Tourism New Zealand Promo, Case study YOUR BIG BREAK

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Industry Transport, travel & tourism
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market New Zealand
Released July 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Travel, Tourism & Leisure
General Manager Consumer Marketing: Catherine Bates (Tourism New Zealand)
Regional Manager North America: Annie Dundas (Tourism New Zealand)
Campaign Manager – UK, Europe & North America: Ben Crawford (Tourism New Zealand)
Public Relations Manager USA & Canada: Adriena Daunt (Tourism New Zealand)
Vice President: Ivan Kayser (Hill & Knowlton)
Partner: Howard Greive (Assignment)
Senior Account Executive: Steven Elwell (Hill & Knowlton)
Account Manager: Strom Day (Assignment)
Senior Account Supervisor: Bryn Atherton (Hill & Knowlton)
Media placement: Facebook engagement ads - Facebook - November 1 2009
Media placement: Ad banners - - February 15 2010

Summary of the Campaign
CHALLENGE: Increase US travel to New Zealand. STRATEGY: Recapture the “Lord of the Rings” travel boom by tapping the connection between New Zealand and the world of film. We built “Your Big Break”, a global short film competition site supported by director Peter Jackson and producer Barrie Osbourne, to find an amateur filmmaker who captured the spirit of “The Youngest Country on Earth.” EXECUTION & RESULTS: The benchmark for success–100 entries–was trumped with 1,075 submissions and over 18,000 votes. The winning film aired March 5 on IFC and was seen more than 4 million times. generated twice the number of visitors of and more than 20,000 prospective traveler leads.

The Goal
Our research showed that New Zealand travel audience is extremely diverse. In that context, our question was how do you run a global campaign designed to drive deep engagement and get major reach, offering each category of traveler an experience of New Zealand most relevant to them? Demographically New Zealand travelers are very diverse but psychographically, they share a common appetite for adventure, destinations that inspire them and stories to experience, savor and recount. The common thread that had inspired legions of travelers from all over the world was the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and the world of film.

The first goal of generating a wide variety of high quality entries was a clear success with more 1,080 submissions from great talent including students from the 27 film programs around the country that officially endorsed the competition. The community embraced this initiative generating 18,000 votes, more than 50 blog and media postings, and nearly 21 million impressions, as well as a total of over 4 million views of the submissions and final films. For the 3 months the campaign ran, generated over twice the number of visitors of The between clicks through to and to the “Visit New Zealand” section of the site generated more than 20,000 incremental leads.

Filmmakers were invited to submit a 3-minute script and video pitch for a chance to be one of the 5 finalists chosen to fly to NZ for a 3 weeks shoot with production company Park Road Post. A website was built where participants could create their submissions and solicit votes from their networks. To maximize submissions, we mobilized the creative and film community around the competition through industry bloggers, MeetUps, professional guilds and film schools. Over 27 major film programs endorsed the program. We built a community through a campaign blog, Facebook and Twitter. A community manager provided advice, answered questions and hosted guest bloggers to keep the community engaged. The five finalists live-blogged their experience through the blog and behind-the-scenes video clip. Media efforts were supported by media buys and Facebook engagement ads. The grand prize winner was screened at the Spirit Awards show on the Independent Film Channel.

The Situation

Travel to New Zealand has been slowly slowing down over the past few years. In the US specifically awareness is very low and New Zealand although considered is most often trumped by Australia or South Africa, two destinations that capture the imagination of travelers worldwide. Starting in late 2009, Tourism new Zealand decide to initiate a strong global marketing push adopting more innovative communication channels to break this negative cycle and thus came the idea of Your Big Break.

The Strategy
For this campaign to be a success it needed to work on three fronts: 1 - The films created had to be of the highest quality which meant getting the support of the film community from engaging film programs in universities around the US all the way to recruiting the endorsement of Peter Jackson and Barrie Osborne the Academy Award winning duo who created “The Lord of the Rings.” 2 - The stories told needed to truly bring New Zealand to life, be shared through social media and start conversations about New Zealand. The competition needed to generate large numbers of high quality entrants and help build a community engaging to filmmakers and viewers alike. 3 - The campaign had to find a platform big enough to showcase these films to the world and to reach the New Zealand traveler target group. Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) achieved this through the sponsorship of the Independent Film Channel’s Independent Spirit Awards.