Last year Tourism New Zealand commissioned NZIER to undertake research to determine the success of our campaign work and the results showed that the strongest marketing factor in visitor arrival growth was the impact of New Zealand's association with Middle-earth and The Hobbit films.
Director of Marketing Andrew Fraser says, "At a time when we were starting to think about the next evolution of our 100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand campaign this information was really crucial.
"Awareness of The Hobbit had increased, the motivational impact of the advertising was still strong - and most importantly it was working."
This research was backed up by the October-December 2013 International Visitor Survey (IVS) that showed 14 per cent of international holiday arrivals said The Hobbit Trilogy was a factor in influencing their decision to visit New Zealand.
"While this was great confirmation of the work we had been doing, we were also mindful that we wanted to begin the evolution of this campaign work and to start tackling thewhere to next with Hobbit? question," says Andrew.
Every day a different journey was decided as the latest campaign proposition - which invites people to experience their own unique journey through Middle-earth.
Now live in many of our markets, the campaign has evolved to introduce the new concepts of 'journeys' and 'storytelling' moving on from the focus on locations.
"A core element of the campaign is the idea that New Zealand offers visitors a diverse range of experiences, all within close proximity. We believe this captures one of New Zealand's unique selling points.
"It's the ideas that where one day you can be scaling Auckland's Sky Tower, the next you can be standing next to an erupting geyser in Rotorua," says Andrew.
You will see this idea translate across all of Tourism New Zealand's campaign work going forward.
Our latest youth campaign, Five more from here, centres around that same concept - that in New Zealand you can have five amazing experiences in one day, and there's still heaps more to do - but does so in a way that is relevant to the youth market.
That campaign launched in September and is live in our key youth markets of Australia, the USA, UK, Germany, Japan and Brazil.
"We've also added a few new visual elements. A map with the inclusion of location names and the use of a new stylised Koru," says Andrew.
The use of the map and location names is so travellers can see where in New Zealand the location being highlighted in the campaign imagery is, and this is something that will continue through into FY16 campaign activity.
Last month TNZ presented a webinar session on our global campaign and PR strategy. This session looked at some of the campaign imagery. If you missed the session, or would like to see it again you can find it here.