The sequel you have when you’re not having a sequel (but launching a tourism ad)

Tourism Australia chose the prime-time-on-steroids forum of the US Superbowl to launch their new tourism campaign to over 100 million viewers today (US time). With its tongue firmly in cheek, the campaign references the wildly successful Crocodile Dundee movie in the form of a promo for a Hollywood-style studio movie release.  It’s Australia’s largest campaign in the USA since the famous Come Say G’Day ad campaign featuring Paul Hogan in the eighties.

As tourism ads go, we think its close to brilliant. It doesn’t take itself seriously, features a stellar cast of Hollywood A-listers including Chris Hemsworth, Hugh Jackman, Margot Robbie, Ruby Rose, Liam Hemsworth and Russell Crowe. Burying a TVC inside a satirical movie promo builds engagement in a very creative way and there is no bigger platform to launch a TVC in America than Superbowl. The ad features reference to Australia’s outback and coastal landscapes, food and wine, and intrinsically, its film and entertainment industry credentials. One of the stars of the campaign, Tourism Australia brand ambassador Chris Hemsworth makes no secret of his love of Byron Bay having listed the iconic east coast destination first in his top 5 Australian places in an Instagram post.

Byron Bay and Bondi shine at NSW Tourism Awards

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The team at Surfer Rosa Communications is amped to share the news that our clients  Bluesfest Byron Bay, Lets Go Surfing Australia,  Cape Byron State Conservation Area and Go Sea Kayak Byron Bay collected a swag of trophies recognising their excellence in tourism at the 2017 NSW Tourism Awards in Sydney.

Against strong competition, from Vivid Sydney, 2017 Tamworth Country Music Festival and The Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, Bluesfest has won Best Major Festival & Event at the NSW Tourism Awards for the third year in a row.

“Pinch me I’m dreaming, we just won Best Major Festival and Event at the NSW tourism awards for the third year in a row” said Bluesfest Executive Director Peter Noble.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think this would happen. I would like to thank everyone associated with presenting the event for their incredible dedication and professionalism.”

Bondi Beach’s original and best surf school Lets Go Surfing Australia (LGS) took out the gold award as the state’s best adventure tourism business for the second year running.

“Writing  an awards submission is a chance to sit down and evaluate the great things you’ve done over the past year.” said LGS Founder and Director Brenda Miley at the event, held at Sydney’s International Convention Centre.

“Then actually winning,  you realise that other people see the great things you’ve done as well. Our team is just super-stoked at our being acknowledged by industry peers for how brilliantly they go about changing lives, one wave at a time.”

The eastern most tip of mainland Australia is a place of enormous cultural and environmental significance, and the dedicated  team at the Cape Byron State Conservation Area and Cape Byron Cottages were delighted to collect silver and bronze in respective categories of Tourist Attractions and Unique Accommodation.

Go Sea Kayak Byron Bay scooped silver for excellence in Eco-Tourism , operating ocean kayaking experiences  amongst dolphins, whales and turtles in Cape Byron Marine Park.



Patti Smith and Bluesfest Touring win at Helpmann Awards

Congratulations to Patti Smith and her Band and Bluesfest Touring on winning Best International Contemporary Concert at the 2017 Helpmann Awards. Patti and her band  toured Australia in April for the last time in partnership with Bluesfest Touring, and thrilled audiences in Byron Bay, Sydney and Melbourne with the intense passion and energy that made her seminal album Horses a huge debut success. Surfer Rosa Communications is super-proud to have helped our client Bluesfest Touring honour the significance of Patti Smith’s contribution to the arts by preparing the Helpmann Award submission. What a thrill and a privilege!

Artificial intelligence helps tourism marketers communicate and connect with simplicity: Destination Australia Conference 2017 wrap

Ad agency Creative Director Ken Segall only got beaten up twice by Apple’s Steve Jobs during the 12 years he worked for him. I suspect he means figuratively, but the message was clear; genius behind one of the world’s most successful companies Apple though he was, Jobs was a mercurial character whose vision was unimpeachable. Continue reading → Artificial intelligence helps tourism marketers communicate and connect with simplicity: Destination Australia Conference 2017 wrap

Thought for today

planet-earth-lowtouch-banner We know more about how to solve wicked problems than we ever have in history. We also have an awareness of this ability.  Humanity has the good fortune and responsibility to other species with whom we coexist to take that seriously and be excited by what we can achieve in our assumed stewardship of the blue planet.

Everything’s amazing! But is Byron Bay too much of a good thing?

Along with thousands of other residents and holiday makers, I went to the beach in Byron Bay  on a heaven on a stick summer’s day in early January.  As we’ve done for the past 8 years most summer Sundays, we take our daughters to ‘Nippers’,  run by Byron Bay Surf Life Saving Club. For the uninitiated, it’s beach and water safety education for kids. It’s an inspired way to begin Sunday: wake up with a swim, watch your kids build confidence and have fun in the ocean. If you’re civic minded, you can help out with the sausage sizzle, in the canteen or sport an orange rashie on water safety duty. (This is my personal fave,  as it comes with the benefit of being able to commandeer a rescue ski and watch proceedings from waterside with an air of assumed authority). Read the full story by Russell Mills first published on Common Ground Australia

Big thanks to Dan Kelly for the use of his song/video.