Creating advertising campaign to sell Australia to the world maybe not so easy as anyone thinks. Like the latest “There’s Nothing Like Australia” campaign – 2010 version from Tourism Australia. It’s simple, catchy, straight to the point and quite representing what Australia what to offer. But just a few days after the release, you will not believe how sarcastic and abusive some people are. I personally like it and decided to give it a bit of boost.

The Ads & The Lyric

You can judge yourself. But before you do that, make sure check the lyric and watch it in full first below. (For a start, half of the critics did not really know for sure what the lyric is, but already voicing something negative). Here they are: (Tourism Australia owns the copyright)

  1. “There is nothing like it, is it ?!!”.
    “No…” [Somewhere at east coast beach on sunrise. Early morning surfing with a mate, watching a couple of Dolphin playing while waiting for the wave]
  2. “There is nothing like the sunrise, the first wave of the day” [Playing piano on the beach]
  3. “The trip along the coastline” [In a plane]
  4. “It’s right across the bay” [Ferry at Sydney Harbour]
  5. “There’s nothing like this ancient place” [Aborigine Elder on the rock]
  6. “Sunset on a camel” [Northern Teritory]
  7. “This organism” [Great Barrier Reef]
  8. “This billabong” [Aborigine kids]
  9. “Or this duck-billed mammal” [A ranger holding platypus]
  10. “Ta ra ra ra” [Train trip with boyfriend across the bush]
  11. “Ta ra ra ra” [BBQ on the beach with mates]
  12. “Ta ra ra ra ra ra ra ra” [Rowing in Brisbane(?) River]
  13. “There is nothing like the people here” [Outdoor tenor singing in a winery]
  14. “or here” [Gold coast beach lifeguard]
  15. “or here” [At fresh water river inside a tropical rain forest]
  16. “or there” [In front of Melbourne Central Station, basking on the street]
  17. “My mates up here” [A boy sitting on a branch of tree with couple of Kookaburra bird]
  18. “My friends down there” [On a reef with Colourful fish]
  19. “There is nothing like this bear” – “That’s not a bear” [A Girl Holding Koala, with ranger behind]
  20. “There is nothing like this giant shrubs” [In a national park]
  21. “This rock” [Uluru]
  22. (muffled) “This Fish” [Diving near a whale shark]
  23. “These birds” [With Australian Budgies]
  24. “There is nothing like this furry thing that bounces around in herds” [Driving in a prairie with Kangaroos]
  25. “There is Nothing Like, Australia” [At the Twelve Apostle, Victoria]
  26. “There is Nothing Like, Australia” [Girls night out with train]
  27. “There is Nothing Like This wondrous land” [On the top of the valley to the desert with 4WD]
  28. “From Darwin to Bass Strait” [2 girls in a car]
  29. “There is nothing like the people here” [People at rock pool]
  30. “Where everyone is mate” [Drinking in a Pub]
  31. There is Nothing Like Australia” [Bridge Climb at Sydney Harbour Bridge]
  32. “There is Nothing Like Australia” [Concert at outside of Sydney Opera House]
  33. “There is Nothing Like Australia” [Firework starts]
  34. “There is Nothing Like Australia” [Firework continue]

Petty Critics

So, do you like it? Well, it’s a free country, you like it or not it’s purely your opinion and you can express it.
However, some of the critics around the social media (youtube, Vimeo, etc) are just petty critics, some of the popular one:

  • Koala is not a bear! (Well, obviously someone cannot catch the wording straight after that – see row 19 – actually the ads has done a terrific job to “fix” this common error, imagine this: if your kid is given a Koala doll and he/she put it side by side with the Teddy bear. Due to the physical structure similarity, of course, everybody will now call it “Koala Bear” to match “Teddy Bear” – what? you want to call it “Koala marsupial?” – The fact that’s Koala is not a bear now can be taken just by seeing this ad – no need to wait for the Biology class at year 10 or visit to a Koala park – isn’t that great ?)
  • A group of kangaroo is called mob not “herds” (Complete boo-boo, the critics obviously doesn’t know that you can use even grammatically wrong structure to make a song. This is not grammar presentation, it is an ad… “herds” in a way rhyme with “birds” (previous sentence) – also “mob” have a very bad connotation in the English language i.e: criminal group. So, I bet “herds” was carefully chosen.
  • Racist – only see white people (Another complete boo boo. You can see Aborigine, White, Asian, Hispanic, etc)
  • Why the girls driving a left-handed car (Yes, in Australia the steering wheel is on the right side of a car. This “complaint” most probably is just technical matter, for example: after the 4WD is panning from left to right, then zoom into the inside need to show left to right movement – if the shooting was done on the other side then it create a conflict of flow, so they just flip the clip. Maybe- I am not the editor. Also, other alternative explanation, since it’s a desert, the rental company can provide left-handed car for overseas tourist – in short – not a big deal)
  • Copying Discovery Channel Ad “Boom De Ah Dah” – see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=at_f98qOGY0 (Have a look at that ads, yes the flow and the framework is the same but nothing in the content is similar, not the song, not the text, not the scene. This is not copying, this is call “adaptation” – Obviously, the creative team agreed that Discovery Channel Ad is very suitable for this campaign and just work their adaptation.
  • Copying Mickey Mouse theme song – see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61ZoKsU0OAQ (The only similarity probably just the last 3 bar. But that ending (note sequence and tempo) is very common being used in uplifting and climax ending that will encourage the audience to clap. Probably a few tens of known song use the same ending. Also, since the tune is simple, the chord progression is also similar with many other popular and simple song. The creator of this ad is expert in his field, there is little possibility that he did not know about Mickey Mouse song..) Just another petty critics.

The sad thing is, people, make a serious comment like “I am embarrassed being Australian because of this ad” or “lame” or “idiot” based on those petty factors.

Probably the only critics that missing from the ad are didgeridoo and the snow. Yes, Australia also has snow!

The Real Value

If you really want to judge the ad, then be a foreigner. Say you live in Siberia and consider for a nice holiday then stumble upon this ads, what can you derive by just watching the ads:

[Sydney Opera House]

Sydney Opera House in the Ad

  • Australia is thick with beach culture (surfing, BBQ on the beach, diving, swim with dolphin)
  • Multi-cultural society
  • Great scenery (desert, archipelago, valley, bushland, etc)
  • Exotic indigenous animal (Koala “bear”, Kookaburra, Platypus, Kangaroo, birds, camel, even whale shark)
  • The home of the famous Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge (mm apparently you can climb on it, I’ll try that…)
  • Winery, pub and sports culture – also music culture (the tenor singer and concert outside Sydney Opera house)
  • People so relax, casual and friendly
  • Funny and humorous ads – not serious boring ads.
  • And the tune is catchy (Try just hear the ads 2 times, and it will come back to you when you are just doing nothing)
  • Catchy simple slogan “There’s nothing like Australia”
  • And what’s that fabulous firework ???

Now, if 90second ads can give all of the above, I would say it’s quite bloody good ads!

To tell you the truth, the first time I hear and watch this ad, after having a small laugh and giggle on the content, I burst into tears after that final crescendo, full with proud and awe that I can call Australia home.

Just wait until this ad runs during the world cup break where Australia united behind Socceroos, this would become the unofficial national anthem that people will sing !! You betcha!

Want to try to watch it again?

Visit: australia.com for further info about travelling to Australia.

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