SOVEREIGN HILL WINTER WONDERLIGHTS 2022

Sovereign Hill is an outdoor museum in country Victoria presenting the story of Australia’s fabulous goldrush history.
Crowd and lit-up buildings at Winter Wonderlights Event at Sovereign Hill

Since opening in November 1970, Sovereign Hill has become an Australian tourism icon, winning many major tourism awards. Today, Sovereign Hill attracts some 450,000 visitors each year and is known worldwide as a living museum with a strong emphasis on working machinery and exhibits, costumed interpreters and visitor participation.

 

Sovereign Hill is administered by The Sovereign Hill Museums Association – a not-for-profit, community-based organisation. The Association is controlled by a Board elected by members and serving in a voluntary capacity. Management is in the hands of an Executive Director and professional staff. In all, some 350 people are employed, and their work is supported by over 250 volunteers who help bring the Outdoor Museum to life and assist the Gold Museum with its curatorial work and tour guiding. 

For three weeks each year Winter Wonderlights transforms Sovereign Hill’s iconic streetscapes and goldfields into a wonderland of sound, lights and wintry delights.

Through the pandemic, Sovereign Hill was shocked out of a reliance on interstate and overseas tour groups and were challenged to attract a more local audience – a familiar story to tourism attractions around the globe. Our task was to position Winter Wonderlights at Sovereign Hill as a fun and exciting option for Victorians seeking a getaway within the state. Our challenge was to convince people who don’t think Sovereign Hill is for them, that Winter Wonderlights was the best way to reconnect with loved ones and to entertain, educate and delight their kids/grandkids.

We designed and executed a multi-channel campaign incorporating awareness, consideration and conversion objectives. With the Indian and Chinese expat markets Victoria’s largest expat groups, appropriate CALD advertising was included. A research and analytic process, considering budget parameters, led us to a campaign mix consisting of: Meta, Google Search, OOH, Radio and TV advertising; and earned media and influencer relations.

The creative built upon our concepts developed in 2021 “Sovereign Hill – A short drive, a lifetime away” and “Winter Wonderlights – Sound, lights & wintry delights”, utilising eye-catching projection imagery, happy faces and a colour palette representing the night-time sky.

The campaign was phenomenally successful, instrumental in delivering the biggest Winter Wonderlights event in history. This was an improvement on the then record-setting 2021 event (also marketed by littleBIG), which itself received a 30% increase in ticket sales.