• Transform magazine
  • April 24, 2019

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Tourism Fiji values happiness over wealth in new place brand

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In 2017 there was a decline in global happiness. This was a movement, Fiji was excused from, as it ranked the happiest country in the world, in the most recent version of Gallup International’s Annual end of the year survey; ‘happiness, hope, economic optimism’.

Tourism Fiji now is aiming to move away from its reputation of being a country in poverty with a new initiative. In the campaign video ‘Rich in happiness,’ creative agency M&C Saatchi focuses on one of Fiji’s biggest tourist attraction: Fijian’s happiness. The concept of the video is developed on the greeting ‘bula’ put together with ‘billionaires,’ to become ‘Bulanarie.’ In the video it’s defined as; “a person rich with happiness”. In addition to this, Tourism Fiji created a ‘Bulanaries’ list with people who live their lives following the Bula spirit. The list includes famous personalities including pro surfer Kelly Slater.

CEO of Tourism Fiji, Matthew Stoeckel, says; “In Fiji, the warmth and friendliness of the locals is what visitors to the destination remember the most. The Bula spirit is felt the second you arrive in the destination and stays with you well after you return home. Fiji really is the place where happiness finds you and we developed Bulanaires to share and celebrate this happiness with the world.”

The purpose with this place branding initiative was to differentiate the country, from its other island destinations. Fellow pacific island Tahiti, faced similar issues in renewing its country brand. In 2014, Tourism Tahiti released a campaign video, where Tahiti was positioned as a country that has more to offer aside from pretty postcard views. Tourism Fiji aimed for the same with the ‘Rich in happiness’ campaign, as it wished to acknowlegde the Fijian peoples’ happiness over the nation’s wealth.