Tagged with the unquestionably cheeky 'invitation' -- "So Where The Bloody Hell Are You?" -- the campaign is already being hailed as a worthy successor to the legendary 'Shrimp On The Barbie' ads of the early 1980s.
The Australian launch sparked a light-hearted national debate with newspapers asking if the use of a friendly Australian colloquialism is appropriate for a government ad (according to Sydney Morning Herald's online poll 54% found it cheeky).
The version for the U.S. market will be launched by Tourism Australia in San Francisco on March 7, 2006 during a week of promotional activities in support of the campaign and Australia's new direct service to Sydney from San Francisco.
It will then appear on U.S. newsstands and on TV starting mid-March.
Tourism Australia Chairman, Tim Fischer, said the new campaign, which builds upon the successes of the past, aims to increase the economic benefits of tourism to Australia.
"This campaign is about increasing the dollars that we earn from international tourism and encouraging the spread of tourists right across Australia, especially for rural and regional areas. This is the job that the Australian Government has tasked Tourism Australia to do and this is the campaign that will deliver on that job."
Mr. Fischer said, "This is unashamedly a campaign about getting international tourists to come to Australia. What matters most is what potential visitors think and how we can get them to respond."
Tourism Australia Managing Director, Scott Morrison, said, "In an increasingly competitive and tough commercial environment we must be bold, aggressive and distinctive to win the business. But we also must be credible -- we must be true to what we are as a destination and focus on why the world loves us -- and our marketing must be authentically and distinctively Australian."
Mr. Morrison said, "Tourism Australia has made an unprecedented investment in making sure that we have done our homework on this campaign.
"In total, 86 focus groups were conducted in our top seven tourism markets, which make up 67 per cent of our inbound tourism business, to develop and test this campaign.
"More broadly we have invested $6.2 million in the past eighteen months through our brand tracking, segmentation studies, international visitor studies, focus groups, and in-depth interviews, and through these mechanisms have spoken directly to more than 47,000 tourism consumers around the world to put this campaign together," Mr. Morrison said.
"The research was firstly all about making sure we knew what we had to achieve -- to get them to visit now, not just think we're great. We then had to identify our target market, what we call the Experience Seekers who possess the characteristics best suited to meeting Australia's objective to increase yield and dispersal as they spend twice as much and disperse three times as much as average travellers," Mr. Morrison said.
Mr. Morrison continued, "It was then about developing a campaign which would have the desired impact in getting them to commit to holidaying in Australia and then having the confidence that what had been developed would work.
"Tourism Australia, and its predecessor the Australian Tourist Commission, have been vigorously marketing Australia internationally as a tourist destination for almost 40 years. Now that record levels of awareness have been achieved the next step is to convert this awareness into an actual intention to travel to Australia now.
"The proposition for the campaign, `Australia invites you to get involved,' delivered through a uniquely Australian invitation of 'so where the bloody hell are you?' captures the essence of Australia's famous warmth and hospitality and provides a personal invitation to share in the uniquely open Australian experience, defined by the personality, lifestyle and environment of Australia.
"The tagline for the new campaign, 'so where the bloody hell are you?' has been thoroughly tested in all of our major markets, in particular Japan, UK, USA, Germany, China, New Zealand and South Korea and given the green light by our customers -- they get it, it cuts through and it delivers the invitation.
"While there are standard features of all executions in the campaign, there are subtle variations for each market, through the use of colloquial language translations and the inclusion of different sets of experiences based on this research," Mr. Morrison.
In total there are eleven scenes that have been filmed and a further thirteen still images, some of which are still in production, that will be used across a broad spectrum of media including television (cable and broadcast), cinema, print (magazine and newspaper) and on-line. The imagery mix captures the diverse range of experiences on offer in Australia and, through the common direction to australia.com links the customer to a wealth of details on locations across Australia.
Specific executions and combinations of executions have been tailored for each market, within the framework of the campaign creative concept, using the campaign's modular format. This tailoring has been designed from the outset, to enable Tourism Australia to create a campaign that is both globally consistent and locally relevant.
"This exciting new campaign provides a compelling and uniquely Australian invitation to the world that celebrates our personality, our lifestyle and our place. It has been carefully designed to cut through the clutter and motivate international tourists to stop putting it off and visit Australia now," Scott Morrison said.