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Tourism Queensland ‘Best Job In The World’ Social Media campaign

Tourism Queensland ‘Best Job In The World’ Social Media campaign

Winner of ‘Best Use of Social Media’ at the CIM TIG Awards.

Best practice from CumminsNitro / Hills Balfour

Tourism Queensland (TQ) is responsible for the promotion of Queensland as a holiday destination globally.

To develop a new way of promoting the destination and align marketing activity throughout all international regions, TQ set the brief to create an integrated campaign to:
• Raise global awareness of destination Queensland and the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef with minimum Investment
• Drive website visitation through engaging and interactive content
• Increase visitor arrivals to the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef and Queensland regions
In response to this brief CumminsNitro, TQ’s Brisbane creative agency, developed the concept ‘The Best Job in the  World’ where a global recruitment drive would be undertaken to seek an Island Caretaker of the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef.

This job would be a six month contract paying $150,000 (£75,000) with a base on Hamilton Island in a rent-free luxury home and the opportunity to explore Queensland and blog about these experiences.

Interested candidates would need to upload a 60 second application video to the campaign website; the selection process would include wildcard voting by the public and an interview in Queensland for the final 16. The final applicant would commence on 1 July.

The campaign initially launched through the placement of recruitment adverts in 15 countries on 12 January 2009.

The strategy was to create worldwide media interest in a highly unusual/aspirational job (but which intrinsically promoted the destination), initially through traditional PR channels, then harnessing the power of word of mouth and social media to truly engage with the consumer.

The timeline maximised the campaign life through five key phases of activity (launch; application; shortlisting and voting; application selection and employment).  
The story broke on Monday 12 January in the UK with coverage in every daily national newspaper, plus interviews with TQ’s UK regional director on GMTV, BBC News, BBC1, CNN, GMTV, Channel 5 News on day one alone, plus radio interviews on national and local stations.  
With the core job role of the ‘Island Caretaker’ being to blog, it immediately attracted the attention of bloggers globally.

Through the PR campaign, aside from the TV coverage, there was a catalyst of special online discussion groups, bulletin boards, blogs and websites as well as the hundreds of news sites and articles reporting on the campaign.

This resulted in literally thousands of links back to the heart of the campaign - designed to maximise repeat visitation, interaction and sharing of content.  
Application videos were uploaded on to  and simultaneously placed on YouTube. Facebook provided a successful way to monitor sentiment and engage, with Twitter providing an excellent rapid response communication tool.

Social networking and online marketing was extensively utilised by thousands of candidates to promote their candidacy for the position.
A series of integrated tactical campaigns, designed to capitalise on the huge interest surrounding The Best Job in the World, were implemented working with airline/tour operator partners, all designed to convert interest into bookings.

The digital environment providing travel related information is cluttered and can be difficult for a government sponsored body to utilise effectively as a communication channel.

The campaign’s extension to consumers therefore had to be innovative and create cut-through for the destination message in a competitive online environment.
The campaign was in planning for 12 months pre-rollout. During this period the global economic crisis began, which considerably impacted consumer spending/holiday bookings.
We needed to achieve cut through in all international markets, ensuring it was relevant and had global appeal. Plus keep the campaign confidential to avoid the story breaking early.

An initial budget of £833,000 (AUD$1.7million) was allocated to the global activation of the campaign to include development -– designed to be dynamic and support each of the key phases of activity.

This budget also covered campaign creative, media placement of recruitment adverts and costs of the Island Caretaker contract.

In the UK, an additional budget of £159,000 was allocated to the tactical rollout of the ‘Best’ themed campaigns. Through media negotiation and tour operator in-kind support the total value of the campaign trebled to £514,000.


This campaign’s overriding success is how it truly engaged with the consumer – launched using traditional print and broadcast distribution channels, then harnessing the power of social media.

Campaign success and overall ROI can be measured through a combination of campaign reach and consumer engagement; PR value; marketing campaign results; peer recognition and industry awards.  
Results at 27.11.2009

• Campaign reach: 3 billion via
• 34,684 video applications from 197 countries
• Over 475,000 voted for wildcard entrant
• Over 8,465,280 website visits
• Page views: 55,002,415
• Average time spent on site: 8.22 minutes
Social Media Results

• 378,735 Facebook referrals to
• 67% increase in TQ Facebook fans 2,356 (Jan) to 7,196 (Jun)
• 24,782 Twitter referrals to
• 93% increase in TQ Twitter followers 335 (Feb) to 5,302 (Jun)
 • 610 hours of user generated content on following application process
PR Results

• Overall PR value: AUD$398million
• Global news coverage, including CNN, BBC, Time magazine, Private Eye
• BBC Documentary aired on BBC1 9pm, a prime time attracting 5.7million viewers

Converting Interest in to Bookings

• Over 9,000 passengers booked to Queensland following tactical campaign activity from the UK, Ireland & Nordic regions
• 102 million people exposed to the ‘Best’ themed marketing messages across UK, Ireland & Nordic regions
• 95,500 direct responses (click-throughs) from tactical campaign online media and 48,000 competition entrants increasing traffic to TQ website and consumer database
• Web searches for Queensland were up 40% YOY (Source: Hitwise)
Award-winning Campaign

• Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival - achieved more awards than any other campaign ever in the awards 50 year history
• Campaign BIG Awards 2009. Winner: Sport, travel & leisure. Digital category
• BIMA Awards 2009. Winner: Advertising. Integrated campaign
• Travolution Awards 2009. Winner: Best Cross-Media Advertising

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