Destination Phillip Island
Phillip Island 101

The challenge

After two years of extended lockdowns that saw international and state borders snapping shut, the global pandemic massively reduced Phillip Island’s international and domestic tourist market. To put into perspective, Phillip Island/Bass Coast is recognised as the second most dependent shire on tourism in Australia, after only Uluru.

Destination Phillip Island tasked Hardhat with a campaign to counterbalance the loss of over half a million pre-pandemic day-trippers. To do this, Hardhat needed to reposition Phillip Island as a must-visit weekend destination for the domestic market to reignite visitation from Victoria and New South Wales.

Refers to our innate herd mentality.When we see others acting in a certain way, we tend to automatically believe that that must be the correct and desirable thing to do.

Behavioural insight  |  Social Proof

The solution

Blessed with the incredible fortune of being home to the largest Little Penguin population in the world and the iconic Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit, the rest of Phillip Island’s amazing offerings had been largely overlooked. After consulting with local stakeholders, our mission was clear; we had to convey the extensive breadth of activities to entice tourists onto the Island and get them to spend a few nights away instead of just coming for a day trip.

The campaign centred on the insight that the landmass of Phillip Island is exactly 101km2. This knowledge led to the creation of Phillip Island 101 - 101 square kilometres of amazing experiences distilled into one easygoing island sanctuary. Each square kilometre on the island was assigned a number and the hero attractions were referred to by their location on the 101km2 grid. The vibrant storytelling captured a sense of adventure and the island's tranquil, laid-back nature.

The campaign targeted two key audiences: the Fun Seekers (Families and larger groups with young to mid-teen-aged children) and the Take-A-Breakers (urban couples or perhaps a small group of adult friends). The commonality across both types of holidaymakers was wanting a memorable getaway that you wish you could do it all again. The TVCs captured that feeling and encouraged a longer stay on the island by posing the question, why does it have to end?

In addition, we created a suite of enduring brand collateral from the TVC imagery that translated into a contemporary visual language and an informative and upbeat tone of voice for the Visit Phillip Island website and socials.

The results

Since launch, Phillip Island has seen a boost in visitors and interstate holiday-goers and the campaign has been widely endorsed by Island locals and business owners. The concept’s scalability means the campaign has ongoing potential - there’s an endless combination of the 101 square kilometres to celebrate and explore.