A triumph of Aussie branded entertainment

Campaign: No Leave No Life

Client: Tourism Australia, Southern Star Entertainment

Partners/agencies: SMG Red, Channel Seven, Carat, OMD, DDB



In December 2008 Tourism Australia, through Roy Morgan Research, had identified that Australians had amassed an incredible 121 million days of unused annual leave entitlements. One in four full-time Australian employees had 25 or more days ‘stockpiled’, which translated to $31 billion in costs sitting on the books of employers. The stockpiling was a big issue not just for the employees looking to maintain a healthy work-life balance, but also for company balance sheets with untaken leave accumulating on their books. This leave stockpiling was also potentially having an impact on domestic tourism with workers amassing leave rather than using it to take short breaks or longer holidays in Australia.

The research suggested that the key group most likely to be stockpiling were males aged 35 to 49, followed by male and female career-orientated 20-somethings and those working toward retirement. They were with organisations both large and small, in public and private sectors, with and without children and had various reasons for not taking leave, including increased pressure in the workplace and changing economic conditions. One key barrier, however, emerged: ‘Taking leave seems like more hassle than it’s worth’. Yet most understood the benefits of taking leave and saw it as positive and a chance to enrich their lives with new experiences.

But Australia was not high on the list as a destination for taking a holiday for various reasons, including ‘It’s always going to be there, so I will visit it later’, and perceptions about overseas destinations offering more attractive holiday packages and greater ‘talkability’.

So the key question facing Tourism Australia was how to encourage all those Australians to unlock some of their leave and, more importantly, use it to take a holiday in Australia. Tourism Australia identified a number of messages that needed to be communicated to Australian employees and employers, and for over nine months worked in collaboration with Southern Star Entertainment, Channel Seven, Carat and SMG Red. Later, OMD and DDB became involved to develop a branded entertainment property entitled ‘No leave no life’.

No Leave No Life


The key objectives of the campaign included:

  • raise the relevance and urgency of taking leave in Australia as a short break,
  • reduce the number of stockpiled leave days,
  • change perceptions to make it easy to take leave,
  • develop a platform that had greater consumer engagement than just advertising,
  • articulate the ‘No Leave No Life’ message in an entertaining and memorable way,
  • engage a younger demographic while maintaining broad base appeal, reaching more than one million Australians,
  • deliver marketing effectiveness and value for money deliver results to partners through travel content and promotions, and
  • promote domestic holidays as an integral part of the Australian economy.

Jamming with Jon


The strategy was to develop a branded entertainment program that appealed to a wide audience, which combined both highly creative content and production values to ensure it would secure a national primetime TV transmission.

Tourism Australia, state tourism organisations and Australian industry were brought together in a branded partnership to amplify the message. To extend the budget and reduce production costs, an airline partner was secured, and the TV content was repurposed for use on multiple platforms and to drive up viewing of videos.

The show was to be used as a catalyst for employer adoption, as a call to action to encourage the taking of leave days, with out-of-home advertising to reach commuters while in their daily travel routines, key city metropolitan press to target business sections, a social media and digital presence, ambient multimedia in office environments and promotional merchandise.

Tim Rosso Ross


Each series included seven 30-minute episodes, aired on Channel Seven over December and January at 6:30pm. Series one, in 2009, was presented by Ernie Dingo, series two, in 2010, by James Tobin, and series three, in 2011, by Tim ‘Rosso’ Ross.

The episodes included in-program promotions and weather links, and the station promotional spots were supported by paid media TVCs throughout the three series.

Campaign support:

  • Radio: Austereo and Australian Radio Network Mix FM competition, promotion, pop-ups, live reads, m-sites and spots,
  • Digital and social: Yahoo!7, YouTube, niche websites, campaign site,(www.noleavenolife.com), Facebook keywords, and travel and lifestyle portals and hubs,
  • Print: Fairfax’s Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, travel and trade publications, and the free No Leave No Life magazine,
  • Outdoor: Showcase, 24-footers, interiors and cross-track (Sydney), and
  • Public relations: targeting national trade, consumer, dailies, business and magazines.

Series three also included a ‘casting call’ promotion to take part in the program, a $50,000 Australian holiday competition with Virgin Australia, office tower TV in 432 office tower locations, and 150,000 overprinted coffee cups in 92 cafés nationally.

Footy with Issy


Key results for series one:

  • delivered a return four times the investment,
  • reached an average of 1.15 million viewers per week across five city metro and regional areas,
  • timeslot winner with average 33% share across five city metro free-to-air channels,
  • placed second in light entertainment series for Saturday nights, summer schedule,
  • $1.4 million media value in publicity and PR, with 71 media stories,
  • prompted brand recall jumped from 23% to 45% over seven weeks, and
  • won gold at the Media Federation Australia Awards 2010.

Series two:

  • delivered a four-fold ROI,
  • averaged more than 6.5 million viewers over the series,
  • timeslot winner with average 29% share, and
  • demographic winner for women over 35 years old – 34% average demographics over seven weeks.

Series three:

  • delivered a five-fold ROI,
  • first run attracted 5.82 million viewers in 2011 on Channel Seven, second run May to June 2012 on Channel Seven Two attracted 522,000 viewers,
  • 6.75 million-plus viewers over the series five city metro and regional areas,
  • was the timeslot winner with average 30% share including Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve across the five city metro free-to-air channels,
  • demographic winner for women over 35 years of age – 35% average demographics over seven weeks,
  • ‘casting call’ promotion generated a database of over 5000 entries in under two weeks,
  • seven state and territory tourism partners, as well as 60 industry operators partnered the series and contributed over $1 million directly towards the production,
  • Virgin Australia and the state and territory partners promoted the series through their own specific channels generating $500,000 of additional media value,
  • first ever Australian branded entertainment program to be recommissioned for the third time on primetime TV,
  • Virgin Australia holiday promotion delivered over 23,000 entries in four days,
  • Yahoo!7, YouTube and the campaign site were the most popular, generating over 32,000 views and over two million unique visits across all the sites, and
  • Mix FM launched Tim ‘Rosso’ Ross’ new radio show and a bonus campaign was negotiated including promotion worth $42,000 that reached 739,000 people.

Barossa Trike Tours

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