Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Best Job in the World

The Best Job in the World campaign, created by CumminsNitro, was feted with the PR Lions Grand Prix by Cannes and Direct Lions Grand Prix at Cannes. Thought I'd rerun what I wrote about it in January on my website:

It’s pretty tough to live up to the billing of Best Job in the World. But that’s what Tourism Queensland representatives are promising in an effort to promote the Australian state.

Officially, the position is called Caretaker of the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef. One lucky person will spend six months on Hamilton Island enjoying and blogging about its pleasures and receive $122,000 Cdn for his or her efforts. Gimmicky as it may seem, there is a real job up for grabs, and 11 people will be flown to the Island in May to compete for the position.

It sounds like my dream job, and thousands, apparently agree. Officials say they had 200,000 applications within 24 hours of the campaign launch. Equally impressive is the fact that Tourism Queensland has garnered millions of dollars in media coverage for what must have been a very modest investment. Thanks to stories on BBC and Yahoo the campaign has reached more than 29 million people, meaning greater awareness of and interest in Queensland.

Granted, that interest may not translate into immediate increases in bookings and tourism revenue, but I think the campaign will generate benefits over the long run. The content the blogger creates is likely to have more appeal or be more convincing to potential visitors than content generated by Tourism Queensland. After all, it will be content developed by an actual visitor blogging his or her experiences, all of which can be archived and used for years to come. Moreover, flying 11 contestants in to compete for the position is a shrewd move. It means there will be, potentially, 11 people spreading positive messages about the region to colleagues online and otherwise. And media from the markets where contestants live will likely cover the story, giving the campaign added life and reach.

Simply put, I think this marketing campaign is brilliant. And I’m not just saying that in hopes that Tourism Queensland will invite me down to see the beauty of the region first hand. Though I wouldn’t turn them down if they did.

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