Intelligent Service Design

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New Caledonia Tourism

Art Director · New Caledonia Tourism

In 2008 New Caledonia Tourism (NCT) and Dornau Communication Group worked on a new marketing program designed to boost Australian visitation to New Caledonia. For a decade, arrivals to New Caledonia had remained unchanged and its level of awareness as a holiday destination lagged behind other South Pacific competitors. The strategy was to develop a new positioning that communicated a clear, appealing and different reason to visit – one of the best gourmet experiences outside of France. The campaign supported a 11% increase in visitation and lifted ‘gourmet’ from the fourth to the top reason Australians travel to New Caledonia.

New Caledonia Tourism


We interviewed key stakeholders including airlines and travel wholesalers to understand the challenge.

Ethnographic research was conducted to contextualise our secondary research, including a familiarisation trip to New Caledonia. These methods helped us to identify experiences that formed the basis of our new positioning and aided our program in setting the destination apart from competitors.

Explore Somewhere New


A South Pacific Tourism Organisation survey of wholesalers and buyers in 2007 showed New Caledonia had low recognition amongst South Pacific destinations (only 59% recognition) compared to Fiji (100%) and Cook Islands (100%), Tahiti (97%) and Vanuatu (81%).

Additionally a NCT visitor survey (2007) unveiled that the majority of travellers visited New Caledonia ‘to relax’, which was a generic motivation that could be fulfilled by any number of destinations. The research also provided a visitor profile which defined the target audience. These travellers were typically middle-age couples travelling without children and looking for an experiential break. Dornau Group conducted a familiarisation trip to New Caledonia to identify experiences to form the basis of a new positioning that would raise awareness and set the destination apart from competitors.

Among a number of key attractions, New Caledonia’s proximity combined with its rich, French-influenced food and wine culture was clearly a point of difference to the majority of its South Pacific neighbours and would appeal to the target market of sophisticated travellers.

Challenges faced by Client

Tourist numbers from Australia to New Caledonia had remained unchanged for a decade and in 2006 just 14,000 Australians visited New Caledonia. NCT needed to reignite interest in the destination and provide Australian travellers with a compelling reason to travel to New Caledonia over other destinations. A clear challenge was the fact that many Australians could not differentiate New Caledonia from its South Pacific neighbours. As a result they would choose a cheaper or more well-known destination. NCT required a communication strategy that would grow year-on-year Australian arrivals to New Caledonia through:

  • Increasing awareness of New Caledonia amongst the target demographic
  • Establishing a clear, different and recognised reason to visit New Caledonia

With this in mind, Dornau Group worked with NCT to develop a new positioning for New Caledonia. Given that the organisation’s goal was to develop an integrated marketing strategy and boost Australia and New Zealand visitors to New Caledonia, We developed a successful marketing program to support their B2B and B2C segments. Focusing on one of the key selling points in the Pacific Islands – ‘the gourmet’. This program utilised digital and traditional channels. B2B and B2C marketing strategies were redesigned to meet New Caledonia’s requirements.

Marketing Program

Marketing efforts were focused on the specialities of New Caledonia, based on extensive research, the destination was promoted as the ultimate haven for New Experiences. To resonate with our target group, celebrity chef Gabriel Gate was appointed as the Gourmet Ambassador for New Caledonia.

In collaboration we designed and produced a definitive gourmet guide so Australians and New Zealanders can savour the French Melanesian fare like a local, creating a memorable experience that was more than a Fly and Flop Holiday. Bon Appétit is a 20 page tabloid style guide that shares some of New Caledonia’s best kept gourmet secrets. The guide helped fill the information gap by pointing out to Australian and New Zealand consumers exactly what there is to experience in New Caledonia. The guide, which has been developed in collaboration with New Caledonia’s Gourmet Ambassador, Gabriel Gaté, includes a restaurant guide, interviews and recipes with some of the destination’s leading chefs, notes on both French and local produce and handy DIY hints. We teamed with Lonely Planet and Aircalin to produce a special edition of “Fast French” series tailored to the destination’s need.

We created a comprehensive suite of marketing collateral, TV Commercials and an improved digital presence, to solidify New Caledonia’s relationship with both their resellers in the travel industry and consumers. I worked closely with the client to identify their needs, and develop concepts for a sophisticated campaign targeting both B2B and B2C users in New Zealand and Australia.


Roles and Responsibilities

Delivered projects on time, on budget and built strong relationships with external suppliers and technology providers. Supervised Designers, Illustrators and Photographers. Developed and implemented A bold Market reposition program for New Caledonia Tourism targeting the travel industry in conjunction with their retail consumers.

Created winning concepts for a major campaign, in collaboration with the creative director, to promote the destination as the ultimate haven for New Experiences. Utilised Print, TV, Web and Social Media tools to deploy New Caledonia’s integrated campaign over a 24 month period. Facilitated communication between the client and brand Ambassador, Gabriel Gaté. Researched and Developed concepts for online videos, destination guides, maps and flash games in collaboration with the brand ambassador which solidified the brand’s engagement with consumers and provided remarkable customer experiences both in B2B and B2C markets. Created a 20 page tabloid style guide for Travellers (circulation 40,000), the guide helped fill the information gap by providing a restaurant guide, interviews and recipes from some of the destination’s leading chefs.

In 2009, collaborated with Lonely Planet and delivered a special limited edition “Speak French” Series, for New Caledonia visitors.

IPRA chose New Caledonia Tourism as part of its 2009 Golden World Award winners for excellence in public relations.


TV Commercials

A sample of TV Commercials created as part of the marketing program to promote the destination.

Contributions to the Project

As studio manager and art director at Dornau group I was heavily involved in the day to day running of the marketing programs for New Caledonia Tourism. Given the small size of our team, my involvement encompassed implementation of strategy, media plans, tradeshow exhibits, program implementation with wholesalers and stakeholder engagement. This included gamification of certain marketing activities to draw in our B2B sector.

B2B Marketing:
B2C Marketing:
Briefing of External Suppliers:
Creation of Marketing Collateral:
Customer Experience Research:
Communication Design:
Digital Marketing:
Event Organisation:
Negotiation with Media Suppliers:
Stakeholder Engagement:
Seeding Trials:
Technology Liaison: