In alignment with VisitCanberra’s global marketing platform, One Good Thing After Another – which centres on Canberra’s great diversity of visitor experiences and their close proximity to one another – our primary objective was to increase awareness of Canberra as a short break destination and ultimately drive visitation to Canberra.
Forget the media kit
A secondary component of our brief was to deliver a non-standard execution. We were instructed to forget the media kit and deliver something different, eye-catching and engaging… something that would stand out among “the clutter of destination marketing”, in the highly competitive tourism industry category.
Always on mobile
Finally, our campaign would need to be delivered through the most relevant media to VisitCanberra’s target audience. This component of the brief called for digitally led, always on activity, with a strong mobile-targeted component.
To inspire potential visitors to consider a short break to Canberra, we decided to ask our audiences in VisitCanberra’s key markets (Sydney and Melbourne) to choose their own adventure.
Our core idea was to invite users to tell us a little about their perfect Canberra weekender. In exchange, we would recommend a tailored itinerary of Time Out-endorsed attractions, restaurants, bars, cafés and hotels. This took the form of a custom-built microsite: timeout.guru/canberra
The mobile-first microsite would then be supported by a suite of on- and off-platform Time Out media, including comprehensive travel hubs in Sydney and Melbourne, targeted Facebook video and Instagram campaigns, newsletter promotion, premium display takeovers, and more.
With timeout.guru/canberra as the campaign funnel, we targeted users with an interest in VisitCanberra’s key verticals through a cross-platform campaign.
Once users had arrived at the .guru site, we asked three simple questions: “What are you into?”; “When are you coming?”; “What’s your budget?”. Their answers feed into the timeout.guru algorithm which presents users with their bespoke itinerary. Better still, we then offered each user the opportunity to win their itinerary – an all-expenses-paid trip to the capital – by simply emailing their itinerary to themselves, from within the site.
This competition mechanism provided VisitCanberra with three forms of valuable, actionable user data:
- Insight into potential visitors’ seasonal preferences, activity choices and budgets
- Analytics from engagement with the Time Out recommendations (the popularity of specific activities, venues and hotels)
- First-party declared email addresses for follow-up
Supporting print campaign ran in both Time Out Sydney and Melbourne magazines.
Custom designed and built microsite to inspire audiences and maximise data collection.
High impact takeovers were strategically targeted across desktop and mobile sites.
Time Out newsletter
Audience engagement with our original content, the microsite and the competition were driven through bespoke and weekly newsletters across Sydney and Melbourne.
Competition curation, creation and management. Our prize – the lucky winner’s tailored itinerary – was promoted across all platforms.
The digital content was reproduced across four editions of Time Out Sydney and Melbourne magazines.
A suite of original video content was created and targeted to relevant audiences through Facebook and Instagram.
Time Out drove travel-curious couples and young families to engage with the microsite via Facebook.
We rolled out our original video content to engaged Time Out audiences in Sydney and Melbourne.
Time Out says...
Given the distinct overlap in audience between Time Out and VisitCanberra, partnering with them is always a blast. Their ongoing One Good Thing After Another marketing platform aligns quite wonderfully with Time Out’s core mission – to inspire our audience to lead a richer life, to know their city, and to have more fun.
But rather than simply relying on our shared values and scale of audience to do the heavy lifting, VisitCanberra pushed us to challenge the conventions of traditional destination marketing. Our diversified response to this brief – via custom microsite, digital hubs, video, competitions and more – was the result of two things: the creativity and execution delivered by the Time Out team; and perhaps more pertinently, working with a progressive, like-minded partner.
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