Case Study: GTI Tourism - Sounds of New Caledonia
Australian travel PR agency GTI Tourism was appointed by New Caledonian Tourism (NCT) back in 2014 and has worked with the tourism body to increase visitors from Australia and New Zealand, with steady growth in ANZ tourists over the last few years. NCT was looking for a way to continue this growth into 2018 and beyond, and so GTI put together the Sounds of New Caledonia campaign.
The main focus of the Sounds of New Caledonia campaign was to create new content to showcase the diversity of the destination, and its distinct differences from other South Pacific destinations. The vacation spot had previously had issues from a lack of consumer awareness and thus a lack of interest from visitors. Maintaining a simple message whilst showcasing the range of experiences on offer in New Caledonia would be challenging, especially in a crowded Australian leisure market. GTI’s main objectives in creating new content was to showcase cultural activities, gain cut-through in a competitive market and to engage with a younger audience.
The largest challenge facing GTI and NCT was to ensure “buy in” from the many stakeholders in the campaign. To ensure success for the campaign the content needed to go far and wide, and a glossy tourism video wasn’t going to properly capture the authentic New Caledonia that these stakeholders wanted to share.
GTI made use of its integrated approach and proposed a mix of content marketing and PR for the campaign, with the content side to lead the charge. The agency focused on emotional hooks foremost, and made large use of sound and visuals in the content.
NCT partnered with Aussie indie music artists Crooked Colours to create the content for the campaign. The band travelled to New Caledonia, visiting a variety of locations and created a music track from sound recordings collected during their stay. This included natural elements, spoken languages and urban attractions. The sounds in the track were accompanied by imagery from the locations where the recordings took place. The resulting audio-visual piece appealed to a sense of personal adventure whilst highlighting the diversity of the island country.
Crooked Colours themselves are very passionate about their craft and want to truly represent what they record, and the itinerary for their stay covered all aspects of the island destination. These two factors could ensure that New Caledonia as a whole was on show through the content, once it was shared.
A cross-channel organic content strategy was utilised to engage consumers and included amplification through various owned channels (including both NCT’s Facebook and the band’s Facebook and Instagram channels) as well EDM and in-market targeting. These were accompanied by PR outreach. The campaign leveraged the band’s social media influence and coincided the release of the video with their national tour of Australia. Local Caledonian media and residents were encouraged to share and champion the piece of content, resulting in airplay on local radio stations.
To launch the PR campaign, a one-off private concert featuring Crooked Colours was organised, and influencers, travel and music outlets were invited. Key targets were contacted with further assets including the soundtrack and video as well as behind the scenes videos of the band during their stay in New Caledonia.
Further amplification came through trade partners (retailers, wholesalers and the tourism industry) and distribution through paid channels. These included Spotify, Pedestrian, Lost at E-Minor and Adobe TubeMogul.
The two-month campaign resulted in:
· A total number of 3.7 million views across all platforms
· Over 27 million ad / article / video impressions
· The NCT website saw 77,000 clicks through to the website with sessions lasting 3 minutes on average, a minute more than normal
· Influencer outreach managed a social reach of 1,073,850 and an engagement rate of 4.67 per cent
The Sounds of New Caledonia campaign was a finalist in the Destination Video Awards category at Cannes, in January this year. The campaign also won Silver in the ITB "The Golden City Gate" Awards in Berlin this year. New Caledonia was also a finalist in the Mumbrella Travel Awards, for Breakthrough Destination of the Year 2018.