100% MIDDLE-EARTH, 100% PURE NEW ZEALAND

Title100% MIDDLE-EARTH, 100% PURE NEW ZEALAND
ClientTOURISM NEW ZEALAND
Product / Service100% MIDDLE-EARTH, 100% PURE NEW ZEALAND
CategoryC01. Best Integrated Campaign Led by PR
EntrantWHYBIN\TBWA AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND
Entrant Company WHYBIN\TBWA AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND
PR Agency ELEVEN/PR Auckland, NEW ZEALAND

The Campaign

New Zealand is a small country on the far side of the world. With a tiny population, and a budget to match, we’ve got a big task on our hands letting everyone know exactly where we are, and what you can do here, and in doing so, making us a must-visit destination. And in 2012 Tourism New Zealand got a once in a decade opportunity to catapult New Zealand into the spotlight thanks to the making of Sir Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. If you’re a fan of Tolkien, then one place is synonymous with Middle-earth, and that is New Zealand. New Zealand is Middle-earth on Earth. Where Gandalf strides, Hobbit’s walk, and Gollum creeps. So this year, we aimed to earn as much media as we could by using our association with all things Middle-earth. Thus, “100% Middle-earth=100% Pure New Zealand was born. A campaign created with the permission and involvement of Sir Peter Jackson’s Wingnut Films and Warner Brothers. All our campaign activity needed to live and propagate online, and drive global traffic to our gateway portal newzealand.com, and/or to our travel partners. Our campaign started with an epic online film seeded by ‘Sir Peter’ to his fans, then encompassed rich media, paid display, earned media, PR at many levels and audiences, broadcasting the nation’s weather forecast entirely in Elvish, exclusive online content via a ‘Journey to Middle-earth’ book, and even a Dept of Internal affairs sanctioned ‘Welcome to Middle earth’ passport stamp.

The Brief

Make New Zealand a must-visit destination by taking advantage of a once in a decade opportunity of NZ being catapulted into the spotlight thanks to the making of Sir Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. So this year, we aimed to earn as much media as we could by using our association with all things Middle-earth.

Results

Sir Peter shared our film with over 650 000 fans. In 3 months, we had close to a million views online. Visits to newzealand.com using campaign related key-words up 265%. A 16% increase (year on year) of global traffic to newzealand.com. In the first 48 hours of the ‘virtual book’ going live it received 130,000 page views, with an average of 14 book page views per visit. Rich-media film performed above industry standards for interaction and engagement. The ‘Weather in Elvish’ was reported by the BBC and the Daily Mail. 70 000 travelers passed through customs when our ‘stamp’ was live. These included ‘influencers’ like Larry Curtis, senior contributor to ‘theonering.net’. And journalist Ann Curry who posted a shot to her 1.45 million followers: ‘NZ has actually stamped my passport ‘welcome to middle-earth’. How wild is THAT’. Voted ‘World’s Leading Destination Marketing Campaign’, World Travel Awards Grand Final, Dec 2012.

Execution

‘100% Middle-earth is 100% Pure New Zealand.’ All campaign activity needed to live and propagate online, and drive global traffic to our gateway portal newzealand.com, and/or to our travel partners. Our campaign started with an epic online film seeded by ‘Sir Peter’ to his 650 000 fans, then encompassed rich media, paid display, earned media, PR at many levels (trade, consumer, media, ‘influencers’, stakeholders) and audiences, broadcasting the nation’s weather forecast entirely in Elvish, exclusive online content via a ‘Journey to Middle-earth’ book, and even a Dept of Internal affairs sanctioned ‘Welcome to Middle earth’ passport stamp. The campaign was global and appeared in 47 countries with some parts being tailored to local nuance and need.

The Situation

A once in a decade opportunity for Tourism New Zealand to leverage the fact that The Hobbit trilogy was being filmed on New Zealand soil, using NZ expertise, by Sir Peter Jackson. (The production of the three films was made possible through government agreed tax breaks to the overseas backers.) TNZ is a taxpayer funded, government backed entity that reports directly to the Minister for Tourism – The Prime Minister John Key. TNZ carries the huge responsibility of representing the Nation to the world. It was a high stakes investment.

The Strategy

If you’re a fan of Tolkien, then one place is synonymous with Middle-earth, and that is New Zealand. New Zealand is Middle-earth on Earth. Where Gandalf strides, Hobbit’s walk, and Gollum creeps. So this year, we aimed to earn as much media as we could by using our association with all things Middle-earth. Thus, “100% Middle-earth=100% Pure New Zealand was born. Justin Watson, TNZ GM Marketing Communications: "This was definitely a challenging brief because the end result needed to deliver a tourism message that leveraged the movies but was not about promoting the movies. The team rose to the challenge and have developed a strong and compelling idea around Middle-earth and an execution that makes you proud to be a New Zealander."

Credits

Name Company Position
Sam Kwan/Patrick Li Dan Auckland Developer
Andrew Zen/Nigel Mchardy Dan Auckland Production Specialist
Louise Leitch Dan Auckland Project Manager
Stephanie Creasey Dan Auckland Account Director
Lynlee Smith/Julia Mckee Whybin \ Tbwa Auckland Account Management
Kelly Bennett Eleven Pr Managing Partner
Andy Mauger Curious Producer
Darryl Ward Curious Director
Matt Noonan Curious Executive Producer
Mandy Eckford Whybin \ Tbwa Auckland Account Director
Natasja Barclay Whybin \ Tbwa Auckland Group Head
Curious Curious Production Company
Ross Howard Dan Auckland Digital Creative Director
Hristos Varouhas Whybin \ Tbwa Sydney Strategist
Julie Maciver Whybin \ Tbwa Auckland Planner
Chris Lewis/Jonathon Mead Whybin \ Tbwa Auckland Designer
Cece Chu/Craig Brooks/Andy Blood Whybin \ Tbwa Auckland Art Director
Ryan Price/Andy Blood/Tammy Keegan/Lucy Morgan Whybin \ Tbwa Auckland Copywriter
Mark Zeman Dan Auckland Creative Director
Andy Blood/Matty Burton/Dave Bowman Whybin \ Tbwa Auckland \ Whybin \ Tbwa Sydney Executive Creative Director