Tourism Australia has launched the 60-second TV advert for its $125 million ‘Ruby the Roo’ global push to entice international visitors.
The new ‘Come and say G’day’ campaign will also feature Arrested Development actor Will Arnett as a toy unicorn and be accompanied by a reworking of Men at Work’s Down Under.
A longer film will this week play at a launch event in New York, and the total campaign will also debut in print publications, social media and ‘out of home’ billboards.
The chief marketing officer of Tourism Australia, Susan Coghill, defended the ads against local criticism, arguing it was aimed at a global audience.
“We know that our consumers in market are engaging with this,” said Coghill in an interview with Mumbrella. “We know that things like animals and believe it or not, animated characters actually do pull through as very strong devices.
“We know the interaction between the two characters is working really well, and they come back saying the potential for turning them into longer-term brand characters is really high.
“As much as I know that in Australia we have 25 million stakeholders with an opinion, the best thing I could do really is also to focus on our international high-yielding travelers who we need to get to come to Australia and ultimately spend, because that is what helps our tourism industry, which helps the economies around them and our national economy.”
Tourism Australia said there would be “brand activity” in 15 global markets and spending on media in nine countries. The initial launch will run for eight weeks.
The organisation’s managing director, Phillipa Harrison, said, “Another hero of the campaign is the remake of the Australian classic song Down Under by up-and-coming Australian band King Stingray, who sings in both English and Yolŋu Matha, an indigenous language from Northeast Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory.”
It comes a day after Melbourne Airport revealed its number of international passengers in September was still nearly 40 per cent down on pre-pandemic 2019.
The Ruby the Roo ad series is also the first to feature a ‘frontman’ since a Kylie Minogue-backed campaign in 2019 was pulled due to the Black Summer bushfires.