Promotion gaining interest

Lake Erskine, near Milford Sound, is among the Southern locations promoted in the new 100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand campaign by Tourism New Zealand, which has been viewed online more than half a million times. Photo supplied.
Lake Erskine, near Milford Sound, is among the Southern locations promoted in the new 100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand campaign by Tourism New Zealand, which has been viewed online more than half a million times. Photo supplied.
Advertisements featuring Queenstown and Southern Lakes beauty spots which star in an international Hobbit inspired promotion for New Zealand, have been watched more than 500,000 times and counting.

Tourism New Zealand's "100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand" advertisement reached the milestone this week, despite much of the core campaign work still to begin in off-shore markets.

The advertisement was launched on newzealand.com on August 23, while the first television campaign work began in Australia three days later.

Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism John Key heralded the Japanese market version of the advertisement at a tourism function at the New Zealand Embassy in Tokyo on Tuesday.

The campaign includes a Japanese voice-over of the original commercial and translated campaign pages on newzealand.com/jp.

The advertisement will also be translated into German and Chinese for in-market campaigns.

Tourism New Zealand chief executive Kevin Bowler said this week the number of plays of the advertisement was "a fantastic start, given that campaign work will continue to roll out across markets through to the first week of October promoting even more viewership".

"The full strength of our 100% Middle-earth marketing will not be felt until the end of November, when the campaign has rolled out across all our markets and we build up toward the world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington."

Mr Bowler said the objective of all Tourism New Zealand marketing work was to compel people already interested in a New Zealand holiday, to make the decision to go.

"The advertisement illustrates that much of what people see in the Hobbit films is actually a real place just waiting to be explored.

"Not only that, but you can have some amazing adventures and experiences within our movie-like landscapes."

The landscapes of Queenstown, Glenorchy, Wanaka and Milford Sound form the bulk of the two-minute commercial.

Paradise, near Glenorchy, plus Strath Taieri, Central Otago, Treble Cone, and the Earnslaw Burn were among the New Zealand locations used by film-makers last year.

Tourism New Zealand anticipated any region or business with a connection to the locations of The Hobbit trilogy was likely to see an increase of visitors seeking a Middle-earth experience.