8 May 2013

'BIG 5' campaign reaches 4.9-million US viewers

South African Tourism’s landmark ‘What’s Your BIG 5?’ campaign debuted on NBC’s Apprentice series, with South Africa becoming the first-ever travel destination featured on the hit show.

 Sthu Zungu, Donald Trump, and Evelyn Mahlaba - SAT Regional Director: Asia & Australia  From left: Sthu Zungu, Donald Trump and Evelyn Mahlaba (SAT regional director: Asia and Australia)

High-profile partnerships like All-Star Celebrity Apprentice are one of the many driving forces catapulting our destination into mainstream consciousness, fuelling conversations about and travel to South Africa like never before. – Sthu Zungu, president of SAT North America

South Africa featured on the hit TV series All-Star Celebrity Apprentice on 21 April 2013, serving as the launch pad for South African Tourism (SAT) North America’s ‘What’s your BIG 5?' campaign.

The main aim of the campaign is to increase awareness of and tourism to South Africa. SAT North America is redefining the ‘BIG 5’ to underscore the broad range of authentic and distinct experiences South Africa has to offer travellers of all ages – experiences that are beyond its iconic safaris.

All-Star Celebrity Apprentice is one of the most-watched prime-time series on Sunday evenings in the United States. The episode brought to life the vibrant culture of South Africa for 4.9-million viewers. It emphasised 10 incredible experiences, including shark cage diving, golfing, wine tasting, culture, gourmet traditional food, fine art, luxury spas and more.

Sthu Zungu, president of SAT North America, said these are experiences the average American may not realise South Africa offers.

‘Now, because of the show, foodies are thinking about South Africa, wine connoisseurs are taking notice of South Africa’s unique winelands, and adventure-seekers are curious about zip-lining in the South African bush and bungee jumping. That is what we had hoped for – getting the conversation started and moving the needle with regard to positive awareness and consideration,’ she said.

In tandem with the airing, viewers were invited to enter a competition to win two exclusive VIP tickets to the show’s finale; view a bonus video featuring one of this season’s celebrity contestants – award-winning actress and author Marilu Henner; and book an All-Star Celebrity Apprentice travel package exclusively on South African Tourism’s website.

In the video, Henner gives an inspiring account of her 'BIG 5' experiences in South Africa. Click here to view the video.

Zungu added that South Africa has become a highly sought-after travel destination, breaking tourism records with double-digit growth over the past three years.

‘High-profile partnerships like All-Star Celebrity Apprentice are one of the many driving forces catapulting our destination into mainstream consciousness, fuelling conversations about and travel to South Africa like never before.

‘The feedback has been tremendously positive from the travel industry, and traffic to SAT’s website increased by 30% on the evening of the broadcast,’ she said. SAT’s social media platforms were also abuzz with activity surrounding the episode.

Donald Trump, executive producer and host of All-Star Celebrity Apprentice, said South Africa is an ‘amazing destination’.

'I will be going to South Africa soon. It’s one of my favourite places,' he commented.