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MyBBB social media campaign by My Destination

Tim Gibbon (Social Media Portal (SMP)) - 25 February 2013

MyBBB social media campaign by My Destination

Global travel resource My Destination shares how they launched and are running their 500K The Biggest, Baddest Bucket List (MyBBB) social media campaign

My Destination The Biggest Baddest Bucket List MyBBB social media campaignCampaign name: The Biggest, Baddest Bucket List
Brand / Agency: My Destination and Hills Balfour (the PR agency)
Audience:  Travel enthusiasts around the world
Duration: 28 January 2013 to 31 March 2013
Budget:  Approx. $500,000 USD
Channels:  A microsite, PR and social media
Results:  So far, entries from 80+ countries

SMP: The official campaign name and why was it chosen?

MD: The Biggest, Baddest Bucket List. The process of coming up with a name was actually one of the more challenging aspects of the entire process. We needed something that would stand out, capture people’s imagination, be easy to remember and have global appeal.

I think at one point we had a list of over 30 possible names. It actually ended up that we did not finalize the name until near the end of the process – actually defining all the details of the campaign first helped us to work out which name would fit best. In the end it became an easy decision – ‘The Biggest, Baddest Bucket List’ is a fun name, it gets people intrigued to find out more, it gives a sense of the huge scale of the prize and a bucket list is very much a phrase with growing popularity. It’s also fun and informal which is very much our personality. Another strong factor was also the fact we felt it made for a nice hashtag of #MyBBB.

My Destination The Biggest Baddest Bucket List MyBBB social media campaign want to win image

SMP: What was / is the start and end of the campaign?

MD: The contest opened for applicants on 28/01/2013 and closes on 31/03/2013. However, from then on there is a judging process and the eventual winner will be in early May. The winner will then travel the world from June to December and their entire journey is to be recorded and published online for people to watch. Therefore, end to end the campaign is from January to December

SMP: The target audiences of the campaign, who are you trying to reach and why?

MD: This is actually an interesting question since we’re aiming for the widest audience group to be interested in the campaign. This aim was something that we worked extremely hard to achieve. When we first started out the idea was simply to give someone the prize of going on an all-expenses paid adventure around the world for six months. However, we felt that this would actually limit the potential audience because of three reasons.

Firstly, how many people are able to just take six months off and go travelling? Secondly, how many people could go without any income for six months? Thirdly, even though the winner will be meeting locals in each destination, how many people would feel comfortable to be travelling solo. For these reasons we made the decision to make the contest even bigger and provide US$50,000 cash prize as well, which would make it possible for a far larger audience of people to apply and also make it possible that they could use some of this cash to have someone travel with them. The idea now is that almost anyone can enter.  This wide demographic is inline with our site’s target audience as travel is something that is universal.

SMP: Who can take part?

MD: This is open to anyone from any location in the world. The only requirement is they must be over 18 and have a valid passport to travel.

SMP: Briefly, tell us about your campaign

MD: The Biggest, Baddest, Bucket List is the best travel contest you have ever heard of. Up for grabs is six months of all expenses paid travel to six continents and 25+ international destinations. Pretty huge right?... Oh, and there is a US$50,000 cash prize as well! What’s the catch I hear you say? Well, while travelling you’ll need to write about it, video it and take photos so your journey can be shared with others… not much of a catch!

SMP: What are the goals / objectives of the campaign and why is it different?

MD: I would say there are three main goals for us.

Firstly, and I put this here to not beat around the bush, this is a marketing initiative for us and so the most important thing we are looking for is brand awareness. This whole idea stemmed from how should we start to market ourselves. We wanted to do something on a global scale to great effect, but we don’t have the marketing budget of a huge multinational company. So we came up with this to be a really clever way to leverage everything we were great at in a way to do something amazing, which would then become easy to market since people would be so captivated by it that they would spread the word for us.

Secondly, we wanted to create content. To enter the competition we are asking people to submit a 3 minute video in which they take us on a tour of their destination, a 500 word blog post that tells us of their most interesting travel experience, and 3 original photos. This is creating some amazing content, just 3 weeks in and we already have entries from over 80 countries.

Lastly, we wanted to show how friendly a place the world is and how fun and interesting travel is. This is closely related to the previous point, and it’s amazing to have all these videos submitted by people where they are showing us why they love where they live and why we should come and visit. I suspect it will dispel many misconceptions about some places and will surprise people with locally known secrets about others. It’s about showing how local knowledge is the best kind of travel advice you can get. All this ties in nicely with our brand because My Destination is powered by a network of more than 250 local experts!

SMP: What are the channels, platforms and methods you’re using?

: This campaign is taking place all online on a specifically created microsite at We are then using online avenues for the largest part of our marketing efforts. Social media outreach has been one of our best, and a lot of effort has gone into identifying the influencers and then contacting them to request they share with their followers.

A good example of this would be @frugaltraveler  – a journalist at the New York Times with 300k followers who was kind enough to tweet about our contest, who said in the tweet that he was breaking his rule on promoting contests, just this one time. That is the benefit of having made the contest so big and amazing at it’s undeniable. We also put huge efforts into researching individual people that we thought would be potential entrants. A few exampled would be we researched to find details of people that had entered previous online contests, we researched vloggers on YouTube, and we researched travel bloggers. All in all we pulled together a list of thousands of people we could outreach to as potential candidates.

My Destination The Biggest Baddest Bucket List MyBBB social media campaign mcirosite imageSMP: What are the results so far?

MD: Just three weeks in to the contest and we’ve achieved global coverage on TV, radio, print and online. We’ve had people visit the microsite from more than 165 countries and we’ve already had applications from 80+ countries. This is with more than five weeks still to go. It did take a little while to get momentum building, which if I am honest did have us a little worried at first… but we soon realised it was because so many people were taking their time to create their entry since the scale of the prize warrants quality entries. So, now the rate of entries seems to be snowballing and the momentum is just growing each day to the extent that it’s beyond our wildest expectations.

SMP: How are you measuring activity and success?

MD: This is a slightly tricky one as we do actually have several layers of benefit that might not be so apparent on the outside. I won’t go in to all of them, but two examples would be that we’ve been able to collaborate with local tourism boards and build relationships with them in a far greater way that we have been able to do before. Then we have also received three requests from new destinations, which we don’t yet cover for people to become our partners and open up an office for us in those destinations.

However, as I said earlier, one of the first goals for us was brand awareness and so we would judge this to a large degree on how much brand awareness growth we are able to achieve, which for us would then most likely result in more users to our site. As many people are aware the SEO benefits take time, but we’re keeping a good watch on this.  On top of all this there are the rudimentary measures of the number of visits and visitors to our site.

SMP: What is the budget used for the campaign?

MD: When you take into account what we at My Destination HQ have done, our teams on the ground and our partner companies then the total budget is somewhere around US$500k. It was seven months’ of work before we launched on the 28th January. We started this business six years ago and have just been somewhat quietly building our product. We had never previously done any global marketing campaigns at all and so we have put an incredible amount of effort into this.

SMP: How are you making the campaign social?

: Our campaign is naturally the type of thing that gets shared on social media. However, there is particularly one important social aspect that we wanted to have from a marketing perspective as well as also from a getting public opinion perspective. We are going to have 10 finalists in our contest who will then be interviewed in order to pick our eventual winner. To get the 10 finalists we will be having out office pick half of them based purely on the merit of the entry. However, for the other half of the finalists we are opening it up to the general public to tell us which entrants they like the most.

This happens through what we are calling social voting. So the more social media mentions they get for their entry then the more votes they have. To encourage this we also provide each entrant with a badge that links back to their entry page. This badge promotes their entry in order to get more votes. We provide the code snippet so that entrant can include this badge on their own website and any other website.

SMP: What is Hills Balfour doing in terms of PR and social media support?

MD: Hills Balfour is working with My Destination to generate a media buzz around the campaign, here in the UK, as well as in Australia, USA and Canada, through radio interviews and press coverage. Hills Balfour has also supported the campaign by speaking to bloggers and freelance journalists to encourage them to enter the competition.

SMP: Are there any dedicated hash tags or social media profiles for the campaign?

MD: The hastag is #MyBBB and the social media is being done through the main My Destination channels which are:

Twitter @MyDestination

SMP: Where can we see it (oh go, tell us again….)?


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