In 2009 Tourism Australia created an ad campaign that offended a lot of people. It asked potential visitors why they hadn’t yet come to Australia by saying, “Where the bloody hell are you?”
I thought it was very cheeky and very Australian and couldn’t understand what all the hubbub was about. Here’s what it looked like:
In hindsight, that campaign now looks like a sweet, innocent relic of a time gone by. Nothing controversial about it.
Australia is about the size of the United States, but instead of fifty states it has only six. Plus one huge, wild, nearly empty area called the Northern Territory. And the NT now has an unofficial ad campaign that has horrified some and amused others.
I say it’s an unofficial campaign because the actual NT tourism organization has absolutely nothing to do with the campaign. Although its creators are still shrouded in mystery, their guerrilla ad campaign has spiraled into a marketing phenomenon. They have a big, beautiful website and they’re selling T-shirts and other logo items by the gazillion.
WARNING: IF YOU ARE EASILY OFFENDED, STOP READING RIGHT NOW AND SKIP TO THE NEXT BLOG ITEM.
OK, I’ve stalled long enough. You’ve had plenty of time to move to the next item if you’re easily offended. Here’s the Northern Territory’s guerrilla ad campaign I’ve been talking about.
On one hand, I want to buy a T-shirt because I think it’s so funny. On the other hand, I don’t think I’d have the nerve to walk down the street clad in that shirt.
But I do admire the creative team’s creativity and ability to get people talking.