The campaign, while ambitious, is not without its challenges. Traditionally younger Japanese have seen New Zealand as a place 'their parents visit. Fun Seeking Friends hopes to address these attitudes among younger Japanese by portraying New Zealand as an exciting and happening place filled with outdoor adventure.
"We realized that in order to increase visitor arrivals from the Japanese market we needed to do something radically different," according to Nick Mudge, Tourism New Zealand Regional Manager for Japan and Korea. "The outcome has been our new direction to target the 'Fun Seeking Friends' segment which positions New Zealand as an accessible, popular and fun place to visit for youthful travellers."
The target demographic for the campaign are young adults aged 20-35. Research conducted by TNZ has shown this segment of the Japanese population to be single, recently graduated university and eager to travel abroad and see more of the world.
TNZ hopes that the Fun Seeking Friends campaign will diversify the tourism market in New Zealand and bring in new segments of the Japanese population with its message of "having fun and enjoying oneself."
The campaign has made extensive use of online advertising as well as print and video ads in busy areas like train and subway stations in Japan. TNZ is partnering with Jetstar to expose young adults living and working in Tokyo to the quintessential Kiwi holiday experience. A microsite has been set up extolling the virtues of food, wine, beaches, hiking, boating and camping in New Zealand. Additionally, Air New Zealand will be launching a new simplified online fare system targeted specifically at young adults in Japan looking for an affordable way to travel abroad.
The campaign will also promote New Zealand as a great winter getaway, highlighting the excellent skiing and snowboarding activities in places like Queenstown in the South Island. It will also capitalize in the latest Japanese Yama Girls craze - a trend which emerged in Tokyo that has young ladies from the city dress up in funky mountain gear and hit the local hiking trails. New Zealand's legendary hiking trails dovetails nicely into this new Japanese craze.
In spite of the renewed focus on the Japanese youth market, New Zealand remains highly popular with older Japanese. Nick Mudge states: "The senior segment continues to be a priority for our activity in Japan. We have recently been working with a popular travel programme in Japan, with material tailored to engage with this market and encourage them to visit New Zealand."
In addition on the Fun Seeking Friends campaign, ongoing Tourism New Zealand advertising will continue targeting older generations in Japan.
Thunder Jet Queenstown offers a thrilling Jet boat ride up the Kawarau River and back over the lake Wakatipu. To learn more about Thunder jet visit http://www.thunderjetqueenstown.co.nz