June 15, 2006
Australia's Slogan - Another One Bites The Dust
I think we can safely say that the Australia tourism slogan "Where the bloody hell are ya?" was misguided from the start and now can be filed alongside some other recent tourism slogans that have questionable marketing value.
The ones that come to mind immediately are the State of Washington's "SayWA" campaign, Baltimore's ill-starred "Get In On It" slogan and Indiana's "Restart Your Engines". I have already written about how New Jersey has been working on its third slogan in six months.
Australia's tourism slogan, however, is the only one of these to actually be considered offensive and refused airtime by such important markets as the UK, Canada (promotes alcohol consumption), Asia (offensive), part of right-wing USA (obvious reasons) and the family-orientated National Geographic Channel and Discovery Channel, both of which will be promoting Australia, but without the slogan.
The phrase "bloody hell" simply carries a lot more resonance in the Northern Hemisphere than the ex-colonies and, frankly, many of us who are unfamiliar with the rough and tumble Australian way of life (this would be the target market for the tourism campaign) would not understand why the country seems to be swearing at us.
Even the Australians made fun of it by making an even more earthy ad that Tourism Australia despised.
I know there was some talk that the campaign's very offensiveness would start a priceless viral buzz, but instead it started a wave of spoof virals that will take years to live down.
When it comes to branding a country, maybe using the term "hell" is not such a good idea. And "bloody" is a brand naming boo-boo no matter how you slice it.
You have to wonder what the bl**dy h*ll they were thinking.
For more opinions on tourism slogans, check out these blogs:
- So where the bloody hell are you? - SloganMurugan chimes in on "Where the bloody hell ar ya?"
- Marketing of Baltimore - McGraw On Marketing questions whether Baltimore's "Get In On It" slogan was just created for the free press.
- Life Elevated - Indian blogger Gopal M S reported on Utah's slogan, "Life Elevated".
- This is What A Bloody Tourism Ad Campaign Looks Like - Ron Nurwisah questions how the strong language of "Where the bloody hell ar ya?" will translate in China, Japan, India and Europe
- SayWa (…ht the hell?) to the new State Slogan - Karl Swenson writes about Washington's SayWa state slogan, and then asks, "Are we really doomed to always be moderately mediocre? Say…maybe…"
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