Tourism Queensland Travels Far With LinkedIn Ads

queenslandTourism Queenland, which won multiple awards during Cannes Lions in 2009, turned to LinkedIn this year to drive awareness for Queensland, the state in northeastern Australia.

On May 1, the tourism division wrapped up a five-week video submissions contest that’s giving away a $1 million (Australian dollars) travel package. In terms of paid online advertising, the “Million Dollar Memo” campaign completely focused on LinkedIn to target executives looking to reward employees with a group travel package. The ads directed viewers to a dedicated microsite, which recorded 293,000 unique visitors and 1.4 million page views from 187 countries.

The microsite included a downloadable one-page PDF – styled like an official office memo – that encouraged readers to make a :60 video for the contest. The microsite also included a :60 campaign video that’s titled, “Have you read the Million Dollar Memo?”

There was also a newspaper print component to the campaign. A promo appeared via Australia’s News Limited’s masthead, while ads ran in the Sydney Morning Herald.

According to its agency, SapientNitro Australia, the initiative garnered 290 video entries from 28 countries and reached three million viewers that work for firms of at least three staffers. “These companies range from large multinationals to small independent businesses and showcase a truly global audience,” said Paul Bennett, national managing director at the agency’s Brisbane office.

LinkedIn Ads Supplemented by Earned Media

While not revealing a budget, Bennett said the LinkedIn ads were geo-targeted toward the following countries and regions: the U.S.; Australia; New Zealand; Europe; India; the Middle East; and Asia. He said his team believes the campaign has generated a marketing value of $5 million (Australian dollars) in web, print, and broadcast mentions.

“[The LinkedIn messaging] has been targeted geographically and also to C-suite LinkedIn users within our target audience,” Bennett explained. “We also have strategies in place to encourage sharing to targeted social networks.”

Tourism Queensland has posted and tweeted about the campaign to its Facebook (337,000 “likes”) and Twitter (14,000 followers) audiences. An example of a Facebook post from last week: Just four days left to get your entry in to our “Million Dollar Memo” (yes, $1,000,000) competition. Has YOUR workplace entered yet? A Twitter search today for “Million Dollar Memo” revealed more than 70 tweets by random users since Sunday.

Queensland Tourism can only hope the 2011 model captures the type of continuous buzz that its “Best Job in the World” campaign has received during the past two years. Since its Cannes Lion victory, Bennett said his team has estimated the effort created more than $400 million (Australian dollars) in publicity.

Again with publicity in mind, they are stringing out the “Million Dollar Memo” contest in segments until Aug. 31. First, the top 50 videos will be announced on June 1. Then, 20 finalists will travel to Queensland to compete in a 10-day “Incentive Challenge,” which will begin Aug. 23.

The grand prize winner will be able to take his or her company group on their trip up until June 2013.

Correction: This story originally stated that the microsite had received only 421,900 page views.



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