The “Best Job in the World” has been filled.
A British charity worker will get paid $112,000 for the next six months to babysit and blog about a tropical Australian island.
Then he and 14 other contestants – and, really, we’re talking about reality TV meets global marketing – spent four days on Hamilton Island off the coast of Queensland, Australia, selling themselves. Oh yeah, there was a swim test too.
As much as we all would love to be Ben, the big winner here is Australian tourism. This was a brilliant marketing campaign at a bargain price of $1.3 million, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. The Queensland state tourism agency values the return at $110 million and counting.
"You couldn't get a decent mainstream national campaign for that amount of money, let alone a global one," said Nancy Hartley, creative director of Brisbane agency CumminsNitro, which developed the project for Tourism Queensland.
Of course no plan goes without a hitch – or two.
A dream job ad in the midst of a global financial crisis meant that their website – islandreefjob.com.au crashed in the early days. It was swamped by the demand.
So, the best job in the world is taken – for the next six months. But this campaign has been so successful at putting Australia's Whitsunday Islands on the map, you can bet that others will follow. It’s like the “Survivor” series.
My advice: Start polishing your video resume. There's bound to be an island caretaker job opening up in Tahiti.