‘Best Job’ campaign worthy of the hype

Who says direct marketing is boring? Perhaps one of the most innovative and unusual campaigns in recent history started as a direct marketing campaign.

I’m referring to the “Best Job in the World” campaign by CumminsNitro Brisbane for Queensland Tourism. With a limited budget of only $1.7 million, the agency was tasked with promoting Queensland’s Hamilton Island as a desirable tourist destination.

Clearly, you can’t buy traditional media and have any appreciable impact at that budget level, so CumminsNitro chose a completely different path. It came up with the idea of creating an ideal job description looking for a travel evangelist for Hamilton Island and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. It advertised the job description worldwide in newspaper want ads, and publicized it via online job sites and social media venues.

User-generated content came into play as applicants were required to submit one-minute videos and photo montages detailing why they were uniquely qualified for the job. Audition clips were posted on YouTube, other video sharing sites and islandfreejob.com, where visitors were encouraged to vote for who they thought was best qualified. The winning applicant was then responsible for blogging, Tweeting and posting pictures and videos of his adventures on Hamilton Island for a span of six months.

The campaign resulted in more than 7 million visitors, approximately 500,000 votes cast and 34,000 applications from 201 countries. It was also featured on major print and television networks worldwide with an estimated earned media exceeding $80 million.

Of course, the ultimate measure of success is whether the campaign actually generated an increase in tourism. Due to the increase in tourist demand to visit Hamilton Island, the Aussie Airline Virgin Blue needed to add a direct flight from Sydney to Hamilton.

With results like these, it’s not surprising that the campaign won accolades including the Echo Diamond, Cannes Lion and Clio and was deemed “best marketing campaign ever” by Fast Company. l

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