The five celebrities include the editor of the largest Chinese language infotainment web-portal Sina Outdoor, a TV celebrity with a love of good food, a fashion designer, a chief journalist and online TV talkshow host, and a music producer and TV host. Together they will profile the five key travel themes for Chinese travellers: adventure, food and wine, romance, Middle-earth and relaxation.
Over the course of the campaign, which runs through to mid-June, potential travellers will have the chance to win one of five pairs of tickets from Air New Zealand so they can experience the themed itineraries themselves.
Launched 12 April, with the support of Air New Zealand, the 'Celebrity inspired New Zealand tour' campaign will enable travellers who have always wanted to experience the holiday of their favourite celebrity to do just that, based on their experiences and recommendations.
"The involvement of the opinion leaders, who have all visited New Zealand before, is very powerful. Their recommendations carry real weight because they are based on personal experience," says David Craig, General Manager Asia.
"We know that opinion leaders enable us to achieve greater reach and impact with our target audience, and the travel styles that this activity highlights are key initiators to travel for Chinese visitors - reinforcing our wider campaign activity in-market."
Tourism New Zealand previously utilised the appeal of actress Yao Chen as an opinion leader and brand ambassador for New Zealand. At the time of her wedding in Queenstown, Yao Chen had 58.2 million social media followers, with related posts sparking enormous interest and comment on New Zealand. Just one month after her wedding media results reached a staggering $21.7 million in value.
Together, the five new opinion leaders have a combined following on Weibo of 61.5 million.
"Because of their influence and popularity, working with these individuals helps inspire travellers to follow in the footsteps of the celebrities they admire," says David.
Through a dedicated campaign site within the China edition of newzealand.com, the opinion leaders share details of their own holiday experiences with a two minute video showcasing each of the key travel themes.
After exploring each itinerary, visitors have the chance to view additional places also recommended by the celebrity that they may wish to visit, before being invited to share their itinerary via their Weibo account to be in to win one of five pairs of tickets.
"The chance to win one of the holidays will be sure to drive engagement levels through both the campaign and TNZ's Weibo account, with a pair awarded via the social media channel every two weeks during the campaign."
The five celebrities and holiday itineraries are: Cai Yingyuan, Chief editor of Sina Outdoor, who profiles a holiday full of adventure; Kevin Tsai, a famous TV show host who has also been Air New Zealand's brand ambassador since 2011, showcasing a visit through NZ's food and wine regions; Wang Zaishi, maybe better known as the famous fashion designer Vega Wang, who shares her holiday of romance; Wang Jiangyue, Chief journalist and host of an online TV show, who visits key locations from the Hobbit Trilogy to experience the real Middle-earth; and Gao Xiaosong TV show host, composer and song writer, who recently visited New Zealand as part of a successful joint-venture social campaign with Air New Zealand, sharing his holiday amid scenic and relaxing landscapes and nature.
The itinerary pages profile related activities and nearby destinations to extend the visit, alongside related offers and discounts, with over 35 operators involved across the country.
The activity will be supported by digital advertising, print, billboards and video channels to drive visitation to the campaign page.