Remote Control Tourist campaign wins prestigious award for Tourism Victoria

Tour Victoria via remote control

In an internet-age twist on 'try-before-you-buy' marketing, would-be visitors to Victoria will be able to deploy "remote-control tourists" wearing webcams to sample activities around Melbourne.

Tourism Victoria's innovative $3.6 million "virtual tourist experience", dubbed the Remote Control Tourist, has won a prestigious award.

It has been voted Best in Show at the 35th Australiasian Writers and Art Directors Association (AWARD) Awards.

The unusual campaign was designed to attract digital-savvy travellers from interstate markets, including Sydney, to explore inner-city Melbourne's top attractions.

For five days in October, a group of people dubbed 'Remote Control Tourists' took to the streets on bicycles and foot, wearing helmets fitted with video cameras. They were deployed to the city's most popular laneways, bars and cafes.

Virtual, interstate tourists could request they visit sites via social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook – so they could 'try before they buy', via live streaming.

Tourism's Victoria's Remote Control Tourists ate hamburgers at Huxtaburger, sampled coffee at Gertrude Street in Fitzroy, traversed St Kilda's pier, climbed to the top of the MCG and visited King Kong at the Regent Theatre.

Remote Control Tourist beat Metro's 'Dumb Ways to Die', the most awarded campaign in advertising history. Online, the animated game is aimed at discouraging people from doing 'dumb stuff around trains' featuring creatures that have been sliced in three by trains after jumping on train lines.

Top adman and chairman of judging for the AWARD awards, Sir John Hegarty, said of the campaign that "creating something fresh that unlocks a genuine consumer advantage is rare.

"This idea utilises technology to deliver an experience that gives Melbourne a competitive edge.

"I wish I'd done it."

The campaign also gained international recognition at the 2014 South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Awards in Austin, Texas, taking out the Technical Achievement category.

It was part of Tourism Victoria's Jigsaw campaign, what they claim to be the longest-running destination campaign in the world, spanning two decades.