The Kiwi is out of the bag. New Zealand has been secretly planting an underground network of Secret (Travel) Agents. Their mission? To encourage Australians to book a holiday in Aotearoa New Zealand.
With successfully executed missions like introducing the flat white to Australian culture or reminding Australians of how New Zealand does winter with its longer snow season*, the Secret (Travel) Agents’ network of approximately 600,000** has been infiltrating Australians’ minds, hearts and mouths for years.
In a new campaign from TBWA\Sydney and Eleven, the identities of some of the agents have been revealed in a recorded video conference. With Melanie Bracewell, Ricki-Lee, Richard Wilkins, Stan Walker, Kita Mean, Broxh and the Beached Az Whale revealed as Secret (Travel) Agents who have been working to remind the world what is unique and special about Aotearoa New Zealand.
The brief is simple yet effective. Find ways to include New Zealand in regular chat, social media feeds, or general conversation. For example, posting a throwback picture from Waitomo Glowworm Caves, sharing your love of a Central Otago Pinot Noir, or simply reminding Australians that New Zealand scallops are just a bit bigger than theirs.
Those who have experienced the Manaakitanga (warm welcome, hospitality and kindness) of New Zealand’s people have a strong adoration of all things Aotearoa. They are looking to seek more of the uniqueness New Zealand has to offer and will have what it takes to be a Secret (Travel) Agent.
Katrina Alvarez-Jarratt, executive creative director 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 acting to encourage Australians to take a holiday in New Zealand.”
Andrew Waddel, Tourism New Zealand’s general manager, Australia, unofficially shared: “New Zealand is ready to welcome Australians to seek out the unexpected in Aotearoa. While some of our Secret (Travel) Agents have been revealed, this only means we need to find more for the cause – which is easily done by welcoming more Australians to New Zealand, and into our Agent whānau. It’s time for Australians to travel to Aotearoa and immerse themselves in a place filled with unmissable experiences and unmistakable Manaakitanga.”
Evan Roberts, chief creative officer of TBWA\Sydney, said: “While this campaign is delivered in a Kiwi tongue-in-cheek manner, the marketing implications are huge. 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.”
The campaign is running across social media, earned media, trade and OOH.