Monday, October 13, 2008

Come Walkabout

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Last week Tourism Australia launched its much anticipated ad campaign created by Baz Luhrmann. Tying into the November 26 release of Luhrmann's epic Australia, the two mini-films speak to the transformative effect of the outback. Eschewing the famous Australian landmarks for more natural wonders, the ads appeal to stressed out execs, whose lives are enriched and their senses of self restored after a dip in a billabong and a dance beneath a boab. The beautiful Brandon Walters features in both ads as an Aboriginal apparition, inviting the weary execs to 'come walkabout'.

It seems not everyone's a fan of this tourism tranformation, as this quote from The Age attests:

Advertiser Allan "Jo" Johnston, co-creator of the successful Paul Hogan "throw a shrimp on the barbie" campaign, says the new Tourism Australia TV ads leave him feeling similarly displaced. "Lack of friendliness, I think, is the main thing wrong with it," he says.

"It's all about a marriage breaking up, someone coming up and sprinkling magic dust on you, with a few standard shots of beautiful footage. This is just a bit too dark and mysterious for me. It's beautifully shot, but it looks like it's been shot in Siberia — talk about bloody sunniest country in the world, it's all dark."

Then today the ads have been criticised for being too 'white-collar'. Not an unfair comment I suppose, but given the financial meltdown, I'm wondering if any collar colours will be springing for a ticket to the land of Oz?! I fear we may soon be back to demanding, "Where the bloody hell are you?"


Syms Covington said...

I really don't like 'em much either - what are they trying to say. they seem to focused on giving this mystical air with the aboriginal kid and linking to the film than actually selling the country. Hopefully the film ain't this confused.

Kate said...

Weirdly, I like 'em! A bit quirky, a bit odd - I think that's fun, myself.

PS I've tagged you, Ali!

Alice said...

I'm going to have to side with Kate, I like 'em too (why are we saying 'em, again?!). Perhaps I'm just too much of a romantic, but I ate up the mystique and give them extra points for shying away from the Opera House.

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