Friday, June 26, 2009

New media + PR fundamentals = first-ever Cannes Grand Prix for PR

For 56 years, the world’s best advertisers have been celebrated at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. This week, the festival awarded its first-ever awards for PR campaigns, and the PR “Grand Prix” went to Tourism Queensland’s “Best Job in the World” campaign. Developed by Australian firm CumminsNitro, the campaign reportedly earned millions of dollars’ worth of media coverage and tremendous worldwide participation with an unusual want-ad.

The campaign used this video and traditional-looking job ads in publications around the world to invite people to make the case for why they should get the job – a real job created specifically for this campaign – in a one-minute video. Thanks to video sharing sites like YouTube, interest in the campaign was quickly ignited, with many among the thousands of applicant videos going viral.

Here’s one of the multiple Canadian entries I found on YouTube:

In the midst of a sea-change in the way organizations communicate with their audiences, this campaign shows how new technologies can augment the effectiveness of traditional communications. The key: recognizing that the most effective use of new media is based on PR fundamentals.

1. The concept was simple and easy to understand (“there’s an amazing job available in a beautiful place, and you can apply for it”).
2. It was supported by an extensive and well-integrated mainstream media strategy.
3. It made smart use of new technology, online communities and social media tools to get people participating – and talking to each other about their participation.
4. At a time when a large majority of marketing messages are received passively, this campaign encouraged people to buy in and get mentally involved: to see themselves interacting with the product, to build a desire to experience the product. It caused people to think and talk about Australia, to picture themselves spending time in Australia, and then, to make the case for why they should be chosen to go to Australia. It’s not that great a leap to think people might now be motivated to plan a visit to Australia which they mightn’t otherwise have even considered.

As the concept built up steam, mainstream media interest in the campaign phenomenon fanned the flames. Its success drove further success.

In the end, CumminsNitro reported more than US$100 million in media coverage (from a media budget of $1.2 million), more than 6.8 million visitors to the campaign website in 56 days, and more than 34,600 entries from 201 countries – all because of a simple concept that motivated its audience to get involved. Check out CumminsNitro’s video summary of the campaign here (click “view movie”).

And it's not over: the next phase of the campaign, in which the winner explores Hamilton Island and documents his adventures on a blog, will likely garner more online and mainstream media attention, at least at first. It's publicity that yields more publicity – what more could a PR guy ask?

With that said, it’ll be interesting to watch for the campaign’s actual impact on Queensland Tourism – the true test of the campaign's effectiveness.

The winner of the contest, Britain’s Ben Southall, will have his first day in “the best job in the world” on July 1st. In the meantime, here’s another Canadian entry... just because I think it’s fun.

No comments:

Post a Comment