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Marketing of Tourism and Australia

from The Age:

Get dumb: stop promoting Australia as cultured and clever.  When Paul Hogan’s celebrated “Throw another shrimp on the barbie” tourism commercials debuted in 1984, I recall that quite a few people in Australia thought them cringe-worthy. This was pre-Crocodile Dundee, before anyone could imagine that the little Aussie battler would become an international sex symbol.

While Hogan was hugely popular in his own country, some feared the image he was portraying was too crude. We didn’t want to be known as a nation of good-humoured Ockers – we were more sophisticated than that! In 2006 when Lara Bingle sashayed across a stretch of hot sand and pouted the time-honoured words, “So, where the bloody hell are you?” many more were dismayed….:

 

…If you ask a young person in America or Europe what they know about Australia, they’re still likely to reply that we have seven of the world’s 10 most venomous snakes. What we’ve got going for us is danger – sharks, snakes and crocodiles. Add in a mitigating koala and kangaroo or two, and that just about accounts for what interests the bulk of first-time visitors. Even the There’s Nothing Like Australia commercial hedges its bets with elegant people in dinner suits juxtaposed with a cute kangaroo hopping on a beach….

…In short, it’s pointless trying to sell Australia as the clever, cultured, gourmandising nation we know we are. Visitors don’t care.

I prefer the attitude of the Americans. The US, surprisingly, launched its first-ever national tourism campaign in 2012. Comedian Stephen Colbert, parodying the commercial on his satirical TV program The Colbert Report, paraphrased its message as “America: Come or Don’t. We don’t give a shit.”

 

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