Campaign watch: Tourism Australia broadens the immersive marketing lens

by Samantha Waterworth

Forget ‘Where the bloody hell are you?,’ Tourism Australia has asked a bold new question in its latest brand campaign: How do you market the “feeling” of Australia? The answer is simple: Immerse people in it. 

Three months on and the latest instalment of Tourism Australia’s There’s Nothing like Australia campaign is already reaping big rewards.

With over 10 million views of the broadcast ad and 360 degree films across the body’s website and social channels, Australia.com has experienced a 64% increase in audience engagement, with average time on site soaring above eight minutes.

Flagging its interest in immersive marketing techniques some 18 months ago through then-CMO Nick Baker, the promotional body has now made good on its promise, utilising the Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear VR apps to flaunt the high-definition 360 degree video content.

“This campaign has been designed to be incredibly immersive and capture what it feels like to be in Australia and to experience for yourself being on, in or near the water,” Tourism Australia CMO, Lisa Ronson said at the time of the campaign’s launch.

“By using VR and 360 technology, we hope to inspire prospective travellers considering Australia for their next holiday and get them to take that crucial next step towards making a booking.”

immersive marketing

“Feeling proud to be an ambassador for my home country Australia, especially with views like this! #SeeAustralia Australia.com,” Hemsworth shared on his official Facebook page.

 

The results speak for themselves. A recent Nielsen survey shows intent to visit Australia amongst Americans viewing the video content was three times higher than the industry average for similar tourism campaigns.

Featuring global ambassador and Australian actor Chris Hemsworth, a variety of videos were promoted in the US on Facebook with 360 footage including flying over the Twelve Apostles and Great Ocean Road, soaring above the Three Capes Walking Track in Tasmania and swimming with sea lions off Port Lincoln in South Australia.

The comprehensive campaign showcases immersive marketing through virtual reality technology and 360 degree footage – featured across 17 films, in addition to related print, digital and user-generated content.

But according to Paul McCrory, head of travel at Facebook Australia, perhaps the best component of this content campaign is its use of mobile.

“This campaign has seen Tourism Australia really nail its marketing strategy to mobile, and has been a huge success,” McCrory said in a recent interview.

“The campaign and engaging content that it has been built around was excellent and, combined with Facebook’s huge scale of mobile across the globe, provided the perfect combination to help drive intention amongst Americans to visit Australia.”

immersive marketing

“Relaxing on a picturesque sandy beach with a bunch of local kangaroos… yep, we sure wouldn’t mind doing that right now! Take a flick through this album and you’ll surely agree with us that Lucky Bay in Australia’s Golden Outback is a very special place,” Australia.com shared on it’s official Facebook page. Photo: Sean Scott Photography in Western Australia

Speaking to AdNews, Ronson explained the campaign, created by Clemenger BBDO and Finch, was the most comprehensive campaign Tourism Australia had ever produced, at a cost of $40 million.

With eight weeks spent in pre-production, testing camera designs, techniques and technologies, Finch collaborated with VR studio VRSE.works and Clemenger BBDO Sydney.

Shot over 36 days, the crew built eight custom VR rigs, used three drones, 41 cameras and a range of software tools to support the VR component of the project.

Check out some of the VR videos captured… 

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