29 October 2008

Crocodile Dundee says Tourism Australia ads could be better

Paul Hogan, the star of the famous 1980s Australian films 'Crocodile Dundee' and subsequent "throw a shrimp on the barbie" promotional Australian commercials, has told Tourism Australian their new $40 million global campaign is misdirected, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

Tourism Australia released the new campaign in the lead-up to the release of the film Australia, both of which Baz Luhrmann is the director.  The advertisements focus on urban-living career-driven internationals who are invited to go "walkabout" in Australia and rediscover themselves, romance and a sense of adventure.

Hogan, whose 1980s campaign focused on the laid-back and friendly Australian people and culture, says the campaign will not work.  He says his own campaign was successful in recruiting record numbers of holders of the Australian holiday visa because he represented the real, everyday Australia that visitors love to experience.

"I'm not crazy about it," Hogan said.  "If I go to your house for a visit and I want to come back, it's because I enjoyed your company, not your furniture."

According to Brand Republic, Roger March, a marketing expert at the Australian School of business, said the new campaign focuses too much on urban singles and will fail to strike a chord with the millions of potential visitors around the world.

"The target market is now very narrow -- stressed-out urban couples without children.  Can we expect singles, families, seniors and other segments to relate and respond positively to these ads?  And what of people who do not live in cities?"  Mr March told reporters.

Tourism Australia's marketing director Nick Baker said the budget constraints of the campaign did not allow for advertisements to include every type of target market, and that they designed the ads to evoke an emotion and not resonate with a particular type of person. 

In related news, an Australian hotelier has designed a "mini-site" that provides tourists with suggested itineraries to follow in the footsteps of Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman in the Australia film. 

Anna Guillan, executive general manager sales and marketing of Voyages Hotels and Resorts said, "There is no better time to start planning the ultimate Australian holiday in Australia and Voyages Resorts offer a breathtaking variety of landscapes, from the Red Centre’s Outback and dusty cattle stations, to tropical rainforests and the Great Barrier Reef; the hardest part will be deciding where to start!"

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their Australian visa application.

Article by Jessica Bird, Australian Visa Bureau.

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