Tourism Australia’s Dundee: The Son of a Legend Returns campaign will contribute an extra $860m to the Australian economy by 2020, according to the tourism body’s chief marketing officer Lisa Ronson.
The campaign, which kicked off in January with a teaser campaign and Super Bowl advert, this week rolled out a content series Why Australia, in a bid to continue to leverage the popularity and buzz around the activity.
Ronson told The Drum, the campaign aimed to drive more high-value visitors down under with a goal to increase the current $4bn spend that is generated by US visitors to $6bn by 2020.
“Without this campaign, the market would have grown to just over $5bn by 2020, so what this campaign aims to do is to add an incremental $860m to the Australian economy and that’s what we are holding ourselves accountable for.”
The move is part of a strategy to target high value, or high spending travellers, rather than targeting the mass market.
“We are known as a market destination and we want to get those travellers who are going to come into the market and are high yielding,” said Ronson. “If we were playing a numbers game we would look at a mass audience and we would need to get a lot more people, spending a lot less money.”
“We are going for those consumers who value travel, they will travel long haul and they like what Australia has to offer and that is going to have a greater impact on the Australian economy than if we did a mass market campaign. We are unashamedly going after this market.”
Tourism Australia has invested $36m in the campaign, which is the tourism body’s largest investment in the US market since Paul Hogan, the original Crocodile Dundee, fronted the iconic Come Say G'Day ads more than 30 years ago.
The US marketing spend compares with the $45m Tourism Australia spent on its 2016 coastal and aquatic experiences campaign, which targeted 10 key markets including the US, UK, China and India.
Ronson said the investment was significant for a single market campaign. “It’s a bigger investment than what we have been making in the US market in the last few years. But, we also know that we got the greatest cut-through and the greatest shift in our brand metrics in the US market back in the late 80s with Paul Hogan.
“This is the biggest advertising market in the world and it's very cluttered from a messaging point of view, we really wanted to cut-through and make an impact to set us up for our push into the market over the next couple of years.”
The challenge for Tourism Australia is to shift the perception US travellers have when it comes to travelling Down Under. While Australia ranks highly as an aspirational destination, it drops to 26th place in terms of actual visitation, losing out to Europe for long-haul travellers.
Ronson said while US travellers were travelling abroad at a higher rate than ever before, Australia’s share of this market remains flat.
“We know that when American’s visit Australia, they absolutely love it and they become advocates for it. So, we wanted to increase our share of the American market that is travelling to long-haul destinations. We wanted to remind audiences, why they need to come to Australia rather than Europe.”
Ronson said the campaign has spawned over 12,000 media articles, with an estimated media value of over $75m and has reached 890 million people across social media. The Super Bowl ad was watched by more than 100 million people during the game in addition to 100 million views on digital channels.
“We’re starting to see a lift in our brand metrics, which were taken about a week after the Super Bowl. Importantly, we are seeing a dramatic spike in leads to our industry and our airline partners saw dramatic increases in their traffic immediately after the Super Bowl and that has continued.”
Dundee has also had a halo effect in other key markets such as China and UK, as well as generating buzz in India and Malaysia.
Ronson said the content series, Why Australia, which launched earlier this week, will run in the US market for some time, with more content in the pipeline.