NZ 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. In 2012 Tourism New Zealand got a once in a decade opportunity to catapult NZ into the spotlight thanks to the making of 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.
Describe how the promotion developed from concept to implementation:
If you’re entering a country that really is Middle-earth, then at its borders you’d get a passport stamp that said ‘Welcome to Middle-earth’ wouldn’t you? We worked with the Department of Internal Affairs to create a stamp that would adhere to the strict specifications & regulations necessary for such a stamp. Then during premiere week the actual stamp was wielded by customs and immigration officials at Auckland Airport.
Describe the success of the promotion with both client and consumer including some quantifiable results:
70 000 travelers passed through customs when our ‘stamp’ was in the hands of the DIA (Dept of Int Affairs). Travelers 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. And journalist Ann Curry who posted her own stamp to her 1.45m followers, exclaiming: ‘New Zealand has actually stamped my passport ‘Welcome to Middle-earth.’ How wild is THAT.’
People’s own instinctive reaction to share was just the same, meaning word spread far & wide.
Explain why the method of promotion was most relevant to the product or service:
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.
Thus 100% Middle-earth=100%Pure New Zealand was born. And quite naturally, if you’re entering a country that really is Middle-earth, you’d get a passport stamp that said ‘Welcome to Middle-earth’ wouldn’t you?
There are few things more personal, and more valuable than your own passport.
And 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.