In a year where so much brand marketing went out the window, and despite international borders being closed, Tourism New Zealand nailed a new concept by inviting the world to come and “PLAY NZ”.
Teaming up with one of Australia’s top gaming content creators, Loserfruit, PLAY NZ brought the country to life as an immersive gaming experience that let people explore New Zealand’s greatest attractions in an entirely new way – effectively marketing the entire country as a game.
Created alongside TBWA\Sydney, the campaign aimed to increase the number of Aussies considering a New Zealand holiday, targeting a 25 to 39-year-old millennial audience renowned for seeking new experiences and likely ‘first to fly’ when a travel bubble opens.
The idea came from strong insight into the rise of gaming amongst Australians.
Launched as a YouTube Premiere on Loserfruit’s channel, the bold campaign amassed more than a million views in 24 hours.
When the same ad ran as an advertisement, it had an average watch time of nearly four minutes – a great result for capturing audiences’ limited attention.
The campaign also saw a click through rate that was 20% higher than the AuNZ travel industry benchmarks for advertising on YouTube.
Google’s Creative Development Lead, Victoria Berthinussen, says: “PLAY NZ is an amazing example of how brands can capture audience attention spans – and imaginations. Tourism New Zealand knew their target audience was on YouTube and their authentic partnership with Loserfruit saw genuine engagement and connection with her fans, which led to some seriously impressive results.
“The team took a brave approach compared to other travel providers in 2020 – and it meant they were able to continue advertising and create impact during the pandemic.”
Alongside Loserfruit, virtual tourists were guided by the familiar Kiwi voice of narrator Julian Dennison.