Short List
CategoryA04. Travel, Leisure, Retail, Restaurants & Fast Food Chains
Media Placement MINDSHARE Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Production AIRBAG Melbourne, AUSTRALIA
Production 3 ARC EDIT Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Production 4 BOLT Pyrmont, AUSTRALIA
Additional Company TOURISM NEW ZEALAND Auckland, NEW ZEALAND


Name Company Position
Andy DiLallo TBWA Chief Creative Officer
Katrina Alvarez-Jarratt TBWA Creative Director
Andrew Torrisi TBWA Senior Art Director
Grant McAloon TBWA Executive Creative Director
James Sexton TBWA Associate Creative Director
Neville Fordyce TBWA Creative Director
Matthew Moran TBWA Planning Director
Helen Campbell-Borton TBWA Client Partner
Lauren Black TBWA Business Manager
Lisa Brown TBWA Head of Production
Lauren O'Reilly TBWA Senior Integrated Producer
Yassin Ghomari TBWA Senior Digital producer
Lachlan French Bolt Editor
Andy K Bolt Editor
Beau Silvester Bolt Sound Design
Fiona Milliken Eleven PR General Manager
Brenda Chan Eleven PR Business Director
Reegan Saiani Eleven PR Business manager
Russ Tucker Eleven PR Executive Creative Director
Uncle Friendly Airbag Director
Alex Tizzard Airbag Executive Producer
Adrian Bosich Airbag Managing Partner
Lucas Baynes Arc Edit Editor
Crighton Bone Freelance DOP Lighting Cameraman
Mike Burdick TBWA Copywriter
Doug Hamilton TBWA Copywriter
Ben Clare TBWA Copywriter
Scot Waterhouse TBWA Copywriter
Bonnie Nguyen TBWA Digital Designer
Charlotte O'Rourke TBWA Integrated Producer
Savannah Anseline TBWA Agency Producer
Chris Mawson TBWA Sydney Head of Design


2020 has been a devastating year for the international tourism industry. The pandemic has closed international borders and tourism as we know it is on hold. With New Zealand the #1 outbound destination for Aussie travellers, we had a very real responsibility to keep travellers connected to our people and place while international borders remained closed. Pre Covid, we also faced a unique challenge. The 100% Pure New Zealand brand was facing increasing pressure from up-and-coming destinations such as Japan, and the locally trending options like South Australia and Tasmania which were quickly rising on travellers’ preference lists. We had to defend our #1 position, increase brand preference and keep New Zealand top of mind in a locked down world.

Describe the strategy

In a time of overused Covid cliches, we chose to do something bold and disruptive to stay connected with travellers taking the path less travelled to find a unique audience truth. The gaming audience was well established before Covid-19 – already the #1 form of digital entertainment in Australia. As global lockdowns forced the world to spend more time indoors, we saw gaming skyrocket by over 75%. Gaming in isolation became an escape while helping people stay connected. People found creative ways to incorporate play into their everyday lives embracing the notion of “play time”. Beyond the growing audience size, research also showed that gamers have a lot in common with travellers, despite the outdated stereotypes – both are about exploration, connection and adventure. So, we set out to address this audience in their context and invite them to see New Zealand in a new light.

Describe the execution

To achieve this we partnered with Twitch, and Australian gaming heavyweight Loserfruit. She teased the content on her social platforms prelaunch, then "played" the country live to her 4.7 million-strong audience. The 9-minute “gamer walkthrough” was housed on YouTube and showcased unique experiences that set New Zealand apart from other destinations, sharing New Zealand’s culture, people and places. We continued to mimic a real game launch, using game teasers and trailers, digital banners and in-app ads in gaming media channels featuring real gamers’ reviews. The campaign garnered a wealth of PR interest across online gaming publications, as well as mainstream channels, such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok – engaging a broader demographic. Not satisfied, we drove future travellers to the PLAYNZ immersive hub where they were met with 18x VR180° films aimed at inspiring future itineraries for when the borders officially reopen.

List the results

Intent to visit New Zealand post lockdown increased by +387%* and we maintained our #1 position as the preferred destination for Aussie travellers**. Though the campaign is still live, we’ve already seen a shift in our brand metrics with a 53% lift in ad recall and 10% lift in favourability. Campaign engagement is high; reaching over 100 million people. Our films already have over 15 million views. PR coverage has a universally positive sentiment with 150+ unique earned articles. The live Twitch launch reached thousands of die-hard gamers and our film has since reached over 3.5 million. Finally, we’ve achieved an average website dwell time of over 9 minutes (280% above benchmark) and a 37% increase in user interaction on our website content. *Facebook brand lift study vs. Asia Pacific uplift benchmark **Tourism New Zealand AC monitor

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