A new Tourism New Zealand 100% Pure campaign is unlikely to be tarnished by the recent Fonterra botulism scare and could even help repair overseas perceptions of Godzone, a marketing expert says.
Tourism New Zealand has launched the latest edition of its 100% Pure Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand campaign with an updated one-minute commercial.
Scenes depicting visitors playing golf, cycling, hiking complete with cheesy dialogue and exquisite local scenery are showing on movie screens, in print and online throughout Australia, the United States, China, Japan, Britain, India, Singapore and Indonesia.
But the campaign comes as Fonterra remains in damage control over a recent botulism scare and a British tabloid's criticism of New Zealand's 100% Pure brand.
University of Auckland senior marketing lecturer Mike Lee said that despite the timing, the campaign was unlikely to evoke images of Fonterra's slip-up.
Dr Lee said tourists from America and Australia probably wouldn't base their travel decisions on what had happened with the dairy giant.
"Asian countries on the other hand, particularly China, may view the same ad with a bit more scepticism."
Tourism New Zealand is trying to promote the country as a destination where visitors can indulge in food and wine or luxury experiences.
Its research shows that walking, cycling, golf, fishing and skiing appealed as activities for overseas visitors, particularly Australians.
Tourism NZ's general manager for communications and marketing, Justin Watson, said promoting NZ as Middle Earth had had a noticeable effect on the way visitors viewed New Zealand as a destination.
The campaign was running because the key advertising period in overseas markets was from August to December.
He said Fonterra's issues had affected the way people viewed New Zealand as a tourism destination "so the campaign should help to try to rebuild some of that".
Its research showed 73 per cent of people surveyed showed their interest in visiting New Zealand increased after seeing the previous campaign.
The international visitor survey, showed 8.5 per cent of visitors in the first quarter of this year and 8.4 per cent in quarter two said The Hobbit influenced their decision to visit.
100 per cent Pure Middle-earth
73 per cent of people surveyed said their interest in visiting New Zealand increased after seeing the previous 100 per cent Middle-earth, 100 per cent Pure campaign.
8.5 per cent of all visitors in the first quarter of 2013 and 8.4 per cent in the second quarter said The Hobbit had influenced their decision to come here.
Figures: Tourism New Zealand