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Good Idea, Mate

May 6th, 2009

Tourism Queensland gets my vote for the best F-the recession marketing idea yet.

Back in January, the organization responsible for promoting Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and its surrounding islands launched its “Best Job in the World Competition,” a contest to win a job worth $100K “for lazing around a beautiful tropical island for six months.” I mean, look at this place — it doesn’t suck.

But don’t get your application essay ready just yet — the organization announced that a lucky Brit named Ben Southall beat out 34,000 applicants worldwide to win the job. According to the job description, his key responsibilities will be “exploring the islands of the Great Barrier Reef to discover what the area has to offer.” In addition, he’ll “report back to headquarters in Brisbane (and the rest of the world) on his adventures via weekly blogs, photo diary, video updates and ongoing media interviews.”

Incredible scenery aside, this idea is great because it’s so simple. Virtually everyone’s applied for a job at some point in their lives, right? And who wouldn’t want the best job in the world? Pretty easy to grasp.

The reason it really works, though, is that it’s dynamic enough to communicate on many levels. Tourism Queensland’s primary reason for existing — to get people to want to travel there. Here’s how:

It makes you think. Sure, leaving your life behind for six months would be a little disruptive, but you could probably imagine yourself doing it…even if just for a second. Get people picturing themselves at the Great Barrier Reef Islands? Check.

It’s creative and different. Hiring someone to do virtually nothing when so many people are losing their jobs is ludicrous. At the same time, it’s impossible to ignore. Get people and the media buzzing about Tourism Queensland and its idea? Check that, too.

It’s not a one-and-done concept. Much to the jealous dismay of so many of us tapping away at our desks, Ben’s reporting “requirements” offer a recurring and comprehensive look at the region and its many attributes. Get widespread, ongoing opportunities for awareness? Check.

Though we’re reminded of the recession every single day in practically every marketing story we read, we can’t ignore the fact that people are scrutinizing every dollar they spend — if they’re spending at all. That makes it nearly impossible for businesses who pitch exotic vacations to get people to even consider looking into a purchase. The “Best Job,” however, does a great job making that far-off getaway seem a little closer.

And maybe you can’t afford to go to the islands of the Great Barrier Reef right now, but should things change, guess which destination just might be top of mind?

Posted Under: Public Relations, Viral & Guerilla Marketing
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