Connecting with Kiwis: Gate 7 & NZME

New Zealanders, much like Australians, are natural-born travellers. In late 2019, Nielsen Research found that over 1.1 million New Zealanders were intending on travelling overseas, and more recent studies from Horizon Research and Kantar NZ found that between 8% and 12% of Kiwis were looking to holiday internationally within six months of lockdowns ending. Now that the trans-Tasman travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand is a reality, destinations will be competing to attract their share of this travel-ready international segment.

New Zealand Media and Entertainment (NZME) is one of the country’s largest media houses, owning and operating a diverse stable of brands capable of reaching a huge majority of New Zealanders. The organisation’s strength, however, doesn’t lay only in its huge reach, but in its ability to segment and target almost any cross-section of the population.

With mastheads like the national New Zealand Herald, a multitude of regional titles, and associated digital media outlets, NZME offer a range of options to speak to Kiwis. On the airwaves, radio stations like The Hits and ZM, reach young, culturally focused demographics, while Newstalk ZB and Radio Hauraki are able to capture older listeners.

From large-scale print, radio and digital media buys to innovative and attention-grabbing, on-ground activations that bring destinations to life for consumers, Gate 7 has a long-standing history of collaborating with NZME’s editorial and creative teams to execute award-winning integrated campaigns that seamlessly blend awareness and tactical offers from a breadth of travel trade partners. This strong relationship has meant a streamlining of strategies, communications and executable efficiency between our teams, that, alongside a genuine friendship between our teams, leads to outstanding outcomes.

Brand USA: Click-and-Play – Digital Integration

Looking to tap into Kiwi families’ familiarity with, and affinity for U.S. pop culture, Brand USA integrated a visually vibrant “This is Where” destination quiz into their print and radio media buys. The quiz helped Kiwis contextualise events, products and experiences with their location in the U.S., and then led consumers to a booking integration with Helloworld to encourage sales. The campaign not only led to an 11% increase in USA ticket bookings compared to previous periods, but also won Best Execution of a Digital Campaign at the 2018 News Media Awards.

Visit California – Family Travel Activation

Gate 7 facilitated a collaboration between Visit California and NZME to drive awareness and build out the Visit California’s consumer database. The resulting Kidifornia activation educated kids and parents alike about the myriad family holiday offerings in the Golden State through a giant digital colouring-in wall. Working with The Hits radio station to promote the activation, and the station’s Street Team to build and man the event at Sylvia Park shopping centre, the Visit California team was able to attract a huge number of in-person attendees. Simultaneously, an online version of the colouring wall, hosted on the Hits website, resulting in well over 3,000 in-person engagements through all of Visit California’s 2019 activations.

Brand USA: Go Beyond – Integrated Dispersal Campaign

Brand USA, the national tourism organisation for the U.S., wanted to promote tourism dispersal, encouraging Kiwis to “Go Beyond” the traditional destinations they know and love. The campaign’s tagline was brought to life through a comprehensive integrated campaign leveraging print and digital media buys across the country, innovative digital campaign elements, and a series of in-person activations helmed by The Hits’ Street Team. Despite the pressures and hurdles of COVID-19 the campaign was on track to lead to an 18% year-on-year growth in U.S.-bound passenger numbers.

Various Clients – Proactive PR Coverage

Generating awareness doesn’t always require a massive campaign spend. NZME is also a frequent collaborator with our PR teams, sending their travel, lifestyle, and news reporters along with our team on familiarisation trips. When those stories land, they’re often some of the best highlights for our clients. Our teams have built great relationships with the writers and editors across the ditch, and many of the company’s mastheads are represented at media seminars, sales missions, and client networking events hosted by Gate 7. The above piece, which reached 2,314,000 Kiwis in print, and 12,488,000 online, was worth $519,221 (USD) in PR value, was off the back of a single group familiarisation trip.