CategoryA07. Travel / Leisure
Idea Creation PUBLICIS Brisbane, AUSTRALIA


Name Company Position
Michael Branagh Tourism and Events Queensland Group Executive, Global Marketing
Kate Duffy Tourism and Events Queensland Marketing Program Leader
Shelly Winkel Tourism and Events Queensland Global Publicity Manager
Georgina Linton Tourism and Events Queensland Consumer PR Specialist
Julia Pavey Tourism and Events Queensland Marketing Program Leader
Millicent Ogden Herd MSL PR Strategist
Lauren Emmett Herd MSL Group Account Director
Bryony Czujko Herd MSL Senior Account Manager
Laura Beament Herd MSL General Manager
Jason Carnew Herd MSL Managing Director
Ryan Petie Publicis Worldwide Executive Creative Director
Tim Harding Publicis Worldwide Senior Creative
Adam Ferrie Publicis Worldwide Senior Creative
Peter Cvetkovski Publicis Worldwide Senior Creative
Dan Braithwaite Publicis Worldwide Design Director
Harleigh Reimer Publicis Worldwide Account Director
Sarah-Jane Ewing Publicis Worldwide Account Director
Vicki Lee Publicis Worldwide Head of Content and Broadcast
Simon Murphy Publicis Worldwide Executive Strategy Director
Simone Waugh Publicis Worldwide Managing Director
Britt Groom Publicis Worldwide Broadcast and Content Producer
Helene Thorsen Publicis Worldwide Strategist
Luke Stocks Publicis Worldwide Creative Studio and Production Manager
Amber Lawrence Publicis Worldwide Designer
Brad Lancaster Publicis Worldwide Developer
Juliano Xavier Publicis Worldwide Digital Project Manager
Jarrod Meakins Tourism and Events Queensland Content Planner
Tom Sanders Herd MSL Creative Director
Jessica Ward Tourism and Events Queensland Media and Partnerships Manager

Why is this work relevant for PR?

This is a campaign which has earned media at the heart of it. Driven primarily by a strong idea and a new brand partnership, its success is attributed to the power of earned media to disseminate it globally. The campaign represents the true power of earned media and the PR industry, to drive real results at scale against a significant business challenge – typically attributed to advertising and paid media.


The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is Australia’s most valuable natural asset, supporting 59,000 full-time jobs and contributing over 5.7 billion dollars to the Australian economy annually. Despite being home to an incredible collection of biodiversity, the impact of a series of natural disasters significantly shifted consumer perception of the GBR, with global media reporting that the Reef was dead. Misperceptions about the health of the Reef contributed to a decline in visitation by 1.9 percent – with the decrease primarily being from key Western markets including USA, Canada, UK, France, New Zealand and Australia. Tourism & Events Queensland (TEQ) knew latent demand for the GBR could be unlocked, by sharing more about the experiences available on the Reef. The brief was two-fold: 1. Shift media and consumer sentiment by resetting the conversation about the health of the Reef. 2. Drive awareness, engagement and action among travellers from key Western markets.

Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)

We needed to find a way of connecting consumers and media with the GBR like never before. Our idea was to develop the world’s first bookable rideshare submarine. A submarine would provide visitors with an unfiltered lens of the Reef in its authentic and natural state, through a world first bookable experience. We proposed a partnership with TEQ and Uber that would deliver global newsworthiness and scale: scUber. scUber enabled TEQ to inspire hope and pride in the Reef by connecting audiences directly with the national treasure through a truly unique experience. For TEQ’s partner, Uber, it provided the brand with a platform to promote its local sustainability efforts and new partnership with Citizens of The Reef. The opportunity to launch a world-first initiative also leveraged its innovative transport and technology credentials. More than just a vehicle to experience the Reef, scUber also doubled as a research vessel.

Describe the strategy (30% of vote)

Target audiences: High Value Travellers: Engage in leisure travel, spend more than the average traveller on leisure trips, and are aligned to Queensland’s competitive offering, indicating they are interested in having the types of leisure experiences Queensland has to offer. Target media: Tier one media outlets, with a focus on news and consumer titles from the key Western markets. Earned channels were predominantly used to drive engagement with the target audience and were supported by experiential, digital, paid and owned channels. There were two distinct phases. 1. Launch (May) scUber on Heron Island, Queensland on 23 May, 2019 via a global media familiarisation program, news-focused panel session and global asset dissemination. 2. Sustain (June) through a global competition to award six winners the opportunity to experience scUber on Agincourt Reef, Cairns & Great Barrier Reef from 10 June, 2019. Supported by an international earned media and content drive.

Describe the execution (20% of vote)

Implementation: 23rd May – 30th June 2019 - TEQ hosted 28 top tier media from six countries at the launch, which included a panel session with esteemed Reef experts to readdress the myths surrounding the state of the GBR. - scUber rides were experienced by a total of 90 people, including media, influencers and prize winners. They were educated and armed with first-hand accounts of the true health of the Reef, turning them into advocates. - A 48hr press office distributed news and assets globally driving mass awareness and impact through interviews, fresh content and storytelling. - A competition was held across six selected markets, driving further media coverage and engagement. - Competition winners’ scUber rides drove sustained coverage, including a marriage proposal by the Canadian winner on-board, extending the conversation in global press. - A drumbeat of proactive press angles and organic content broadened earned outcomes across key markets.

List the results (30% of vote) – must include at least two of the following tiers:

TEQ's scUber campaign became its most successful campaign to date, which is particularly significant given until now 'Best Job In The World' has held that position for ten years. It brought together tourism and technology partners to successfully change the conversation and sentiment around the Reef globally. Media Outputs: - 4,320 earned media placements including via national TV, print and online stories; - $130M+ earned media value generated; - More than 4.5 billion media impressions globally; - Over 15 hours of VNR vision downloaded and utilised by global broadcast media; - 95% of media stories about the Reef were positive or neutral in sentiment; This demonstrated that the educational GBR famils changed media perceptions and created strong advocates on our behalf. - Global campaign communication to over 91 million active users via in-app messaging and EDMs – a first for Uber; - Donation of $100,000 to Citizens of the Reef by Uber Australia, in addition to cost-matching all scUber rides booked. Target Audience Outcomes: Early indications suggest our goal to increase consideration and travel intent to the Reef among High Value Travellers in our key markets was achieved. This is shown through: - 152,524 competition entries globally over a nine-day period; - 796,908 website sessions from 23 May to 30 June (5.5 week period); - 88,893 leads to industry delivered from scUber campaign; - Most engaged social post to date on Uber’s official social accounts; - Social media conversation was three times more positive than pre-campaign conversation surrounding the GBR.


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