How Melbourne changed tack and sold its charms on a global stage

Andrea Sophocleous

What happens when your destination brand seems in danger of losing its shine as other cities pick up their game? It might be time to hand over the reins to the geeks and alert a global audience to the unique charms of your city.

Tourism Victoria was three years into the "Play Melbourne" brand campaign, promoting the allure of the Victorian capital to Australians and international travellers, when it launched the "Remote Control Tourist" initiative in October 2013.

The five-day web experience saw four Melbournites don live-streaming cameras on their heads to carry out the wishes of internet users from around the world – in real time. The aim was to provide potential visitors with the opportunity to explore the depths of Melbourne's experiences before they visit – or, as the campaign asserted, "go before you go".