Canterbury regional lure for short-break Aussies

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Australia is Christchurch’s largest holiday arrivals market, but despite good knowledge of the city itself, familiarity with the Canterbury region is extremely low.

Canterbury & Christchurch Tourism and iris Sydney have addressed the problem with a campaign that not only talks about the region as a desirable holiday option, but puts it firmly on their radar as a ‘short-break destination’, being only three hours away from the city.

The digital campaign is called Canterbury: Tales To Be Told – a play on The Canterbury Tales, penned in Middle English in the 14th Century by Geoffrey Chaucer. Pulling on stories from across the region, from trekking an ancient glacier to seeing the stunning Southern lights, the digital campaign demonstrates all the best that New Zealand has to offer, only a short distance away from Sydney.

Injecting some Kiwi humour into these seven tales, and in line with Chaucer’s own mischievous prose, iris worked with a Kiwi illustrator [sadly, not identified in the Australian press release] to develop a fun look and feel for the seven tales, with each character experiencing first hand everything that Canterbury has to offer.

James Griffiths, deputy creative director, iris Sydney, said: “As a big fan of Kiwi humour, Canterbury Tales was a great opportunity to inject some of that charm into our creative. The fantastical and fun world that we have created, we hope, will not only educate people about the region in a unique way, but really stand out from the traditional way of selling New Zealand as a destination – there’s only so many epic shots of mountains you can see before you go into auto pilot.”

The campaign will run through digital media, social, experiential and radio, supported by a digital platform to allow visitors to discover a plethora of activities, create their own tale, and book a visit to make it a reality.

Tim Hunter, CEO, Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism, said: “We’re really excited about putting the Canterbury name out there to Sydneysiders and showcasing what the region has to offer for a short break holiday.

“The unique tone of the campaign resonates with Christchurch and Canterbury whilst giving a very playful nod to our English roots that are still evident in the city and region today. We’re looking forward to welcoming the influx of squires, princesses and courtiers to the region.”

View the campaign site:



Agency: iris
Deputy Creative Director: James Griffiths
Copywriter: Daniel Miller
Senior Designer: Chris Clausen
Head of Digital: Darren Collins
Managing Director: Penny Dixon
Group Account Director: Jarrod Brennan
Regional Strategy Director: Dan Pankraz
Senior Planner: Tom Edwards
Digital Production: Terabyte
Client: Canterbury & Christchurch Tourism

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