In the video Traveling Under the Social Influence who makes the buzz, Tom Sainsbury, comedian and showrunner from New Zealand in the series Super City, embodies an officer of the SOS social observation squad (Social Observation Squad). His work ? Scolding tourists under the influence to show them that we can do tourism in a different way, get out of clichés and live new experiences off the beaten track.
Any resemblance to the mythical Higgins in the Magnum series is probably fortuitous 😂 Beyond the joke and in a first reading, we could believe in a witch hunt and instagramers in particular as some of our colleagues echo it in their columns. A succinct analysis that does not pay homage to the global strategy of the New Zealand Tourist Board which aims right with its mantra “Do Something New, New Zealand”.
A strategy of influence
This is the whole paradox of this simplistic reading of the video and a pseudo mockery of the influencers, since the campaign itself is based on an influencing strategy and we’ll see why.
In this other video published in October 2020, the two performers Madeleine Nalini Sami and Jackie van Beek have a great time in the form of a musical allegory around the “Do Something New, New Zealand”.
If like me, you did not know Madeleine Nalini Sami and Jackie van Beek, a few searches on Wikipedia allow us to summarize their careers.
Madeleine Nalini Sami is a complete New Zealand artist is also famous for playing the lead role in – Drum Roll – Super City, the series written by Tom Sainsbury, the Social Watch Squad Agent If You Follow Right. The two artists therefore know each other very well. The actress was awarded the prize for best actress in 2011 at the Aotearoa Film & Television Awards, an awards ceremony for film and television in New Zealand, equivalent to Golden globes in the USA. The series was also a finalist in two other categories: Best Comedy, Best Screenplay.
Jackie van Beek is a New Zealand film and television director, writer and actress. She has won a number of film awards, as a director whose SPADA New Filmmaker of the Year in 2013, as well as actress awards in particular in 2014 where she won the award for best actress in a supporting role at the New Zealand Film Awards for his performance in What We Do in the Shadows.
Tom Sainsbury, Madeleine Nalini Sami, Jackie van Beek. A collective record that leaves little doubt about their notoriety in their country and that is little to say.
From notoriety to influence, there is not just one step.
And why call on such local stars?
A recovery plan for residents and neighboring countries
These two videos are part of a recovery plan and a multi-channel campaign initiated in May 2020 around social networks, video distribution platforms and websites. Through these videos, we therefore only see a small part of the telescope (team outdated expression) of a more ambitious campaign.
A coincidence that is not, the very day of the publication of the video Traveling Under the Social Influence, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared that New Zealand’s borders would remain closed for most of this year 2021 as the Covid-19 pandemic raged, but the country would continue travel arrangements with neighboring Australia and other Pacific countries (CNN source).
Very clearly this campaign is aimed above all at the inhabitants of New Zealand as we can read on the professional site Tourism New Zealand : “a new campaign today to inspire Kiwis to get out and do something new”. Kiwis refer to New Zealanders obviously.
According to Stephen England-Hall, Chief Executive, the “Do Something New, New Zealand”Is part of a strategy driven by Tourism New Zealand which encourages national tourism. It will continue throughout the year with the aim of helping to stimulate demand in the tourism sector of all of New Zealand.
We could also have raised the section responsible for this campaign which would encourage tourists to shine throughout the country to avoid all the harmful consequences of over-tourism, as our blogger friend Frédéric Gonzalo rightly points out on his blog in english.
Certainly, but this seems to me to be a happy consequence of a more global and short-term objective: a recovery plan of the tourism sector for capture part of the expenditure at the national level while the borders are closed, and this throughout the country, not just around the must-sees or places with high “tourist instagrammability”.
Some additional figures on domestic tourism which will certainly serve as indicators to measure the efficiency of this campaign in the long term:
- Before Covid-19, domestic tourism accounted for 60% of tourism’s $ 40.9 billion contribution to New Zealand’s economy.
- New Zealanders used to spend $ 9 billion a year on overseas travel.
A Manifesto for New Zealand at # ET17
On the blog there were many articles about New Zealand. An international destination that is often referred to. It would be really nice to receive a representative of New Zealand at the next national e-tourism meetings to share with us the country’s tourism and digital strategy.
What do you think ? Maybe you could contribute by sharing this article on your social networks, with an added chance that we are seen, read and heard 😉