Iris, Finch and the Mayor of Christchurch, Bob Parker, are calling on Australia to lend the New Zealand city its Big Things in the first phase of a new campaign being launched today to encourage Aussies to return to Christchurch.
Having seen a significant decline in holidaymakers since the February 2011 earthquake, Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism is launching the two phase campaign to put the city back on the radar for visitors from Australia – Christchurch’s largest international visitor market.
“We’ve got a major issue in Christchurch at the moment, said Parker. “We’ve got tourists flocking here from all over the world but where are the Australians?”
The first phase of the campaign is designed to get Australians talking about Christchurch again in a positive way.
Over a series of three video episodes directed by Finch's Alyssa McClelland, Parker undertakes a whirlwind tour of Australia visiting cult iconic Big Things including the Big Merino in Goulburn, the Big Chook in Mount Vernon, and Queensland’s Big Pineapple, Big Macadamia and Big Cow. Calling on each town’s mayors and city officials, Parker asks them to sign a Memorandum of Support to lend Christchurch their Big Thing to help increase the number of Australian tourists visiting the city.
Watch episode one here:
Tom Hoskins, Creative Director for Iris, said: “Australians got used to seeing Mayor Bob Parker as the face of the Christchurch earthquake disaster in 2011. We decided to flip that, making him the face of the good news in 2012, taking advantage of some Aussie Kiwi banter whilst we're at it.”
The Big Things video episodes documenting the Mayor’s visit to Australia will tell the story on popular digital sites. This is being supported by an open letter of appeal in Sydney and Melbourne newspapers today.
Finch EP Michael Hilliard says: "Laughter is powerful medicine. I remember after September 11 when Saturday Night Live went back on air - Lorne Michaels the EP asked New York's Mayor Giuliani, "Can we be funny?" and Giuliani replied, "Why start now?" It's the right time for Christchurch to be funny."