Could a swear word breathe new life into the Northern Territory tourism industry?
It is an unconventional strategy but there are signs it is paying off for the mystery creatives behind the “C U in the NT” logo.
The controversial design surfaced online late last week and it has rippled across social media and generated international coverage.
It is not affiliated with the government body Tourism NT, which, along with other industry groups, has been working to reverse a decline in tourist numbers which have not improved since 2000.
Requests for interviews with the people behind the brazen slogan were met with an automated message apologising that staff were “flat out like a lizard drinking”.
An ’embarrassment’ or good marketing?
Social media users have had a range of reactions to the campaign.
Philip called it a “clever campaign” and said:
“I didn’t know what or where the NT was before the media picked this up.”
Renee declared that “this page is an absolute f**king embarrassment”.
Annalise asked “what Elders you consulted or granted you permission to use Uluru, with this slogan plastered over it”. The post that featured Uluru has since been removed.
Eric said: “Grow up. Don’t base your marketing on lady parts and shocking words when you have a spectacular natural environment to share.”
Others tagged friends in the photo posts and made suggestions about travel plans.
An ‘independent underground campaign’
In response to questions about its Uluru post, a campaign spokesperson said: “This campaign was born out of love for the Northern Territory and its people. We have removed any images that may be deemed offensive out of respect.”
But while other questions remain unanswered, a media release described their efforts as an “independent underground campaign” by “a guerilla group of people” designed to market the Territory to younger travellers.
As well as posts on Facebook describing tourist attractions in the Territory, the group has a sophisticated website where it sells merchandise.
T-shirts and singlets are on sale bearing a design that shares strong similarities with the official Tourism NT design.
The media release also contained a reassurance that merchandise orders would be fulfilled and delivered, perhaps for anyone who harboured doubts about the group’s professionalism or reliability.
This post originally appeared on ABC News.
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