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Tourism campaign to bring back Aussies to quake-hit Christchurch goes live

Mayor Bob Parker: "Australia, I want one of your big things"

A campaign to entice Australian tourists back to earthquake-hit Christchurch – dubbed “the most challenging brief of 2012 – has gone live.

The campaign is being fronted by Christchurch Mayor and former This Is Your Life presenter Bob Parker, who said in a press release: “We’ve got a major issue in Christchurch at the moment. We’ve got tourists flocking here from all over the world – but where are the Australians?”

The first phase of the campaign, which cost $980,000 in production and media spend, sees the Mayor go on a tour of Australia to drum up support from local officials for Christchurch. The central theme of the campaign, which launches with three videos on Christchurch’s YouTube channel, is around ‘big things’.

The Mayor said in the first video: “Australia is a big country, full of people with big hearts and big ideas and big pineapples. They’re crazy about big stuff. So we decided to ask if we could borrow some of these icons and put them around Christchurch to make our Aussie mates feel more at home in our place.”

The campaign was created by Iris Sydney, which won a pitch in a field of 50 contenders earlier this year.

Tom Hoskins, CD at Iris, said: “Australians got used to seeing Mayor Bob Parker as the face of the Christchurch earthquake disaster in 2011. We decided to flip that, making him the face of the good news in 2012, taking advantage of some Aussie Kiwi banter while we’re at it.”

The second phase of the campaign, called Discovery Stream, is to launch in October, and will focus on the ‘big things’ that are happening in Christchurch right now. It will centre around a microsite that will document content from visitors and residents documenting what they are seeing in the city. People will be encouraged to share their photos through social media.

Hoskins added: “This campaign sets out to address Australia’s misconceptions of Christchurch as a tourist destination, by providing a lens into the ever-evolving city and replacing the images of the earthquake that visitors have previously held onto. The Discovery Stream provides Christchurch with a world first, a platform that crowd-sources and broadcasts the visitor experience in real-time, showing all the big things happening in and around the city.”

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