Australia…The movie is just about to be released (Nov 26) on to an expectant audience, Now I hear you rattling around saying, this is a travel blog, why don’t you write about this in newbluefilm, well the problem is I am not sure really what sort of deal this is, there has never been a shortage of funding for films to push a little about a product or product placement, Star Wars created an empire of not marauding killers roaming a galaxy far, far away but for interstellar profits from toys and other merchandising in creating a hype of a product that was in this case the film itself, in other words each promotes the other, and pays for the film to be made, its called cross promotion.
The poster wants to promote Australia the movie as the next Gone with the Wind, Aussie Style, but as a large sum has come from the Australian Tourist Board then your wanting to get something back for your tourist dollar, and as the tie-in movie ads are out, they don’t look that much different than the big screen epic in style and delivery….and its here I have a problem.
The general idea is to en-trance people to come here (Australia), see the sights, have a great experience, and mostly leave behind lots of your tourist dollars, but for years I have had a big problem with the general perception of Australian advertising mostly for eyes overseas.
The last big hugely successful advertising campaign for Australia was unfortunately with a bridge painter, Paul Hogan was a genuinely funny comedian that made the only commercial Australian worldwide hit, Crocodile Dundee in 1986, so “throw another shrimp on the barbi” was a promotion that tied in with Hogan’s persona and greatness was born, and the tourist dollars rolled in, so then every day since that marketing dream, Australian Tourism has replicated it over and over dismally, until the final act of the last campaign of “Where the bloody hell are you!”, that said more about the Australian Tourism body than about its product, so never short of a good idea, they then went back to basics and funded to the tune of $51 million another major motion picture, in other words… did the same bloody thing again…
I have no problem at all in a film promoting a country, James Bond films are just that, in fact most films are or placed delicately to show off their environments, but Australia is a bit of a doubter, yes it shows off our incredible landscape, top end, Kimberley ranges, wide open spaces and big, big Australia, great, yes brilliant, but……
First the film is set in 1941, and that is sixty seven years ago, not a great promotion for an upandcoming upstart of a country like Aussieland, second, most promotional material shown means that if you come here for a jolly good time, it consists of you, alone on a dusty red deserted outback road, with just a small dusty covered Kangaroo for company, and except for a few whitefellas, the only people you will meet will be aboriginal children and lost bushwalkers doing dreamtiming…or tracking..be stuck up a tree or alone in a large billabong (pool of water), miles and miles from anywhere, yes you will find yourself, because only you will be out there……alone!
…and dirty….and thirsty….and tired….and hot….and smelly…and hours and hours of dusty travelling boredom and who wants that!
Not me, I want comfort, soft bed, nice pool, cool drinks, mega shopping, beaches, great food, great wine, five star comfort, a ride on a rollercoaster, I’m on holiday for Christ’s sake, not working for a mining company, I want to get away from pain, and yet over and over again Tourism Australia want to plonk you outback in the never, never land where nobody goes except mining engineers go to get away from the wife.
And still they persist from Priscilla, Queen of the desert to almost anything made on film in Australia is shot in bloody nowhere, or scares you to dreamtime nightmares horrors like Wolf Creek or Rogue a killer croc, stranded eons away from anywhere, facing a lonely road death, any promotional film sent out by Tourism Australia or Qantas is shot in nowheresville, deadend Australia………are you surprised nobody is coming here…I’m not!
The few that do come, are really surprised that when you arrive at the airport within a shopping centre in Australia, there are biofuel taxis, not Hugh Jackman and a horse and carriage, and we do have other mega shopping centres as well, good ones and that our restaurants are magnificent, and you can sit back and relax..cradle a drink while overlooking a great white beach or harbour view, you may argue that “well I can get that at home”, well no, it is still a different environment, Australia is different, the atmosphere is different, food is different, shopping is different, the whole experience is very different and that should be Tourism Australia’s message, same but very different, and most of all so are the people..
Australians are so laid back they are horizontal, they love their cruisy, long lunch, have another wine and look at that amazing view lifestyle, they love their sport (a little too much), outdoorsy, treking, beachgoing, boating, shopping, they work hard but they play even harder, and Australia is usually cheap to eat, stay and be merry, only problem is the long distance flight to get here, but once here, its hard to want to go home, and most who do come think of nothing of coming back again and again.
Its not all bad with a head in the sand attitude, Queensland Tourism have done a better job than most, Their “Beautiful One Day, Perfect the Next”, ad was a winner, and backed up with the right lifestyle visuals, “Very Gold Coast”, was a interpretation of the iPod generation Adverts, and that worked very well too, funny thing is Tourism Australia always leaves Queensland out of national campaigns, maybe they think Queensland Tourism doesn’t think they need any help or they loath them, so the market that should see them don’t…the important overseas market.
Every country has its cultural travel icon, “Come see me”, animals abound, China’s Panda, Canada’s Bears, Africa’s Elephants, lions, zebra and pink flamingo’s…….Australia its killer Crocs or Sharks that eat you whole, red back spiders “one bite and you’re dead”…….snakes…..lots of deadly snakes, even Indiana Jones hated snakes, am I getting my point across..
if you go to Australia you will die a lonely painful death…
Film’s in general have a shelf life of seven weeks, yes it is world wide exposure, but basically after two weeks your off the top spot and on the downward spiral, another blimp of life comes when the DVD is released, but then its soon in the discount bin, my second point is $51 million is a waste of money, it works out about a million dollars a day, yes invest in a film, but don’t throw the whole outhouse in on an advert with a cute aborigianal boy speading sawdust and most of the advert showing the dark streets of New York and not Australia…
Australia deserves better…..much better, $51 Million dollars better…..it is a great place to come and relax, shop, swim, see great vistas, in other words to have a great holiday, we need to sell that….more than a sixty seven year old film.
..have a good one…………(if you visit Australia you find out the meaning of the quote)
Australia Review: See newblueflim