On 20 February 2016 Fiji was hit by the biggest storm in the country’s history, Cyclone Winston.
In the weeks that followed, waves of negative media coverage showed the worst of the damage; hotels flooded, beaches covered in storm debris, dirty seas and desperate Fijians. This was a powerful trigger for aid support but as a by-product, travellers became nervous about holidaying in Fiji and visitor arrivals plummeted. People began cancelling their holidays and half empty planes foretold tough times ahead for this country that relies so heavily on tourism dollars.
Today, it’s a fact that people trust the recommendations of other people more than advertising messaging, so the most effective way to convince people that Fiji was safe to visit was to have people on the ground share positive experiences of Fiji, through their own eyes, in real time across social media.
We launched the #Fijinow hashtag, encouraging travellers to Fiji to become our content creators and support Fiji by sharing their photos. Creating the tagline ‘Bula As Usual’, we were able to reflect the bula spirit of the Fijian people during this recovery time. To amplify the reach of this message, we lined up a group of social media influencers with a global following of over 1.3 million to travel to Fiji and share their experiences. Our influencers were tasked with demonstrating to their followers around the world on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter & Snapchat that “This is Fiji Now”, it’s “Bula As Usual” and Fiji had recovered quickly; with many resorts had returned to normal. The influencers also promoted our campaign hashtag.
My role : Creative Director & Head of Production