CANNES: Tourism Queensland has been awarded the Grand Prix in the direct marketing and PR categories at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, for its campaign based around ads for "The Best Job in the World".
Nitro in Brisbane developed the idea of asking consumers to apply for a job as an "island caretaker", with the successful candidate receiving a "salary" of £73,000 (€52,550; £44,784) as well as the chance to spend months living in an idyllic setting.
Initially, the campaign focused on placing classified ads in newspapers around the world, asking applicants to upload videos to a website explaining why they were the best person for the job.
Tens of thousands of people "applied" for the role, and Tourism Queensland reported that the free PR generated by communications equated to £49 million of paid-for media space.
MaryLee Sachs, a judge of the PR Lions and worldwide director of marketing communications at Hill & Knowlton, said "the idea had so much scalability to be a global idea that all the judges had seen and heard of it no matter where they came from."
"The PR element was the enormous coverage, online and offline, it generated and the direct engagement the campaign made with consumers," she added.
Among the other Gold winners in the direct marketing category was The Great Schlep, a viral effort by Droga5 in New York, starring comedienne Sarah Silverman and encouraging Jewish voters to support Barack Obama's bid for the White House.
T-Mobile's Dance campaign from the UK, developed by Saatchi & Saatchi in London and featuring a "flashmob" performance by 350 dancers in Liverpool Street Station in the city, received a similar honour.
Procter & Gamble's Protecting Futures – a wide-ranging initiative aiming to heighten awareness and provide education about issues surrounding feminine hygiene in Africa – also picked up a PR Lion.
Beacon Communications in Tokyo received the Grand Prix in the Promo category for its entry for the Yubari resort, with a further nine golds, nine silvers and 24 bronzes being awarded in this sector.
Data sourced from Media Guardian/Cannes Lions; additional content by WARC staff