Tourism New Zealand Uses YouTube Bumper Ads to Turn Potential Travellers From Dreamers to Doers

June 2017

Dreaming about kayaking in the Milford Sound is easy. Actually making the trip is a bit harder. Looking to persuade dreamers to dive in and book their trips, Tourism New Zealand used an innovative combination of Bumper and TrueView ad formats to drive an uplift in ad recall.


Move prospective travellers from the “dreaming” phase to the “planning” phase

Create an ad with high ad recall


Served Bumper ads to people who had already seen TrueView ads

Used affinity audience targeting to reach key audience segments

Ran Brand Lift study to measure ad recall


Bumper and TrueView mobile ads drove +46% lift in ad recall (highest among all devices)

Bumper and TrueView ads drove +38% lift in ad recall (compared to the TrueView ad)

All core audience segments saw lifts in ad recall: +35% among 18–24-year-olds, +24% among 25–34-year-olds, +63% among 35–44-year-olds, and +28% among 45–54-year-olds

Tourism New Zealand (TNZ)’s wildly successful “100% Pure New Zealand” campaign has attracted visitors from all over the globe for the past 16 years. Wanderlusting travellers worldwide now dream about taking in the country’s thousands of kilometers of unspoiled scenery and getting a taste of the local Maori culture.

While TrueView, YouTube’s skippable ads format, helped TNZ drum up excitement and interest in New Zealand, the company still faced the challenge of moving potential travellers from dreaming of a trip to actually planning a visit.

With the help of its global agency, RazorFish, the brand turned to YouTube’s Bumper ads to keep potential travellers engaged and remind them of all they could look forward to in a New Zealand trip. Combining TrueView and Bumper ads proved to be just the ticket, and ad recall took flight across the board.

Reengaging potential travellers with Bumper ads

Bumpers, YouTube’s six-second video ads, are ideal for driving reach and frequency. Knowing this, TNZ wanted to pair its successful TrueView ads with Bumpers to keep in touch with potential travellers at the top of the funnel. In moments when travellers didn’t have a ton of time to watch video, Bumpers could quickly reengage them and remind them of all the reasons they should plan a trip to New Zealand.

As it was the brand’s first foray into Bumpers, TNZ wanted to test a TrueView + Bumpers remarketing strategy against TrueView ads alone. The TrueView ads were the latest iteration of the “100% Pure” campaign, featuring popular filmmaker and explorer James Cameron.

Tourism New Zealand TrueView ad

Whereas the beautiful and picturesque TrueView ad gave people an overall feeling for what it would be like to visit New Zealand, the Bumpers would give them ideas for what they could do on their trips: kayak and walk through forests, experience marine life and mountains, or take in scenic vistas.

Tourism New Zealand Bumper ad

For all its ads, TNZ used targeting to reach high-value audiences who were more likely to consider traveling to New Zealand. With custom affinity audiences, TNZ could create core audience segments that were more tailored to its brand, such as active considerers, independent professionals, and backpackers.

Ad recall soars with TrueView + Bumpers strategy

During the campaign, TNZ ran Brand Lift studies to evaluate how well audiences remembered the ads. Running Bumpers to “echo” its TrueView ads drove an incremental +38% lift in ad recall (compared to those who only saw the TrueView ad). TNZ saw boosts in ad recall across all age groups: +35% among 18–24-year-olds, +24% among 25–34-year-olds, +63% among 35–44-year-olds, and +28% among 45–54-year-olds.

The brand also looked at how the strategy worked across different devices. At +46%, mobile drove the biggest uplift in ad recall. Ad recall on desktops and tablets was also strong, coming in at +24% and +38%, respectively.

Interestingly, TNZ found that serving Bumpers to a user more than once didn’t do much to increase ad recall. The ideal frequency for ad recall was one.


Moving forward, TNZ plans to continue testing and learning  with campaign strategies for Bumpers and other YouTube ad formats. “We looked at Google as a key partner to help us innovate and test new creative executions and ad formats. With Google’s robust targeting capabilities, we can confidently conduct testing without fear of media wastage and quickly apply our learning to all our global markets,” concluded Anna Moffett, director of media operations at RazorFish.

Creativity in Constraint: Unlock New Forms of Storytelling With 6-Second YouTube Bumper Ads