Tourism ad that aired during Super Bowl was ‘value for money’, Minister Ciobo

February 6th, 2018 | | Events

A multi-million-dollar tourism advertisement featuring Chris Hemsworth and an alternative Crocodile Dundee was being touted by the Federal Government as a huge success, only hours after it aired in the US during half-time in the Super Bowl.

Key points:

  • Government won’t say how much the Super Bowl ad spot cost, but a slot can cost up to $US50m Tourism Australia says ad was aiming to get back to Paul Hogan’s 1980s message, the Trade Minister dismisses concerns about cultural stereotypes within the ad
  • The taxpayer-funded trailer for a mock sequel of the 1980s film franchise featured some of Australia’s most prominent actors including Russell Crowe, Margot Robbie, Hugh Jackman and the Hemsworth brothers.
  • Trade Minister Steve Ciobo has dismissed concerns about cultural stereotypes and argued the ad represents value for money, claiming it has been watched by more than 100 million Americans and generated $30 million in free media.

One reason for this is many Americans believed the mock trailer was legitimate, sparking a number of articles speculating about its success.

Mr Ciobo would not say how much it cost to book the prime-time spot but said the advertisement was part of a $36 million campaign. “What matters is the dollar value of the campaign, [which is] $36 million over two years, and we’ve already got that back in spades,” Mr Ciobo said.  It is not known how much the high-profile actors were paid to take part in the 60-second advertisement, although Mr Ciobo said they had agreed to work for their minimum wage. “It’s the ultimate in mate’s rates,” Tourism Australia’s managing director John O’Sullivan said.

“What matters in a heavily media-dominated market like America is that you get cut-through,” Mr Ciobo said. “This has been the most talked-about advertisement out of all of the Super Bowl commercials.” Mr O’Sullivan said there was a deliberate strategy to go back to 1980s depictions of Australia. “What we’re trying to do in this campaign is get back to the ‘come say g’day’ ads that Paul Hogan did in the mid-1980s,” he said.

“Showing the parts of Australia that Americans know, our beautiful scenery, our great food and wine, but also introducing the element of friendly Australians and larrikin humour. “We know that’s what resonates with the American consumer.” Mr O’Sullivan said the Super Bowl advertisement allowed the campaign to hit 50 per cent of its target market in “one fell swoop”.

“This franchise was so powerful in selling Australia bank in the 1980s … [it] was exactly what we wanted,” he said. Mr O’Sullivan said the agency had a $15 million partnership with NBC studios to produce the advertisement. Slightly more than 750,000 Americans visited Australia last year, spending $3.7 billion while they were here. The Federal Government wants this tourism campaign to increase that spend to $6 billion by 2020.

The campaign also includes a series of light-hearted online videos called Why Australia where Danny McBride chats ‘US talk show’ style with Chris Hemsworth, Curtis Stone, Matt Wright and Jessica Mauboy. Filmed on set, the four well-known Australians provide personal perspectives and unique insights on Australia’s food and wine, nature and wildlife, aquatic and coastal experiences, culture and heritage and sport and events.

To convert interest into bookings, Tourism Australia has also published tailored travel itineraries and inspiring destination information on supported with a dedicated campaign ‘marketplace’ which includes airfare and tailored holiday offers from 20 campaign partners, all aimed at encouraging Americans to book a trip Down Under.

All of Australia’s states and territories are featured in the campaign with locations, products and experiences carefully chosen to resonate most strongly with high value American travellers looking to experience Australia.

To explore all the elements of the campaign, please visit

Mr Ciobo said he was confident the media attention generated by the commercial would encourage more Americans to visit Australia.

What do you think? Value for money? Have your say!

Source: ABC