Ad Nut
Jul 14, 2022

These ‘secret’ travel agents are duping Aussies to travel to NZ

AD NUT’S PICK OF THE WEEK: In a clever new Tourism NZ campaign by TBWA, Kiwis living in Australia have been secretly ‘selling’ Aotearoa’s tourism offerings to unsuspecting Aussies.

In what Tourism New Zealand playfully calls a ‘top secret’ mission, a network of Kiwis living in Australia have been selling Aotearoa as a destination for years. They’ve been doing in simple, subtle ways such as by including New Zealand in regular chat, social media feeds, or general conversation. This may be done by posting a throwback picture from Waitomo Glowworm Caves, sharing their love of a Central Otago Pinot Noir, bragging about NZ’s longer snow season, reminding Aussies that New Zealand scallops are just a bit bigger than theirs, and introducing foreign and exotic beverages to Aussies such as the flat white.

A compliment or mention may not seem like much, but this campaign is very much a deliberate attempt by Tourism NZ to use the power of word-of-mouth in a controlled and measured way. In fact, some 600,000 Kiwis live in Australia and are projected to have been ‘infiltrating’ the minds of Australians. Of the 600,000, some of them are famous Kiwis, such as Melanie Bracewell, Ricki-Lee, Richard Wilkins, Stan Walker, and Kita Mean (who are ‘accidentally’ revealed in the recording above). One of them is also PM Jacinda Ardern who was recently to talk about the campaign.

Katrina Alvarez-Jaratt, ECD at TBWA Sydney, said: “Anyone who knows a New Zealander knows we just can’t shut up about how unique and beautiful our country is. Turns out, this behaviour is not random. It’s highly choreographed by an undercover society of secret travel agents.”

Evan Roberts, CCO at TBWA Sydney, added: “From an earned media moment we are mobilising every advocate they have ever had in the history of social media, capturing first-party data and then rewarding them for their behaviour.”

It turns out New Zealand may not be ‘100% Pure’ after all. It’s just a little bit sneaky too. And Ad Nut loves that.


Client: Tourism New Zealand
Creative Agency: TBWA\Sydney
PR Agency: Eleven
Production Company: Photoplay
Gary John – Director
Andy Kristiaman @ Carve & Stitch
Joe Morris 

Ad Nut is a surprisingly literate woodland creature that for unknown reasons has an unhealthy obsession with advertising. Ad Nut gathers ads from all over Asia and the world for your viewing pleasure, because Ad Nut loves you. You can also check out Ad Nut's Advertising Hall of Fame, or read about Ad Nut's strange obsession with 'murderous beasts'.


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