Print media pushes campaign to 316pc return on investment

A campaign for Tourism New Zealand by Whybin/TBWA took advantage of newspaper media to deliver a return on investment of 316 per cent. ADRIAN FERNANDES describes how it was done.

Print media pushes campaign to 316pc return on investment


  • Underpinning a mixed-media campaign with a strong newspaper element drives return on investment.
  • Tourism NZ received $3.16 for every $1 spent on media.
  • Tourist numbers leapt by more than 250,000 as a result of the campaign.
  • Newspaper publishers supported the campaign beyond placing ads – travel journalism, special lift-outs, digital advertorial / mini-site, plus digital inventory.

Setting the Scene

Tourism is New Zealand’s second biggest export earner, attracting $10.3 billion in 2012-13. Almost 10 per cent of the population (8.3%) work in the sector or an allied service, which equates to 166,800 full-time equivalent jobs.1

Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) has a strategy to double revenue by 2025 and sees Australians as a key target market.2

Two key barriers exists, according to its own research.3

The first was competition. Australians have enormous choice within their own country. Organisations such as Tourism Tasmania and Tourism NT campaign spend was up to five times the amount the Kiwis could afford.

Tasmania        ayers

Research highlighted that while Australians were receptive, they were in no rush to holiday in New Zealand and were further dissuaded by the increasing value of the NZ dollar, which is now close to parity to our own. The value of both currencies against those of the United States and Europe encouraged Australians to travel further afield.

TNZ challenged its Australian agency, Whybin/TBWA, to create a campaign to slice through these problems.

Taking the Long Road

The result was a campaign called “Every day a different story”.


The strategy honed in on Australians’ love of a road trip. Whybin/TBWA turned the nostalgic love of a long car drive into a strategic point of difference.

The agency illustrated how every day brings a different story in New Zealand, showcasing a diverse range of experiences and highlight that many attractions were within driving distance of each other.

Media Strategy

The media strategy utilised a diverse set of media channels such as TV, Outdoor, print and online to highlight the breadth and depth of “hidden gems” that travellers would discover on their road trip, which in turn would leave them with rich and varied stories to savour and share.

The advertising played out across three phases.4

Consider: TV & Outdoor were used to generate awareness and create emotional desire to explore NZ’s hidden gems;

Engage: Editorial content and longer copy ad placements in print and glossy newspaper lift-outs were used to translate emotional impact into active consideration of specific regions as starting points for people’s road trips; and

Convert: The creative idea extended into partner packages in digital & print that convinced Active Considerers to book a holiday.

The Role of Newspaper Media

The campaign used newspaper media heavily to engage and convert travellers.

Here’s how they used print and digital platforms to do this.

Print Platforms

The campaign exploited the strengths of newspaper media to engage and convert travellers. Eye-catching creative engaged readers and built on TV and Outdoor campaigns.


The links below take you to content generated by The Newspaper Works to highlight how powerful newspapers are at engaging audiences.

Click here to read how brands can engage consumers in different ways throughout the week using newspaper media.

This article shows how print works well with TV to increase campaign engagement.

A bespoke advertorial lift-out was produced for the campaign. This 16-page travel guidebook was used to drive deeper engagement where the audience could explore hidden gems in greater detail and jump on to to book.

Travel editor of The West Australia newspaper, Stephen Scourfield, travelled to NZ on a familiarisation trip and produced an editorial lift-out with TNZ, which covered Canterbury, Marlborough and Wellington. Here are some digital extracts from the lift-out.

Lush lad where produce is king

Wealth of wildlife and culture

Phoenix city rises from the rubble

Beautiful print ads were produced to target key metro regions and drive call to action by matching striking imagery with compelling price offers.

This ad appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald.


While this ad appeared in The Age.


Newspaper media have a rich history in delivering call to action.

Click here to see the actions taken by readers who viewed two print ads for river cruise operators Avalon Waterways and Scenic Tours.

Digital Platforms

A mix of display banners and rich media placements on newspaper media sites referred audiences to where they could discover more detail about potential experiences, or book a trip.

Online advertorials were produced to mirror the print versions. Click here to see the online advertorial for the campaign published on the Herald Sun news site.

Striking Results

The campaign delivered a 9 per cent increase in Holiday Arrivals – 300 per cent over target. That equates to an incremental increase of 261,344 visitors above target.5

Whybin/TBWA say the campaign delivered a 316 per cent – that is, $3.16 in profit for every $1 spent on media.6

The campaign was also awarded silver and bronze in two categories at the prestigious Australian Effie Awards 2014.

Newspaper media did not operate on their own to create this successful campaign, but they did play a key role.

Brands from other industries can take inspiration from brilliantly executed campaign.

TNZ and Whybin/TBWA utilised the strengths of individual media throughout each stage of the campaign to deliver a strong ROI.

When they wanted to engage and convert Australian travellers, they looked to newspaper media.

1 & 2
3, 4, 5 & 6 Hristos Varouhas, The Communications Council, Silver, Australian Effie Awards, 2014

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