New Zealand tourist campaign against social media

January 28, 2021 • 2:00 pm

Count on the Kiwis: they don’t take themselves—or anybody else—too seriously. In this case, they’re mocking tourists who visit New Zealand and spend much of their time taking shots for Instagram and other “socials”. This campaign, mounted by New Zealand’s tourist agency, excoriates those who miss the scenery so they can show themselves in it (and I share that scorn).  As the Guardian reports:

New Zealand’s tourism agency is seeking to edge out influencer-style photoshoots at tourism hotspots with a tongue-in-cheek campaign against “travelling under the social influence”.

In a video, the comedian Tom Sainsbury stars as a lone ranger in the “social observation squad”, chiding tourists for perpetuating tropes such as a hat-wearing woman in lavender field, a man quietly contemplating on a rock, and “a classic one in these parts: the summit spreadeagle”.

Here’s the main ad: “Travelling under the social influence”:

The call by Tourism NZ to skip the cliche social media shots and “share something new” follows the launch in May 2020 of its Do Something New campaign to boost domestic tourism while borders remained closed to international visitors.

Travellers were encouraged to share their creative travel shots with #DoSomethingNewNZ to go into win a $500 domestic travel voucher.

“We noticed that the same pictures or poses kept coming up, time and time again, no matter the location,” Bjoern Spreitzer, Tourism NZ domestic manager, was quoted as saying by Stuff. “There are so many incredible things to do in New Zealand, beyond the social trends.”

Two short supplemental ads: “Man on a rock:

Instagram has driven the popularity of a few scenic spots in New Zealand, including the tree in Lake Wānaka and the day hike to Roys Peak nearby.

In 2018 a photograph of the “social media queue” on the track went viral for showing the behind-the-scenes of the “summit spreadeagle” shot.

. . . and “Run me over risk” shot. I have to admit that I’ve spent a fair amount of time in the middle of roads taking pictures like the two at the bottom. But I didn’t intend to be in the shots! Besides, there’s hardly any traffic out of the cities.

Two of my “middle of the road shots”: Kea and Kiwi (crossing)

And yes, a lavender field, not fully in bloom (it’s owned by a member of Heather Hastie’s family). But no fedora!

I can’t believe it’s been nearly four years since I visited! I want to go back very badly.

Jacinda: I’m vaccinated now. Will you let me in?

h/t: Jez

21 thoughts on “New Zealand tourist campaign against social media

  1. Looking forward to your next visit. I’m reminded of something from ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’ where it says something like, “You miss the mountains when you’re always looking down at the trail”.

  2. I haven’t been to NZ since 2009 and that was just for one day on my way from Australia to Hawaii to home to have dinner with my auntie and I got hassled by customs and was late and my auntie got worried I was ditching her for dinner!

    1. Vaccinated persons can spread if they become infected. But with Pfizer there is only about a 5% chance of that, so vaccinated people should be able to travel. Whether the bureaucracy will see it that way is another matter.

      1. They have a good sense of humour. When I go there and to Australia, I feel like people appreciate my jokes more and don’t see me as foolish for wanting to laugh.

        1. But the best island for goofy humour (note: not humor, more like a tumor) is Nfld., right? (now that Monty Python is no more)

          1. I think that is comedy humour maybe. I find in Canada we like a good laugh but I’m many situations seeing the lighter side of things is seen as improper. My one example is I was once at a zoo or aquarium in Australia. On the description of koalas it said “they just sit in the tree with their little square bums” and “little square bums” is exactly something I’d say and I’d want to put it on a description but I’d be told that it’s not proper. In Australia, clearly someone thought writing that for a public display was exactly proper and a little amusing. I totally felt people would get me better there and I’d get less weird looks.

            1. Point taken.

              I was more thinking of comedy TV, much more daring here than down in US–e.g. :
              Doc, entering hospital room where male patient writhing and steam rising from bed, says “No, no, nurse, I told you to prick his boil.”

              To me, that’s good, rougher than goes on a plaque, or appears on NBC.

              Also, what about “Trailer Park Boys”? Nothing, including that, is objectionable to me, assuming parents of young children are not idiots. If they are, they’re objectionable. I never did find that one particularly humorous.

  3. I’ve always wanted to live in either NZ, Australia, or Norway. They all have seemingly excellent and stable governments, lovely landscapes, and good people. Their borders make them unlikely candidates for war. They seem to have a much more pluralistic attitude toward society in general. I know Norway seems like a significant departure from the first two in terms of geography, but I really love snow and solitude.

    A man can dream…

    1. Which two are closer in language is obvious.

      But in geography, not concerning winter, NZ/Norway are more similar. Used to be that Australia/Norway were more similar in ‘amateur’ sports, Norway the winter Olympics version of Australia in summer Olympics, but the latter less now maybe. Especially tennis.

      I just like the mountains too much, so Australia is the odd man out. I realize there is some altitude in Australia, I even did a ski race on the mountain up from Falls Creek the year we were over there.

      I’ll be back in Norway lots, but NZ again is just a hope.

      Of course, vis a vis population and sports, NZ is tops in rugby easily, it seems to me.

  4. I did not know about the running through lavender thing. I do have a picture of me sitting on a ledge, contemplatively looking into the Grand Canyon. I was a lot younger then…

  5. My “something new” was a nordic ski race just down the road from Wanaka towards Queenstown, at Snow Farm. I assume it’s still there. Even won my age category–must have been almost 3 of us that age! But the Canuck Special Olympians and USian regular Olympians were both summer (NZ winter) training there, so it was quite a diverse lot racing. Don’t embarrass me and ask how much faster the real winner was, the top US guy. I was also beaten by a female in a wheelchair (on skis, not wheels) from Saskatoon IIRC. Her means of propulsion was pure double poling.

    But we did do lots of more typical NZ touring, and didn’t even have smart/stupid/phones 15 years ago.

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