Thursday, 9 October 2008

Class not crass – Australia's 'where the bloody hell are you?' binned for Baz

Sandwagon bids farewell to Australia's, 'So where the bloody hell are you?,' tourism campaign, which was at best arrogant and at worst considered offensive. And it's fair to say that whilst it succeeded in getting potential visitors' attention, it didn't really lay claims to their hearts.

So, the Aussie's have called upon their talented son Baz Luhrman to deliver some epically themed adverts befitting his epic homeland. The ads and the entire tourism campaign feature themes and straplines, all with undeniably awe-inspiring backdrops, that have been crafted to stoke the 'finding yourself' fire that demands regular rekindling in the souls of travel addicts...

Admittedly 'Come walkabout' does make me think of sticky floors and cheap beer, in those green and yellow Aussie-styled bars that are scattered across the UK. But only for a few seconds... until the advert's string music kicks in and the camera pans out on a dreamy, romantic scene. Take the billabong ad above; its far too familiar human theme, set in the country's Kimberley region, really did make me shiver. It reminded me of past travels that gave me the chance to find myself again. And it set me dreaming of trips to come; before I let life and relationships degrade into a blur of deadlines and working and doing and ticking off to-dos.

Yep, I'm probably being a little too soft about the ads, but aren't all travellers perpetually on the hunt for the next destinationally-inspired chill along their spine that makes them feel alive?

Australia may well be on the Sandwagon travel agenda for early next year!

The ads air in the UK tonight and are tied in with Baz Luhrman's new movie Australia, starring Nicole Kidman.