Call it a ponderous challenge. We were asked to create international awareness for the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef – on a drop in the bucket budget. How could we get the world’s attention with that?


Could we execute a successful global tourism campaign with a budget of $1.2 million? As it turns out, yes – with a little creative thinking. The key insight we uncovered was that people don’t truly experience something unless they immerse themselves in it. And in terms of Queensland’s Islands of the Great Barrier Reef, a little-known slice of tropical paradise, the only way we could immerse people was to have them live there…or at least fantasize about living there.


    We decided to offer a prize that would capture everyone’s imagination. But this prize wasn’t a prize; it was a job – the Best Job in the World.


Who wouldn’t want to become the well-paid caretaker of the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef?

This legitimate, full-time, six-month position was advertised in classified ads around the world. And its jaw-dropping benefits were enough to make just about anyone take notice: a salary of about $8,800 a month, plus rent-free accommodations in a stunning three-bedroom waterfront villa, complete with a plunge pool and spacious eating deck.

Making the proposition even more astonishing was the fact that there was only one job requirement – writing a weekly blog post – and no other experience required. Any interested candidate was invited to submit a 60-second video application to www.islandreefjob.com. And let’s just say the interest level was high. Very high.


    This tantalizing job offer quickly became one of the most successful marketing campaigns of all time. On day one, www.islandreefjob.com received four million hits an hour. And that was just the beginning.


  • Within six weeks, over 34,000 video job applications were received from 197 countries, which means that at least one person from every country in the world applied. 
  • Enraptured fans and global media outlets followed the story as the applications were narrowed down to 16 finalists, all of whom were flown to Queensland’s Hamilton Island. 
  • Our website www.islandreefjob.com received 6,800,046 monthly unique visitors, with an average of 8.25 minutes spent on the site and 53,889,455 page views. 
  • The caretaker job – as well as the fanfare and excitement it produced – generated approximately 46,603 news stories and 231,355 blog posts.
  • All told, the campaign reached at least three billion people through mass media coverage, both traditional and social, generating an estimated $264 million in media value.
  • Over 475,000 votes were tallied for Wild Card applicants, and more than 4 million viewers tuned in for a one-hour BBC documentary about The Best Job in the World.
  • As Tourism Queensland hoped, global recognition of the location and beauty of Queensland’s Islands of the Great Barrier Reef was achieved in spades. 

    We’re not exaggerating when we say the “Best Job in the World” campaign was honored with a lion’s share of awards. Among the 35+ international accolades were eight prestigious Cannes Lions.