Australia to promote Australia (Good News Week 23/6/08: What’s the Story)

Aussie tourism leaders are hoping the new Baz Luhrmann film Australia will attract tourists to our shores in a similar way that the Lord of the Rings trilogy did to New Zealand. They’re CGI-ing in a couple of hobbits just to make sure.

Sure, Lord of the Rings showed off New Zealand’s snowy mountain ranges, rushing rivers and verdant landscape, but this film really displays acres of sand at its best. / but boy, can we do flat desert! / but this film showcases our inhospitable deserts of death like nothing else!

The success of New Zealand’s “the real middle earth” campaign has prompted Aussie tourism commercials to advertise Australia as “the real down-underworld”. Though I’m not sure Underbelly will necessarily draw the sort of tourists we’re after.

The Aussie tourism industry is hoping the movie Australia will revitalise tourists’ interest in visiting the country. It seems that the fuel-starved post-apocalyptic Australia depicted in Mad Max just wasn’t projecting a positive enough image. And, as we all know, it’s just too close to the truth.

Australia also hopes to get a bigger foothold in the tourism biz by stressing that New Zealand is also the home of orcs, trolls and Balrogs. / and hairy feet. / and evil wizards. / and New Zealanders.

After the Lord of the Rings trilogy was screened, visits to New Zealand went up 22 percent – although admittedly, most of them were ring-wraiths. / most tourists were actually searching for the One Ring.

But they’ve missed the point. The selling point for New Zealand wasn’t the hills and lakes – it was the fact the place is full of hobbits.

A Tourism Australia source said the film was basically a two and a half hour ad. Sounds awesome. / There’ll be queues round the block for that one. / And if you wait and watch it on TV, you can get it interrupted by even more ads! Yeah!

Baz Luhrmann has struck a deal with Tourism Australia for his new film, called Australia, to be used to try to replicate the success of the New Zealand “the real Middle Earth” campaign. Hmm… “Australia. The real Australia.” Not sure how big a hit that’s going to be. / Doesn’t quite have the same ring… / Well, it’s catchy. / Well, it’s memorable! / Well, it’s true!

The new slogan will be “Come to Australia. The country. It’s just like it is in Australia. The film.” Should work a treat.

The film is set during the Japanese attack on Darwin in World War II, and will display Australia as a great place to bomb.

The film is set during the World War II bombing of Darwin. That was when we were attracting the wrong type of tourist.

The film is set during the World War II bombing of Darwin. In fact, their slogan’s going to be “We’re ripe for a take-over…” / “Whew, it sure is nice to be an island paradise with a very small defence force!” / “Australia: so easy to bomb!” / “Australia: beautiful one day, all yours the next!” / “Isn’t it time for an annexe?” / “Australia: easy pickin’s.”

They’re still going to use “Where the bloody hell are you?” as a campaign slogan, although given that the film’s about the bombing of Darwin it’s now going to be addressed to people who’ve been blown up.

The film’s about the bombing of Darwin. They’re still using the slogan “Where the bloody hell are you?”, though now it’s more an anguished cry for a bombed loved one.

The film stars Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, but so far as the tourism industry’s concerned, the real star is outback Australia. And to be fair it is a better actor than Nicole.

It’s a great way to attract tourists to the top end of Australia, hoping for a glimpse of Nicole Kidman’s titty. Or down south for her map of Tasmania.

Of course if you’re going to attend a two and a half hour film called Australia, chances are you’ve heard of the place already.

They’re hoping the new film will be more successful at attracting tourists than the “Where the bloody hell are you?” campaign. Yeah, well a two and a half hour film called Australia is a bit more obvious. / is less likely to be confusing.

They’re hoping the new film will be more successful at attracting tourists than the “Where the bloody hell are you?” campaign was, or the follow up “We’ve got deadly snakes” disaster. / or the more recent “If the snakes don’t get you, the spiders will” disaster.

The original New Zealand campaign was just Gollum singing “can’t help myself – bad hobbits.”

We can’t use the Lord of the Rings for our international advertising, because, when translated into Australian, the phrase “lord of the rings” comes out as “arse bandit”.

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