By Paul Johnson
Chris Barns is one of many 'regular' Australians to feature in the new Australian tourism ad campaign. (Supplied: Twitter)
Tourism Australia has developed a new "Philausophy", launching a $ 38 million advertising campaign far removed from the 2018 pitch featuring Hollywood stars Chris Hemsworth and Danny McBride.
- The new campaign looks to focus on ordinary Australians and how welcoming we are as a people
- The $ 38 million pitch to the international tourism market was launched at the Sydney Opera House today
- Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham says the global market is "tougher than ever"
The campaign encourages the world to live the Australian "Philausophy" and comes to the country to experience what it purports to be the laid back, easygoing nature of Australians.
The first ad, released on Tourism Australia's Twitter page features a group of Australians from different walks of life and makes sure to focus on their nicknames and what they do, such as Darren "Capes" Capewell of Wula Gura Nyinda Eco Cultural Adventures and Chris " Brolga "Barns of the Kangaroos Sanctuary in the NT.
While Samantha Gray of the Quicksilver group, she says "G'day mate to about 40 people a day" in her account of what a day in Australia is like.
The ad takes viewers on a journey across all states and to different places, including Sydney's Bondi Beach and Sydney Harbor Bridge, but in a topical point skips the recently closed-to-climbers of Uluru.
It does, however, feature plenty of surf, sun and sand, and in an iconic moment Mr Capewell encourages potential holidaymakers to: "Take your shoes off, feel that sand beneath your toes."
But whether the campaign can be as successful as others remains to be seen.
In 2018, the year Hemsworth gave McBride, playing the son of Mick Dundee, a lesson on Aussie culture, Australian tourism was up 3 per cent. The nation welcomed 8.6 million international visitors aged 15 and over in the 12-month period to June 2019.
Rather than relying on the star power of actors such as Hemsworth or Paul Hogan, who decades ago suggested droves should come and "throw another shrimp on the barbie", or even then the Lara Bingle model, who candidly asked tourists "Where the bloody hell are yes ", this ad might just fall a bit flat in international markets without true star power.
However, according to those who made the ad that is simply not the case.
Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said the multi-million-dollar campaign would be rolled out over three years in 15 key tourism markets in Europe, North America and Asia.
"In such a competitive global market, the sell is far more than ever," Mr Birmingham told The Sydney Moring Herald.
"We need to stand out from the crowd and find a unique selling point that sets us apart from our competitors.
"At its core, Philausophy is about giving travelers from around the world a taste of what makes Australia such an enjoyable destination by shining a spotlight on the people, lifestyle and personality that makes Australian experiences so memorable."
The campaign was informed by research that found 70 per cent of "high-value" travelers believed Australians had a different perspective on life and 73 per cent found the Australian lifestyle appealing.
The full campaign, unveiled at the Sydney Opera House on Wednesday, is based around nine "philausophies" including mateship, a love of nature, a no worries attitude, a generosity of spirit, a sense of adventure and boundless optimism.
Chef Curtis Stone, Kylie Kwong and Ben Shewry will feature in the campaign as well as comedian Adam Hills, surfer Mick Fanning, writer Kathy Lette and Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes.
Whether the campaign becomes a success or not remains to be seen, but at least for the sake of the sake of Tourism Australia in the short term it seems to be doing better than South Australia's much maligned 2019 "old mate" campaign.