They are the ads Australia loves to complain about. But this new one might just be genius, argues Jane Caro.
The hardest thing to do well is promote yourself. This is because the way you see yourself is nothing like the way the rest of the world sees you. We’ve all experienced seeing a photo of ourselves that we think is hideous while others think it is flattering. It is a salutary lesson to discover that the image we carry around of ourselves in our heads may not be very realistic at all.
And that’s why tourism advertising is so often so awful. Not just in Australia, either, but the world over. The ads the home crowd like are often the ones that go completely unnoticed by the intended audience – people who do not live in Australia. We want to sell the things that make us proud – our food, wine, coffee (particularly our coffee) and sophisticated city lifestyle. Trouble is, realistic as that may be, it is not what most of the rest of the world associates with Australia and it is not what will bring them here. They have cities of their own.
That’s why I have always believed that Tourism Australia should get ad agencies from overseas to create their advertising. Unfortunately, sensible though this would be, it is also politically impossible because the idea of all that money going to a foreign business makes most politicians go a little pale.
With its latest campaign, however, I think Tourism Australia has had a stroke of genius. They have managed to get outsiders to create the message but in a politically acceptable way.
Watch it, here. Post continues after video.
The new campaign concentrates on indigenous Australia. This is clever for all sorts of reasons. Firstly it is one of the things that does make us different and that is attractive to visitors. If they’re going to schlepp all this way they want something they can’t get anywhere else. Yeah, they’ll be pleasantly surprised by the food, wine, coffee (especially the coffee) and sophisticated city lifestyle when they get here, but its not enough to bring them on its own.