Australia’s North West came to us in 2013 to take control of the creative execution of its existing characters campaign, to lift production values and to develop a more visual storytelling focus.
The creative brief set to us was specific; the videos needed to showcase the natural beauty of the landscape, feature ‘doable’ tourism experiences, and create a compelling emotional desire in viewers to explore the region further.
Together with the client we developed an initial list of potential ‘characters’ against a set of ‘best case’ criteria for hitting creative brief: ability to articulate a story vocally, clear passion for the region, age, cultural association and their connection to a ‘doable’ tourism product. We also established a filmability scale, gauging factors such as access to locations and experiences, perceived confidence for speaking on camera and the quality of filmable scenarios.
The Kimberley presents some interesting production challenges. Working across two years, for two waves of the campaign, we travelled by boat, helicopter, small plane, 4WD and back of a ute to explore each of our chosen characters backyards.
It was an adventure. A few days into our second shoot our light plane suffered an engine failure and had to return for an emergency landing. Much of the campaign was shot out of season, with long 47 degree days and 80-90% humidity. For a week we shot from a luxury cruiser as it took in the remote Kimberley coast, an area dotted with islands and beaches that haven't seen footprints for thousands of years - if ever.
Kimberley Characters is the kind of campaign that reminds the team why we chose this career. Each experience a chance to enrich our lives and meet the extraordinary.
A total of seven video vignettes were created for the digital campaign – each one emotive, scenically breathtaking and thought-provoking. All content featured in the videos was derived directly from each of the three Characters. There was no scripting or prompting. All these genuine thoughts, emotions, experiences and feelings helped create powerful content for our videos.
The video placements drew more than 246,000 visits to the campaign website, yielding 29,000 competition entries (target: 20,000), with 80% of those who engaged falling within the target market.
The character videos were viewed more than 260,000 times across Youtube, Facebook and within the campaign microsite, with the average view duration ranging from 69% to 83% of the whole video watched.
Since first launching in 2012 the region has experienced increased visitation, with many industry partners reporting strong visitation increases in June 2014 in particular. As a brand, ANW has enjoyed increased participation and support from industry members, heightened media interest for a people-focused approach to tourism stories, and an overall 269% increase to the main ANW website through people seeking further destination information. The region also made the Lonely Planet ‘Best in Travel’ List for 2014.