Australian creative energy continues to make its mark at Cannes with Queensland Tourism Best Job in the World winning two 2009 Grand Prix awards for public relations and direct advertising. The PR stunt created by ad agency SapientNitro (Brisbane, Australia) was unique in its approach - a type of hybrid that used user generated content, reality show-type voting, and PR magic to beat out the viral campaign for Barak Obama’s presidential election – no shabby contender!
In 2009 it was difficult to not get caught up in the Best Job in the World opportunity – it was everywhere – on the news, in magazines, and online in the blogs as people, wrapped up in the 6 month contract position for a caretaker for Hamilton Island, were captivated by the beautiful Great Barrier Reef in Queensland Australia. The job included feeding fish, collecting mail, cleaning the pool, exploring the island, and capturing the adventure on a daily blog – anyone could apply with the winner also receiving over $8,000 per month in salary and free luxury accommodation! Who could not be captivated by the beautiful footage of the paradise island and its escape from the drudgery of everyday life?!
Individuals had 6 weeks to submit a 60 second video application online at www.islandreefjob.com. The public then voted on the candidates, selecting their top applicant. Queensland Tourism then selected another 10 applicants from the entries and flew them all to Hamilton Island for an interview. The final winner was selected in May for a job start of July 1, 2009. Stay tuned for the publicity machine to roll out yet again on this date with the winner, 34 year old charity worker Ben Southhall from the UK, starting his new position!
In the end, the job (a legitimate position), turned out to be what has been coined the biggest publicity stunt ever seen - a campaign promoting the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef Australia by Queensland Tourism. The purpose of the campaign was to raise awareness of the location among potential experience-seekers from the UK, USA, Europe, Japan, New Zealand, India, China, and Korea. The campaign wove the story of the job posting through a public relations campaign of press releases, press conferences, and media interviews. A microsite was set up at www.islandreefjob.com, small print ads were placed in the classified and employment sections of newspapers, online ads were posted on employment websites, and small banner ads were placed on the Internet.
The Cannes Lions' website details that that the campaign cost $1.7 million, generating free publicity valued at more than $150 million. The site goes on to explain that more than 3 billion people were exposed to the campaign, and over 6,000 news stories were written. In addition, TV coverage was secured on CNN, the BBC, and the CBC, just to mention a few media outlets, and people from 201 countries submitted 34,684 video applications. Within the 6 week application period the microsite had 6,849,504 visits, 47,548,514 page views, with an average time spent on the site of 8.62 minutes. 450,000 votes were cast by the public to select a winner.
You can see a short video-case of the campaign, the video job posting, the winning candidate’s video-application, and the final winning announcement below - very creative!
Tourism Queensland The Best Job in the World – Case http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SI-rsong4xs
Tourism Queensland Seeks Applicants for "The Best Job in the World" - Island Caretaker http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTUUWOV4Vns
Island Reef Job - Ben Southall http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnosVJfDrpY
Brit Wins Best Job in the World http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fuvwA350ac