Creating an ad to capture the spirit of a place is one hell of a task.
Only slightly easier than creating the overarching place brand. Having worked on more than a few place branding projects, I fully comprehend the challenge of competing attributes and stakeholders. Getting the balance right on both is the toughest and most important task.
What the new Tourism Australia ad does so cleverly is to strategically focus its communication – that is to simplify the ad story telling down to a single theme; ‘The Australian Landscape’. From a brand strategy perspective we always seek to differentiate around a position of strength, or put more simply; something we do, that the client/customer really cares about, that no one else does. With a broad target audience of international visitors as well as domestic, the stunning landscapes of Australia fit that bill. The stunning cinematography and poetic story telling of the script (“How can the colour blue be a feeling? Well, it’s hard to describe. But it is.”) capture a real sense of this unique aspect of our country. And whilst the vibrant cities (although fairly unimpressive on a world scale), country towns, indigenous history and laid-back Aussie friendliness have been left-out, it is this single mindedness that contributes to the success of the ad.
By focussing on landscape, the campaign gets to build layer after layer of beautiful, contrasting imagery which combine to create a truly powerful and ultimately memorable sense of place. I must admit, even the ‘cynical, seen it all before’ brand guy in me was moved to feel inspired – and even proud damn-it – to be an Australian. The Australia Day timing for the launch of the ad was the cream on the cake.
The ad is narrated by our own Hollywood heart throb Chris Hemsworth (Melbourne boy made good). Hemsworth was recently named as Tourism Australia’s Global Ambassador, and in a masterstroke of restraint has not been featured topless in every second shot of the ad. Hemsworth’s voice over ads an interest and authenticity to the ad, whilst his global profile will undoubtedly continue to provide increased interest and coverage.
As we look to the future we see enourmous opportunity for Australian economic growth on the back of our natural attributes. Certainly for many Asian markets to our North, our credentials as a clean, healthy and bountiful food producer are seen as hugely aspirational – just try buying our locally produced baby formula that ahsn’t been earmarked for China. The strategic messaging of this new tourism campaign beautifully underscores our credentials in this area and does a wonderful job of reinforcing the positive positioning of brand Australia.
Context is a wonderful thing, so here’s a glimpse of how far we’ve come since Hoges invited the world to ‘throw another shrimp on the barby’, And Lara asked; “Where the bloody hell are you?”: