IMPACT Exclusive: An incentive destination of its kind

With the objective to promote Queensland as an incentive destination in the country, Ryna Sequiera, Marketing Manager, Tourism Queensland, India is steering the brand with innovative marketing and prudent trade partnership.

by Dipali Banka
Published - May 12, 2011 9:29 AM Updated: May 12, 2011 9:29 AM
IMPACT Exclusive: An incentive destination of its kind

About the brand
Tourism Queensland has been actively marketing in India for the past five years with a representation office commencing in 2006. TQ's strategy in the Indian market is the five pillar approach -- trade engagement, aviation partnerships, digital/ on-line marketing, public relations and direct consumer marketing. Tourism Queensland traditionally has focussed on trade partnerships and will continue to do so. However, the brand plans to have more emphasis on direct communication with consumers like it did with its marketing campaigns "best job in the world" and "million dollar memo".

CMO File
Ryna has been with the travel industry for nearly four years now, first as a Marketing Manager with Gold Coast Tourism in India followed by her current position as Marketing Manager with Tourism Queensland in India. She started her career in Public Relations with Corporate Voice Weber Shandwick where she spent two years and then moved on to id8 Media Solutions.
Ryna is a Science student from Sophia College in Mumbai but has always had her interest in tourism.

Creative Agency: Sapient Nitro
Media Agency: Clemengers
Digital Agency: In-house
OOH Agency: ZenithOptimedia
BTL/ Activation Agency: In-house
PR Agency: Zzebra Public Relations

Could you throw some light on the ‘million dollar memo’ campaign that you’ve undertaken? How are you going about it?
The ‘million dollar memo’ campaign basically began on March 18th this year. It was our entry into the incentive travel segment. Tourism Queensland has not really done anything to promote Queensland as a MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) destination. So as a five years policy we have put down how we want to work towards basically promoting Queensland for MICE because we are already getting a lot of MICE business from India and globally as well. So we thought what better than to launch ourselves into this segment by coming up with an extremely attractive consumer campaign which is called ‘million dollar memo’.

With this campaign we went out to the entire corporate world and challenged them to come and participate in a competition where the final price is worth one million dollars. We asked them to put up a 60 second video on the website where they have to demonstrate through the video what teamwork means to them or why their company is the best place to work, why Queensland is the best incentive destination in the world and why do they think we should reward them the one million dollars.

Twenty of the most entertaining videos will be shortlisted by the end of the competition and one person will come from each company in August to compete against each other to win the prize money.

How are you communicating these aspects of the contest in India?
We basically tied up with Thomas Cook in India to launch this campaign where firstly, we sent out electronic direct mailers to thousand plus corporates in India. We were pretty focused on these corporates and did not want to make it a mass campaign. Secondly, we’ve done outdoor campaign in Mumbai by taking a few billboards in south Mumbai, bus shelters and LCDs in corporate houses. Finally we did the dabbawallah campaign where we sent out memos in each of the dabbas that went into sections of Nariman Point, Fort, Mumbai Central, Dadar, Prabhadevi, BKC, etc. We sent out one lakh such memos.

How has been the response for the entire campaign?
In terms of publicity it has been great. People were really excited on hearing about the campaign. However, so far we have only one entry from India. So in terms of generating excitement and interest in Queensland, the campaign has been great but from competition point of view, we haven’t got too many entries from India.

So are you thinking of doing something else to get more entries?
The campaign is now over. We’ve done what we could and honestly it is up to a particular company to take the initiative. We have given an amazing opportunity to corporates but it is the companies who need to give sign-offs to their teams and we realised that is the reason why probably we haven’t had so many entries from India.

So, people have responded to the campaign and shown interest but when it comes to actually shooting the video and participating, the Indian audiences backed out. What do you read of this?
Yes, it actually depends on the market. We’ve got 87 entries already globally. So, it really depends on companies and it is a personal choice. We have got responses saying that it is a brilliant campaign but we are not allowed to participate from the company. We did the ‘the best job in the world’ campaign two years back which was the most incredible marketing campaign by any tourism body or company. There we came out with a similar thing where a person had to shoot a video and that got a tremendous response. We got nearly 35,000 entries from all across the world and more than 2000 entries from India. Only difference was that it was an individual thing where people had to sit and shoot themselves and upload the video, here it is about a team and the company. So we understand that difference and it is not that we’ve done something wrong or could have done better. It is a brilliant concept but at the end of the day the company has to come up and take the effort to participate.

What are the digital marketing efforts that you have put into this campaign?
For this particular campaign and even for our foray into the incentive travel segment, we’ve launched a website called Apart from that we have had a website for the ‘million dollar memo’ campaign since the day we launched. We are present on every social network site may it be Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. One important thing about our campaign is that the videos are being shared in a big way. So it is not just about putting up a video, people vote for those videos. And it has worked pretty well digitally as well.

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