Australia Tourism Advertising – The Missing Ingredient

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Tourism is an important industry for the Australian economy. In the financial year 2009/10, the tourism industry represented 2.6% of Australia’s GDP at a value of approximately A$34 billion to the national economy. Australia’s international tourism campaigns have traditionally focused on Australia’s laid-back style, such as an 1980s advertising campaign featuring actor Paul Hogan telling American tourists “I’ll slip an extra shrimp on the barbie for you”, or its cheeky side, as in its controversial 2006 campaign in the United Kingdom using the Australian colloquialism slogan “So where the bloody hell are you?”.

Tourism Australia’s “No Leave No Life” campaign was launched in March 2009 by the Federal Minister for Tourism, the Hon. Martin Ferguson AM MP. This campaign was designed to remind employees of the personal and professional benefits of taking annual leave, and of taking that leave in Australia.

Recently Australians were invited to go into bat for Australian tourism  when they were asked to upload photos of their favourite holiday spots. Tourism Australia expected to upload as many as 15,000 photos. Tourism Australia’s There’s nothing like Australia campaign kicked off in Germany this month, with German travellers now invited to share their Australian holiday experiences online. Almost 300 entries were submitted in the first few days of the user-generated competition.

How Successful?

The problem with Tourism ads, as with most branding campaigns, is that it is hard to precisely measure success. Most campaigns detail how many hits, or how many images have been uploaded. However this will never tell you if people will remember the campaign, or if it will drive people to come to Australia and spend money. We could not find any specific research from Tourism Australia that showed how or if their advertising and marketing campaigns worked.

All This Place

The problem Tourism Australia faces is that they are trying to sell somewhere as big and diverse as Australia. Some of their ads include beaches, which is where most people want to be when they get here, however the majority of Australia is not near the beach. The centre of Australia is diverse, from the wet north to the dry west. The other problem TA faces is that most of the state governments take control of highlighting specific areas of Australia, such as the Barrier Reef or The Great Ocean Road.

So, our humble solution, is to highlight the amazing people in glorious places in Australia, and to tell their story. It is something like the SBS line “Six billion stories and counting” focussed on Australia.

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