New Zealand is calling on tourists to 'be more original' with their travel pictures

The country's tourism board is done with 'hot dog legs' and the 'summit spreadeagle' pose

New Zealand's tourism board is sick of seeing the same content across social media, including the 'summit spreadeagle' pose. YouTube
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In a bold move – but one that many people were probably already thinking – New Zealand is urging influencers to be more original with their travel content.

A tongue-in-cheek video released by the country’s tourism board is calling on travellers who are, as they call it, “under the social influence”, to avoid taking cliche snaps at spots made popular by Instagram pictures.

Officials launched the campaign after getting fed up of seeing the same photos, such as the "hot tub backshot" and the "summit spreadeagle", and are instead encouraging visitors to explore more of New Zealand’s ample natural beauty.

"There are so many incredible things to do in New Zealand, beyond the social trends," Bjoern Spreitzer, Tourism New Zealand domestic manager, told local news site Stuff.

The campaign video features New Zealand comedian Tom Sainsbury as a ranger on a mission to stop tourists taking the pictures we have all seen before.

“People have been seeing those photos on social media, and have been going to great lengths to copy them,” he says, as he clambers up the side of a grassy bank to a pair of tourists about to take a tried-and-tested shot.

“You know them,” he says, as he scrolls through his Instagram feed. “Man sits quietly on the rock contemplating; hot dog legs.

“I’ve seen all this before, we all have,” he continues. “But this summer, we are clamping down on people travelling under the social influence.”

The video ends with Sainsbury’s failed attempt at stopping an influencer post “one of the most replicated scenes in all of social media – the ‘follow me / fedora’ combination”, set against the backdrop of a lavender field.

The idea for the campaign likely stemmed from a viral picture on social media in 2019, which showed dozens of people queuing at the summit of New Zealand's famed Roys Peak, to get the aforementioned "summit spreadeagle" shot.

This latest move also builds on Tourism New Zealand's Do Something New campaign, which was launched last year to encourage domestic tourism after the coronavirus pandemic closed the country's borders.

It is not the first time would-be influencers have been lambasted for their quest to get the perfect Instagram shot at tourism hotspots around the world.

In 2019, many had their illusions shattered when a tourist arrived at the Pura Lempuyang Luhur complex in Bali, ready to replicate the #GatesofHeaven shots they had been seeing all over their Instagram feed.

The stunning lake they were expecting to find at the foot of the temple turned out to be a mirror and a clever camera trick.

After making the journey there, Polina Marinova, an editor at Fortune magazine, was more than a little disappointed, and posted her findings on social media, to prevent others from suffering the same fate.