Australia is the biggest source of visitors to New Zealand, and they're also pretty keen on Wellington. But there are some enduring misconceptions about the capital across the ditch, so in an effort to address them, Positively Wellington Tourism (PWT) has enlisted the services of The Voice host Darren McMullan for a tongue-in-cheek self-promotional campaign.
PWT lured McMullen, a Scot, to the capital to make an online film via Stem Creative and website that highlighted the proximity of the city to Australia. And, unlike most self-aggrandising tourism campaigns, this one goes for self-parody instead by showcasing everything from water, roads, electricity, transportation, "electric doors on public toilets", good beer, good coffee, Te Papa, Zealandia, Weta, "real seals doing real seal things", "nature things and the likes", "arty farty stuff" and food worth fighting over.
McMullen does it all with a twinkle in the eye and possibly even a stirring in his loins. As he says in the clip: "I'll admit it, I only came here for the free holiday and the cute girls. Then something happened. I fell in love. And it wasn't with a woman. It was with this place, these people, this energy. You can laugh here, you can dance here, you can lie beneath the pohutakawa tree. Lie flat on the pavement and let the whispering winds of possibility tickle your brow. Wellington is poetry. Glorious irreducible poetry and I stand here before you tossed in its wake. Ladies and gentleman. Wellington has things. Wellington has things. And I love them all."
The clip has got a bit of media attention in Australia and the UK and the presenter told The Daily Telegraph that the job had inspired him return to Wellington with his LA-based girlfriend, American actress Crystal Reed.
“We are really foodie and coffee snobs, Crystal and I, and Wellington is amazing for that,” McMullen said.
Direct Australian arrivals to Wellington Airport were 186,336 in the 12 months to April 2014, an increase of 4.2 percent vs YE April 2013 and it's been steadily increasing in recent years (with a big increase for the Rugby World Cup). PWT’s chief executive David Perks says he’s happy the film’s turning heads and hopefully convincing more Australians Wellington “has things” worth checking out.
“Wellington prides itself on doing things a little differently and we wanted to buck the trend of traditional tourism films by adding a touch of fun. Darren’s sense of humour was a perfect fit. He really got what Wellington is about and we’re thrilled with the end result.”
This promo follows on from another recent city tour from Taika Waititi, who provided a guide for vampires as part of the promotion of his new movie What We Do in The Shadows.
Air New Zealand also did a very good job of promoting Wellington to an Aussie non-believer as part of its Kiwi Sceptics campaign.
Wellington isn't just trying to lure Aussies to its windy shores, however. It's also set to invade Auckland next week, with a number of bars, cafes and restaurants joining together to create a pop-up city called The Capital on June 25 and 26.
The Capital will pop up in Silo 6 on Auckland’s waterfront, with Logan Brown, Hawthorn Lounge, Grill Meats Beer, Six Barrel Soda, Duke Carvell's, Scopa, The Library, Wellington Chocolate Factory, Flight Coffee, Leeds Street Bakery, Ti Kouka, ParrotDog and Garage Project all heading north.
- Enter here to win a ticket.
Brand: Positively Wellington Tourism
Film production: Stem Creative
PR: One Green Bean
Media buy: UM
Talent: Darren McMullen