WATCH: Tourism NZ Reveals How ‘Play NZ’ Succeeded On YouTube


Tourism New Zealand’s Play NZ campaign, created by TBWASydney, has been a critical success since its launch, but new information has revealed how successful the campaign was on YouTube.

Eleven, TBWA and Google have partnered to create a case study on the campaign, which reveals for the first time how Tourism New Zealand used the power of video streaming to promote a destination off-limits to Australians during the coronavirus pandemic.

With travel on pause, and New Zealand’s largest international tourism market—Australia—unable to send its citizens to the country, Play NZ enabled Australians to explore in a completely new way, in the form of a game, to get them excited about visiting New Zealand.

Targeting Millenials, Tourism New Zealand, and TBWA, created a platform that effectively marketed the entire country as a game, partnering with Australian YouTuber Loserfruit (pictured above) to promote it.

Premiered to Loserfruit’s base of 2.88 million subscribers, the campaign amassed more than one million views in 24 hours—with an average click through rate 20 per cent higher than the ANZ travel industry benchmark.

Moreover, alongside Loserfruit, virtual tourists are guided through the experience of Play NZ by the familiar Kiwi voice of narrator Julian Dennison.

You can check out the case study here, or view it, in full, below.

Google Creative Agency lead Victoria Berthinussen said the campaign was an example of how brands can successfully capture audience attention spans and imaginations.

“Tourism New Zealand knew their target audience was on YouTube and their authentic partnership with Loserfruit saw genuine engagement and connection with her fans, which led to some seriously impressive results,” Berthinussen said in a statement.

“The team took a brave approach compared to other travel providers in 2020 – and it meant they were able to continue advertising and create impact during the pandemic.”

Tourism New Zealand general manager Andrew Waddel said the results of the campaign, which received multiple gongs at this year’s B&T Awards, surpassed expectations.

“Our gaming and YouTube partnership created the perfect storytelling vehicle to drive inspiration,” Waddel said in a statement. “Especially now as we await the world to re-open for travellers.

“Play NZ unlocks virtual travel, the kind of travel that fuels a sense of wanderlust before we can experience the real thing.

“As the oldest tourism board in the world, we’re also the first in the category to make travel a reality for future Australian visitors—a bold milestone for Destination New Zealand,” he claimed.



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