A journey through Middle-earth mapped out in latest tourism campaign

Tourism New Zealand today unveiled the latest evolution of its "100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand" campaign.

It comes as the country is drawing ever nearer to the world premiere of the upcoming epic motion picture The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), on November 28 in Wellington.

New creative and an interactive Middle-earth feature have been introduced to newzealand.com, Tourism New Zealand's website for engaging with potential visitors.

Exclusive new illustrations have been created by three talented designers at Weta Workshop and will be used across Tourism New Zealand's 100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand  campaign material. 

One of the Middle-earth illustrations featured on newzealand.com

The illustrations take scenes from Tourism New Zealand's television and cinema advertisement launched on August 23, and transform them into the world of Middle-earth.

Kevin Bowler, Chief Executive of Tourism New Zealand says it has been a fantastic experience to work alongside Weta Workshop on this project.

"Working with Senior Concept Designers Paul Tobin, Nick Keller and Gus Hunter has enabled the campaign to take a step further into the cinematic world of Middle-earth.

"We know that over the coming weeks, hundreds of millions of people are going to see coverage from the premiere in Wellington and that New Zealand will be firmly in the spotlight.

"This next phase of our campaign continues to leverage that attention and seeks to convert interest in New Zealand, into travel.

"People can check out newzealand.com and see for themselves how the cinematic fantasy of Middle-earth is in fact the reality of New Zealand - and that there is a whole world of experiences to be had and people to meet within the movie-scene style landscapes."

Paul Tobin, Weta Workshop Concept Designer says: "Typically our designs are focussed to the moments of the journey that are touched upon by the script. With 100% Middle-earth we had the pleasure of venturing off the script and capturing aspects of Middle-earth inspired by New Zealand's beauty and moments that may be happening off camera."

Execution of the campaign shows the illustrations that feature the characters and cultures of Middle-earth, and transform them into real New Zealand scenes and experiences, to illustrate the reality of a New Zealand holiday.

The pages of newzealand.com also invite viewers to take a journey though the cinematic Middle-earth via a new feature that showcases key filming regions, Middle-earth-themed holiday itineraries and exclusive content from Weta Workshop.

Rik Athorne, Weta Workshop Design Studio Manager says it's been a pleasure working with TNZ on the 100% Middle-earth campaign. 

"Having the opportunity to explore more areas of Middle-earth has been wonderful experience.  We really feel that the 100% Middle-earth campaign captures the fantastical magic of New Zealand and hope it will continue to inspire people to visit and experience it for themselves."

The new creative and content will appear across a range of marketing campaign executions including newzealand.com, online advertising and real-world displays - the most prominent of which is an installation at Auckland International Airport due for completion on November 22.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and the second and third films of The Hobbit Trilogyare productions of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), with New Line managing production.  Warner Bros. Pictures is handling worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television distribution being handled by MGM.  The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be released in New Zealand on December 12, 2012. 

View the new Middle-earth themed pages of newzealand.com

Contact Deborah Gray, Communications Manager, Tourism New Zealand
deborahg@tnz.govt.nz | phone +64 21 624 170