Best Marketing Communications Strategy & Travel/Leisure

Tourism New Zealand

Tourism New Zealand has spent over 20 years consistently building a strong and unique position for New Zealand as a holiday destination. But, with plateauing visitor arrivals and growing global competition, the brand needed a much-needed wakeup.

The Challenge

The longstanding ‘100% Pure New Zealand’ brand platform had succeeded at globally anchoring New Zealand as the ultimate destination for unadulterated, natural landscapes. But, despite this campaign’s effectiveness, each year it was getting more difficult to rise above the noise of its ever-louder competitors. 

By 2018, growth in annual visitor arrivals had begun easing, leading to a plateau. This was partly driven by the fact that Tourism New Zealand was being significantly outspent by larger, better resourced and more accessible campaigns. With an already small share of the global market at 0.3 percent, Tourism New Zealand needed to reverse the trend to continue delivering the economic benefits of international tourism to New Zealand. Its small market share means that Tourism New Zealand would never be able to compete with larger rivals (such as Australia) in terms of media budget spend.

So, there was only one thing for it. Tourism New Zealand needed the type of creative idea that would gain it a disproportionate share of positive traveller affinity for New Zealand.

The Response

In part, the success of its campaign led the organisation’s next global communications challenges: It was being emulated by the likes of Canada and Chile, and the brand had lost some of its emotional connection.

There were three key priorities that Tourism New Zealand and creative agency Special Group needed to move in all key markets to reinvigorate the brands’ favour: Grow people’s love for New Zealand; which grows the number of people considering taking a NZ holiday soon; and ultimately gets them demonstrating intention to book.

Special Group created an ambitious global gesture of welcome – ‘Good Morning World’. As one of the first countries to see the sunrise every day, the campaign gave New Zealanders the official role of greeting the world each new day with a ‘Good Morning’ to the entire world. Authenticity and that emotional connection was vital, so the campaign cast real locals in a year-long gesture of welcome.

The Result

As a result of the campaign, brand love in its key markets increased across the board. Australia – a priority market due to its proximity – after hovering at 60 percent for the past three years, saw brand love jump to 68 percent, breaking all records.

In addition, consideration grew between five and 13 points across Tourism New Zealand’s key markets. Its pool of Active Considerers increased by an additional 13.5 million high value prospects seriously considering New Zealand as their next holiday destination.

Entry details

Category: Best Marketing Communications Strategy & Travel/Leisure
Company: Tourism New Zealand
Marketing Initiative: Good Morning World
Marketing Partners: Special Group NZ, Special Group AUS, The Sweetshop, Nimble
Judge’s Comments: A well planned content driven campaign (leveraging relevant channels) to help build a competitive advantage for Tourism NZ in a challenging market context. 
Finalists: Best Marketing Communications Strategy: Health Promotion Agency / Te Hiringa Hauora, IAG, Kiwibank, Meridian Energy, Skinny, J. H. Whittaker & Sons. Travel/Leisure: NZSki

This article was originally published in the December/January 2020 issue of NZ Marketing. You can subscribe to the magazine, here. Or read the other winner stories, here.

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