New tourism campaign targets activity travellers, taps Hobbit fever

Tourism New Zealand has found a way to tempt visitors thinking of a premium activity based holiday, as well as those whose appetite has been whetted by the Lord of the Rings trilogy, with a new-look 100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand campaign.

The TBWA Whybin-developed commercial, released on newzealand.com, has taken the “most impactful” scenes from the first campaign, launched in Australia a year ago, says Tourism New Zealand chief executive Kevin Bowler.

“We’re trying to really deepen New Zealand’s proposition, so that there’s a lot of reasons to come back and do other things,” says Bowler. For Australian audiences in particular, the reasons aren’t just skiing, but extend to hiking, cycling and golf.

The campaign was launched yesterday in Germany and will run in cinemas, in print, online and in outdoor advertising in several countries.

Targeting special interest travellers, who tend to be bigger spenders, is a separate strategy but one that Tourism New Zealand has packaged with 100% Middle-earth in the new campaign, Bowler says. The campaign puts people and experiences in the centre of the 100% Pure New Zealand experience, he says. “The scenery is just the backdrop.”

Over the past five years, 318,000 international tourists participated in a cycling activity, Tourism New Zealand says. On average, these travellers spend close to $4,000 per trip, compared to $2,500 for all other visitors.

Its research from the first phase of the Middle Earth campaign showed that 82 per cent of respondents stated the campaign increased their interest in New Zealand, and 73 per cent stated the campaign improved their opinion of New Zealand.

In Tourism New Zealand’s key markets, the 14-year-old 100% Pure Campaign hasn’t suffered at the hands of recent damaging issues like Fonterra’s milk products safety saga, says Bowler. He says it’s not designed to be an overarching country brand.

“It’s a tourism campaign and it does a really good job of that.”

He says the government’s work on the broader New Zealand Story campaign will boost 100% Pure.

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