Travel and tourism marketing: And the award for world’s best viral marketing campaign goes to…

The best job in the world contest garnered tens of millions in free media worldwide.

Two years later, Tourism Queensland’s “Best Job in the World” campaign is still the gold standard of viral marketing campaigns.

It started with a simple recruitment ad, and ended as a global phenomenon.

The “Best Job in the World” campaign was designed to raise global awareness of the islands on a budget of $1.2 million, paltry compared to most global campaigns.

The campaign launched with this recruitment ad, placed in the employment sections of major newspapers in 15 countries.

Visitors to this special website were invited to post a 1-minute video.

They were asked to explain why they should become the next caretaker of Hamilton Island on the  Great Barrier Reef.

Their reward:  a $100,000 salary.

They were also given 6 months free rent in a fabulous Island home, and the job of documenting their travels from island to island with a video cam and daily blog posts.

In addition, a Facebook page and Twitter feed were set up to monitor sentiment and engage with applicants and observers.

Campaign Results:

  • The story generated an estimated $150 million in media coverage, and was picked up by news organizations around the world, including CNN, BBC and Time.
  • Islandreefjob.com received 34,684 video applicants from 197 countries.
  • Almost 8.5 million people visited the website and tallied a total of 55 million page views.
  • The island’s Facebook page referred 378,000 visitors to the campaign website.
  • Web searches for Queensland rose 40% to 95,500 click-throughs.

But the best part is the campaign drove actual visits to the islands:

  • A total of 9,000 passengers booked trips to the Island from the actual online campaign just from the U.K. Ireland and the Nordic countries.
  • In all, visits to the islands were up 20% at a time when all of Australia saw a decline in travel. And in the first year after the contest, 50% of all trips to Australia included a visit to Queensland.
If you’d like to see more of the campaign, here’s a great video case study:

That’s my favorite viral marketing effort for a travel and tourism brand. What’s yours?
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3 Responses to Travel and tourism marketing: And the award for world’s best viral marketing campaign goes to…

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