Early results from two Tourism New Zealand campaigns show they are succeeding in motivating visitors to reclassify a holiday to New Zealand from the ‘once-in-a-lifetime bucket list’ to the ‘to-do list’.
The agency said that research in the US shows that its campaign partnership between actor Bryce Dallas Howard and National Geographic is driving strong interest among Americans considering a visit to New Zealand.
TNZ’s director trade, PR and major events, René de Monchy, said: “The combination of a spokesperson who is very likeable and has a strong brand fit with New Zealand and the credibility and wide audience reach of National Geographic Travel has been instrumental to the early success of the campaign.”
According to its research, TNZ said that 53% of those who are actively considering New Zealand for a holiday, and who saw the campaign, claimed to have researched a holiday to New Zealand as a result – illustrating the once-in-a-lifetime to ‘to-do’ list shift.
De Monchy said: “The research shows that Bryce Dallas Howard engages well with our target market in the US. As well as her likeability and brand fit, Bryce’s lifelong connections to New Zealand and multiple visits over the years allows her to speak authentically about what’s on offer and why it appeals to Americans.
“What makes this campaign so successful, however, is the partnership with National Geographic Travel – their credibility and global audience reach means they are a great content partner for this work.
“We are enjoying strong growth in visitor numbers from the US. The appointment of the right person as our tourism ambassador is about maintaining and building on that momentum and Bryce Dallas Howard fits the bill.
The United States is NZ’s third largest international tourism market. In the year to October, 2017, 207,000 Americans visited New Zealand for a holiday, an annual increase of 19%
De Monchy added these are only early results for the campaign which began in July this year and will run, in phases, until June 2018.
The partnership work is built around a six part video series and online content on National Geographic Travel following the actress through the Bay of Islands, Waipoua Forest, Wellington and Queenstown.
The PR launch of the campaign has generated $8.2m in estimated advertising value to date which included extensive US media coverage including interviews on Access Hollywood Live and coverage in the Hollywood Reporter and Associated Press. The PR activity was amplified by a strong paid campaign that achieved broad reach across the target audience in combination with the partnership with National Geographic.
Bryce Dallas Howard will also be featured in the December print issue of Elle Magazine in a one-page feature called “Jet Setter” that will highlight her favourite things to do in Wellington. The magazine has a circulation of 1.1m.
TNZ’s full year 2018 campaign, Where one Journey Leads to Another, has also been a success in driving potential visitors to view industry listings and offers on newzealand.com.
Andrew Fraser, TNZ’s director of marketing, said: “Since we launched the campaign there has been an impressive 73% [year-on-year] increase in visitors to the site [in July to September 2017] who are clicking through to industry websites,”.
“The importance of an attractive and informative industry offering on the site can’t be underestimated and it’s great to see that the campaign is delivering some really positive early results.”
TNZ has recently launched a new guide to support industry create great listing pages. See the guide here.
newzealand.com offers interactive planning tools, special travel deals, operator listings and information about New Zealand.
Around 42m people visit the site each year. There are now over 20 market versions of the site, with nine of the editions either partly or fully translated. All TNZ’s campaign activity drives visitors to newzealand.com.