01 June 2010

New Australian tourism campaign blasted as embarrassing

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Tourism Australia’s latest advertisement for the country has been called an embarrassment by some, by casting Australia as a nation of tone-deaf people and drawing on dowdy 50 year old stereotypes.

ETA Visa

A new Tourism Australia campaign ad has been launched, but critics have called it embarrasing.

Launched yesterday in Adelaide, the 90-second advertisement features everyday Australians in various locations in Australia including Uluru, the Barrier Reef and the Opera House, singing slightly off-key the song There's Nothing like Australia.

In the ad the Australians list all the things in the country that there is nothing like: sunset from a camel, this billabong, this duck-billed mammal.
''There's nothing like this bear'', sings a woman holding a koala. ''That's not a bear,'' she is corrected.  And ''There's nothing like the people here, where everyone's your mate,'' sing drinkers in a pub.

Tourism Australia Managing Director, Andrew McEvoy said Tourism Australia had consulted widely to identify what the international travel trade believed was the most effective imagery and messaging in selling Australian holidays to consumers in a range of markets.

“Our industry partners from around the world told us to show the icons, show the animals, and make it fun and friendly. Keep it simple and make sure the ad materials can be used by partners like airlines, wholesalers and travel agents around the world to sell travel to and within Australia. And that’s exactly what we have done with the There’s nothing like Australia campaign.

Mr McEvoy said Australians had also identified the people, wildlife, beaches, the reef, the outback, vibrant cities and laid-back lifestyle as the things that make Australia a unique and special place to visit.

The ad was directed by Michael Gracey, behind YouTube's most-watched commercial, the Evian Roller Babies, with music by Josh Abrahams.

All international tourists to Australia, unless they have an Australian or New Zealand passport, must have an Australian Tourism Visa.

The most popular visa is the ETA visa as is can be applied for online and once approved is electronically attached to your passport, removing the need for any further paperwork.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people lodge their Australian immigration applications with the Australian Embassy.   

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