Tourism campaign a national finalist!

16 Sep 2022 |

16 September 2022

Southern Downs Regional Council is proud to announce that its 2021-2022 tourism campaign has been named a finalist in the 2022 B&T Awards in the category Best Regional Media Campaign.

The B&T Awards are Australia’s most respected and sought after marketing awards.  They attract big brands that want to showcase their product on a national stage. Judged by a regarded panel of marketers and industry experts, the awards are run in partnership with YouTube.

Council’s campaign promoted the region using the Southern Downs & Granite Belt tourism platforms and ran from January to June 2022. It hinged on an interactive quiz that invited participants to find out Which Iconic Southern Downs Trail Are You? and a competition that encouraged people to share their photos of the region using the hashtag #seeSouthernDowns.

With the launch coinciding with the reopening of travel borders, the nature-based campaign flipped the narrative on traditional tourism advertising campaigns and shifted the focus away from measuring metrics and impressions to truly engaging the end-user.

Brand awareness and advocacy led the implementation strategy and CEO Dave Burges said Council was excited to work with Toowoomba-based WÜLFE Marketing on delivering a unique campaign in an increasingly competitive market.

“There are many overused marketing strategies that result in a lack of creativity and a poor understanding of how to cut through the competitive landscape,” Mr Burges said.

“It was refreshing to work with a team that took into consideration the goals of Council’s Economic Development Strategy 2022-2026, Council’s Tourism and Events Strategy 2021-2025 and the creative guidance of the Communications and Marketing team to develop and execute an engaging experience for our valued tourism audience.”

The campaign delivered an overall growth of 43.6% on Facebook and 341.6% on Instagram for the Southern Downs and Granite Belt brand. The campaign was so inspirational that Tourism Australia, Queensland Health and Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) all shared the content to their social media platforms, further boosting the brand awareness of the region.

“It is encouraging to see that, despite some remaining impacts from COVID-19 and the triple hit of flooding in the first half of 2022, both the Warwick and Stanthorpe Visitor Information Centre statistics have continued to show a steady growth in visitor numbers to our region,” Mr Burges said.

“I look forward to building on the excellent work done by the team in the first half of the year as we head into summer and our ever-popular sunflower fields attract in visitors from near and far.

“Our officers have also paved the way for visitors and residents alike to access and explore our region through various platforms such as the new Visitor Guide, updates to the tourism website and ongoing improvement of the Tourism App.”

Council’s tourism brand, Southern Downs and Granite Belt, is managed in-house with dedicated tourism marketing activities delivered annually. Marketing activities generally include social media, direct marketing, advertising campaigns, printed collateral and content management.  Council also manages two Visitor Information Centres in Stanthorpe and Warwick. Recent updates to brand assets include:

  • Updated home page experience on the consumer website: www.southerndownsandgranitebelt.com.au
  • Delivery of an updated Southern Downs and Granite Belt Visitor Guide
  • Delivery of updated collateral for Visitor Information Centres including fact sheets, town maps and a z-card mini visitor guide
  • Updates to the promotional photo suite
  • Cross promotion of major events through Council’s corporate and tourism channels

The Which Iconic Southern Downs Trail Are You? campaign is up against industry heavyweights including Suncorp and Southern Cross Austereo for the coveted award which will be announced on Friday 4 November in Sydney. Visit https://www.bandt.com.au/bt-awards-2022-finalists-part-two for more.

Last edited date 16 Sep 2022