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Sydney Morning Herald’s Ultimate Traveller


Sydney Morning Herald’s Ultimate Traveller



In November 2008, smh.com.au relaunched their travel section as ‘Traveller’ in keeping with their print counterpart. The aim was for the online content to benefit from the print heritage and enrich the online offering with original features. The new section included tips, blogs and photo/video galleries on travel. Content was searchable by keyword, map, activity or holiday type.

This launch presented a promotional marketing opportunity for Traveller, The Sydney Morning Herald and smh.com.au. It would be Fairfax Media’s biggest ever integrated competition: Ultimate Traveller.

Brand: smh.com.au and The Sydney Morning Herald
PR Agency:
Red Agency


Given the scope of the promotion, we set our objectives high:

  • Attract 30,000 new members to the network
  • Drive sales for The Sydney Morning Herald
  • Increase unique visitors/page impressions for smh.com.au
  • Grow brand Traveller brand awareness across both print and online channels, and
  • Increase subscriptions to smh.com.au’s Traveller newsletter.


Every day in March a luxury holiday for two was given away to some of the worlds most sought-after locations such as New York, Paris, Bangkok, Italy and Barcelona. The prize package included airfares, accommodation, transfers, $2,000 spending money and luxury extras. The competition ran in conjunction with the Preferred Hotel Group, Qantas and Be Interactive.

The competition required readers of The Sydney Morning Herald or Sun Herald to find a daily code word in the paper and enter the competition online at smh.com.au/ultimate. This strategy encouraged consumers to engage with The Sydney Morning Herald and smh.com.au.

To drive further exploration of the site, readers could gain an additional entry by searching for a bonus code elsewhere on the site. The bonus entry was limited to one per day to preserve the incentive to purchase The Sydney Morning Herald.

Existing members of Fairfax Digital simply needed to login to enter and people who weren’t yet members needed to sign up – driving new members to the network.

Once consumers entered the competition, they were encouraged to spread the word and gain an additional three entries by inviting friends to enter, helping the campaign go viral. This element further increased the unique browsers and page impressions of smh.com.au.


In the lead up to the campaign launch, a promotional wrap-around banner was designed with images of the 31 prize locations to go around the Traveller liftout in The Sydney Morning Herald.

A competition microsite was developed that was highly visual and interactive – displaying various holiday destinations with the main visual focusing on the daily Ultimate Traveller destination.

A TVC was created that featured opulent, luxury destinations that The Sydney Morning Herald readers could escape to. The ads ended with a direct call to action: pick up the paper for your chance to enter. The visuals in the TVC and throughout all aspects of the campaign demonstrated the luxury destinations people could win trips to – appealing to Fairfax Media’s affluent demographic.

The TVC campaign was supported by radio live reads on the Australian Traffic Network, as well as print advertisements and cover page editorial pointers in The Sydney Morning Herald every day. Online ads ran on smh.com.au and an electronic direct mail was sent to a database of interested travellers residing in New South Wales. Search marketing was also part of the campaign including search words from the TVC and radio ads to capture people who picked up some of the campaign messages.


The Ultimate Traveller campaign far surpassed all expectations and goals, achieving over 620,000 total entries during the promotional period, exceeding targets by 400%. The campaign attracted nearly 50,000 new members to the Fairfax Digital network.

The campaign demonstrated that Fairfax Media’s target audience identifies the traditional print version of The Sydney Morning Herald and online, smh.com.au, as one brand with a rich heritage and trusted reputation.


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