Colenso BBDO gets global Tourism Fiji gig

Colenso BBDO New Zealand has won the bid to become Tourism Fiji’s global advertising partner.

In July, the agency will be launching a new brand on behalf of the Fiji government - one that will be used globally.

Barnes, Catmur and Friends previously had the pitch, after winning it in 2009.

“There is absolutely nothing wrong with them,” Tourism Fiji acting CEO Michael Meade told NBR ONLINE.

“Barnes, Catmur and Friends did a very satisfactory, good campaign for us. They did some great TV commercial branding with the much-acclaimed Lucky Me commercial,” he said.

However, Tourism Fiji undertook a major study of its worldwide marketing effort last year and found it had different agencies in different markets and different brands.

“We wanted a brand refresh to give [global] commonality,” Mr Meade says.

This led to a tender process, attracting 67 original bidders from Australia, New Zealand and western USA. These were whittled down to six, who had to give presentations in Nadi, with a final three presenting to the Tourism Board.

Mr Meade declines to say what the new brand or campaign slogan will be, other than it will be announced in July when approved by the Fiji government.

A greater focus on online marketing is expected.

“Colenso BBDO is a very good agency. They demonstrated the creative edge of their agency with their final preparation and an ability to roll-out to multi-markets,” he says.

No details have been released on how long the campaign will last, and Tourism Fiji declines to comment on its cost.

“It’s a major strategic decision [to change the campaign]. We expect this new brand to be around for a long time.” 

Despite potential challenges in high aviation fuel prices, the global economy and domestic political issues facing the Fiji tourism market, Mr Meade says the only issues have been two severe flood events earlier this year.

Visitor numbers of 675,000 last year, including 120,000 from New Zealand, are expected to top 700,000 this year.

“All indications for May onwards are very positive, with great support from Australia and New Zealand in particular,” he said.

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