Travel marketers need permission to be bold, says SA Tourism Commission executive director of marketing

South Australian Tourism Commission executive director of marketing, Brent Hill, has said it was the “permission to be bold” in his strategies that led to the 120-hour ad for South Australia which helped turn the state’s declining tourism industry around.

Speaking to travel marketers at the Mumbrella Travel Marketing Summit, Hill said the process began by reviewing the internal brand for the company: “We actually looked at our internal brand and it was really naff and nobody cared about it and it didn’t mean anything. We looked at it and said why can’t we have an internal brand that actually makes us feel good about coming in to work?”

From there, they developed a new internal brand of ‘win hearts, grow futures and change minds’, which Hill said was the kickstart to developing simpler but more dynamic campaigns for the company.

“If you have something like [the updated internal brand] it gives you permission to be bold. Because what we’re here to do is to win hearts, change minds, to look again at South Australia and come down and see it for themselves,” said Hill.

The first stage was the launch of the ‘Tell Us Where’ campaign, which saw the commission post images from South Australia without any branding and invited audiences to tell them where they thought it was. The locations were then revealed to be in South Australia.

Hill maintained that without the South Australia Tourism branding, consumers were forced to consider the images in a way they wouldn’t do otherwise.

“Once we had used that to get more leverage behind Adelaide and South Australia we were able to go straight in behind that with this Rewards Wonder campaign.”

The Rewards Wonder campaign was shot across five days, resulting in 120-hours of footage which was streamed on Youtube. The average watch time for each viewer was over seven minutes, far longer than other campaigns, and it generated a significant boost for both South Australian tourism but also the businesses featured in the campaign, Hill said.

“We had permission to be bold and I think that’s a really important thing, particularly in travel. You have to be bold to grab attention and get consumers to actually look at what you have to offer.”


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