CAMPAIGN LESSONS: Winning for the Whitsundays

CAMPAIGN LESSONS: Winning for the Whitsundays
SHARE
THIS



Tourism and Events Queensland wanted a campaign that would win back tourists for the Whitsundays from overseas destinations. The Hallway thought outside the box. Lucy Clark finds out what lessons were learnt along the way.

The brief

TEQ’s brief to The Hallway was to create a socially-fuelled idea that would stimulate earned conversations and drive awareness of the Whitsundays as a holiday destination. The target audience was Australia’s ‘social fun-seekers’ – people who are digitally savvy and socialise as much online as they do offline.

Simon Lee, creative partner at The Hallway, explains: “The Whitsundays was starting to lose it cachet as a world-class destination. Back in the ‘70s it was unmistakably a world-class, glamorous place to holiday. The social fun-seekers acknowledged it’s beautiful, but were starting to see it as slightly boring – the Whitsundays was losing market share to overseas destinations.”

Steve McRoberts, group executive for marketing at TEQ, adds: “We wanted to rebuild that reputation that the Whitsundays used to have, and give people a deeper understanding of what the islands have to offer.”

The campaign

The Hallway created ‘The Whitsundays: A movie that’s waiting to be written’.

The campaign ran on Facebook and invited people to write a scene of a movie, set in the Whitsundays. Every day for 21 days, a new photo was posted, along with a tip from screenwriter and campaign partner Craig Pearce (who wrote films including The Great Gatsby, Australia and Strictly Ballroom). A winning scene was picked by Pearce each day to continue the story.

One of Pearce's tips:

“We wrote the first scene, setting up the character of Jake sitting by a pool,” says Lee. “Then a picture was posted and it was open to the public to write the next scene. Based on what people wrote, we then posted images for the next scene from a bank of photos we had shot. We were able to be totally reactive to what people wrote.”

The opening scene:

Entrants were tasked with writing 100 words. The writer of every winning scene won a $500 movie voucher, and the writer of Pearce’s pick of the best single scene won a $10,000 luxury holiday to the Whitsundays.

The grand prize winning scene (scene 5):

The insight

The insight that formed the backbone of the campaign was that nothing says ‘world class’ more than being a movie location.

“The truth that we hit on was that, with its fabulous location and activities, having a holiday there does actually feel like being in a movie,” explains Lee. “From that thought, we decided to create an immersive experience that would enable and incentivise our target audience to discover this reality for themselves.”

It was this insight – and having 100% confidence in it – that ensured the campaign’s success, argues Lee.

“This was an experiment in contemporary crowd-sourced storytelling,” he says. “But it could not have gone horribly wrong because of the parameters we set around it. You have to be confident in your insights, and you have to trust in the integrity of a great story. We never had a doubt that people would enter.”

The launch

The campaign was launched with a video outlining the competition (below). The Hallway kicked off the campaign with a PR-led launch.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9a2oZFjGyls

Louise Pogmore, head of PR at the agency, says: “The beauty of the initial piece of content was that I used it as an editorial asset. It was a really compelling call to action. It was supported by YouTube pre-rolls and an exclusive partnership with Channel Ten, so the launch content was featured on The Project and Brisbane News. We also leveraged our biggest asset – Craig Pearce – with exclusive media interviews.”

The results

The competition attracted between 400 and 500 entries every day. There were 7,600 scenes written overall.

The average amount of time that people spent on the site was two minutes. The Facebook site attracted five million unique users, and 3.5 million people saw the launch movie trailer.

“The quality of the scenes that people wrote was really gratifying,” says Lee. “We have a tendency, as people in advertising, to think that we are the only ones that understand storytelling. But everyone has a sense of story, so we saw a multitude of genres and exciting twists and turns. I was buoyed and encouraged by the quality and the level of participation.”

Pearce's closing tip:

The lessons

Be responsive: Lee says that 95% of the comments during the competition were positive, but “there was one day when a few people were not as excited by that day’s entry. We were able to respond to that by putting in new images”. Pogmore adds: “That was one of the lessons – to be as responsive as possible and really listen to the commentary.”

Time management: Pogmore outlines: “Crowd sourcing and real time optimisation is very time consuming. The competition was open from 8am to 9pm every day, so we had to work late into the night every night to do the final scene selections. That was a lesson.”

Invest in talent: Lee believes featuring celebrities as the actors would achieve more success for the campaign. “In a blue sky world, where budget isn’t an issue, I think it could have benefitted from having well known actors as the two main characters. If we did it again, I would invest in that if the budget allowed.”

The value of a story: Lee explains: “Traditionally, the satisfaction has been at watching a 90-minute feature unfold. But here, the satisfaction is coming from each individual scene. There is something to learn around that attention span of a digital audience. Perhaps it indicates that scenes don’t have to weave together with quite the same fluency that they have done traditionally to be compelling to an interactive audience.”

Consumer insights: TEQ’s McRoberts says he leant a lot from the competition entries. “It’s amazing how many insights we got from consumers – some of the words and images they uploaded said a lot about their view of the destination.”

The value of crowd participation: McRoberts says: “Crowd participation, if it’s done strategically, is very powerful. It’s not all about one-way communications anymore. It’s definitely something we’ll investigate further.”

Traditional media: If they were to run the campaign again, McRoberts says they would use traditional media too. “TV is still a very powerful platform, we don’t underestimate that,” he explains. “TV could have brought another valuable angle to the campaign.”

What’s next?

The Hallway is now working on an interactive visual of the entire “story universe” – all the entries received. The plan is to make it interactive so people can search and stitch together the narrative by genre.

“The final storyboard is one iteration of the narrative,” says Lee. “But with all the entries, there is an almost infinite number of ways the scenes could be put together.”

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

“Young Talent Need Time For More ‘Blue Sky’ Thinking”: NewsMediaWorks CEO
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media
  • Technology

“Young Talent Need Time For More ‘Blue Sky’ Thinking”: NewsMediaWorks CEO

NewsMediaWorks has come on board once again to sponsor B&T’s 30 Under 30 Awards, and we caught up recently with CEO Peter Miller (pictured above) to talk all about young talent in the industry, and what can be done better to foster and preserve it. Why has NewsMediaWorks decided to partner with the 30 Under […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
H&M Racist “Monkey” Hoodies Now Selling For $2500 On eBay
  • Marketing

H&M Racist “Monkey” Hoodies Now Selling For $2500 On eBay

H&M’s now infamous “coolest monkey in the jungle” kid’s hoodie is now selling on eBay for a reported $2500 following its global notoriety. Last week the budget fashion chain made world headlines when it showed a young lad of African origins modelling the jumper in an online campaign for its UK outlets. There was universal […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Former News Corp Corporate Affairs Chief Joins Seven West Media
  • Media

Former News Corp Corporate Affairs Chief Joins Seven West Media

Seven West Media (SWM) may have found a replacement for its recently-departed corporate affairs boss Simon Francis. Stephen Browning, who was previously News Corp’s corporate affairs chief, is now working as a communications consultant at SWM, according to The Australian. It’s understood that SWM chief executive Tim Worner will work closely with Browning in the […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Bohemia Hires Rebecca Hamilton As Media Director
  • Advertising
  • Media

Bohemia Hires Rebecca Hamilton As Media Director

M&C Saatchi Group-owned media agency Bohemia has announced the appointment of Rebecca Hamilton as its media director to lead the Freedom Furniture and Michael Hill accounts. Hamilton joins Bohemia from Disney Theatrical Productions, where she played an integral role in the success of The Lion King and Aladdin the Musical. Prior to that, Hamilton was […]

Zenith’s Shaun Harmor Joins Posterscope As Group Business Director
  • Advertising
  • Media

Zenith’s Shaun Harmor Joins Posterscope As Group Business Director

Out-of-home agency Posterscope has announced it has welcomed Shaun Harmor to its Melbourne team as group business director. Reporting to national general manager David Campbell, Harmor joins Posterscope’s national leadership team and assumes responsibility for driving the pioneering and service delivery in the Melbourne market. With an investment and trading background across a number of […]

Compare The Market Hires New Chief Marketing Officer
  • Marketing

Compare The Market Hires New Chief Marketing Officer

Finance comparison website Compare the Market has announced the appointment of Jenny Williams as its chief marketing officer. Williams brings with her more than 30 years’ experience in technology-driven marketing to the role, and is well-known for her digital expertise. She joins Compare the Market from Ideagarden, where he led brand, digital and marketing transformations. […]

Emirates Tells Travellers ‘Don’t Upgrade Your Seat, Upgrade Your Airline’ In Funny New Ads
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Emirates Tells Travellers ‘Don’t Upgrade Your Seat, Upgrade Your Airline’ In Funny New Ads

Emirates has released its latest marketing campaign to promote travel on its award-winning Economy class. Emirates’ latest ads feature a series of characters who try to wrangle a seat upgrade at an unnamed airline’s check-in counter. Each spot ends with the ultimate tip for travellers: “Don’t upgrade your seat, upgrade your airline. Fly Emirates.” Seasoned […]

Victorian Government Launches VR Bushfire Experience Via The Fuel Agency
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Technology

Victorian Government Launches VR Bushfire Experience Via The Fuel Agency

As part of its summer fire campaign, the Victorian government has launched a virtual reality (VR) bushfire experience and content series via The Fuel Agency. The VR experience places the user in the midst of a large bushfire, and is designed to encourage people to leave early on high-risk days before it’s too late. The […]

Local Ad Tech Company VeNA Partners With RugbyPass
  • Advertising
  • Media
  • Technology

Local Ad Tech Company VeNA Partners With RugbyPass

ad tech company VeNA has signed an exclusive reseller partnership covering Australia and New Zealand with digital rugby network RugbyPass. Across Asia and parts of Europe, RugbyPass is the exclusive digital rights holder and over-the-top broadcaster for live rugby, including the Super Rugby, the Rugby Championship and autumn internationals, the Six Nations, the Aviva Premiership, […]

SpotX Appoints Gavin Buxton As Asia MD
  • Advertising

SpotX Appoints Gavin Buxton As Asia MD

Video advertising platform SpotX has announced it has appointed Gavin Buxton as managing director of Asia to lead the company’s expansion in the region. Buxton has over 17 years’ global experience in the digital advertising space, having worked in leadership roles at tech and publishing companies, including Microsoft, Turner Broadcasting, and LinkedIn, with the last […]

Big Mobile Doubles Down On Ad Tech & Rebrands
  • Advertising
  • Technology

Big Mobile Doubles Down On Ad Tech & Rebrands

B&T Awards 2017 finalist Big Mobile has unveiled a fresh look to reflect its new ad tech credentials. The company successfully pivoted its business from ad network to mobile ad tech vendor when it announced a joint venture (JV) with Widespace in October last year. As a result of the business changes, Big Mobile wanted […]

March One Appoints New Senior Account Manager
  • Advertising

March One Appoints New Senior Account Manager

Independent ad agency March One has appointed a fresh face to the team, with Melanie Tozer to reinforce its mission to put humans first as a senior account manager. Tozer (pictured above), an up-and-coming talent from New Zealand, will align her extensive experience in FMCG marketing with March One, having worked on accounts for Bunnings […]

What To Expect From The App Economy In 2018
  • Opinion
  • Technology

What To Expect From The App Economy In 2018

Here's an insightful, authoritative synopsis of the app economy. So, you're right, it wasn't written by a B&T journo.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine