From time to time I like to call attention to tourism bureaus and marketers using creative visuals to reach potential visitors.
A recent example is Bushmills in Northern Ireland painting faux people and animals on abandoned houses and shops to make it appear the town is more prosperous than it actually is. And with tourism increasing, it seems to be working.
Queensland residents are encouraged to send in their photos for Jester to post on Instagram between September 9 and 15. (Lacking opposable thumbs, Jester will be aided in this endeavor by regional photographer and a park ranger, but he will apparently be barking out his choices.)
“By sharing their stories with the world, passionate local Instagrammers are essentially saying, ‘Next time you’re in Queensland, do as Queenslanders do,” says Steve McRoberts of Tourism and Events Queensland. “It’s all about connecting real Queenslanders with potential visitors and showing what life here is really like behind the scenes.”
Jester will be posting at least two photos each day during the week, “essentially marketing the scenery and events along Queensland’s coast,” according to the Brisbane Times.
Having twice been to Queensland — my favorite part of Australia — I can highly recommend it to baby boomer travelers.
Brisbane and Cairns are vibrant cities, but the coast and countryside provide the real magic there. I was especially enamored of the mostly unspoiled Daintree rainforest region in far north Queensland, where you can go on crocodile safaris; the golden-sand beaches north of Cairns; the procession of little Queensland “tidy towns” dotting the rolling inland hills; the area around Noosa on the Sunshine Coast, which has wonderful beaches and cliffside hiking trails; and of course the incomparable Great Barrier Reef and its islands.
But in this case I’m impressed that Tourism Queensland officials have caught on to the fast-growing marketing power of Instagram, a photo- and video-sharing app for Android and iPhones that already has 130 million users.
Owned by Facebook, Instagram has been likened to an “edgy version of Pinterest” and with the Web becoming more and more image-driven, it’s important for marketers to catch the Instagram wave.
As communications strategist Lisa Mabe puts it, “You better believe many of your competitors are already there. Whether you manage a grocery shop or a hotel, Instagram offers a uniquely graphic way of giving consumers a behind-the-scenes peek at your business.”
The barking Weimaraner is optional — but employing a puppy never hurts.
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