Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

The smart strategy behind Tourism Australia’s ‘Croc Dundee’ Super Bowl pitch to the Americans

February 8, 2018

Tourism Australia’s resurrection of Crocodile Dundee in a new commercial at the USA’ Super Bowl this week has already reached hundreds of millions on the day and through social media. Some may have cringed at an ad reinforcing stereotypes about Australians as hospitable bush-dwellers, but this is actually a good strategy.

Previous Tourism Australia campaigns have attempted to change Australia’s image, with results ranging from the lacklustre to the disastrous.

Unlike recent campaigns, the Super Bowl ad reflects international perceptions of Australia. Icons like Paul Hogan and Steve Irwin enjoy good recognition in countries like the United States, so leaning into this image of Australia is a smart move.

Australia has built up strong brand recognition in the US, albeit within the bounds of expectations largely cultivated by the advertising of the past, centred on beaches, bush and other all-too-familiar popular signifiers of Australia. Straying outside of these concepts hasn’t proven successful.

‘See Australia in a different light’ was a Tourism Australia campaign in 2004 that tried to emphasise other aspects of Australia than beaches and sunshine. This failed to convince tourists due to its unfamiliar, abstract image of Australia.

The 2009 ‘Walkabout’ collaboration between Tourism Australia and Baz Luhrmann’s film, Australia, also disappointed. While ‘There’s nothing like Australia’ crowdsourced text and photos from Australians, but ended up being shaped into a well-worn mould by Tourism Australia.

On the other end of the spectrum, the ‘Where the bloody hell are you?’ campaign of 2006, with its note of desperation and rather too vernacular language, was a laughing stock.

In the end, a national reputation is not something that can be demanded, only given by others.

Nation-branding expert Simon Anholt, on a visit to Australia in 2010, notoriously described us as not to be taken seriously. He blamed tourism advertising for this view.

The Super Bowl commercial is the highest-profile element in an ongoing $36 million campaign focused on the United States.

According to Lisa Ronson, Chief Marketing Officer of Tourism Australia, the agency decided on the Super Bowl commercial as it would reach more than 50% of the target market - a ‘new generation’ of American tourists.

Currently, inbound tourism from the US brings in around 780,000 visitors and A$3.7 billion to the Australian economy each year. Tourism Australia says it wants to increase that to more like A$5.5 billion per year by 2020.

The current Tourism Australia campaign is just one part of an overarching Federal Government attempt at brand building in the United States.

For 15 years, Australian Government entities (including Tourism Australia, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Austrade) have conducted an event in Los Angeles called ‘G’Day USA’. Like the Super Bowl commercial, this uses well-known Australian actors to engage in “public diplomacy”.

Another Federal Government initiative is Austrade’s ‘Australia Unlimited’. Launched in 2010, this seeks to tell stories about Australian businesses, technology, food and society.

However, for Tourism Australia it is wise to avoid this conflict between the image of barbies, beaches, bush and marsupials; and the hard-nosed world of global trade. Leaning on the cultural cliche of Croc Dundee is a wise choice.

Written by John Sinclair, Professor of Media and Communications, University of Melbourne.

This article also appears in The Conversation, which publishes news and views sourced from the academic and research community: theconversation.com

Images from Tourism Australia's Super Bowl 2018 advertisement with Chris Hemsworth and Danny McBride (top and middle) and the original Crocodile Dundee, Paul Hogan (below). 

9th October 2017 - TOURISM AUSTRALIA LAUNCHES YOUTH ORIENTATED NEWS CHANNEL

22nd September 2017 - GROWTH ONGOING IN AUSTRALIAN TOURISM AS SPENDING EXCEEDS $103 BILLION 

17th May 2017 - TOURISM AUSTRALIA ANNIVERSARY TO BE CELEBRATED WITH EEAA MENTORING DINNER

8th November 2016 - CONTROVERSIAL NORTHERN TERRITORY TOURISM SLOGAN GENERATES MASSIVE INTEREST 

29th September 2016 - 30 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK, AMERICA FELL IN LOVE WITH CROCODILE DUNDEE AND KAKADU

7th June 2016 - CROCOSAURUS COVE CAGE OF DEATH A GLOBAL PHENOMENA

27th January 2016 - TOURISM AUSTRALIA LAUNCHES NEW INTERNATIONAL MARKETING CAMPAIGN

4th September 2015 - TOURISM AUSTRALIA AND VISA TIE-UP TO TARGET MILLENNIALS

17th March 2015 - TOURISM AUSTRALIA BACKS SIR DAVID ATTENBOROUGH GREAT BARRIER REEF DOCUMENTARY PROJECT

20th January 2011 - OPRAH AUSTRALIAN ADVENTURE SCREENED TO US AUDIENCES

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

 

EYE FITNESS

EYE Fitness was established to bridge the gap between inactivity across youth and adult populations in Australia by incorporating innovative health and fitness technologies to get more people active.…

read more

Fitness / Play / Recreation / Sport / Technology

 
 

Centaman Entrance Control

Turnstile Entry Systems and Access Control Centaman Entrance Controls’ Award Winning Range of Access Control Systems includes tripod & triarm turnstiles, speedgates, full height…

read more

Access / Entertainment / Sport / Ticketing / Venues

 
 

Jonas Leisure

JonasLeisure offers a complete range of leading leisure and recreation software brands – envibe, Centaman, Gladstone Health & Leisure, The Retention People, Nutrition Complete and…

read more

Aquatics / Billing / Fitness / Recreation / Sport

 
 

OHS&HR Management Systems Pty Ltd

OHS Act 2004 - 21 (2) e “Duties of employers to employees … (e)provide such information, instruction, training or supervision to employees of the employer as is necessary to enable those…

read more

Consultants / Legal / Safety / Venues

 
 

LEISURE CONCEPTS AUSTRALIA

Leisure Concepts brings the world’s best fitness equipment brands to Australasia including Eleiko, Atlantis Strength and Merrithew Pilates. With a huge variety of  treadmills,…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Technology / Wellness

 
 

Lavi Industries

LINEAR QUEUING QtracCF call-forward electronic queuing systems dramatically improve linear queuing by increasing service efficiency, decreasing average wait times, and adding advertising and…

read more

Access / Entertainment / Technology / Ticketing / Venues

 
 

SeatGeek Asia Pacific

SeatGeek is a search engine and mobile-focused ticket marketplace that allows fans to buy and sell tickets for live events. The company’s SeatGeek search engine allows users to find…

read more

Entertainment / Sport / Technology / Ticketing / Venues

 
 

PRIAVA

Priava specialises in delivering enterprise management software through the cloud for booking-centric businesses. Whatever your venue or event requirements are, we can help you save money,…

read more

Entertainment / Events / Technology / Venues

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business