attributes critical to New Zealand’s tourism proposition," says Bowler. "Spectacular landscapes and warm, generous people feature distinctively within the new 100% Pure New Zealand campaign, particularly reflecting the New Zealand Story chapters of open spaces and open hearts."
As a tiny player in the global tourism market, Tourism New Zealand doesn't have the marketing budget required to blast its message through paid-for mass-media. The Hobbit marketing partnership was clever and the PR value immense. But a large chunk of its budget is now directed to more targeted digital marketing. We asked Andrew Fraser, Tourism New Zealand's director of marketing, a few questions about this shift.
What percentage of your marketing budget is spent in digital? Why is Tourism NZ so keen on digital? And how does tourism advertising today compare to what it was several years ago, before the explosion of online?
Over the past five years Tourism New Zealand has increased the proportion of our campaign budget spent in digital from 10-15 percent to 70-75 percent. The rapid move to digital aligns with Tourism New Zealand’s tighter definition of our target market. Instead of producing work that appeals to a broad consumer base via traditional media, digital media provides the best opportunity to reach and motivate potential visitors who are actively considering New Zealand more efficiently. newzealand.com is the primary call to action across our campaign and a strategic asset for us and because visitors to our country are highly satisfied with their holiday experience, we’ve been able to harness social media to drive advocacy and recommendations.
Given that Tourism NZ needs to reach international markets, does digital advertising give you a scale that you otherwise wouldn't have?
As a highly desirable but niche travel destination scale is less important to Tourism New Zealand than being able to reach the right consumer at the right time with relevant communications. This is the advantage of digital channels.
How do you track the success of international campaigns? What metrics do you look at?
The big picture is about increasing the value of international tourism to the economy, through growing visitor expenditure and length of stay. The immediate outcomes Tourism New Zealand expects from our digital campaign work is engagement with the destination and often, driving leads to the tourism industry. Tourism New Zealand measures engagement on our digital channels as well as our performance against digital media cost benchmarks by channel.
A recent study found that as much as 25 percent of online ad views are fraudulent and come from bots or click farms. Does this concern you? How do you stop this from obscuring campaign results?
Fraudulent activity is a concern and given we’re executing digital marketing in emerging markets we’re vigilant with our agency partners and have robust detection in place on our analytics platform.