Advertising campaigns for enticing tourists to visit Australia have always been a tricky prospect. This is bizarre, because one would think that getting people to visit such an eclectic and beautiful country as Australia would take very little smarts. But the thing is, there are plenty of great options when it comes to places to visit overseas.
So, with that in mind, billboard advertising campaign needs to have a lot of thought put into it. It can’t just be as simple as thinking the country will sell itself, as much as it would seem like it would be able to do so. It is not as easy as putting up a few Australia billboards and letting them do the work. If it were that easy then we would all be working in advertising.
There are two really prime examples of just how frivolous advertising Australia to the rest of the world can be, let alone advertising anything in general to anyone ever. Advertising is a risky business, and what works one day may not work the next. For example, sometimes Australian billboards work, and sometimes they don’t.
The first of these examples is the Crocodile Dundee adverts from so many moons ago. Looking at that advertising campaign now, there are so many reason that shouldn’t have worked—and yet, it did.
“Throwing a shrimp on the barbie” is the main line that everyone remembers from that campaign—but think about it: it doesn’t even make sense. For starters, Aussies never refer to it as ‘shrimp.’ We actually call them prawns. Yet, still to this day many other nations will quote this line if they are referring to anything to do with Australia. They obviously got something about that campaign right.
Then there is the “Where the bloody hell are you?” campaign, which turned out to be a disaster from start to finish. When you look at it objectively, it was probably trying to hit on many of the same targets as the Shrimp effort, but it failed miserably. It’s a perfect example of something that might work one day that doesn’t work the next.
Maybe it’s just best to let Australia advertise itself. It’s hard to argue that it actually needs much help in that department.