Bryce and Nat Geo driving strong interest in New Zealand

A campaign partnership between actor Bryce Dallas Howard and National Geographic Travel is proving a winning formula in driving strong interest among Americans considering a New Zealand holiday.

Tourism New Zealand partnered with National Geographic and the American actor for a campaign which began in July this year and will run, in phases, until June 2018.
Research in the US shows the partnership has already significantly boosted interest in a New Zealand holiday.  René de Monchy, Tourism New Zealand’s Director Trade, PR and Major Events says: “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.”

The partnership has been successful in motivating potential US visitors to move a New Zealand holiday from their once-in-a-lifetime bucket list to the ‘to-do’ list. Just over half (53 per cent) 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.

“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 campaign will run for a year so these are only early results but it is excellent to see our choice of ambassador is so widely endorsed among our target audience,” says René.  

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 1.1million.

The United States is our 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 per cent.