Two of WA’s leading influencers have become ‘unfluencers’ while travelling in Esperance, deliberately not posting about the region’s incredible attractions as part of a unique new tourism campaign developed by 303 MullenLowe and Mediahub Perth.
Showcasing Esperance as the perfect antidote to an always-on city life, the new integrated campaign using the ‘So Far, So Good’ tagline aims to promote travel to the region in the quieter Autumn and Spring seasons, positively highlighting its distance as a way to truly disconnect.
To kick the campaign off, local WA influencers Rahnee Bransby and Zak Hasleby have been visiting the region, experiencing everything it has to offer with family and friends. But in a campaign twist, they pledged not to post or use social media, giving them the chance to truly disconnect, and instead connect with the location and people they are with - becoming unfluencers in the process.
303 MullenLowe’s Head of Strategy John Linton explains: “We’re constantly connected to our technology – the dopamine drip of social media, the endless alarm of news alerts, and the constant pull of a workplace that’s always within arm’s reach. But increasingly, we’re not connected to the aspects of real life and the people within it that are most important to us. And this is where Esperance comes in. It’s the perfect place to disconnect in order reconnect with what’s most important.”
Mediahub Perth General Manager Kylie Macey said “Esperance already has incredible online exposure; it was recently ranked 12th in the world for internet love and has thousands of tagged photos across different social platforms. Because Esperance is already so well-known across the globe, pursuing further online fame was not a priority. That’s why the idea of getting influencers not to post became so powerful because it goes against what has already been happening for years. However, the challenge then became about reaching target audiences through other means.
“Talking about the impact the social media ‘break’ had on our unfluencers has also generated strong conversation among people that might otherwise only see the classic ‘beach shots’ that Esperance is so famous for. Taking away the ability to post while visiting Esperance also meant we found other ways to reach our audiences, with radio, owned and earned media and fast to market content becoming more of a focus. We’re excited to see how far and wide the reach of our unfluencers will be.”
303 MullenLowe and Mediahub Perth’s remit included strategy, creative, media, production (with partners) and PR, with campaign elements including social, radio and video. Built on culturally relevant moments, the campaign incorporates fresh Esperance video and static content, developed almost as it happened.
A partnership has also been forged with Nova 937. Breakfast host, Nat Locke (who’s also an Esperance local), checked in with the unfluencers before and after their trip, with Nova also encouraging all of Perth to ‘Pledge to Not Post’ to go into a draw to win an all-expenses-paid trip to Esperance. Both the campaign and competition will be promoted through the partnership, in addition to social media.
Speaking about the experience, unfluencer Rahnee Bransby said: “It was definitely hard. I’ve been in this industry for seven years of my life, so not having my phone there to shoot was interesting… and a little bit uncomfortable. I just had to reassure myself that all the precious memories that I made were going to be locked up (in my head) and not in my phone. And I think that’s really beautiful because it’s something special that Shani (Rahnee’s travel companion) and I can hold on to, just for ourselves.”
The unfluencer campaign was developed for regional tourism organisation Australia’s Golden Outback (AGO). 303 MullenLowe and Mediahub Perth previously worked with representatives of AGO as part of the ‘Queens on the Edge’ campaign to promote the South West Edge. AGO CEO Marcus Falconer said because Esperance was already known across the globe for its beaches, it was important also to support all of the region’s businesses and tourism operators, and promote a broader picture of what the town had to offer.
“There are so many incredible regions within WA to visit, sometimes it’s hard to differentiate between all of them. But what makes Esperance particularly special is its distance. Yes, it’s a long way from Perth. Yes, its internet is sometimes patchy. But it’s also a place where people can go to breathe, and enjoy both an incredible region while connecting with loved ones and nature. And that’s what this campaign communicates so effectively, that it’s so far – it’s good. We can’t wait for people to put their phones away, and see for themselves.”