Shock…laughter…‘Share’: typical responses of people who got a stamp in their passport during premiere week as 70 000 travelers passed through customs when our ‘stamp’ was live. These included ‘influencers’ like Larry Curtis, Senior Contributor of ‘theonering.net’, who immediately photographed his passport stamp and broadcast it online via Instagram and Facebook to his hundreds of thousands of followers. Within an hour posting a photo of his own stamp, Larry received nearly 4,000 likes. Journalist Ann Curry posted a shot of hers to 1.45 million followers adding: ‘NZ has actually stamped my passport ‘welcome to middle-earth’. How wild is THAT’.
A Department of Internal Affairs approved ‘Welcome to Middle-earth’ passport stamp, wielded at Immigration by DIA employees. There are few things more personal, and more valuable than your own passport. And the stamps inside are souvenirs in their own right. Being able to stamp our campaign right inside it, makes it even more treasured than before: a priceless souvenir, and the reminder of the trip of a lifetime: to another world. That you just have to share on Instagram, Facebook and twitter.
Insights, Strategy and the Idea:
NZ has a tiny population, and a budget to match. But its ambitions are global. And it was presented with a once in a lifetime opportunity to make the country a must-visit destination off the back of the global spotlight that would turn it’s way thanks to the launch of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. To a Tolkien fan, one place is synonymous with Middle earth, and that’s New Zealand. New Zealand is middle-earth, on earth. Where Gandalf strides, Hobbit’s walk, and Gollum creeps. Where fantasy and reality are one and the same thing. And if you’re entering a country that really is Middle-earth, you’d get a stamp in your passport that said ‘Welcome to Middle-earth’ wouldn’t you? And the next thing you’d do is tell your friends all about it too because you’re a potent and primed media channel in your own right. And ‘you’ have huge influence.