Tourism New Zealand takes to Instagram to attract Aussie skiers

For the third year running, Tourism New Zealand has reworked its ‘more magic every day’ campaign in a bid to attract Aussie skiers across the ditch for a winter holiday.

The latest iteration of the ongoing campaign by Whybin\TBWA Sydney sees the Kiwi tourism body partner with Air New Zealand, Flight Centre, Instagram and the ski industry in New Zealand to drive holiday visitor numbers.     

And while Tourism New Zealand has previously collaborated with the other parties, this marks the first time that the organisation has partnered with Instagram to promote New Zealand through paid imagery and video content. 

Sophie Blachford, the brand development lead for Instagram Australia and New Zealand, says the channel provides a means to drive engagement with a younger audience while simultaneously highlighting the beauty of New Zealand through imagery.     

“Tourism New Zealand is one of the first travel brands to partner with us for the launch of video on Instagram, which offers the same visual, immersive quality as photo ads on Instagram, but gives us the added ability to demonstrate sound and motion,” Blachford was quoted as saying in a release.

And the return of #NZdronie (which has previously enabled ski ski enthusiasts to create personal videos) will no doubt also play a role in promoting the beauty of the region through social channels.

Although, new to video on Instagram, Tourism New Zealand is no stranger to digital marketing. The organisation’s director of marketing Andrew Fraser tells StopPress that most of his marketing budget is used on digital campaigns.

“Over the past five years Tourism New Zealand has increased the proportion of our campaign budget spent in digital from ten-15 percent to 70-75 percent,” Fraser says. “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. [The website] 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.”     

This is important in the context of the latest campaign, which targets younger, often beginner skiers, who are eager to improve their skills on the southern slopes.

Recent statistics show that over 100,000 Australian ski enthusiasts travel to New Zealand to experience ski holiday every year, with the peak falling between July and September. 

This year, Air New Zealand and alliance partner Virgin Australia are expecting even higher numbers and will operate over 120,000 seats between Australia and Queenstown during this period. 

Fraser explains that the principle advantage of this digital-first approach is that it allows Tourism New Zealand to target specific groups.

“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,” he says.

And he says that while campaigns run and once they have completed, Tourism New Zealand tracks the performance to determine if the desirable results are being achieved.    

“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 measure engagement on our digital channels as well as our performance against digital media cost benchmarks by channel.”

In addition to its strong digital lean, the campaign, which runs from 9 March to July, will also feature TV advertising along the Eastern Seaboard and out-of-home advertising.

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