Shaila’s Weblog

Lucky Briton wins the “best job in the world”

Posted on: May 6, 2009

British charity fundraiser Ben Southall won the “best job in the world” on Wednesday – caretaker of an Australia tropical island – after an innovative marketing campaign that highlighted the power of social media.

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Southall, 34, was picked from 16 final contestants in a highly publicised contest by Tourism Queensland which attracted 34,684 video entries from almost 200 countries and surpassed all expectations in promoting tourism in the Australian state.

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The job description? Explore the islands of the Great Barrier Reef for six months and report back to Tourism Queensland and the world via blogs, a photo diary, video updates and interviews.

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Also, if you feel like it, feed the fish, collect the mail and clean the pool – and collect a wage of A$150,000 ($110,000)

While the job itself attracted global attention so did the campaign by the government body Tourism Queensland as it highlighted how companies can tap the power of online social media such as YouTube and Facebook, for marketing.

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“This is probably the first time that a campaign has achieved this sort of reach with so little advertising spend other than a few strategically place job ads around the world,” said Australian marketing analyst Tim Burrowes, editor of media and marketing website Mumbrella.

“This has all been about the power of people passing things on, largely through YouTube. The main lesson to be learned here is that if you have an original, exciting idea that gets people talking you don’t need so spend huge on advertising.”

The “Best Job in the World” campaign began in January with Tourism Queensland launching a tourism advertising campaign centered around the lure of “the best job in the world.”

Within days the campaign went viral as applicants from all over the world sent in 60-second video applications and news of the contest spread progressive on social networking sites such as Facebook and the video sharing site YouTube.

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