The 'Best Job in the World'
The ‘Best Job in the World’

I recently saw a great presentation at Internet World by Jane Nicholson, discussing  a Marketing Campaign run for Tourism Queensland called ‘The Best Job in the World‘. The campaign’s aim was to attract tourists to Queensland, but with only a small budget and the need to reach a global market, this was going to be something very different. It was a simple plan but no one had tried anything like it before.

The idea was to advertise for ‘The Best Job in the World’. The job itself was an Island Caretaker, with a salary of AUD $150,000 for a six month position. The winner would receive luxury accommodation on Hamilton Island whilst getting the opportunity to explore the region.

The campaign, which took 2 years to plan, reached 3 billion people around the world, received 35,000 applicants from over 200 countries, and their website attracted over 875 million visits. Overall, the campaign has been the most awarded advertising campaign ever and it exceeded everyone’s expectations. The BBC even wanted to make a documentary about it!

There were several stages to the campaign – 35,000 applicants were cut down to 50, these applicants were placed on the website and each had to promote themselves to gain votes. It was narrowed down to 16 who were invited to an intensive three-day job interview in Queensland, where only one person was chosen – Ben Southall from the UK.

Although promotion of the campaign started through print and broadcasting, Social Media was a huge factor. YouTube was used to publish applicant videos, Facebook to have discussions and Twitter to communicate quickly with the audience. As Ben’s main role was to write a weekly blog, blogging also became a large part of the promotion strategy.

A huge problem for the campaign was that it was launched on January 2009, at the time of the economic downturn, where less people were travelling. Visits to Australia were down 1% and USA down 15%. Queensland however, after the campaign, figures shot up! This was especially in the youth sector, such as graduates, who were travelling due to the difficulties in the job market.

Some important points from the campaign:

  • It’s not about what you spend, its about using smart PR and Social Media.
  • Focus on content.
  • Encourage people to interact with what you do.
  • Keep the interest in your campaign going.
  • Since the campaign, numerous people have tried to copy it. Think of something new and different!

This was a great presentation and a brilliant idea for a campaign! When you look at the amazing images, don’t you just wish you were there…?

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Image Source: Images from Tourism Australia website.


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