Wish you were here - Qantas revamps the Out of Office reply

By Robyn Ironside

With help from Instagram, Qantas shares your holiday snaps in place of the traditional 'out of office' reply

Wish you were here ... The out of office reply message is getting a Qantas makeover. Photo / 123RF
Wish you were here ... The out of office reply message is getting a Qantas makeover. Photo / 123RF

The most boring email ever sent or received is getting a makeover in a genius marketing move by Qantas.

The Flying Kangaroo has teamed up with Instagram to provide email account holders with a simple formula to link their "out of office reply" to photos from their Insta-account.

It means when an out of office reply is sent it will come with a message and an array of travel pictures letting the receiver know they are on leave - and probably enjoying a great holiday.

To set it up, people simply need to go to qantasoutofoffice.com, connect their Instagram account and email address, enter dates they are out of the office, where they are travelling to and a simple message.

Qantas Group Executive Brand, Marketing and Corporate Affairs, Olivia Wirth said they hoped the "out of office travelogue" would inspire more colleagues, friends and family to travel the world.

"The traditional out of office message can be both generic and impersonal in nature and from our research, 60 per cent of employees say they would appreciate receiving something more creative," said Ms Wirth.

"We know that tips from friends and colleagues are the highest driver for people when choosing their next holiday destination, so we saw an opportunity to encourage travel through the millions of out of office emails being sent every day."

Instagram Brand Development Lead for Australia and New Zealand, Sophie Blachford said the Qantas out of office was a "unique and clever for an airline".

"Most people who are travelling activate their out of office as their final gesture before jetting off," said Ms Blachford.

"With this new service, moments from the holiday you're on will provide colour and personalisation to an otherwise mundane computer-generated email."

The application features only photos tagged with #qantasoutofoffice, meaning not all pictures in a person's feed would appear in the email.

Anyone with Hotmail or Gmail can use the innovation, as well as domains that use the Gmail inbox.

For Outlook users, the auto-reply message carries a link taking the recipient through to a web page collection of Instagram snaps.

Queensland University of Technology marketing lecturer Bill Proud said the idea was good in theory but users would need to exercise caution.

"I've seen people make some horrible mistakes on social media and something like this could test the boundaries of company social media policies," said Mr Proud.

"If it works, it's pretty clever but I wouldn't touch it myself. If I'm out of the office, you don't need to know where I am."

- news.com.au

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