Is It a Video Game, or Is It New Zealand? This Fun Tourism Project Gamifies the Country

TBWA\Sydney partners with popular Twitch streamer to offer a 'vacation for your eyes'

Tourism New Zealand gamified the country so that visitors can explore virtually. Tourism New Zealand / TBWA\Sydney
Headshot of Sara Spary

It’s not easy to get away overseas on vacation at the moment, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. So Tourism New Zealand, with the help of TBWA\Sydney, found a way to open up the stunning country to virtual visitors.

The tourism group and its agency partnered with Twitch and gaming influencer Loserfruit to gamify the country so that people can explore some of New Zealand’s greatest attractions. Primarily targeted at neighboring Australians and the gaming community, the campaign aims to present the country as the ultimate travel destination.

To kick off the campaign, 27-year-old Australian gaming influencer Loserfruit, who has 2.7 million YouTube subscribers, played the simulation live on Twitch last week, where she has over 1.8 million followers. The campaign also comprises a range of teaser videos, which are running on social channels.


While aspiring tourists can’t play the game, they can watch a selection of 18 videos online that show the breadth of the country. “Consider it a vacation for your eyes,” the website urges.

“We recognized there was a growing number of people craving new experiences, exploration and most of all a sense of fun and adventure. You wouldn’t think it, but gaming and travel go hand in hand—both are about exploration, wonder and adventure,” said Andrew Waddel, Tourism New Zealand general manager.

He said the goal was to get New Zealand on the minds of travelers who might be making plans for their post-quarantine adventures.

“Australians are inherent travelers, and Play NZ was created to satisfy their wanderlust, and inspire them to visit New Zealand once borders reopen,” Waddel said. “We can’t wait to welcome the world when it is safe to do so.”

Andy DiLallo, chief creative officer of TBWA\Sydney and Eleven Sydney, added: “In a traditional campaign we would barely be able to scratch the surface of all that a place like New Zealand can offer. Mimicking a game was the perfect vehicle for us to show off the many facets of New Zealand.”

CREDITS:
Client: Tourism New Zealand – Australia
Creative: TBWA\Sydney
PR: Eleven Sydney
Production hero film: AIRBAG
Production additional assets: BOLT
Editing: ARC
Design: Goodeye
Director: Uncle Friendly
Music: Otis Studios
Sound design: Beau Silvester
Kaiārahi Māori / Cultural Guide: Karl Wixon, Director ARAHIA
Media: Mindshare
Technology: Google
Talent: Julian Dennison and Kathleen Belsten (Loserfruit)
Streaming partner: Twitch


@saramayspary sara.spary@adweek.com Sara Spary is a freelance journalist based in London. She's been a reporter for eight years, covering advertising and consumer brands.
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