The United States is becoming an increasingly important tourism market for Australia. In 2017, the U.S. moved into third place for most visitor arrivals, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
How does Australia keep a good thing going — especially when people don’t know much about the country outside of stereotypes?
Better than a movie.
Create a fake movie trailer that flips those stereotypes on their head.
Many Americans associate Australia with the comedy, “Crocodile Dundee,” which was the second-highest-grossing movie of 1986, only behind “Top Gun.” This faux sequel finds Dundee’s American son (played by Danny McBride) visiting Australia for the first time. After playing with memorable scenes from the original film — “That’s not a knife” — the faux trailer runs through a series of serious things that make Australia great: pristine beaches, great wine and world-class restaurants. Then, a literal record scratch and the reveal: “This isn’t a movie…It’s a tourism ad for Australia.”
Teasers for the fake movie were released 18 days before the big game. To build buzz, Droga5 got celebrities to boast on social media about their “role” in the movie. The fake movie picked up coverage on entertainment websites around the world.
What they told Adweek:
“We wanted to make something really unique that was going to cut through,” said Tourism Australia CMO Lisa Ronson. “This is the biggest thing we’ve done, and we wanted to make sure we had the best concept.”
Lessons to be learned:
- Everyone loves a mystery. — At first, no one knew if “Dundee” was real or not. Hollywood had rebooted a lot less-popular movies, right? Without any official confirmation, the buzz continued to grow as fans searched the internet for clues. Even after “Dundee” was outed as a tourism ad by the Brisbane Times days before the big game, engagement rose by 1,256 percent, according to data firm Amobee.
- Go Big. — “Dundee” was the first Australian tourism ad for Americans in almost a generation, so Droga5 pitched a big concept with big movie stars. The only problem? Some people in the initial presentation thought Droga5 was pitching a real movie and started thinking about cost.
Get the casting right. — The hardest part of any sort of parody is making things semi-believable. The announced cast (Danny McBride, Chris Hemsworth, Margo Robbie, Hugh Jackman, etc.) was just silly enough to give people pause. Droga5 believed McBride would generate more excitement than believability — and that was a good thing. The casting was so good that some fans were disappointed there wasn’t a real “Dundee.”