Remote Control Marketing

Victorian Tourism has launched a new marketing campaign today called Remote Control Tourist. And as always there is something that the theatre can take from this cool initiative – but they need to join the queue because King Kong is already doing it!

Remote Control Tourist

The new Remote Control Tourist campaign is pretty much explained by the title. Between 12pm and 8pm every day until the 13th of October there will be two people walking around Melbourne wearing a video camera to live-stream their experiences on the streets to many people around Australia and across the world. But there is a catch.

Unlike most marketing stunts which are highly controlled, you step into the control box and direct these tourists by asking them to check out certain areas. It is pretty cool and I wasted a lot of time today interacting with these tourists over Facebook – and if you get a kick out of playing ‘Puppetmaster’ then this stunt is definitely going to appeal to you.

To check out what the tourists are up to, visit

But here’s where the cool marketing comes in.

Throughout today’s adventure the two tourists have been investigating a whole lot of places in Melbourne’s CBD including joke shops, galleries, bookshops and bars. And the selections that the remote controllers have chosen certainly show off the diverse and eclectic range of shopping and entertainment available – yes, even Wünderkammer made an appearance!

Some businesses have just left the recording tourist to browse on their own, but others have taken great advantage of the opportunity. Because, let’s face it, having this tourist in your store is like getting a free (and extended) television advertisement that can actually interact with the current online audience as they ask questions over Twitter and Facebook.

Today, one of the tourists visited a magic shop and in my opinion, the girl behind the desk deserves a huge pay rise. She saw the opportunity to promote her wares and she went for it! Not only did she show off an impressive range of magic tricks, but she allowed the tourist to participate and even try some out for himself. All in all, it was a very impressive advertisement for the shop and if I am ever bored in Melbourne’s CBD I know where I will be going.

And this is where the opportunity arises for the theatre. King Kong appeared in the promotional video for this publicity stunt as the recording tourist cowered under a ferocious Kong and I hope they have booked a follow up appearance at some point over the next four days. Because what better way to encourage people to come down to Melbourne from around Australia and buy tickets to the show than have this tourist interacting with Kong live on stage while interested observers get the opportunity to ask questions (and have them answered straight away).

It is a great way to allow people to interact with the stage show while also giving them a reason why they must visit Melbourne on their next holiday.

So if I was putting on a show in Melbourne at the moment (yes, Melbourne Theatre Company and the Arts Centre . . . I mean you), I would certainly be offering the opportunity for this tourist to go behind the scenes.

Don’t worry Broadway, I haven’t forgotten you. I have some cool ideas about how you could use this marketing stunt . . . but you will have to check back later in the week to find out!

UPDATE: As I wrote this, the tourist was heading out to the Northcote Social Club where he was meeting a band, The Basics, who were playing gigs on Yarra Trams that night (sponsored by City of Melbourne). Not only did the band get the opportunity to promote their upcoming shows, but they got to show off for the camera performing acoustic versions of their songs. Talk about an awesome free ad!