Reality TV meets experiential marketing with a social media twist

I love this recent Air New Zealand campaign called “Kiwi Skeptics”, aimed at getting “Aussies to cross the ditch”, or for the rest of us, enticing Australians to visit New Zealand. Seems despite their proximity, many Aussies just don’t feel the love for their southern partner, but the geographic proximity makes them a logical travel destination.

Enter a series of reality TV style produced segments, each 6 minutes long, featuring four Australian’s, selected no doubt for their stereotypes, who get tricked into going to New Zealand. Martin, a true blue Aussie bloke who thinks he’s going to Vegas, is particularly memorable. But so is the hipster who thinks he’s going to Berlin, the shopping princess who thinks she’s off to Bali, or the sophisticated culture critic who thinks she’s going to Europe. A film crew and a cheeky Aussie narrator chronicle their travels as they are exposed to a good time, courtesy of their Kiwi companion, while challenging the previously held notions of their neighbouring country. View the segments here:

Why does this campaign work, and what can we learn from it?

  1. The audience is in on the trick, which draws the viewer in.
  2. The Aussie stereotypes are characters the target group can identify with.
  3. Although the movies are no doubt highly edited and somewhat scripted, they appear like reality TV.
  4. The content is entertaining and highly shareable in social media.
  5. It has great publicity value, further increasing free coverage through traditional media channels as well as online.

I look forward to watching how this campaign will play out over other media platforms, and in particular how it will no doubt boost sales for Air New Zealand. Nicely done!

Mary Charleson

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