Bronze for Backpackagram

Tourism New Zealand has won two Bronze medals at the prestigious AXIS awards for its innovative Backpackagram Instagram campaign. 

Held at the historical Shed 10 in Auckland, the awards recognised Tourism New Zealand’s efforts to attract young backpackers from the UK, Germany, and transient backpackers in Australia to New Zealand. More than 700 members of the advertising and film industry attended the event.  

The awards were the ‘icing on the cake’ for the team involved in the campaign, which during phase one exceeded expectations with booking referrals increasing by 136% from the previous campaign period for Australia Transient Backpackers.

The social media-driven campaign followed the adventures of the group as they travelled across New Zealand undertaking a range of activities and challenges.

“This was a fun campaign, where we took six international travellers and created a reality TV show for social media. We essentially turned New Zealand into a competition. Each team challenge became an Instagram episode and showcased the adventures backpackers can have in New Zealand,” says Tourism New Zealand’s Director of Marketing, Andrew Fraser.

“The social media setting was fundamental to this campaign. We know from our experience and research that backpackers do not connect with traditional tourism marketing vehicles and rely on word of mouth and hearing about the experiences of others on social media. The Backpackagram campaign had the ‘competitors’ film themselves on GoPros to give an authentic first-person approach to sharing their story and this was complemented with footage from a film crew and drone that followed the teams. The combined approach was incredibly well received by the target audience. It was an action-packed adventure storytelling approach that showcased the social experiences backpackers can have within New Zealand’s amazing landscapes and scenery.” 

During the campaign, the backpackers visited three regions around New Zealand: Rotorua/Taupo, Queenstown/Wanaka, and the Bay of Islands, reinforcing Tourism New Zealand’s strategy of promoting regional travel through New Zealand.

Fun facts from Backpackagram:

  • Three teams, one country, epic challenges
  • Three pairs of micro-influencers chosen from around the UK and Germany
  • Sociability skyrocketed, mechanical bull rides doubled, highest levels of ‘whoas’ and ‘ahhhs’ since records began.