MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA — In a two-month campaign leading up to the Australian Open tennis tournament, Tourism Victoria and Clemenger BBDO are using a Periscope-enabled ball and game-play mechanisms to lure tourists to Melbourne.
The campaign, which aims to provide a live, "go-before-you-go" experience, launched in December and features a series of "games" over two months, leading up to the Australian Open.
Unlike the agency’s previously successful live-streaming campaign, The Remote Control Tourist (RTC), Play Melbourne Live doesn’t have a meticulously managed "war room" overseeing the live broadcasts and the overall campaign.
"It’s a bit of an experiment," said Ben Keenan, interactive creative director at Clemenger BBDO. "RTC was a gold standard for live-streaming campaigns, but the setup was completely different to what we’re doing now."
Rather than use custom live-streaming software and hardware like in RTC, Play Melbourne Live uses Periscope.
"We wanted to open things up a bit more," said Jonathan Pangu, group account director at Clemenger BBDO. "Looking at the audience and strategy, the campaign goes back to this idea of discovery and what tourism is about and giving people a chance to ‘go before they go.’ "
To make things a bit different, the campaign uses a Play Melbourne Live ball containing a phone that's enabled for Periscope inside a "sustainable and light cork structure," designed by a Melbourne-based design firm, Studio Periscope.
An open-source template for the ball is freely available online, allowing other cities across the globe to join Melbourne's game. "The ball gets a lot of attention on the street and at the same time makes people feel comfortable," said Keenan.
Similar to RTC, Play Melbourne Live plays out over a series of live-stream events called 'games' that strategically coincide with large-scale events. The campaign also uses influencers and handpicked hosts for the live videos on Periscope.
"These are true Melbournians, people who know Melbourne best and want to share it," said Keenan. "Adam Cinemre is a bit of Periscope star and has a lot of experience with it. He was a natural fit and guide to taking audience places in the city you wouldn’t normally see."
According to Keenan and Pangu, the campaign is primarily aimed at interstate travellers outside of Melbourne. While figures on the campaign can’t be shared yet, the agency said that the live streams on Periscope have also attracted an international audience.
"It’s a real mix of people and places. We have people from Istanbaul and Portland saying hello on Periscope," Keenan said. "Our international promotion is mainly PR based. Locally we’re using paid social media for pre-promotion as well as doing live countdown to each Periscope stream to publicize the ‘game’ that we have lined up."
The highlights of each live stream are also cut into a video. "Periscope is still quite a niche application so with the support of Tourism Victoria we are really experimenting with how to provide a great experience on the platform," Pangu added.
The latest games on Play Melbourne Live include an exclusive experience of an Andy Warhol and Ai Wei Wei art exhibition and a look at Melbourne’s vibrant restaurant scene with Australian celebrity chef George Calombaris.
The sixth and final Play Live Melbourne game will be the Australian Open tennis tournament, which kicks off on Jan. 20.
"It’s going to be a global event and on another scale," Pangu said. "We’ll have some interesting exclusive access and the campaign is building up to this. Play Melbourne Live will be able to provide a very unique point of view on this world class event."
This article first appeared on campaignasia.com.