As the rest of New Zealand starts getting their firewood in for winter, WhakatƒÅ¬Åne is planning to gloat about how its warm summer sun just keeps on giving.
The new tongue-in-cheek campaign, launched today, generously offers Kiwis the chance to escape the chill that descends in other parts of the country at this time of year, in exchange for a few borrowed hours of WhakatƒÅne’s never-ending sunshine hours.
WhakatƒÅ¬Åne was officially crowned the Niwa Sunshine capital for 2020. Arguably, this makes WhakatƒÅne the sunniest place in the world New Zealanders can travel to right now without having to quarantine.
The campaign plays on this with messaging intended to make people smile and to highlight WhakatƒÅ¬Åne and the Eastern Bay of Plenty as a great holiday destination year-round.
"We wanted this campaign to feel cheeky and to be a little bit different in order to stand out in a busy domestic market," says WhakatƒÅ¬Åne District Council tourism and events manager Nicola Burgess.
"We want to make a few waves and get Kiwis to realise the range of things to do here in WhakatƒÅne – sunshine and all."
WhakatƒÅne has more than sunshine to boast about too, with ≈å¬åhope Beach recently voted New Zealand’s best beach in an NZ Herald reader poll.
"Many of the ‘best beach’ voters’ comments referred to ≈å¬åhope as having a touch of what a kiwi holiday used to be – safe swimming, uncrowded, with a laid-back vibe and plenty of activities on offer. This campaign captures that spirit, aligning with WhakatƒÅne and the experience you get when visiting. We’re laid-back, fun and welcoming and don’t take things too seriously!" says Nicola.
Launched today across a number of digital channels, radio and billboards in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga, Palmerston North and Wellington, the campaign offers condolences to other centres at the end of their summer and promises to share the continuing summer vibe and sunshine in WhakatƒÅ¬Åne.
Whilst ultimately about the abundant sunshine, the campaign film features local actor Karla Lyford taking viewers around the many attractions in the WhakatƒÅ¬Åne District.
Most New Zealanders familiar with WhakatƒÅ¬Åne know it as the home of Whakaari/White Island.
However, Nicola says there’s much more on offer.
"WhakatƒÅ¬Åne has had a tough time over the past year or so. As a community we’ve come together to support each other and this campaign, in a way, signals a new beginning for our local tourism industry. We really are a hidden gem and this is our opportunity to shine a light on what’s on offer."
A number of WhakatƒÅ¬Åne locals feature in the campaign film, popping up in the background with cheeky comments about the abundant sunshine.
"All the locals featured in the campaign have given of their time freely and show the authentic happy-go-lucky WhakatƒÅ¬Åne spirit. Everyone was so keen to help out and showcase our beautiful destination," says Nicola.
Outdoor activities are the norm year-round in WhakatƒÅ¬Åne, including surfing, fishing, kayaking, water-skiing, walking trails, golf, glamping and cycling. WhakatƒÅ¬Åne is also the official Kiwi Capital of the Worl due to the number of wild kiwi residing so close to an urban centre.
Other special spots include Whirinaki Te Pua-a-TƒÅ¬Åne Conservation Park, one of the most ancient forests in New Zealand, Moutohora Island, a pest-free wildlife sanctuary, and the award-winning experience at Mataatua Wharenui.