Hobbit campaign steps up a gear

With just under one week to go before the world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Tourism New Zealand is building up to what will undoubtedly be the busiest week of 2012.

The Hobbit Trilogy will put New Zealand and its stunning landscapes centre stage for millions of movie lovers world-wide. Tourism New Zealand, together with regional tourism organisations, is working to convert the international attention New Zealand will draw from the movies, into travel.

This began back in August with the launch of our 100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand advertisement which has now been released in Australia, the UK and Europe,USA, Japan, China and on our international edition for other markets.

We are continuously monitoring our target audience in market and the results so far are impressive: our survey found 79 per cent of people already considering a trip here state the campaign video increases their interest in New Zealand. Two thirds say as a result of seeing the TNZ Middle-earth campaign video, they have a better opinion of New Zealand as a holiday destination.

We are also finding that on Facebook, The Hobbit Trilogy-related content outperforms other content specifically for reach and engagement with users.

This week we launched the next phase of the campaign with the release of some stunning line drawings that bring a new creative look to the campaign. In this phase, Tourism New Zealand has worked alongside Weta Workshop and taken a step deeper into Middle-earth with new imagery that will resonate with everyone familiar with the films.

By working with three talented illustrators at Weta, who have provided new imagery for the campaign, the Middle-earth touch has been strengthened. It reinforces the message that the things people believe exist only on the screen, can take on a new form of reality in New Zealand.

The new look and feel will appear across all campaign executions including newzealand.com; on-line advertising and displays - the most prominent of which is an installation at Auckland International Airport that will be in place by the end of this week.

From the end of this week, we will start to see the arrival of dozens of international media from across all of our key tourism markets, here to experience the best of New Zealand. 

Tourism New Zealand, Film New Zealand and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise are working together with Warner Bros. Pictures, New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures to show visiting media that New Zealand is more than just a fantastic place to hold a global premiere - it is a fun, must-see tourism destination; an innovative and creative nation, and a great place to make films and do business.

As well as the red carpet event, the action-packed premiere itinerary includes iconic tourism experiences, interviews with the creative film-makers and artists at Weta, and legendary New Zealand hospitality.

Tourism New Zealand is also hosting a number of select media before and after the premiere in the Wairarapa, Nelson, Waikato and Rotorua regions, to demonstrate how easy it is for people to come to New Zealand, see the cinematic Middle-earth first-hand and experience all the country has to offer.

The anticipated media coverage that will showcase New Zealand, will reach millions of potential holiday makers and business people globally.

Keep an eye on our The Hobbit Trilogy section of the website for the latest updates and international coverage received.

Kevin Bowler

Chief Executive