Silver Spike

Case Film

Presentation Image

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

Why is this work relevant for PR?

At a time when the earned media landscape was shrinking and travel journalists were losing jobs, we had to ensure our idea would stand out and journalists’ stories would receive megaeyeballs. So, we combined the cultural acceleration in gaming with Aussies’ love for travel to create a world-first gaming walkthrough of New Zealand. Ensuring multiple earned story angles to secure coverage from TV and news to gaming and travel, our mix of new technology, high-profile talent and influencers, eye-catching content and new platforms, combined with only-in-New Zealand experiences – resulted in global headlines and over 100 million in earned media


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 creative idea (20% of vote)

To secure earned media attention, we marketed the entire country like a video game. We created the world’s first real-world gaming walkthrough, inviting people to explore New Zealand’s greatest attractions by “gamifying” the country in a completely new way. Our content created an open-world experience through the eyes of avatar ‘Skip Hogan’, as he traverses the North Island’s Rotorua while being guided by the voice of actor Julian Dennison, from Hunt for the Wilderpeople and Deadpool 2. Skip faces a series of challenges, unlocked through encounters with welcoming locals, from mountain biking through the Redwoods Forest, to whitewater rafting down Okere Falls, before coming face-to-face with TikTok sensation William Waiirua in a dance-off. PLAY NZ would not be complete without a live gamer walkthrough from Australian gaming heavyweight Loserfruit (aka Kathleen Belsten). She "plays" the country, earning points through each challenge and interaction.

Describe the PR strategy (30% of vote)

Already the #1 form of digital entertainment in Australia, lockdown saw gaming and game-streaming skyrocket by 75%**. Our research also showed that gamers have much in common with travellers – exploration, connection, adventure. We set out to leverage this by addressing gamers in their context while inviting them to engage with New Zealand in a new way. Our PR strategy was simple; disrupt traditional travel storytelling and audience perceptions by talking about travel through the guise of gaming. This allowed us to target niche gaming, travel and mainstream media targets. The campaign launched with an interactive event, where invited media and consumers joined live via streaming platform and partner Twitch. There our gaming influencer, Loserfruit, shared a live walkthrough of her experience of the “game”. Thousands watched for over an hour to experience this world-first tourism experience. ** Verizon, US 2020

Describe the PR execution (20% of vote)

Following the Twitch launch, we hosted a series of exclusive interviews with Julian Dennison across tier-one titles talking in depth about the new gaming experience keeping travellers connected to New Zealand’s people and place while international borders were closed. We then developed a series of tailored pitches and packages for news, lifestyle, travel, gaming and trade to secure an enormous breadth and depth of earned media coverage across the world. This was swiftly followed by teasers and trailer films directed at gaming and travel audiences, featuring real gamer reviews from industry bodies. Then we gave people the opportunity to “play” – the PLAY NZ immersive hub allowed exploration of 18x VR180° quest films. After a spike at launch, coverage, social sharing and website views continued for over three months.

List the results (30% of vote)

Our unique approach to tourism PR secured global headlines across TV, news, lifestyle, gaming and travel media. • Over 100 million in earned media reach • Over 150+ pieces of coverage including Australia’s largest breakfast TV program TODAY Show and highest reaching news title News Corp including a full-page print and syndicated across its online platforms • 100% of online coverage including a link to the campaign hub • 100% key message inclusion • 100% positive Campaign engagement was high; our live Twitch launch reached thousands and we reached over 100 million people total. Our films have over 15 million views. In addition, we saw a shift in our brand metrics – a 53% lift in ad recall and a 10% lift in favourability. Finally, we encouraged gamers and travellers to PLAY NZ online, achieving an average website dwell time of over 9 minutes (280% above benchmark) and a 37% increase in user interaction on our website content. Most importantly, intent to visit New Zealand post lockdown increased by +387%* and we maintained our #1 position as the preferred destination for Aussie travellers**. *Facebook brand lift study vs. Asia Pacific uplift benchmark **Tourism New Zealand AC monitor


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