Rotorua Lakes Council has launched a major campaign to convince Aucklanders to abandon the rat race and move to Rotorua to live and work.
The "Love Life, Live Rotorua" campaign is being run by the council's marketing arm Destination Rotorua and has a $200,000 budget for the first year.
The ongoing campaign targets Auckland people and families of "mid-high socio-economic status", and "working professionals" to "embrace work-life balance and relocate to Rotorua".
Destination Rotorua consumer marketing manager Tom Worsp said the campaign was designed to showcase the lifestyle, work and education opportunities in Rotorua, free from major traffic jams and high mortgages, and was a natural progression from the successful "Famously Rotorua" domestic visitor campaign, which had been running for four years.
Phase one of the campaign - that aims to raise awareness of Rotorua as a place to live, work and learn, change perceptions of Rotorua, and help Aucklanders understand what's on offer - launched in Auckland today with the "Great Escape" targeting its residents who are over the "endless treadmill of life", traffic and large mortgages.
Phase two will seek to convert people actively considering a move to actually come to the city.
In Rotorua, the campaign will launch over the summer and will target Aucklanders while they are on holiday in Rotorua, or at local events.
Mr Worsp said the long-term campaign would be integrated across print, online, social, outdoor, video and broadcast media.
Destination Rotorua has partnered with Tauranga's King St Advertising & Marketing and Rotorua's Shine PR to promote the campaign.
Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick said Rotorua was a district on the rise.
"Our GDP growth has been above the national average for the past year, we've got developments happening and business confidence is high.
"We know Rotorua is a great place to live and do business and we enjoy a fantastic lifestyle. We're starting to see people relocating here as a result of all that.
"Kiwis are visiting more often, staying longer and spending more and we've just had two record months for visitor nights and visits to attractions and activities. It's a good time to take the next step and position Rotorua as a great relocation option," she said.
Mr Worsp said the campaign was "very much a first step in getting Rotorua into the conversation when people are considering relocating to another city".
"Currently people think of Tauranga, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch, but Rotorua doesn't feature.
"The job of the campaign in the first year is to raise awareness of Rotorua as an acceptable and viable option when the relocation conversation comes up."
He said most people would take six to 12 months to decide on a move, "and until recently there has been an adequate supply of housing to meet demand".
"The recently completed Rotorua District Plan provides a significant amount of new residential zoned land ... market conditions are increasingly favourable for landowners to proceed with development plans and we expect to see additional supply come on to the market over the next 12 months."
He said Rotorua had world leading industries in forestry, wood processing, tourism, geothermal and agriculture, "and we are constantly hearing from the business sector that there is a lack of skilled applicants whenever they advertise for jobs".
"In addition to this, we now live in a world where you don't have to sit in an office and work from 9 to 5 in a specific location and ultra-fast fibre has started to accelerate the attractiveness of this option.
"This campaign is not just about attracting people to fill current holes in the market, but also attracting those that are going to work from home or establish their own businesses here in Rotorua," he said.
Destination Rotorua is asking locals to get involved by taking photos, promoting their businesses and any job vacancies, by adding the hashtags #lovelife #liveRotorua.
Love Life, Live Rotorua
• A new marketing campaign to bring Aucklanders to Rotorua to live and work
• Launched today in Rotorua and Auckland
• $200,000 budget for year one
• Promotes Rotorua as a "city on the rise"
Primary target markets
• Young families with children up to 10 years, mid to high socio-economic status
• Older families with children 10 to 20 years of age, mid to high socio-economic status
• Younger Aucklanders 25 to 40 years of age, no kids, personal income $50,000+
Secondary target markets
• Auckland working professionals 30 to 60 years of age, small to medium business owner and/or entrepreneur who can work from anywhere
• Auckland active retirees, no kids living at home, 55 to 70 years of age