Thursday, October 13, 2011

Best Job in the United States - Pure Michigan Contest Idea

Idea: State of Michigan Offers Best Job in the United States with Salary of $1 million/year for being a Michigan Tourist

I'm loving the Pure Michigan campaign. I think it has been great for my state's tourism economy. I've seen license plates from all over the United States, including a couple from Hawaii. I know, weird. Why would someone ship a car to the mainland when it would probably be cheaper to just rent one. Michigan has been really hard hit by the economic downturn, so I love when anything positive takes place in my state. While I think the Pure Michigan campaign has had great success, I think some creative social marketing techniques could take it to the next level. How? By creating a challenge that everyone will talk about.

There are probably a lot of ideas that would work, but I recall a couple of marketing campaigns that Pure Michigan could piggy-back off of. One being GE's Ecomagination challenge and another being Australia's "Best Job in the World" competition. In GE's challenge, contestants would post YouTube videos of their idea to make the world greener, the winning videos would win a large prize (I forget what exactly, $millions?). This created a lot of attention and competing videos received tens of millions of views.

The "Best Job in the World" was a similar concept, according to the linked story (paraphrased):
"An Australian state has launched a global search for candidates for "the best job in the world" -- earning a top salary for lazing around a beautiful tropical island for six months. The job pays 150,000 Australian dollars (105,000 US dollars)... In return, the "island caretaker" will be expected to stroll the white sands, stay in a multi-million dollar beach house, soak up the sun, snorkel the reef, "maybe clean the pool" -- and report to a global audience via weekly blogs, photo diaries and video updates."

Here is one of the video ads for the campaign, Tourism Queensland Seeks Applicants for the "Best Job in the World" - Island Caretaker

How could these ideas be used by Pure Michigan? 
They could advertise a "Best Job in the United States" YouTube video contest. Contestants could post videos of themselves talking about why they should get the position and why they want to experience Michigan. The videos that the most views would be entered in a final drawing by judges who would then choose the finalist. The finalist would get the "Best Job in the United States," which could include perks like a huge salary and traveling around Michigan to all the tourist spots. The only "work" the contestant would have to do would be writing a few blog entries on every week about their experience and maybe doing media interviews.

There could be a lot of other details, but this concept would create a lot of viral buzz around the idea. If the perks were good enough, news media would pick up the story for additional buzz. Imagine the headline, "Michigan Offers Best Job in the United States with Salary of $1 million/year for Touring Michigan". Something like that would become national news pretty quickly. With the country's attention being focused on the lack of jobs, something like this would have even more impact. People would notice a story about the best job in America.

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