Staff Reporters
Dec 5, 2013

CASE STUDY: How Tourism Australia used branded content to reach Malaysians

Branded entertainment met the aims of Tourism Australia and Malaysia Airlines by presenting the charms of a unique destination.

CASE STUDY: How Tourism Australia used branded content to reach Malaysians

People are bombarded with ads all day. The eternal question is, how do advertisers cut through? Pay-TV channel Life Inspired (Li), the go-to lifestyle destination for Asians that offers top quality entertainment across five complete aspects of an ideal lifestyle—food, home, travel, wellness and style—stands out in this regard as it provides advertisers with a unique branded entertainment platform. A recent campaign for Tourism Australia and its airline partner Malaysia Airlines demonstrated its effectiveness in reaching discerning travellers.

Aim

Tourism Australia wanted to reach out to Asian travellers, particularly Malaysians, by positioning Australia as a sought-after holiday destination. Popular among regional viewers who are predominantly the mass affluent, Life Inspired became the natural TV platform for Tourism Australia and Malaysia Airlines. To create an effective branded entertainment platform, Life Inspired produced a seven-part travel-adventure series, Jason Down Under, that conveyed a compelling brand message through special features on iconic attractions where viewers also got an opportunity to discover some hidden gems through Jason’s Australian journey. The main objective was to inspire travellers to embark on a journey to discover why there’s nowhere like Australia.

Strategy

Jason aired from 28 July to 14 September across the channel’s seven markets,  Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong and Taiwan. (The video below is a 30-second episode teaser.) It effectively took viewers up close with Australia’s breathtaking landscapes and nature experiences, Aussie hospitality and humourous encounters with locals, and delectable food and wine in New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia. The campaign focused on the following touchpoints: on air, online and social media and print.

To drive social media engagement, Jason posted live behind-the-scene photo updates of the places he travelled while filming on Instagram.

Also, prior to the series premiere, three teaser TV promo versions launched on Life Inspired and online, each highlighting one key feature of what makes Australia truly special, in line with Tourism Australia’s key campaign message. The first centred on Jason’s encounters with Australians, and their sense of hospitality; the second saw Jason capturing memories with his polaroid camera at a series of iconic attractions; and the third presented his truly Australian adventure.

In addition, a series of two-minute vignettes aired on Life Inspired to capture key attractions and activities from each of the seven episodes to give viewers a sense of what was to come from the full episodes. The vignettes continued to air alongside the series throughout the campaign period.

Life Inspired created a contest app on Facebook that ran for seven weeks from 28 July. Each week saw the release of two photos related to the current episode. Viewers had to answer all 14 questions correctly and complete the slogan ‘My favourite Jason Down Under moment is...’ after the final episode aired to stand a chance to win a trip to Australia sponsored by Tourism Australia and Malaysia Airlines. The app also contained Jason’s travel diary with pictures and addresses of the places he visited to help viewers prepare their own travel itinerary for their next Australia vacation.

To promote the series in print, Jason wrote a weekly article across seven weeks in Malaysian daily newspaper The Star, where he talked about his experience in the current week’s episode. For on-air promotion, Life Inspired aired episodic promos alongside two-minute vignettes as well as contest promo spots. Additional content ran on Astro’s Red Button interactive platform, which viewers could interact with while watching Life Inspired.

Results

The Jason Down Under Facebook ad campaign that ran between 21 August and 17 September reached a total of 1.3 million people, garnering over 3 million impressions, 19,000 clicks, and close to 3,000 page likes. Increased interest in travelling to Australia for a vacation was most prominent among adults aged 25-34. On top of that, the Facebook app contest drew close to 500 participants. Viewership for the series increased by 26 per cent among Malaysian adults aged 25-54, and viewership among affluent households more than doubled. The series seamlessly integrated Tourism Australia and Malaysia Airlines, exposing viewers to both brands in an engaging and entertaining manner. 

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