World's best job? Add sex, scandal for web marketing dream

Wed Apr 1, 2009 1:11am EDT
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By Belinda Goldsmith

SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - Tropical island. Eleven competitors. Osama bin Laden. Porn scandal. Prize? Best job in the world.

This is not a reality TV show, but a contest playing for real in Australia's Queensland state in an advertising campaign that highlights how more firms are tapping the power of social media such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, for marketing.

Tourism Queensland hit on a winner with a global campaign to lure visitors to the Great Barrier Reef by asking people to submit online video applications for the "best job in the world" - caretaker of a tropical island for six months.

As news of the job advert on spread, 34,684 people from more than 200 countries submitted 60-second video applications, which everyone could see, for the $150,000 position on Hamilton Island.

"It was just a great idea that captures everyone's imagination as they're sitting in a dreary office and it's raining outside," said Australian marketing analyst Tim Burrowes, editor of media and marketing website Mumbrella.

"It was already very PR and publicity-friendly but because of all the promotion through videos and file sharing in social media the idea exploded into something much bigger."

Along the way Tourism Queenland, a government body, received a hoax application from Osama bin Laden, and admitted it concocted the story of a woman in a YouTube video who tattooed an advert for the Great Barrier Reef on her arm to win the position.


<p>The fleet heads off in Race 1 at the Hamilton Island Hahn Premium Race Week off Hamilton Island in North Queensland August 20, 2005. REUTERS/Jack Atley</p>