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Tourism Australia's new campaign slogan is a success.

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Thursday 23 February 2006

Tourism Australia's new campaign slogan is a success


MARK COLVIN: What the bloody hell are Tourism Australia doing to publicise this country? 


ey're wooing potential visitors with the slogan, "So where the bloody hell are you?" - that's what. 


It's a long time since Paul Hogan forgot how to say "prawn" and invited tourists over with the promise of another "shrimp" on the barbie. 


There have been many changes in our international advertising campaigns since then, but none has had as much success. 


Paula Kruger reports. 


(Sound of advertising jingle: "Well we're all here, so where the bloody hell are you?") 


PAULA KRUGER: It was a very proud Federal Tourism Minister that launched the new campaign and Fran Bailey especially liked the new slogan. 


FRAN BAILEY: I think that this is the great Australian adjective. It is part of our everyday vernacular.  


PAULA KRUGER: The Prime Minister has seen the ads, featuring iconic Australian images from the outback to the beaches, and says he has no problem with the language.  


JOHN HOWARD: It's a colloquialism, it's not a word that is seen quite in the same category as other words that nobody ought to use in public or on the media or in advertisement. I think the style of the ad is anything but offensive. It is in fact in context and I think it's a very effective ad.  


PAULA KRUGER: "So where the bloody hell are you?" is a question that will be put to television viewers around the world in this $180 million campaign targeting key markets in China, Japan, the US, Germany and the UK. 


And while it may be irreverent the Tourism Minister says international viewers will get it, understanding that the Aussie colloquialism is meant to be friendly. 


FRAN BAILEY: We've actually researched this ad in all of our major markets. We've used focus groups, we've consulted with the industry, we've really road tested this campaign and it works. They tell us it works.  


PAULA KRUGER: Campaigns in recent years have tried to show the world a different Australia to those featured in the successful Paul Hogan campaigns from 20 years ago. 


There have been poets, singers and cricket commentators telling the world of Australian sights, culture and people.  


Anthony McClelland from media strategy company AMC Media says this campaign has a little bit of that as well as a healthy dose of good old-fashioned Paul Hogan-like larrikinism. 


ANTHONY MCCLELLAND: Look, I think this campaign is a bloody good idea, basically. I think the ad's a good one. It's a bit hokey pokey, but it has terrific images, quite a nice sound track, attractive young people, young women, young blokes, older people in it.  


I think it is harking back to a degree to some of the images we used to sell overseas, but also it's got a bit of an edge to it that it desperately, it has been what's needed in marketing ourselves. I think previously we have just had the pretty pictures.  


PAULA KRUGER: The beach scenes in the new campaign may be appealing, but just a few months ago international visitors associated our sand and sea with the violent race riots that took place on Sydney's southern beaches.  


Are pretty pictures and a catchy tune enough to push past that? 


ANTHONY MCCLELLAND: Look, I don't think it ever actually kills those sorts of images, those images of violence and very negative images that went around the world. It never actually kills them but I think it can mollify that sort of image.  


But in terms of world news, it was not huge world news. So I don't think a large number of people would have been terribly negatively… overseas people, would have been terribly negatively affected by those awful Cronulla images.  


MARK COLVIN: AMC Media's Anthony McClelland ending Paula Kruger's report.