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Tourism New Zealand reveals identities of its ‘secret (travel) agents’

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New Zealand – Tourism New Zealand, the agency that promotes the country’s tourism around the world, has launched a new campaign, which is an underground network of Secret (Travel) Agents, with a 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, which was done in collaboration with creative agency TBWA\Sydney and PR agency Eleven, the identities of some of the agents have been revealed in a recorded video conference. The secret agents are Kiwi comedian Melanie Bracewell, Australian popstar Ricki-Lee, TV presenter Richard Wilkins, Kiwi popstar Stan Walker, and drag performer Kita Mean, as well as Twitch streamer Broxh, and Kiwi character, the Beached Az Whale. They 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 their love of a Central Otago Pinot Noir, or simply reminding Australians that New Zealand scallops are just a bit bigger than theirs.

Katrina Alvarez-Jarratt, executive creative director at TBWA\Sydney, noted, “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.”

Meanwhile, Andrew Waddel, Tourism New Zealand’s general manager for Australia, said, “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 at TBWA\Sydney, commented, “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.”

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