During last night’s Super Bowl, viewers will have learned that the much-talked about sequel of an ʼ80s movie, ‘Dundee: The Son of a Legend Returns Home’, is not a sequel at all. It is actually an elaborate, star-studded advertising campaign aimed at attracting more travellers to visit Australia.
Tourism Australia, the government agency responsible for attracting international visitors to Australia, has revealed it is behind the major US marketing campaign.
Over the past two weeks, excitement for the new Crocodile Dundee movie has been steadily building. Imitating a traditional studio promotional campaign—using PR, social, digital, OOH and the release of four teaser films—anticipation for the new film was widely reported in People, Buzzfeed, Daily Mail, Good Morning America, and the Hollywood Reporter, among others.
Starring Danny McBride and Chris Hemsworth, with a cameo from Paul "Crocodile Dundee" Hogan himself, the 60-second commercial that aired during the second quarter of the Big Game revealed the joke to viewers. What begins as a typical movie trailer slowly and comically unravels, becoming a flagrant excuse to highlight Australia's dazzling locations and fine array of food and wine.
Presented as a buddy comedy, the movie features Danny McBride as Brian Dundee, the long-lost son of Mick Dundee and Chris Hemsworth as his sidekick, Wally Jr. The all-Australian supporting cast has an impressive roll call of Hollywood heavyweights and homegrown talent, including Hugh Jackman, Margot Robbie, Russell Crowe, Ruby Rose, Liam Hemsworth, Isla Fisher, Luke Bracey and Jessica Mauboy.
The teasers led viewers to believe that Mick "Crocodile" Dundee was lost in the outback, and only the American son no one knew he had would be able to find him. Cue Brian Dundee returning to the Australian outback to find his father. The teaser films and promotional campaign encouraged fans to tune in to see the "official movie trailer" during the Big Game, where the Tourism Australia campaign was ultimately revealed.
Part of its global ‘There's Nothing Like Australia’ masterbrand campaign, ‘Dundee: The Son of a Legend Returns Home’ represents the biggest campaign Tourism Australia has run in the US since Paul Hogan's ‘Come and Say G'Day’ campaign in 1984 - as well as the largest investment ever made by Australia into a single overseas tourism market. The new US$27 million campaign is aimed at supercharging interest, bookings and spending by American travelers, with the goal of making Australia the most desired destination to visit among US travelers by 2020.
The ‘Dundee: The Son of a Legend Returns Home’ campaign is also supported by Qantas and Wine Australia.
Unlike most Big Game campaigns, today's commercial is just the beginning of Tourism Australia's 2018 marketing push. A distinct suite of online films - titled ‘Why Australia?’ - featuring Danny "Dundee" McBride were developed in parallel. They will live on Australia.com and are designed to convert attention into action by retargeting the audience who engaged with the "Dundee" teaser content. The series of lighthearted films see fellow Aussies Chris Hemsworth, Curtis Stone, Matt Wright and Jessica Mauboy help McBride (and all Americans) plan his ideal Australian getaway, providing personal perspectives and unique insights on Australia's food and wine, nature and wildlife, aquatic and coastal experiences, culture and heritage and sport and events.
Tourism Australia Managing Director John O'Sullivan said the US was a critical market for Australia, with American visitors spending $3.7 billion in the past 12 months. "Despite rating highly in terms of aspiration and intention, we still have more work to do when it comes to converting American interest in Australia into actual visits. That's the challenge that this new campaign is seeking to address.
"Crocodile Dundee put Australia on the map for Americans in the '80s. The film helped shape their view of Australia, showing them Australia's natural beauty and Australians' friendly and welcoming nature. And it's still relevant today, with our research showing that Mick 'Crocodile' Dundee is still a character Americans believe warmly represents the Australian way of life," said John O'Sullivan.
Tourism Australia Chief Marketing Officer Lisa Ronson said the Big Game provided the perfect platform to grab attention in the US before rolling out the new campaign's commercial elements in order to convert interest into bookings.
"The Super Bowl has the largest reach of any advertising platform in the US, with more than 100 million viewers tuning in across America and many more millions globally. Importantly, many viewers are the high-yielding American traveler we specifically target," she said.
Tourism Australia's global tourism ambassador Chris Hemsworth said that working on the campaign was a huge honour and also a lot of fun. "Crocodile Dundee and Hoges did an outstanding job thirty odd years ago of captivating American audiences and putting Australia onto their travel wish lists. I'd like to think the inspiration the film has provided for this new Tourism Australia campaign will ultimately translate into similar success," he said.
Advertising agency Droga5 created the ambitious, integrated "Dundee" campaign. It is the first project Tourism Australia and Droga5 have partnered on together after being awarded the assignment in June 2017. The agency has deep roots in Australia, as its founder is a native Australian.
"As an immensely proud Aussie, my goal was for Droga5 to create an audacious, outlandish tourism campaign that only Australia would have the guts to pull off. What makes Australia special isn't simply the 37,000 miles of beaches, unique wildlife or world-class food and wine—it's getting those things delivered by a warm, welcoming, irreverent bunch of people. What better platform than one of our most-loved treasures, Crocodile Dundee, which was also one of the best ads for Australia?" said Founder and Creative Chairman of Droga5 David Droga. "From the strategic rigor and creative development to the production execution and PR approach, the clients have been on this journey with us 100 percent of the way. Partnering with Tourism Australia to bring this idea to life has been an honor."
Tourism Australia's global media services agency, UM handled media duties on the project.
"UM is delighted to be partnering with Tourism Australia around this year's Super Bowl. There couldn't be a better time in the US for us to celebrate those quintessential Australian values of carefree fun, good humor and epic adventure. We are very excited to be helping the world get to know the Australia we have all come to know and love at UM," said Daryl Lee, UM Global CEO.
Agency: Droga5 NY
Creative Chairman: David Droga
CDs: Chris Colliton, Kevin Weir
Associate CDs: Jim Curtis, Ryan Fitzgerald
Design Director: Devin Croda
Designer: Jen Lally
Associate Experience Design Director: Annie Ha
Experience Designer: Chloe Karayiannis
Co-director of Film Production: Jesse Brihn
Executive Producer, Film: Andrew Slough
Music Supervisor: Mike Ladman
Director of Business Affairs: Jocelyn Howard
Sr. Business Affairs Manager: Tom Vendittelli
Talent Manager: Michelle Cramer
Senior Traffic Manager: Wendy Kaplan
Co-Director of Interactive Production: Justin Durazzo
Producer, Interactive: Alex Smith
Producer, Media: Aaron Matys
Director of Art Production: Cliff Lewis
Producer, Art: Nichole Katsikas
Associate Director, Print Services: Riely Clough
Group Strategy Director: Will Davie
Head of Communications Strategy: Colleen Leddy
Communications Strategy Director: Delphine McKinley
Senior Communications Strategist: Hillary Fink
Data Strategist: Janet Kim
Group Account Director: Edward Rogers
Account Director: Marissa Guerra
Account Manager: Annie Sherbon
Associate Account Manager: Jeff Winsper
Seniort Project Manager: Meredith Nydam
Project Manager: Tessa Muchura
Global Head of PR: Marianne Stefanowicz
PR Manager: Danny Hernandez
Production Company: Revolver / Will O'Rourke / Biscuit Filmworks
Director: Steve Rogers
Managing Director, Revolver/Will O'Rourke: Michael Ritchie
Managing Director, Biscuit Filmworks: Shawn Lacy
Executive Producer, Revolver/Will O'Rourke: Pip Smart
Executive Producer, Biscuit Filmworks: Holly Vega
Producer: Caroline Kruck
DOP: Russell Boyd
Camera Operator: Anna Howard
Drone Operator: Tony Driver
Production Designer: Chris Kennedy
Costume Designer: Margot Wilson
Makeup/Hair: Nikki Gooley
VFX on set Supervisor: Justin Bromley, FIN Design
Post Production: Blacksmith
Executive Producer: Charlotte Arnold
Producer: Alexa Mauro
2D Lead Artist: Daniel Morris
2D Artist: Yongjae Lee
2D Artist: Jacob Slutsky
2D Artist: Aska Otake
2D Artist: Min Liu
Rotoscoping: Trace VFX
Rotoscoping: Filaments visual effects
VFX Supervisor (Cameo): Ray Giarratana
Production Company: Second Child
Film (The Cast Trailer Only)
Editor: Pete Sciberras
Post Production: Blacksmith
Color: Company 3
Music and Sound Design: HUMAN
Sound: Heard City
Interactive Production Company: Active Theory
PR Consultant: Kovert Creative
Media Agency: UM