How Tourism Australia challenged the norms by schooling Asia

Australia Tasmania Lavender Field

How much do you really know about Australia? Source: Shutterstock.

WHAT’S the first thing that comes to mind when you think, “Australia”?

Cuddly koalas and mobs of kangaroos? An array of deadly snakes and venomous spiders? Coastal cities and amazing beaches? A buzzing coffee culture and Vegemite?

What if you were told there’s more to Australia than just that?

The land down under is challenging the norms and correcting misconceptions through a series of videos under its “Undiscover Australia” campaign, an extension of Tourism Australia’s “There’s Nothing Like Australia” brand platform.

“Undiscover Australia” offers a virtual trip in and around Australia by highlighting stereotypical activity and then contrasting it with a scene from a road less traveled, with an aim to inspire people to come and see a side of Australia they perhaps didn’t know existed.

For example, showcasing Melbourne’s graffiti-covered Hosier Lane to counter the “Australia is all about the amazing beaches” stereotype. Or featuring the immersive Field of Light installation at Uluru to oppose the “not much happens in Australia at night” perception.

The AUD10 million (US$7.1 million) campaign specifically targets India, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia, which accounted for more than 1.3 million international arrivals into Australia and contributed more than AUD5 billion (US$3.5 million) to the economy.

In debunking tourist norms, Tourism Australia hopes to promote more unfamiliar and unexpected attractions and delightful experiences within the world’s largest island.

“One of the challenges we constantly face is that people from this region feel they know everything about us. This campaign will shine a spotlight on some of our undiscovered and hidden holiday gems, showing there’s much more to Australia than just our well-known icons,” Tourism Australia managing director John O’Sullivan said.

“Yes, you can watch a game of cricket at the magnificent Adelaide Oval, but are people aware that they can also do an amazing rooftop climb offering 360 views of the city?”

Tourism Australia’s “There’s Nothing Like Australia” campaign was initially launched in 2012.

Earlier this year, Australia made one of the biggest Super Bowl campaigns of 2018 which targeted US tourists – a Crocodile Dundee-themed ad featuring the who’s who of Hollywood Aussies such as Chris and Liam Hemsworth, Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Margot Robbie, Ruby Rose, Isla Fisher, and Paul Hogan himself.

It was hailed as “one of the biggest, boldest and most high-profile executions done in years”.

“Undiscover Australia” will run for four months across the region across online, social and outdoor. It may potentially be extended to other markets in the future.

We don’t know about you but they sure had us at “Field of Light, Uluru”.