Home > Video and Social Media > 5 Reasons Why #GeelongReinvented failed as a Tourism Video | Video Marketing Strategy UNDEAD

5 Reasons Why #GeelongReinvented failed as a Tourism Video | Video Marketing Strategy UNDEAD

Whether Geelong’s $37,000 “tourism movie” featuring Mayor Darryn Lyons is an “insult to all of us” as judged by independent marketing experts, journos and our local MPs or a “cut through, be different, and change the perception of the city” as Mr Roger Grant and Mayor Darryn Lions stated, is the major topic that occupied media since the release of the video.

The far important issue for me is the questionable (if existent at all) VIDEO MARKETING STRATEGY and overall marketing strategy for Tourism Greater Geelong and The Bellarine.

If basic rules of any video marketing strategy are to answer the following questions, then how did we end up with these zombies!?

  • PURPOSE or OBJECTIVE > Determine what your video will accomplish (and for whom).
  • AUDIENCE > Exactly who you are making this content for? (This hides one of the biggest reasons why this video / campaign failed.)
  • MESSAGE > What your audience should take away? And from Message a CALL TO ACTION should be derived. (Very confused message and strange Call to Action).

If these steps were followed and just common sense used, then video or better to say videos (I’ll explain soon) will look completely different. I absolutely agree with Ms Sarah Henderson, Federal member for Corangamite that said:

“The concept was fundamentally flawed.”

Her idea of a competition to promote the region using videos submitted by the public is much better then what Mr Lyons and Mr Grant delivered.

To make thing even more bizzare, Mayor Darryn Lyons, in his response said: “Robot Army (video production company behind the video) are a great bunch of kids and they asked me to be in this, I said yes, because I always do what I can to help Geelong.” What!?






Is he hiding behind the “great bunch of kids” now, or he’s just telling us with “Mayor out of the box” (in his own words) – we get Strategy out Through The Window?

Is that a strategy? Can Mayor explain to us, how someone walks into the Mayor’s office and ask for $37,000 project? And finally; was this a project of City of Greater Geelong and Tourism Greater Geelong and The Bellarine or project by “bunch of kids”.

Mr Roger Grant also mentioned when defending this video, a research that lead them in developing this video. I’d like to see connection between that research and the strategy for the video. He also constantly refers to number of views the video is projected to get and how great that is. Who ever is a little bit longer involved with video marketing, knows that view count is not be all and end all in video marketing. It can’t it be a purpose for itself as a final goal of any serious video marketing campaign. To base your KPI solely on number of views is just not good enough. What about number of leads, click through rate and other parameters?

The only way a number of views can be crucial is, if the objective of this video was to promote and raise the profile of Mr Lyons as Mayor of Geelong. Like with any typical stunt from a celebrities where any publicity is good publicity, and “look 1 mil people saw my crazy video” can only be beneficial to celebrities like Miley Cirus and many others, the same rule doesn’t apply to company and organisation brands.

Only in that case we can say, yes, mission accomplished, huge exposure, I’ll book more for next concert or whatever. The video is geared towards the same audience, audience that prefers stunts over substance and it is not a surprise that it will reach big numbers. My teenage son loves the video, he also loves this video below (and it’s nothing wrong with that, we were all teenagers and most of us liked that “cool” sort of stuff), created by another “great bunch of kids” from Geelong too. Watch: 50,000 views! (first 2 minutes will do 🙂

It Happened Before

To prove that number of views is not enough to measure a success of any serious video marketing campaign we can also have a look at this campaign by the same stars, Mr Lyons and Mr Grant and filmed with the same crew. The aim of this campaign was to make people in Geelong and region to vote for Geelong as a host for this year’s Social Media Tourism Symposium. So we had again here Mayor Lyons in a major role, we all remember those scenes (even if I want to erase them 🙂 from the pool, Mr Grant had a picture taken half naked for newspapers, and what happened?

Big number of views, thousands, of course people are curious creatures, but we lost to Barossa in South Australia – a place one tenth of the size of Geelong! How did that happen? What happened to those 1 mil + Twitter followers of Mr Darryn Lyons, why didn’t just 1% of them vote? (According to the Adelaide Convention Bureau calculator, the estimated economic state benefit for hosting #SoMeT14AU is $0.5 million and 807 bed nights.)

A message and a call to action, someway along the way were lost and in spite of huge number of views the goal wasn’t achieved. I don’t know how hard it was to win against a place like Barossa and how this team got another chance to get it wrong, I’m not sure. I ask myself, why I didn’t say anything back then?

5 Main Reasons Why #GeelongReinvented Video Project Failed

  • 1 – Complete lack of Strategy
  • 2 – Failure to define Target Audience
  • 3 – Decision to deliver Stunt rather than Substance
  • 4 – Confused message
  • 5 – Use of words (s—-y ho—w) and imagery that divided community, only 39% of people think that this video will bring more tourists to Geelong (Geelong Advertiser poll)


Reasons #1 and #3 have already been discussed above. Reason #5 is self explanatory, why would you re-introduce those two words in a debate if you want to do better for your Geelong and the region? Have they been aware of the fact that these two words will be now dominating the blogosphere and poisoning cyberspace around brand Geelong and brand Tourism Geelong and the Bellarine for a long time including all zombie references?


#2 Failure to define Target Audience. This is a big one.


I’m really surprised that in today’s day and age where brands are more and more embracing Content Marketing, Inbound Marketing and use of content in SEO that anyone would attempt to approach this project with one-video solution!?

If there was any seriuos attempt made to define the target audience then it’d be obvious that there are many different audience groups and that it’d be rather impossible to target them with one video and one message. Why so high production value, when trends in video, especially video intended for web, for online delivery is shifting strongly towards lower production value and storytelling. How much was wasted only on make up and costumes?

Why not 10 videos x $3,700 instead of one video of $37,000?

You could easily identify 10 different target audiences (hikers, surfers, cyclists, food & wine lovers, fishing enthusiasts, young families, grey nomads, motorists, history trail lovers, art lovers…) and then target each of those groups with a dedicated video.

Then you can spread that content over 10 months for example, and release video by video at the time most appropriate for that group.


#4 Confused message(s)


This one is caused directly as a consequence  from #2, Failure to identify Target Audience(s). Too many different and often conflicting messages as a result of trying to cram too much in one video. It should be One Video – One Target Audience  – One Message.

First of all, what’s with the Call To Action – “… come to Geelong and the Bellarine and star in your own blockbuster” (??) Did you also notice that last image in the video was “Geelong and the Bellarine” shown in “Hollywood Hill Letters”?

Who switched the scripts?

I know that there was a lot of talks over past few years about Geelong trying to attract Hollywood dollars, trying to get international movie producers to come and shoot their movies here.  So, was this an attempt to make both tourism video and this “video pitch to Hollywood” into one? Or, did someone switch the scripts somewhere half way into the production process? Maybe there was even a script or a brief from earlier, then someone borrowed that idea, but then forgot that was a different brief, different industry?  Mayor himself is mentioning a “taste of Hollywood” in his response to critics… I don’t know, just too many unanswered questions.

I’m also baffled by the lack of optimisation and call to action in video and on YouTube  watch page. First of all, in video, there is no website address to accompany that weird call to action. Do viewers really know what to do after watching the video?

Standard procedure is that first line in description box is where you put a clickable website address where you want your viewers to go to in case they find you on You Tube and many will. There is a producer’s website address further below in description box, but it is not clickable.

I just can’t understand how an organisation (or a brand) like Tourism Geelong and and Bellarine, or any other serious brand can neglect this crucial step: what are viewers are going to do after watching the video, how are you going to benefit from all these views if you don’t optimise your video and include next step (website address at least)?

Complete optimisation on videos’s You Tube Watch Page page is shambolic, but that’s a topic for a completely new blog post.

In closing, as I was searching online for articles about this sad story, I accidentally came across this Facebook page and this Zombie Apocalypse Survival Course from Adelaide (see the image below), they liked it. How could I forget to put them on the target audience list…

What to say at the end, maybe just to use the call to action from the video: “Star in your own blockbuster” Mr Mayor! If you really wanted a major role, to promote yourself as a Mayor, red carpet and all shebang, you should have payed for it with you own money.

I’m also inviting everyone to say something when you see mediocre performance in your industry, it is not about “being negative”, it is about getting better, contribute with what’s your expertise because we cannot allow such costly mistakes.

Mio Ristic, Video Vault

Picture 35



Video4Marketing blog is powered by Video Vault, your video production specialist.

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