New Zealand – For its latest campaign, Tourism NZ is encouraging visitors to avoid social media-influenced travels.
Comedian Thomas Sainsbury stars in a series of comedic ads released by the travel board, playing the role of a lone ranger in the country's fictional Social Observation Squad – or SOS. The clips parody the format of public service announcements, with Sainsbury urging visitors to stop taking clichéd photographs while in New Zealand. It highlights tropes such as beach shots featuring 'hot dog legs’ and hikers at Roy’s Peak showing the ‘summit spreadeagle’.
‘We noticed that the same pictures or poses kept coming up [on social media] time and time again, no matter the location,’ says Bjoern Spreitzer, domestic general manager at Tourism NZ. He hopes the campaign will inspire domestic visitors to embark on new experiences outside of taking stylised pictures for Instagram. ‘There are so many incredible things to do in New Zealand, beyond the social trends,’ he continues.
As social media homogenises travel experiences, there is an emerging shift towards travellers participating in slow tourism.