CEDA has launched a new How Manawatū Are You spring-summer visitor campaign which has Kiwis across the country discovering there is much more to Manawatū than meets the eye.
The campaign directly challenges misconceptions Kiwis may have of the visitor experience on offer in the city and region throughout a targeted three phase campaign, using a tongue in cheek 'Anything But' message to champion and showcase the exceptional offerings of Palmerston North city and Manawatū.
With some myth-busting tactics, the campaign challenges New Zealanders to think outside the square, both figuratively and literally, when it comes to planning their spring and summer roadies, weekends and cheeky mid-week trips.
CEDA marketing and communications manager Janet Reynolds says as the regional tourism organisation for Palmerston North city and Manawatū, the team has been working closely with the visitor sector throughout Covid-19.
"We have held lockdown webinars through to providing capability, development and support to operators whose customers dried up overnight.
"Alongside this, our team has put a big focus on targeted marketing through digital campaigns and media partnerships to regain and grow our post-Covid-19 visitor market, which was worth $500 million in the year to February 2020.
"This campaign is a cheeky approach to dispel the misconceptions lingering out there, by showcasing a taster of Manawatū Must Do's to our target markets.
"Sunset strolls on the beach, day walks through lush native bush, wildlife experiences, river rafting and horse trekking, and a vibrant urban city with exceptional arts, theatre and mouth-watering cuisine to finish off a day of adventure" Reynolds says.
How Manawatū Are You?
The first phase of the campaign launched in October with the How Manawatū Are You? quiz, providing potential visitors with a taster of adventures and a tailored itinerary 'matching' their 'Manawatū travel personality'.
The campaign is targeted to the Manawatū region's key drive and flight markets including Auckland, Taranaki and Wellington, and includes a partnership with Tourism New Zealand, media agencies including NZ Herald, Regional News and social influencer Wellington LIVE.
Within the first two weeks of launch, the campaign reached nearly 160,000 people on Facebook alone.
The final phases of the campaign feature a 15-second high-energy highlights video and creative that is retargeted to those who have engaged with the quiz, showcasing specific advertising that matches their travel preferences.
Supporting media advertising will target people who have interests within key visitor themes for the city and region.
The campaign aims to get Kiwis to see the region with fresh eyes through showcasing the vibrant experiences and hidden gems waiting to be explored here, and is part of CEDA's focus on a strategic marketing approach to support the city's visitor sector businesses, including hospitality and retail, as we move through the next stages of Covid-19 impacts.
"February and March are our usual peak visitor season, but we know that Kiwi travel patterns are shifting drastically, and economic uncertainty is still looming for many, so we're anticipating a post-Christmas lull.
"It is important that our marketing is targeted and focused and can provide long-tail benefits for our region," says Reynolds.
A second campaign will be launching in autumn to further drive awareness and visitation, building off the work of this campaign and encouraging Kiwis to Do Something New, New Zealand.