Australia tells Asians to ‘think again’ in campaign challenging stereotypes
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Australia tells Asians to ‘think again’ in campaign challenging stereotypes

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?

Think again.

There’s more to the land Down Under than that and it wants to Asians – more specifically, South and Southeast Asia – to know that.

Through its new AUD10 million (US$7.1 million) “UnDiscover Australia” campaign, an extension of its “There’s Nothing Like Australia” brand platform, Tourism Australia is seeking to challenge stereotypes and correcting misconceptions about the country through a series of videos.

“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 campaign specifically targets India, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia, which account for more than 1.3 million international arrivals into Australia each year and contribute 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”.

A version of this article was first published on our sister website Travel Wire Asia.

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