Christchurch/Chicago shop wins $22m tourism pitch

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Christchurch and Chicago-based communications agency TimeZoneOne has been retained by the Illinois Office of Tourism as its new PR consultancy, working with a US$15 million (NZ22 million) budget over a five-year contract.

TimeZoneOneis managed out of Chicago – where it is run by New Zealander Daniel Thomas – and the agency’s Christchurch creatives staff will be fully involved in the Illinois work.

The agency describes its offer as “advertising, design strategic thinking, digital, content, and great creative”.

It beat out stiff competition from global giants Edelman, Fleishman Hillard and Hill & Knowlton – all large PR agencies in Chicago.

Thomas says TimeZoneOne is reinventing traditional industry models by integrating brand building, PR, website development, digital marketing, social media management, content creation and experiential activations.

“Research shows that 72% of consumers would rather spend money on experiences than things, so TimeZoneOne will focus on lifting the Illinois tourism brand,” he says. Interactive itineraries featuring truly local experiences will be featured in domestic USA and international integrated marketing and PR campaigns developed by TimeZoneOne.

“This is a great acknowledgement of clever Kiwis working internationally – geography is no barrier to creative expertise.”

“This is a great acknowledgement of clever Kiwis working internationally,” said Christchurch-based TimeZoneOne content strategy director Elizabeth Davidson. “Geography is no barrier when exporting creative expertise and we can compete with some of the top agencies in the world.

“TimeZoneOne was chosen because of our intimate knowledge of the tourism industry and unparalleled vision, creativity and passion when it comes to promoting travel and tourism,” she said.

TimeZoneOne clients include Destination Queenstown, Lake Wanaka Tourism, Christchurch International Airport, Whale Watch Kaikoura, Destination Coromandel, YHA NZ and Te Puia.

Started in New Zealand, TimeZoneOne’s global headquarters are in downtown Chicago with an office in Christchurch.

The company also has strategic partners in the UK (Cellet Marketing), Germany (Wiechmann Tourism Service) and Japan (Connect-Worldwide). TimeZoneOne will work directly with partner offices Cellet Marketing and Public Relations in the UK, Wiechmann Tourism Service in Germany and Connect-Worldwide in Japan.

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