Tourism Victoria Engages Facebook Fans With Melbourne NOW

About Tourism Victoria Facebook contest 'Melbourne NOW' where it encourages Indians to visit Melbourne by showcasing some of the city’s most iconic events and experiences


Tourism Victoria encourages Indians to visit Melbourne in a fun Facebook contest showcasing some of the city’s most iconic events and experiences. Two winners and their partners will get a chance to fly to Melbourne courtesy Singapore Airlines and experience the city as per their preference. 

Tourism Victoria, the official government tourism body of Australia has been quite aggressive to get more Indians to visit Melbourne and Victoria. To this effect, it has been indulging in tempting contests to woo Indians on Facebook. How would you like it if your itinerary begins like this on day 1: Visit the world famous Melbourne Cricket Ground, then experience the exhilaration of cruising the open road on a classic Harley Davidson. Then get a bird’s eye view of Melbourne from Eureka Skydeck 88, the southern hemisphere’s highest public viewing platform. Finish your day with a luxurious and unique dining experience.

You can now fulfil your Melbourne holidays and win a 5-day all-inclusive trip with a chance to experience the Australian Open Tennis Championships, Australian F1 Grand Prix, the Twelve Apostles or dine at a MasterChef restaurant, amongst many more exciting stuff, through the contest app on the Facebook page. Also, every 10 days, a winner will be chosen on the basis of a lucky draw, who will win an iPad! Just ‘like’ the page before you begin.

There are 6 simple steps to entering the contest: In step 1, you choose your type of holiday whether it’s a romantic getaway or one with the family. The second step involves creating a photo album to plan your family fun holiday just as shown in the screen grab. You drag and drop 6 dream experiences from the given 20 onto the photo album. Every dream experience can be explored once you click the zoom icon on the pictures. You can even modify your photo album by deleting some experiences and replacing them with others. Once satisfied, go to step 3.

Step 3 involves choosing your once in a lifetime dream experience, the Melbourne NOW! experience among the given four mentioned earlier - Be centre court for the Australian Open Tennis Championships or Soak up the high-octane thrills of the Australian F1 Grand Prix or Dine at a MasterChef’s restaurant and indulge in the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival’s World’s Longest Lunch or Enjoy bird’s eye views of the magnificent Twelve Apostles from a helicopter.

Step 4 is where you can write a story of 500 characters that bring out why Melbourne is the ultimate holiday destination for you. Be sure to be creative here as it weighs on your winning chances.

Finally you register by giving away your personal details like phone number, age group, address, etc. The app will then create an itinerary based on the experiences you had chosen. Check out what’s in store for the 5 days in Melbourne and if you like it, click submit now or you can start the process all over again.

You can then share it on your wall or invite friends to vote for you. The ‘My account’ button displays a neat array of some very useful links along with your itinerary and creative reason to win it and the number of votes gathered. You can find travel agents in the country displayed on a map from where you can find the ones in your city, or you could know more of Melbourne in terms of its Arts & Culture, Nature & Wildlife, entertainment activities and more.

In addition, there is an option to play the game again in which case you will lose all the votes you had gathered for this itinerary. The leaderboard is an extensive one with the list of Top 5 Voted users, Top 5 Dream experiences and Top 5 Itineraries. ‘Prizes and how to win’ gives you complete information in addition to the T&Cs given at the bottom of the app.

How cool is Melbourne NOW?

Super cool! It takes a lot of effort on the drawing board to pack so many things into a Facebook contest app and still not confuse the user. I’m quite impressed with the app design and layout and give it extra marks for smooth navigation and instructions at every step of the way. The idea of letting the user explore Melbourne through visually appealing images accompanied by interesting description is a smart thing. And coupled with a tailor-made Melbourne vacation, the campaign rocks!

But best of all, I liked the right use of the platform - sharing on the wall and inviting your friends, the voting, everything added to get more out of the social network. The app was well tested though the only issue was with loading - either it took too long to load or conked off in between the steps. I’ve been trying to review this app since two days during which it had loading issues but today morning, it worked just fine. (yes, I have a decent broadband connection!)

Some time back in August, Tourism Victoria had indulged in a blogging contest with an Indian blogger community. The concept was similar - you had to blog your Melbourne dream vacation by going through a website to explore about Melbourne and create your own holiday story. But it had a gap in terms of integration with Facebook. It should have been tied up with this contest on Facebook for maximum impact of the Melbourne NOW effect!

Have you chosen your Melbourne itinerary yet? What do you think about the campaign? Do let me know in the comments below.