Tourism and Events Queensland, ScUber


We partnered with sister agency Publicis Worldwide and the wider MSL PR network globally, to help Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) shift outdated perceptions and conversations in seven key Westerns markets, regarding the health of one of Australia’s national wonders – the Great Barrier Reef.


Recent bleaching in the northern part of the Great Barrier Reef created the misperception that the entire Reef was in jeopardy. Media in key international tourism markets were reporting that the Reef was dead, driving down visitation – however large portions remained unaffected and thriving with marine life.

This decline was concerning as the Reef supports 64,000 jobs, and contributes $6.4 billion to the Australian economy every year. More importantly, every tourist who visits the GBR contributes financially to conservation efforts. TEQ knew latent demand for the GBR could be unlocked, by sharing more about the experiences available on the Reef.

The challenge to Herd MSL was two-fold:

  • Shift media and consumer sentiment by resetting the conversation about the Reef’s health.
  • Re-inspire people to experience the GBR for themselves and drive awareness and bookings amongst seven key Western markets.


We needed to visually connect consumers with the Great Barrier Reef in a way that felt personal.

Our proposal? A partnership which would deliver a unique idea and had global newsworthiness and scale: scUber.



Our strategy was to develop the world’s first bookable rideshare submarine. A submarine would provide visitors with an unfiltered lens of the Reef in its authentic and natural state, through a world first bookable experience.

To achieve this, we needed one very important partner on-board – the world’s most popular ride-share platform, Uber.


Earned channels led the campaign, supported by experiential, digital, paid and owned media.

Phase 1: Launch

  • We hosted 36 media from six countries on GBR for the launch and post-launch event famils around Heron Island.
  • To educate and deepen media’s understanding of the Reef, we coordinated a panel session with five esteemed Reef experts to share views on the Reef’s future.
  • Produced new videos and stills of the current state of the Reef for global newswires, owned channels, and Uber’s 50MM users.
  • Coordinated a 48hr global newsroom managed out of Herd MSL’s offices (Sydney) with ground support on Heron Island.
  • Hosted the first consumer-ride on scUber to drive global coverage.

Phase 2: Sustain

  • The second wave of global media were invited to scUber’s second location at Agincourt Reef off Cairns to raise awareness of the health and beauty of the northern sections of the Reef where most bleaching had previously occurred.
  • Promoted news of an international consumer competition to win a ride on scUber, which featured a marriage proposal on board scUber that proved a heartfelt global news story.



TEQ’s scUber campaign became its most successful campaign to date, which is particularly significant given until now ‘Best Job In The World’ had held that position for ten years. It brought together tourism and technology partners to successfully change the conversation and sentiment around the Reef globally.

  • 4,320 earned media placements including via national TV, print and online stories.
  • $130M+ earned media value generated
  • More than 4.5 Billion media impressions across key international markets.
  • Over 15 hours of vision downloaded from the VNR and utilised by global broadcast media
  • 95% of media stories about the Reef were positive or neutral in sentiment
  • Donation of $100,000 to Citizens of the Reef by Uber Australia, in addition to cost matching of all scUber rides booked during the campaign period
  • The conversation on key social channels was three times more positive than pre-campaign conversation surrounding the Great Barrier Reef


  • Spikes Asia (Use of Ambient Media: Large Scale)
  • Mumbrella CommsCon Awards (PR-led Event or Activation of the Year)
  • Mumbrella CommsCon Awards (Best PR-led Brand Partnership Campaign)
  • Mumbrella Travel Marketing Awards (Best Use of Face-to-Face / Experiential Marketing)
  • Brisbane Advertising and Design Club Awards
  • AWARD Awards (Gold for Experiential/ Guerrilla Marketing and Stunts)
  • AWARD Awards (Bronze for Best Use of Events and Stunts)
  • PRIA (NSW State Highly Commended: Major Campaign)

Do you want to get in touch?

Herd MSL

Herd MSL is an ANZ public relations and integrated communications agency that provides strategic counsel and creative thinking. We champion our clients’ interests through fearless and insightful campaigns that engage multiple perspectives and holistic thinking to build influence and deliver impact.

21 Harris Street, Pyrmont, Sydney, NSW.


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Landline: +61 2 9213 2335

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