21 August 2009

Australia needs new tourism ads says Hogan

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Crocodile Dundee, also known as Paul Hogan, says "a Hugh Jackman" could be what's needed to sell Australia to the international tourist market.

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Australia should be developing new tourism ads, says Paul Hogan.

Hogan was part of the sucessful "throw another a shrimp on the barbie" ads of the 1980s.  Hogan has given the thumbs down to recent Australian tourism campaigns and says nice beaches, waterfalls and bikini girls just don't cut it.

In Australia to promote his new road trip movie, Charlie & Boots Hogan said  Australia had slipped off the world's radar as a tourism destination.

Hogan said the Lara Bingle "where the bloody hell are you?" campaign, and Baz Luhrman's "go walkabout" promotion, launched in conjunction with the movie Australia, had failed to interest international visitors.

"Everyone has nice beaches and waterfalls and museums and things like that," said Hogan, who is now a resident of California.

"Ours don't stand out. Every ad has bikini-clad beauties in it. Even just to go and see Memphis or something, you'll see bikini-clad beauties. That's just not enough."

He said Americans were no longer thinking of Australia.

"What they think of us is that there's a lot of good actors around Australia," he said on a radio programme.

"Hugh Jackman and Eric Bana are really big stars there now.

"People don't even think that much of us as Australians, they just think that they're ... you know ... movie stars."

Hogan said he didn't have any magic solutions but he suggested a return to using actors would help Australia stand out from the crowd.

"Maybe you can get hold of a Hugh Jackman and get him to sell to people, because that's what we sold 30 years ago," he said.

"I sold the people. I said, 'come out here ... Aussies would love to see ya ... they're the kind of people who have a good time and a laugh and you'd be welcome to join us'.

"That was a lovely invitation to people.

"It was sort of like, 'I'm not just going to go there and look at their third-rate museums and fourth-ranked hotels or whatever, that some of the other countries have got to offer'.

"'We're going to go there and meet Aussies, and they're going to make us welcome and we're going to have a good time.'"

But he wasn't sure the idea would work.

"I don't know if it's right for now - I'm not right for now," he said.

"It'd be a terrible dried-out, burnt-out shrimp on the barbie if we were still waving it about after 30 years."

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