Dunedin tourism slogan 'A pretty good plan D' labelled 'a joke'

Just like it....
Just like it.... Photo credit: Enterprise Dunedin.

Dunedin has kicked off its tourism marketing campaign with a new slogan, 'a pretty good Plan D', which is being met with mixed responses online.

Enterprise Dunedin, the Dunedin City Council’s tourism marketing department, launched the campaign this week and describe it as "high impact".

'The Gardies' probably was.
'The Gardies' probably was. Photo credit: Enterprise Dunedin.

"With the usual self-deprecating, wryly humorous branding Dunedin is renowned for, the campaign highlights the city's many attractions in an unfolding story of references to famous international visitor hotspots, with stunning creative imagery backing up the connection," the council said in a press release.

"We are conscious that Kiwis had to cancel their international travel plans this year and many would have been heading to 'bucket list' locations and activities overseas. Dunedin may not have been their first choice, but it is 'a pretty good Plan D' and can offer alternatives that are comparable to those found in Europe, Asia, Australia and the US," Enterprise Dunedin director John Christie said.

Plot twist.
Plot twist. Photo credit: Enterprise Dunedin.

The bold claim of being able to offer "alternatives comparable to those found in Europe, Asia, Australia and the US" is put to the test in a series of videos being rolled out as part of the campaign. One of the videos compares the hills of Dunedin to the pyramids of Egypt, pointing out the landscapes of Otago are actually much older than the ancient structures in Giza.

Enterprise Dunedin said the initial focus of the campaign will be on the 'drive market,' those in the South Island who can drive to the city, it will then expand to cities in the North Island where travellers will most likely fly.

When you can't go to Bali, Egypt or Edinburgh...
When you can't go to Bali, Egypt or Edinburgh... Photo credit: Enterprise Dunedin.

"Prior to COVID-19 the domestic market was our largest in terms of spend, accounting for $527 million in the year to March 2020. For the many Dunedin businesses that rely on tourism, the current economic downturn makes attracting New Zealand visitors to the city over the next six to eight months crucial to their survival," Christie said.

The tongue-in-cheek campaign has been met with tongue-in-cheek messages on social media.

"Good marketing is knowing when your thing should be a twitter joke and when it definitely shouldn't be an official slogan. Looking at you Dunedin," tweeted Aya McCabre.

"Don't know about you, but I'm pretty convinced by the new tourism campaign that promotes visiting Dunedin ("A Pretty Good Plan D")," Rebecca Henderly said, comparing Dunedin to Bali.

City and regional slogans often hit the headlines as residents bawk at the cost paid to marketing teams who come up with them.

Australia's Northern Territory made global headlines when an unofficial tourism board launched a 'CU in the NT' campaign.

In the 1990s, Hamilton used the slogan 'More Than You Expect', but now it's just 'Hamilton'.

What are your thoughts on the campaign, and where are your favourite parts of Dunedin? Join the conversation in our Newshub Travel Facebook Group.