afaqs!

Dabbawallas lend Tourism Queensland a hand for its global 'Million Dollar Memo' campaign

By Surina Sayal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | April 26, 2011
The tourism board has joined hands with the famed Mumbai dabbawallas to reach out to corporates in order to take the MDM campaign to the next level.

Tourism Queensland, which launched a global marketing campaign called the Million Dollar Memo (MDM) last month, recently extended their association with the hugely popular Mumbai's dabbawallas. This was done in partnership with Thomas Cook India, and was intended to extend the message of the campaign to corporates and workplaces.

As part of this initiative, Tourism Queensland and Thomas Cook honoured the spirit of team work that the dabbawallas have come to represent. They were handed the MDM and became messengers of this global campaign.

What is the MDM campaign? As part of the campaign, Tourism Queensland has invited companies across the globe to compete for one million Australian Dollar worth of incentive travel experiences to Queensland, Australia. Employees need to send in a video entry that demonstrates why his/her company is a great place to work at and why Queensland is the ultimate reward destination.

Twenty entries will be shortlisted and a nominee from each company will represent it in a 10-day long Incentive Challenge Event in August 2011. The 20 finalists will tour Queensland and participate in a series of challenges located on the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Whitsundays and Tropical North Queensland. From here, the winning representative will take the prize back home for his/her company.

The competition primarily targets the key decision makers and influencers within the domestic and international companies/ corporations such as the CEO, HR, and sales and marketing personnel who reward their staff through incentive travel programmes.

And in this campaign, where do the dabbawallas fit in? In a rather interesting initiative in Mumbai, in one day, 1,00,000 office-goers received the MDM in their dabbas, encouraging them to participate.

Speaking on the association, Anthony Hayes, chief executive officer, Tourism Queensland, says, "The Mumbai dabbawallas have been the subject of many studies undertaken by students for the impeccable precision of their work which has been likened to Six Stigma standards. We are extremely thrilled at this unique partnership and are hoping it would evoke the same kind of excitement as it has globally."

Ryna Sequeira, marketing manager - India, Tourism Queensland, tells afaqs!, "We wanted the MDM to be on everybody's desk and spread the buzz about the campaign. What better way than dabbawallas to send across this message, as they symbolise team work. They fit in perfectly with the MDM campaign."

Globally too, such on-ground activities have been done where Korea witnessed a guerrilla street event, and in the UK, the Tourism Queensland employees, dressed in bowler hats and suits handed out memos in central London. Taiwanese taxis and the Taipei World Trade Centre have also been branded with MDM.

The campaign has received a good response from countries like Australia, the UK, USA, New Zealand, India, Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia, Sweden, Spain, Singapore, Romania, Poland, Philippines, Croatia, China, Germany, Russia, Switzerland and Korea till now.

The most recent figures suggest that the campaign website, www.milliondollarmemo.com has had 1,53,717 unique visitors with 7,56,589 page views, and 219,579 views of the video. It has received 87 video entries over a month's period.

While the campaign kicked off internationally on March 18, in India, the campaign was launched on March 25 with OOH formats like billboards, bus shelters and also OOH Media's digital screens in corporate parks in Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru being used to promote it. In publications such as The Economic Times, print ads have been inserted to reach out to the target group.

Considering how a dabba is indispensable to a Mumbai office-goer's life, the recent dabbawalla initiative, aims to bring the campaign closer to its target audience and increase the popularity of the ongoing MDM campaign.

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