Cannes Lions

WOTIF The Big Melon


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Demo Film
Presentation Image






The Wotif brand started in a Brisbane garage in the year 2000, as Australia’s first online travel site. Nearly 20 years later, much has changed in Australia’s travel landscape, which is now an extremely crowded, highly-competitive market.

With a limited marketing budget, the brief was to develop a creative marketing approach to cost-effectively launch Wotif’s new brand platform ‘Aussie for Travel’, in a meaningful and impactful way.

Wotif wanted re-emphasise and demonstrate their credentials as an authority on domestic travel, and in doing so, build irrational brand preference.

Specifically, we wanted to show that Wotif understood Australia, and Australian travel, better than anyone else in the category.


It’s a little hard to explain to anyone that’s not an Aussie, but there’s nothing more iconic to Australian travel than the ‘Big Things’.

The ‘Big Things’ are a cultural phenomenon Down Under. A collection of over 150, man-made, loosely-related, large structures across the country in every state and territory, they are an iconic part of Australian tourism. The Big Banana, the Big Sheep, the Big Beer Can . . . the list goes on.

Our research revealed that 90% of Aussies have visited a ‘Big Thing’ in their lifetime, and the average traveller has visited five ‘Big Things’. They are an inherent part of Australian culture and travel.

Armed with this data, we created a campaign that would harness Aussies’ love for ‘Big Things’, asking the public to have their say in choosing Australia’s ‘Next Big Thing’, which we would then build and gift to the winning town.


Given our desire to stand out in a competitive market, our strategic objective was to put Wotif “on the map”. Little did we know that’s exactly what we’d end up doing . . .

With our positioning of being the brand that understands Australian travel like no one else, we set about finding the best way to own that position in Aussie travellers’ minds.

Crucially, we couldn’t spend our way to owning that position; we needed to be clever and cost-effective. As such, we wanted to create talkability and leverage earned and owned media, so we collaborated to form an integrated PR and Social Media-led strategy.

The strategy was to generate news that overtly demonstrated that we totally understood the unique charm, appeal and idiosyncrasies of Australian travel.


We ran a nationwide competition to find the ‘Next Big Thing’. Australians responded with suggestions via a competition website and on social media channels. We then mocked up the best ideas to give Aussie’s a taste of what the ‘Next Big Thing’ might look like in real life. And then we got Aussies to vote.

We also ran an influencer engagement program with over 20 macro and micro influencers – including iconic Aussies like the Bondi Lifeguards - helping us drive conversation around the campaign.

Local councils, tourism boards, and the media, all got involved, prompting local communities to throw their support behind getting their very own ‘Big Thing’.

Finally, Wotif revealed the winner: The Big Melon in Chinchilla. A six-metre watermelon was unveiled during a melon party in the rural Queensland town, where it now takes pride of place as Australian newest ‘Big Thing’, and Australia’s latest tourist attraction.


The campaign drove results in two key areas:

1. Awareness

The campaign reached 5.8 million people on Facebook - almost a quarter of the Australian population.

The earned media campaign reached over 200 million people, through more than 2,000 media articles, spanning major national and international outlets.

The number of votes we received during the shortlist phase was equivalent to 70% of the population of the shortlisted towns (over 23,000).

Most importantly, Wotif enjoyed a 7-point lift in prompted brand awareness, and a 5-point lift in brand consideration. Which even reversing the ‘typical’ seasonal decline.

2. Recall

In our Facebook Brand Lift Study running during this campaign, we delivered a lift of a 13.6 point in campaign awareness, an 8.9 point lift in ad recall, and a 3.9 point lift in top of mind brand awareness, outperforming vertical and regional norms across all three metrics.

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