Tourism NZ’s Secret (Travel) Agents uncovered in new campaign via TBWA\Sydney and Eleven


TBWASydney and Eleven have uncovered a network of Secret (Travel) Agents who have been working for Tourism New Zealand to encourage Australians to holiday in Aotearoa New Zealand.


A secret video conference of New Zealand’s top agents was accidentally shared by New Zealand-born, Australian pop star and key Secret (Travel) Agent, Ricki-Lee, across social media in a post that garnered media attention. Meanwhile the accidental fumble saw the meeting broadcast on digital OOH screens across Australia on Wednesday 6 July.

Upon further investigation, it’s been revealed some of Australia’s favourite Kiwis, including Melanie BracewellRichard WilkinsStan WalkerKita MeanBroxh and the Beached Az Whale, have been undercover for Tourism New Zealand on a secret mission to remind Australians of what is unique and special about Aotearoa New Zealand.

Says Katrina Alvarez-Jarratt, executive creative director, TBWASydney and suspected Secret (Travel) Agent: “Anyone who knows a New Zealander, knows we just can’t shut up about how unique and beautiful our country is. It appears the Secret (Travel) Agents have seized on this truth to encourage people to holiday in New Zealand. Did I mention that in the Coromandel you can dig your own natural hot spring on the beach?”

Tourism New Zealand also appears to be on a recruitment drive to bolster its approximately 600,000-strong team of Secret (Travel) Agents in Australia*. Anyone who has visited, loved and experienced the Manaakitanga (warm welcome, hospitality and kindness) of New Zealand’s people can apply to become a Secret (Travel) Agent online.

Once recruited and trained with money-can’t-buy experiences, new Secret (Travel) Agents will be ready to infiltrate Australian culture and share the wonders of New Zealand, enticing others to visit.

Says Andrew Waddel, general manager, Australia, Tourism New Zealand: “New Zealand is ready to welcome Australians to seek out the unexpected in Aotearoa. While some of our Secret (Travel) Agents have been revealed, this only means we need to find more for the cause – which is easily done by welcoming more Australians to Aotearoa, and into our Agent whānau. It’s time for Australians to travel to New Zealand and immerse themselves in a place filled with unmissable experiences and unmistakable Manaakitanga.”

Says Evan Roberts, chief creative officer of TBWASydney and lead investigator on the case: “We’ve only scratched the surface on the extent of this network, but from what we can see the Secret (Travel) Agents are entrenched in Australian culture, feeding our desire for travel and leading us to seek experiences in New Zealand. We’ve witnessed activity across every channel you can think of, and this new recruitment drive for more agents is only going to make Australians love New Zealand more.”

Activity is also being spotted across social media, earned media, trade and OOH. More to come.

Client: Tourism New Zealand

Creative Agency: TBWASydney

PR Agency: Eleven

Production Company: Photoplay

Gary John – Director

Andy Kristiaman @ Carve & Stitch
Joe Morris

Tourism NZ’s Secret (Travel) Agents uncovered in new campaign via TBWA\Sydney and Eleven Tourism NZ’s Secret (Travel) Agents uncovered in new campaign via TBWA\Sydney and Eleven Tourism NZ’s Secret (Travel) Agents uncovered in new campaign via TBWA\Sydney and Eleven