We’ve poured you a beer,” says the smiling bartender in an
“And we’ve had the camels shampooed,” chimes a woman strolling
on the sand with a pack of humped brutes.
So begins a 60-second TV spot promoting Tourism Australia. The
commercial continues with a series of other offbeat invitations,
capped by a bikini-clad woman in a dream beach setting.
“So where the bloody hell are you?” she inquires teasingly.
The TV ad is part of a $135 million global marketing campaign
for Australia that launched in March, replacing last year’s
“Different Light” campaign. The sassy ad is designed to
reinvigorate the country’s tourism industry, which employs roughly
500,000 directly or indirectly.
Thanks in part to previous campaigns notably Paul Hogan’s famed
“Shrimp on the Barbie” ads of 20 years ago tourist awareness of
Australia is already high. The country has topped the annual Harris
Poll for nine straight years as America’s most-desired vacation
Following a spike for the 2000 Olympics, tourism numbers have
been on a steady increase for the past five years. Arrivals from
the U.S. this year are on track to exceed 450,000, potentially
making 2006 a record year.
So, who’s complaining?
Kristen Malaby, with Tourism Australia, put it bluntly:
“Australia is America’s number-one dream destination. But we’re
tired of everybody just dreaming about it.”
A new campaign was needed to turn favorable awareness into
Tourism Australia spent 18 months and $4.7 million on research,
speaking with global consumers to identify Australia’s ideal
visitor. This target was defined as “Experience Seekers,” travelers
who seek out authentic personal experiences, have a desire to
engage with locals, are somewhat adventurous and place a high
importance on value. The research established that attitudes and
motivations of Experience Seekers cross borders, allowing for a
single global campaign.
The marketing theme was built around Australians inviting
travelers to experience their country and lifestyle. Tourism
Australia produced 11 different vignettes that put a new twist on
established Australian icons so the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera
House are seen against a burst of fireworks, kangaroos line golf
greens and Uluru (Ayer’s Rock) is a backdrop for aborigines
performing traditional dances. Consistent throughout is the theme
of Australians tempting us to participate, followed by the refrain,
“So where the bloody hell are you?”
Michael Londregan, vice president for the Americas for Tourism
Australia, says another big marketing push for the group utilizing
this campaign started in September but was already showing results,
with an increase of 49 percent more visitors to the Australia.com
Web site. On the site, consumers can obtain referrals to Aussie
Specialists, a popular program with agents.
“It’s the best referral program I’ve ever done and it has really
brought in revenue,” said Catharina Apodac, with San Diego-based
Carefree Vacations, an Aussie Specialist since 1990. “Australia is
a very hot destination and every year gets busier.”
In addition, Tourism Australia just announced it would be taking
the campaign into the new season with a string of high-profile
media partnerships, including major ad buys with NBC, CNN, the
Independent Film Channel (IFC) and American Express
Londregan said Tourism Australia and its co-op partners would
spend an additional $6.1 million in the U.S. and Canada over the
coming 12 months with a new wave of media generating 100 million
This new season of advertising commenced Sept. 25, and the first
wave will run through November, before running again January though
“Ultimately,” Londregan said, “the goal in this new season of
marketing is to deliver 2.8 million visits to Australia.com and
30,000 sales leads.”