A Contest or a Media Campaign?

What’s the best job in the world?

In 2009, Tourism Queensland asked this question through an online video contest that was appropriately titled “The Best Job in the World.” The winner earned the right to be the Caretaker of the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef. The job had few official duties, and the main task was to blog about the experience. The blogging and promotion position paid $150,000 Australian dollars, and it was worth every penny for Australian tourism.

The contest required every applicant to post a one-minute video that described why he or she would be the best possible Hamilton Island caretaker. More than 30,000 people applied, which provided plenty of content for their website. Millions of people went to the site to view the videos. The traffic on the Tourism Queensland site caused the Internet community to take notice. Bloogers and then traditional media took notice. The location became the star of the show as Hamilton Island became an object of affection.

The location is unquestionably a beautiful place to visit, but so are locations throughout the world. How did Queensland become so popular? The contest effectively used the Internet to capture the attention of customers and the media. Australian-based advertising agency CumminsNitro created the ads. The stated goal of the campaign was to get 400,000 visitors to the site during a one-year time period. This figure had been surpassed within 30 hours. By the second day more than one million people from around the world had visited the site.

British citizen Ben Southall won the contest. And Tourism Queensland showed a significant uptick in tourist traffic. Perhaps people just decided that Australia was their dream vacation. Or maybe a media campaign that at one point was generating more than 4,000 hits per second proved to make the location of the best job in the world seem like the ideal vacation spot.