The Kombi Diaries ~ Tourism NZ
The Kombi Diaries is a series of five short films written, directed and edited by Glenn.
The success of this campaign has made it Facebook's #1 international case study demonstrating the power of the platform. So far it reached over 30 million people in the US alone and resulted in a 26% year-on-year increase in visitors during the shoulder season.
“The brief was clear and exciting, and a colossal challenge,” he says. “The budget wasn’t 'Titanic' but on the flip-side we were given free rein to tell a story without the constraints of a prescribed length or a million advertising mandatories. It was very experimental.”
Glenn wrote an adventure about two American tourists who miss the train and embark on an epic 1700km road trip from Auckland’s Piha to Paradise in Glenorchy. “Research told us that while travelers were attracted to our wide open spaces, they were worried that the country was so sparse it was hard to get to it all. I figured if we showed them you could make it there in a 45-year-old Kombi, then you could make it everywhere.”
Stories were sketched for each of the five tour destinations, but left largely unscripted to accommodate the magic of the unexpected, and to keep the characters’ interactions with the locals as authentic as possible. The only actors in the films are the two leads, who experienced the adventure of discovery as it happened. The rest of the cast were found on the day, in their roles as ordinary Kiwis. “I put myself in the visitors' shoes, writing it in my head as I drove the Kombi to location,” Glenn says.
Facebook Strategist Gavin Carver has reported that the series is smashing benchmarks and expectations. "‘The Kombi Diaries’ is among the best content I’ve seen created for Facebook globally. Glenn gets the new media landscape better than most, and knows how to create compelling stories that wrap a brand’s message and keep his audience engaged. This collaboration was a career highlight.”
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