It may have been lost on many Aussies over the holidays, but Tourism Australia tapped into the talents of one our greatest living exports to spruik Australian getaways to Brexit-weary Brits.
Tourism Australia launched the tongue-in-cheek ad on Christmas Day in the UK, which appeared on British televisions immediately prior to the Queen’s annual Christmas Day message.
It features a specially composed song performed by Kylie Minogue, showcasing her in various Australian locations including Sydney’s Taronga Zoo, Uluru, Rottnest Island, Byron Bay and Victoria’s Sandringham Beach, as well as pulling beers in a pub.
The ad also taps into the singer’s popularity in the UK, where she has resided for many years, by teasing back to her roots as mechanic Charlene on the TV show Neighbours and one of her music videos with her set poolside among other sunbathers on beach towels.
While Ms Minogue dominates the musical advertisement, other famous Australians to make cameo appearances include Olympic champ Ian Thorpe, former cricketer Shane Warne, World Number 1 tennis queen Ashleigh Barty, comedian Adam Hills and model twin brothers Jordan and Zac Stenmark.
They were also joined by the likes of the Aboriginal Comedy Allstars and UK-born chef Darren Robertson from the renowned Three Blue Ducks, among others.
The ad – which as of 2 January 2020 had been viewed almost 1.6 million times on YouTube – can be viewed in full below:
‘A dream come true’
In a press statement announcing the campaign’s launch here in Australia, Ms Minogue said she had been inspired by filming at locations she had never previously visited.
“Filming the Matesong music video was literally a dream come true,” she said.
“I’ve had the opportunity to see parts of the country I haven’t seen before, as well as to go home and revisit places that I know are beautiful.”
Ms Minogue joked: “I’m such a proud Australian that I’ve spent most of my life travelling around the world sharing my stories of Australia with anyone who would listen, so I kind of feel like a walking tourism advert for Australia already.”
Meanwhile Tourism Australia managing director Phillipa Harrison said the singer was the perfect choice to headline the campaign, because the singer “embodies so much of what we want to share with the world – our warm, fun and friendly personality” as well as being a “much loved and recognised icon in the UK”.
According to Ms Harrison, the timing of the ad’s launch was designed to capture maximum attention, particularly as it falls during the British winter.
“The Queen’s annual Christmas Day message is a key cultural moment in the UK, with millions tuning in to watch on television and many more online,” she said.
“We also know that January in the northern hemisphere winter is a time when many Brits are thinking about an overseas holiday, providing the perfect opportunity to engage with a captive audience and remind them why they should make that next trip [to] Australia.”
UK a major market for Aussie tourism
“Matesong is the largest investment that Tourism Australia has made in the UK in more than a decade at AUD15 million,” the national tourism body said in a press statement announcing the campaign here in Australia.
“At a time of uncertainty in the UK, Tourism Australia is extending a hand of friendship through a light-hearted, musical tribute from Australia that celebrates the deep and longstanding ties that exist between the two countries.”
Australia’s Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said the campaign taps into one of the largest markets for international visitors, amid the ongoing uncertainty in the UK around Brexit and a general election held in December.
“It’s no secret that the UK has been going through a period of uncertainty, and this has had an impact on outbound travel, including to Australia where numbers have dipped in recent months,” he said.
“It is crucial that we continue to drive growth from this market, both first timer travellers but also repeat visitors whose familiarity means that they are more likely to want to travel further and deeper into our regions.
Mr Birmingham continued by outlining the significant role that British tourists play for the Australian economy.
“Britain is such an important market for Australia – it’s our fourth-largest market with more than 718,000 Brits spending $3.4 billion in Australia over the last year,” he said.
“British tourists traditionally stay longer and spend more than other international travellers – on average staying 32 nights in Australia and spending close to $5,000 per trip.”
The campaign has continued since its launch over the festive season, appearing on British television and cinema screens, as well as on social and digital platforms and out-of-home platforms, while being further extended through partnerships with TripAdvisor, Singapore Airlines and The Telegraph UK.
**Update: 7 January, 2020**
Tourism Australia reportedly paused the advertising campaign in early January, in light of the devastating bushfires ravaging large parts of Australia.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.