Tourism Queensland’s million dollar memo

Notes from the mediascape: SapientNitro in Australia's newest campaign for Tourism Queensland is targeting business travellers.

Your business could be awarded $1 million worth of travel expenses to Australia. What, you didn’t get the memo?

A memo is how Tourism Queensland, with the help of agency SapientNitro, delivered news of its new contest – aptly dubbed Million Dollar Memo.

Workplaces the world over will face off for the chance to win the coveted prize, which will be customized depending on the travel desires of the winning team – for instance, do they prefer to go to the Great Barrier Reef, the Gold Coast, or the WhitSundays? Would they prefer to be active, visiting natural wonders, or keep things relaxed with lazy days on the beach? Decisions, decisions!

The goal is to make Queensland one of the world’s top incentive travel destinations, a task of even greater importance due to a spate of natural disasters that have afflicted the region of late. Incentive travellers spent $300 million in the region in 2010.

‘The large amount of publicity that the natural disasters received globally [created] the perception that the damage was much more widely spread than in actuality,’ says Paul Bennett, national managing director, Australia, SapientNitro. ‘Since late January, Tourism Queensland with the assistance of Tourism Australia has embarked on a wide range of domestic and international marketing activities aimed at telling the world that Queensland’s tourism destinations are now looking better than ever, are fully open for business and are ready to welcome visitors.’

Promotional elements on top of the memo and website include a print and LinkedIn media buy, social media marketing, 55,000 branded coffee cups and stunts in business districts and commuter locations in cities including Los Angeles, London, Shanghai, Taipei and Munich.

To enter the contest, which wraps up on May 1, teams must submit a 60-second video to demonstrating why their business (which must have a minimum of three employees) deserves to win and why a trip to Queensland would be the ultimate reward. So far, more than 76,000 people have visited the website.

The contest is made up of three phases: a top 50 shortlist, a final 20 list and an Incentive Challenge that will see representatives from the final 20 travel to Queensland to compete in mini challenges in unique locations throughout the state, starting on Aug. 23. The winner will be announced on Aug. 31.

The Million Dollar Memo effort is the first follow-up to the highly-touted Best Job in the World global contest SapientNitro and Tourism Queensland launched in 2009, which garnered entries from 197 countries, winning awards including a Cannes Grand Prize Lion and two D&AD black pencils. Both campaigns are part of a $6.9 million four-year campaign.