It all started around six months ago when Tourism New Zealand CEO, Stephen England-Hall and his colleagues were grabbing a coffee in Starbucks in San Francisco and saw a world map on the café wall.

Almost choking on their lattés, they noticed that New Zealand was missing off the map. A schoolboy error?

But no. After some more digging, the team discovered that New Zealand was nowhere to be seen on a plethora of other maps too as well as many online photo libraries, famous attractions and even board games.

It was most definitely not a ‘Sweet as’ moment.

In fact, it became such a bone of contention for Kiwis that website worldmapswithout.nz launched highlighting all of the places where New Zealand has to date been left off. And the site is growing.

 

Indeed the whole process left Tourism New Zealand outraged, asking the question “How could this be?”

So they set out to fix this problem and literally ‘Get New Zealand back on the map’.

Cue lots of creative brainstorming, lengthily phone calls, the recruiting of influential Kiwi figures, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and comedian Rhys Darby from Flight of the Conchords fame and a few months later the #getnzonthemap campaign was born.

And the result?

 

Amazingly, the light-hearted video clocked up over 1 million organic views in the first 24 hours, landing in major media outlets all over the world.

In the video, Darby investigates potential global conspiracies to keep New Zealand off world maps. And he’s got a point.

Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Stephen England-Hall says having the support of the Prime Minister was a huge boost to the campaign.

“As a world-class destination, it’s unfathomable that New Zealand is left off world maps. New Zealand is bigger than the United Kingdom. We’re over two-thirds the size of Japan and Germany. We have a lake the size of Singapore, a mountain range larger than the European Alps, and more coastline than California.”

Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Stephen England-Hall

“The campaign is a light-hearted way to raise awareness of New Zealand as a destination off the back of international media about the country missing from maps.”

Tourism New Zealand has since called on all Kiwi’s to do their duty and share the video to help #getNZonthemap.

And there’s more to come…

Stay tuned for the next instalment, which I’m reliably informed, will again feature Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern leading the charge.

What do you think of the campaign? Share your thoughts below.