Sugar spices up South Australia

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After being reappointed as the South Australian Tourism Commission’s strategic & creative partner back in April, K Rd indie Sugar&Partners says it has been riding the online video wave delivering a new rich-video digital platform targeting New Zealand travellers thinking of hopping across the ditch.

“We’ve been working with SATC in varied capacities for 16 years now, and 2015 has been a big change strategically, moving away from a decade of direct-response TV and innovating in the digital space,” says S&P managing director Jeremy Johnston.

The two-year campaign is centred around an ever-evolving digital platform of ‘holiday playlists’, which aim to take the monotonous task of reading and creating a travel itinerary into an easy video drag-drop & book experience.

Users can book a curated ‘playlist’ direct off the site or create their own, share it with friends and then book it.

The campaign has already driven a 16% increase in room nights booked to South Australia through one travel partner, and a 20% increase in passengers compared to the same period last year.

“The audience was spread from young adventurers who almost solely rely on mobile as their research device through to baby boomers who revert to desktop or tablet when actively planning their holidays,” said joint CD Dave Nash.

“So we had to ensure the responsive video experience catered for all.”

Currently 47% of users are viewing the site on their desktop, 32% on a mobile and 19% on a tablet.

To launch the new digital platform SATC and S&P took another step by running totally unbranded TV ads, challenging viewers to use their curiosity and search for the new site.

Shot over 10 days in South Australia by Kontent’s Simon Mark-Brown backed by a haunting track (Under the Milky Way Tonight by Aussie band The Church).

“South Australia’s brand essence is to appeal to the curious at heart, so what peaks curiosity more than some telly ads with no branding, no voiceover and the challenge of ‘think you know it?’, tell us and you could win a holiday there,” said S&P joint CD Damon O’Leary.

SAT regional manager NZ Stacy Cant said: “2015 has been a great year for us strategically with a strong global brand strategy and an innovative local campaign – we’re looking forward to using 2016 to take it customer engagement to the next level and drive further bookings.”

The agency says over 3000 playlists have been shared’with friends on social media or via email, and 500 (and growing) playlists have been created on the site ( using the drag and drop.

View the rest of the launch campaign here:


Client: South Australian Tourism
Senior Business Manager International Marketing (North America/NZ): Mark Blyth
Regional Manager, New Zealand: Stacey Cant
Agency: S&P
Creative Partners: Dave Nash & Damon O’Leary
Managing Partner: Jeremy Johnston
Digital Planner: Augusta Grayson
Art Director: Vikki Cheng
Designer:  Stephanie Taylor
Group Account Director:  Dennis Carroll
Digital & Social Account Managers:  Zoe Virtue & Jenna Davidson
Digital Producers:  Liz Harvey & Kati Ohens
Developer:  Artem Verbo
Production: Kontent
Director:  Simon Mark Brown
DOP/Editor:  Bertrand Remaut

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