Wellington’s “intangible energy” focus of new visitor campaign

2 people standing outside the 'SPACESUIT' thrift store on Cuba Street at night time, with neon lights around them. One character is holding a purse, wearing an oversized blue jumper and blue skirt, and the other wears a vest and glasses. Mannequins sit in

That’s the theme of a new brand platform WellingtonNZ is launching this week with a campaign aiming to lure visitors to the city over winter. 

Based on capturing and defining the city’s famous but equally intangible energy, You Would in Wellington invites visitors to discover something new about themselves – and Wellington. 

WellingtonNZ’s destination, marketing and communications general manager Todd Barberel says the campaign aims to bring visitors to the city and region over winter. 

“Visitors are an important part of driving business for our hospitality, retail and tourism operators outside peak holiday times. We want to show people that Wellington is the ideal place for a winter break.”

Wellington’s winter events calendar is also full of different experiences such as Light Cycles by Moment Factory – an illuminating outdoor experience in the Wellington Botanic Garden, Doctor Who: Worlds of Wonder exhibition, World of Wearable Art, Visa Wellington On a Plate, the New Zealand International Comedy Festival, musical We Will Rock You and two All Blacks tests. 

“It’s a hugely diverse and vibrant array with something for everyone and sums up exactly why our new campaign emphasises trying those things you’ve always wanted to do but never have,” Todd says. 

The campaign centrepiece features a video depicting a story of two people who embark on a whirlwind of experiences in the capital including taking a dip at Oriental Bay, seeing a show at the St James Theatre and shopping at boutique thrift stores in Cuba St. 

Renowned creative company Clemenger BBDO Wellington is the power and imagination behind the platform. Chief creative officer Brigid Alkema says You Would in Wellington is a platform with immense flexibility, positioning the city as a place of vibrant change. 

“The one thing Wellington never is, is beige. Everyone who touched this was passionate about embracing our city’s quirks and charms; and letting that shine through in the positioning. Rather than simply being about the place, it’s about people, and the effect that Wellington has on you, as a visitor or local.

"Wellington is unique, fun, proud, different, and we’re looking forward to unfolding that story with WellingtonNZ over the coming years, with You Would in Wellington.” 

The video is directed by Louis Sutherland of Wellington production company Honeymoon Films, established to build local capability and nurture the screen sector talent base in the capital. Louis says as a born-and-bred Wellingtonian he was thrilled to come on board for the campaign. 

“I’ve experienced all the best sides of Wellington, so it was really exciting to bring my sense of place to the film. It also allowed me to look at my city with fresh eyes, as Wellington is such a visual feast. 

“One of the things I wanted to bring through was Wellington’s sense of fun – but how you can add your own flavour and spirit to that fun.” 

Louis says that for him, it’s Wellington’s people that make it stand out. 

“Here you can walk into any place and a stranger can become your best mate. We worked with a lot of everyday people on this project, from the cast to the locations, and everyone was so friendly and accommodating. Having travelled a lot with mahi, it was great being home and feeling that sense of camaraderie that fills our city.” 

Todd describes the campaign as “cheeky and fun” with a visit to Wellington offering “a way to express our inner desires”. 

“We know that Wellington has a way of getting under people’s skin and this campaign captures the effect the city has on people.” 

The video-led campaign will play in cinemas around New Zealand, on TV on demand, outdoors and on digital platforms. It runs until the end of June.

For more information contact: Susan Pepperell
Wellington NZ Communications and Media Manager
Ph 021 233 1078

Date published: 2 April 2024