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Remote Control Tourist. Play Melbourne. Tips for Improving Digital Marketing
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Remote Control Tourist – Campaign Review


Today I look at the recent Remote Control Tourist – Tourism VIC campaign, part of the Play Melbourne campaign.

The objective of the campaign was give potential visitors to Melbourne the opportunity to explore up close what Melbourne has to offer before they visit, streamed live and in real time. Key markets for the campaign were other states in Australia and New Zealand.

Conducted over a five day period from Oct 9 -13, the $3.6M campaign gave visitors the ability to direct real people (the remote control tourists, available on each day between 12 – 8pm) to what they wanted to see and do around the city.

Using GPS enabled camera technology mounted on their helmets and travelling around the city on bikes, visitors were able to see and hear live video and audio feeds from the remote control tourists via the website and could instruct them on what to do via social media (Twitter and Facebook). Over 100 people were working on the live stream.

The campaign also had a secondary objective of helping to position Melbourne as a creative and innovative hub in Australia amongst younger opinion leaders, who are active on social media.

Here is an introduction


Prizes, such as trips to Melbourne, were offered to consumers who found ‘hidden icons’ throughout the video content to stimulate continued engagement.

Check out the highlights and results here


Key Learnings

1. The campaign clearly created significant media coverage as well as buzz, awareness and engagement on social media, both in Australia and Internationally (visitors from 158 countries and 3,888 cities viewed the website). The campaign was profiled on the Mashable website, with the article having over 1,400 shares. The You Tube videos also generated over 150,000 views in the first five days.

$3.6M and using 100 people for a weeks event is a significant investment. A lot of statistics have been documented on the website without necessarily revealing what the targets for the campaign were.

Time will tell if the campaign translates to ROI with increased visitor numbers and economic value added post the campaign. In addition, whether the campaign has contributed to any attitudinal change that Melbourne is an innovative and creative hub amongst opinion leaders.

2. The ability to potentially control people’s behaviour and see/monitor it in real time as it happens remotely is an extremely powerful tool of engagement. This core idea of the campaign can create a very strong emotional connection, the key component of a successful content marketing campaign.

3. In the travel industry, traveller reviews/experiences and word of mouth are extremely influential in choosing places and venues to visit. Whilst large brand picture postcard campaigns will still have a place, consumers increasingly want to find about how to have authentic experiences and feel like being a local.

Contrast this with recent campaigns from South Australia for the Barossa Valley and Adelaide. These come across as lovely places without sunshine or electricity where you can commit a murder and find lots of places to dispose of the body.

4. Using local Melbourne celebrities and restauranteurs such as Guy Grossi and Karen Martini gave the campaign further reach and amplification amongst their own followers on social media. In fact, all the venues/locations that had a profile created on the remote control tourist website had a personal stake in amplifying the campaign amongst their own followers and contributing to it’s success. Over 300 venues/locations were mapped and profiled on the website prior to the campaign.

5. The enormous amount of footage shot over the five days can be re-edited, packaged up and used in the future to extend the campaign as part of the ongoing Play Melbourne.

All in all, a great campaign that will have a big influence on the type of tourism communication campaigns that are run in the future.

by Konrad Markham

Tips for Improving Digital Marketing

About Konrad Markham

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