Thursday, 15 January 2009

The Best Marketing Campaign of 2009...to date.

This month there has been a lot of coverage about a particular job working for Tourism Queensland in Australia as a caretaker for Islands of the Great Barrier Reef.

The job involves sampling all the activities the island has to offer, including a new luxury spa, snorkeling and bush walking and reporting back via an online video diary with associated blog.

It is being described as the Best Job in the World and comes with a luxury house on the beach, and a salary of approximately £55K for the six months contract.

As part of the interview process, 11 candidates will be flown out to Australia where they will be subjected to 'rigorous' tests. These will involve scuba diving and sailing as well as sampling local cuisine and culture. (Where's the psychometric testing?!?)

Now anyone would think this is an amazing opportunity. The cynics however may
wonder as to why Tourism Queensland is prepared to invest so heavily in what is, in essence, a paid holiday. Well it is in fact a superbly delivered marketing campaign to promote tourism to the destination.

The job managed to gain coverage across every major news channel on both TV and radio, there were articles in every paper & topical news website and the viral effect resulted in the deeplink being passed around the internet quicker than a celebrity sex video.

In a time where we wake each morning to news of a businesses in financial trouble and economic doom and gloom this positive news stood out from any broadcast and within any publication.

The site managed to gain over 1M visits in the space of three days, causing the servers to fail under the strain. The site was also redesigned to
facilitate better merchandising of Tourism Queensland and incentivised visitors to join it's RSS feed or email updates in order to win prizes.

The demand was unprecedented. The cost of all this coverage was £55K + overheads for six months. I am sure a number of major brands would really struggle to get the same kind of exposure even if they had ten times the budget.

This year marketers are going to have to use their budgets in innovative ways as return on marketing investment is scrutinised even more in challenging times. It is not about marketing less, it's about marketing smarter. In my view, Tourism Queensland have set the bar for 2009. I'm excited to see what happens next.

1 comment:

Jay B said...

G'day sport

The Great Barrier reef and Queensland are in Australia you big Galah