Symphony shoots global Tourism NZ/Facebook campaign

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Tourism New Zealand has entered a global partnership with Facebook to attract visitors to New Zealand.

The Kombi Diaries, a series of five short films following a couple’s trip around New Zealand, is the result of a direct collaboration between Tourism NZ, Facebook’s in house creative team, and Auckland production company Symphony to develop integrated creative to work across their platforms of Instagram and Facebook.

The global digital campaign featuring The Kombi Diaries will feature across nine markets.

The creative collaboration brought together people who traditionally would never work together to build story-driven content and a Facebook spokesperson described the result as “world class”.

Tourism NZ director of marketing Andrew Fraser said it was increasingly important to be able to work effectively across all digital platforms and working directly with Facebook was a great opportunity to ensure the campaign used the most effective best practice techniques.

“Essentially what we did was go to Facebook and ask them to create a content idea that addressed some of the barriers faced by people who are actively considering coming to New Zealand. Our research showed that while this audience understands the epic landscapes, there are gaps in their knowledge regarding their perceptions of our infrastructure, ease of travelling around New Zealand and the variety of things to do and see.

“These are the people Tourism NZ wanted to target. They are not the fly and flop type of visitor. They are the type of visitors looking for real experiences and appreciate authenticity and that is what The Kombi Diaries is about.”

Tourism New Zealand established a collaboration between Auckland production company Symphony, and the Facebook creative shop to bring the idea to life. The result is an engaging, natural story of two American tourists missing the train to Wellington from Britomart and embarking on a Kombi road trip where they meet the locals and see the country.

“The Facebook Creative Shop was on the road trip, collaborated with the production crew and shot their own content. The Facebook team provided two strong insights. The first was a technique to start each of the films in reverse to grab attention in the opening seconds and keep people watching to the end. The second was around length, to not be restricted by 30 or 60 seconds, and make the films as long as was necessary to tell the story and remain interesting.”

The Facebook-produced content includes films, stills and cinemagraphs.

In addition, has been established to encourage sharing of stories.

Facebook Creative Shop’s Gavin Carver says: “This was a pure creative collaboration among people who, traditionally, would never have worked together. It’s paving the way for how we grow clients’ business, build story-driven content and creatively inspire each another. Symphony really understood the opportunity to tell brand stories on our platforms and the result is world-class.

“Tourism New Zealand is redefining marketing for this category. They have married art and science to create content that is relevant and engaging for a global audience on Facebook and Instagram.”

Symphony’s Client Liaison Peter Moore says: ” To be able to target stories into the Facebook medium and have them integrated into a global promotion is not the near future, but the now reality of brand storytelling. It’s fantastic to see Tourism New Zealand embracing this.”


Facebook Creative Shop team: Gavin Carver, Stephen Vallera
Production: Symphony Auckland
Director: Glenn Jameson
Executive Producer: Peter Moore

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