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June 15, 2006

Australia's Slogan - Another One Bites The Dust

NameI 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 .

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 .

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 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 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:

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Posted by William Lozito at June 15, 2006 11:01 AM
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The new Utah slogan doesn't look bad, assuming "elevated" refers to mountains and not what I initially thought of...

Sorry, but have to disagree. The campaign has generated more traffic to the government's tourism website that could wildly be expected, and everyone from the 'other' side of the world has been talking about it. Many northern hemisphere colleagues have written to me saying that they love the ads and want to come holiday here. Sounds to me like Oscar Wilde was right: 'there's only one thing worse than being talked about, and that's NOT being talked about'.

Hard to see how that works, Lee, when you have the ad banned in the UK and through Asia and in Canada and in many parts of the USA. Getting traffic from net surfers wanting entertainment is not exactly getting tourists. Obviously, if it was so great, they would not have deep-sixed it. These things are always popular among people online but we're not the target market--to paraphrase Lt Kilgore in Apocalypse Now : "The target market don't surf" If we see a boom in tourism within the next six months, OK, then my bad.
Frankly, this is one of the myopias of the ad biz--they equate a popular ad with success--not increased sales.

I agree with Lee a little here too, though I am a little biased being Australian :D

Aus Tourism seems to be marketing the culture of Australia a lot more than other countries. I mean if you have a fun and laid back culture with interesting people and couple all of that with a beautiful landscape... how can you lose?

Though I agree that Australia is too often tarnished by marketing campaigns and TV stars to the point where many people in the UK and US think every Aussie wrestles crocs in their backyard and fights off venemous snakes and spiders to go to the outhouse.

[wow, even I used not-so-common Aussie slang in there :)]


I thought "another one bites the dust" was a great slogan for Australia. As for the actual one, I agree it doesn't do much for identifing a target or a brand.

seeing it from outside of australia - i'am from switzerland working in the maldives - think that the campain itself is the the main marketing action. people spent time thinking of it. some of this thinking is creative. furthermore it gets lots of attention. i mean normally you have to pay more then 20Mio to get this power-attention in the on- and offline world. and if you have to pay the hours, days and weeks for all aussies thinking of a slogan? thats free brain power and it creates synergy. the campaign is winwin from all angles.

having said that, i can't wait to see the new image or slogan for australia.

this is my slogan idea:

' Australia rock's '

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