The numbers behind Tourism NZ’s new $900K China video campaign

Tourism New Zealand’s Heart of the Long White Cloud online video campaign costs $889,000 and is estimated to eventually reach 15m Chinese viewers.

The campaign, officially launched in Beijing 10 days ago, features a series of videos starring notable Chinese social influencers promoting the Wellington, Tasman, Nelson and Marlborough regions.

Chinese film director, Wu Ershan, and food and wine broadcaster, Shu Qiao, star in the eight videos that showcase the cultural, culinary and outdoors experiences on offer throughout the central New Zealand regions.

“So far, the Heart of the Long White Cloud campaign is going very well,” said a Tourism New Zealand spokesman yesterday.

“The launch event [on June 5] resulted in 264 media stories in three days, including TV, video sites and portal sites. The videos have been viewed by over 3.5m people.”

On Chinese microblogging website Weibo, the topic hashtag #DiscoverTheHeartoftheLongWhiteCloud# gained 11.5m impressions, 46,000 engagements and 2.3m video views in the first week of the campaign.

The campaign was also in the top of three of the Weibo hot topic on June 6 across all sectors and the second hot topic for tourism for over 24 hours. These rankings are usually taken up by big paid campaigns or social events, said Tourism New Zealand.

The new videos are online only with the main platforms being Chinese sites WeChat, Weibo, iQiyi and Qyer.

“The eight videos and two trailers and 140 still images are highly professional and have already struck a chord with the target audience in China, which is expected to be 15m,” said Tourism New Zealand.

The $889,000 total cost included production expenses, all travel and accommodation, influencer and agency fees, licencing and promotional fees, and the Beijing launch event.

Neither the individual nor the total fees paid to Wu Ershan and Shu Qiao were disclosed to the Ticker.

“We can’t provide those numbers as even a total amount makes it extremely obvious to the other person’s team [what they were paid],” said the Tourism New Zealand spokesman.

The first two campaign trailers were released on June 2, followed by the remaining videos over the following week and they will run until at least September/October and possibly longer.

Tourism New Zealand said the success of the campaign would be measured through “social engagement, impressions, engagement on Weibo and WeChat, viewership on video sites and media coverage”.

For the past year, Tourism New Zealand has been promoting the central regions as a new itinerary for Chinese free independent travellers. The promotion has focused on getting Chinese tourists to visit in the off-peak seasons.

Tourism New Zealand chief executive Stephen England-Hall said in a press release last week that the regions tick the boxes for those visitors, who are after culture, food and wine, outdoors and wildlife.

“Wellington and top of the South is part of Tourism New Zealand’s new strategy that focuses on encouraging tourists to visit more parts of the country,” said England-Hall.

“China is our second biggest visitor market and rapidly becoming a market of independent travellers, so there is plenty of scope to encourage them to explore new routes and travel at different times of the year.”

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