As more people are making the Internet their primary source of information, it follows that many companies’ efforts to market their products and services have also shifted in that direction. Tourism and travel is no exception. “Modern travellers rely on online reviews, aspirational influencers, and social media imagery to narrow down their choices and expect value-added multimedia content,” according to an online marketing firm in Australia. To illustrate this point, let’s look into Tourism Australia’s 2018 campaign.
The Son of a Legend
The Federal Government of Australia made a big investment: officially launching Tourism Australia’s 2018 campaign with an ad disguised as a movie trailer during the Superbowl.
“Dundee: The Son of a Legend Returns Home” was teased in the weeks leading up to the Superbowl, and featured a star-studded cast of Australian Hollywood actors. The main character, played by an American comedian, goes on an adventure in Australia, going to tourist locales in search of his missing father, Crocodile Dundee.
Digital content engagement around Tourism Australia increased by 1256% compared to the weeks before the first teaser trailer dropped online. Australian Trade Minister Steve Ciobo declared the campaign a success, saying it generated over $30 million in free media.
While not every firm in the travel industry is expected to launch multi-million dollar campaigns, Tourism Australia’s ultimately successful strategy does give some valuable insights into the nature of online travel marketing. First, it pays to lean into travellers’ expectations. Previous unsuccessful attempts to promote Australia as a travel destination tried to buck international perception of the country as fun and care-free. By leaning into this image, 2018’s campaign generated more interest, which leads to audiences wanting to know more about the country.
It also shows that effective travel marketing campaigns harness social media and other online marketing techniques to increase engagement, which if handled correctly, converts into actual sales.