Notes from the Mediascape: ‘Best Job in the World’ ad boosts tourism

'Island caretaker' job posting causes a global rush to tourism site.

As part of a drive to promote its northeastern state’s billion-dollar tourism industry during the tough global economic climate, the state of Queensland in Australia came up with one heck of an ad campaign last week – an internationally posted job offer, pegged as ‘the best job in the world.’

Strategically placing the campaign amidst the economic downturn and the freezing northern hemisphere winter has helped rake in hordes of applicants. The ad became last week’s top-sent story by Canadians according to Yahoo Canada, with 25,000 visitors to the site within an hour, 300,000 in a day, and more than 350 applications submitted before the Australian website crashed.

Nicole McNaughton, PR project manager at Tourism Queensland, tells MiC this week that since the campaign launched last Tuesday, the site has had 1.8 million uniques, over 10 million page views, and has received over 7,000 applications from over 150 countries – 386 of them from Canada.

The six-month ‘island caretaker’ post – said to be fully legit – offers $105,000 US (150,000 Australian dollars) to laze on a paradise island of the Great Barrier Reef, stroll its white sands, swim, snorkel, and take care of ‘a few minor tasks.’ The successful applicant, who will stay rent-free in a multi-million-dollar three-bedroom beach home, complete with plunge pool and golf buggy, is also – and perhaps not surprisingly – expected to report to a global audience via weekly blogs, photo diaries and video updates. The job includes free airfare to Hamilton Island on the Great Barrier Reef.

‘Traditional tourism advertising just doesn’t cut it sometimes and we are thinking outside the box by launching this campaign,’ said acting state Premier Paul Lucas.

The campaign is being activated in over 18 countries and was simultaneously launched via PR activity through Tourism Queensland’s international offices. Media buys for the campaign, developed in turn by Brisbane-based Cummins & Nitro, were handled by Brisbane-based Mitchells Media.

Applications for the gig are open until Feb. 22. Eleven short-listed candidates will be flown to Hamilton Island in early May for the final selection process and the six month contract will commence on July 1.