For more than 20 years one of my favorite tourism brands
has been Australia. Tourism Australia has gone through several advertising
campaigns over those two decades. Honestly, I can't even remember all of them as
some were quite forgettable. The fact that I remain so fond of brand Australia
just proves one undeniable tenet of brand building: a brand is not a slogan or
a logo (although they play a role in the big picture); a brand is the feeling
that a person has about a product or destination.
Tourism outlets in social media are abuzz this morning with
commentary on a new ad for Tourism Australia. It's a catchy musical spot
featuring all sorts of Aussies singing "There's nothing like
Australia" amid some of the country's most spectacular and familiar scenes.
Critics claim the ad looks dated and portrays Australians as
"backwards" and "stuck in a timewarp on the global stage."
I couldn't disagree more. I liked the ad the first time I
saw it because it's truthful. There really is nothing like Australia – the
Great Barrier Reef, the iconic Sydney Opera House, the Twelve Apostles, Uluru, and
don't forget kangaroos, koalas, and platypuses. Australia is a one-of-a-kind place and playing upon that uniqueness is smart advertising. Not only are all of the
things I mentioned shown in the ad, so are many great examples of Australian
life and culture in their thoroughly cosmopolitan cities of Sydney and
Melbourne. I'm just disappointed they didn't include images of cricket or
Australian Rules Football.
Brand building requires three basic things:
1. A clearly stated message that helps differentiate you
from the competition
2. Powerful visuals (photos, video, layout, logo) to
convey the experience and aid with recall
3. A consistently great brand experience (advertising
can't deliver this, but it can ruin it by not portraying it accurately)
The new Tourism Australia campaign delivers on the first two. Australia, with its breathtaking beauty and its friendly people deliver on the third.