To celebrate 95 years of flying Australians around the world and home again, Qantas wanted to create events all around the country and showcase the landscapes, cities, and people that feel like home to Australians. We wanted to bring people together, offline, to photograph the beauty in Australia in order to share in that beauty on Instagram. To do this, we planned a nationwide Qantas Instameet (Instameet: A gathering of Instagrammers taking photographs and sharing experiences), in nine different cities over nine consecutive days. Our goals included:
- 500-700 photos hashtagged on Instagram
- positive expressed sentiment around Qantas and our 95th birthday, and
- give people from all over the chance to come together and share in all that #feelslikehome about Australia.
We planned nine instameet events on nine consecutive days around Australia, choosing the most photogenic and Insta-worthy settings, while allowing our participants to explore what #feelslikehome meant to them. Our Instameet series started in Perth, where some participants were invited to take a walking tour with hosts @paul_mp (87.5k followers) and @helloemilie (423k followers) to explore the quaint scenes of Fremantle, and others were invited to ride the Swan River with host @jarradseng (156k followers). Our other two hosts were @ingridweir (74k followers) and @surfistatomato (123k followers). These hosts were critical in our strategy for the Qantas Instameet; we chose Australian instagrammers who had large followings and could encourage their own audiences (a total of 863,500+ users) to come to the Qantas events and share photos afterwards. They also posted photos to their own Instagram accounts as the events happened, raising awareness for the events and helping us share the beauty of Australia. After Perth, the events were hosted in the most picturesque spots in Brisbane, Uluru, Hobart, Darwin, Canberra, Melbourne, and Adelaide, and for the final event we threw a huge birthday party on the harbour in Sydney.
We planned amazing events like wineries, camel rides, rooftop parties, and a live concert to allow for the most amazing photos to be taken, and made them unmistakably branded with flags, marquees, paper hashtags, and branded selfie sticks. We wanted to send our participants to several locations in each city in order to get the most diverse content. To make sure that everyone had the chance to discover what feels like home to them, participants were also encouraged to explore the cities themselves and hashtag their photos with #feelslikehome.
We asked the instagrammers at all events to use the hashtag #feelslikehome within their posts, and there was also an event-specific hashtag for each event so that we could find the photos taken at each location.
During the week of the events, the Qantas Instagram account regrammed several user photos from the instameets, and after the events had finished, we gathered all of the content that was posted using our hashtags. We've since posted #throwbackthursday photos from the events.
Instagram was the perfect platform for our Qantas instameet because it lent itself to our needs, and its user base is known to be passionate about photography and Instagram meetups. We needed a platform that had a higher expectation of photographic quality than that of Facebook or Twitter, and the common practice of "regramming" made it simple to post the most beautiful user photos to the Qantas Instagram account. Instagram also has dedicated followers to certain accounts, so choosing our influencers from Instagram ensured that their following were aware and engaged with our campaign, and would come out just to see their favourite Instagrammer. In addition, it supported our hashtags and made it simple for us to collate all of the content that our instameets had generated.
We were utterly amazed at the results of our Qantas Instameet, and we immensely surpassed all of our original goals.
A few of our stats:
-5.8 MILLION Instagram users reached
-1.3 MILLION users reached during Perth event alone
-500.5K "likes" generated
-350K+ "likes" on our hosts' accounts
-1,660+ beautiful photos shared (double our goal)
And those are just the numbers. On the ground we saw people shaking hands as they met for the first time in person after following each other for years. We saw people come off the street and into our event and stay for the fun. We saw people ask for photography tips from our hosts and from each other. We saw amateurs and professionals connect on a personal level.
As we'd hoped, people were excited about Qantas and about our birthday. @Kieranstoneau commented on our Melbourne event, "Thank you Qantas for a great night! Happy 95th!" We even saw later that our attendees were commenting on each other's photos, complementing their talent and chatting about the day.
The news of our Qantas instameet travelled far beyond Instagram. We were highlighted on AWOL, The Daily Mark, Economy Traveller, eGlobal, Pedestrian.tv, in addition to tons of blogs, vlogs, YouTube videos, Periscopes, and tweets
Best of all, the Qantas Instameet let people come together and share in everything that #feelslikehome about Australia, all while celebrating 95 years of an iconic Australian brand.