"So Where the Bloody Hell Are You?" - Australia Ad

Excerpt from news below:

In a TV version of the ad, smiling Australians describe,
tongue-in-cheek, their efforts to make visitors feel welcome: “We’ve
had the camels shampooed…And we’ve got the sharks out of the
pool…We got the 'roos off the green…” An Aboriginal dancer adds:
“And we’ve been rehearsing for over 40,000 years.” A bikini-clad young
woman on an otherwise empty beach delivers the saucy tagline.

This is the coolest tourism tagline I’ve ever heard! Kudos to all in Australia. :smiley:

From AWSJ
March 10, 2006

‘&@#$%!’ – Australia Throws Another Tourism Advertising
Slogan on the Barbie

By BRUCE STANLEY

How do you advertise a country?

As more nations around the world market their charms to the
globe-trotting tourist, their international ad campaigns sound
surprisingly, and blandly, similar. But amid invitations to visit
destinations that are exotic, unique and incredible comes a curveball
from Down Under: “So Where the Bloody Hell Are You?”

Australia’s Tourism Ministry plans to spend the equivalent of $135
million over the next 2 years promoting the fresh tagline, in
commercials set to start airing next week on major U.S. television
networks. The slogan’s introduction in Australia and New Zealand has
already elicited strong opinions, with critics calling it a profane
turnoff.

The brash motto’s advocates say they are targeting educated,
adventurous tourists who get that the line is a play on the widely
held view of Australians as friendly and unpretentious. Tourism
Australia, the national agency responsible for the promotion, has
tested the line on 47,000 people in seven countries and says the
response has been overwhelmingly positive. Even Australian Prime
Minister John Howard has weighed in, declaring the slogan very
effective and “anything but offensive.”

Suggestive or in-your-face slogans have broken out before: amid all
the "Incredible India"s and "I New York"s, the most memorable such
messages are often of this ilk. Las Vegas has “What Happens in Vegas,
Stays in Vegas”; years ago, “Virginia is for Lovers” was racy for its
time.

Backers of Australia’s slogan reckon it could give Australia’s tourism
industry its biggest lift since actor Paul Hogan, a.k.a. Crocodile
Dundee, offered to throw another shrimp on the barbie for visitors
back in a 1984 campaign. Still, Tourism Australia has had to tone down
its new message in at least two markets. Advertising regulators in
Britain, where the campaign will roll out next week, have banned the
word “bloody” from the television ads there – a decision Australian
Tourism Minister Fran Bailey described yesterday as “comical,” because
the original ad will appear uncut in British cinemas, in newspapers
and online. The edgy TV ads won’t air in prudish Singapore.

The tagline, created by the Sydney office of ad agency M&C Saatchi,
underscores the challenge for any tourist destination trying to
distinguish itself among scores of rivals targeting the same audience.
Asia has proven particularly fertile ground for national tourism
campaigns. In addition to “Incredible India,” the region’s slogans
include “Uniquely Singapore”; “Malaysia, Truly Asia” and “WOW
Philippines!”

“There is nothing that truly stands out,” says Michael Ip, managing
director in the Asian-Pacific region for brand consulting firm Landor
Associates.

Mr. Ip also questions the slogans’ credibility. “How many people can
actually say getting through Mumbai Airport is an incredible
experience?” he says. “And I can’t really say that the traffic in
Manila wows me very much. Or that there is anything terribly unique
about Singapore.”

Ethnic violence at a Sydney beach suburb in December may have
tarnished Australia’s reputation, at least temporarily. Even the best
marketing effort can unravel because of political unrest, rampant
crime or disease. A grim case in point: the outbreak of severe acute
respiratory syndrome that brought Hong Kong’s economy to a virtual
standstill in 2003. The deadly SARS virus, which caused fever and
respiratory distress, struck after the city had launched a tourism
campaign under the slogan, “Hong Kong Will Take Your Breath Away.”

Just as with cars, cereal or any packaged product, the marketing pitch
for a country needs a specific target audience, and many efforts have
foundered for lack of focus. The Philippines has rebranded itself many
times over the past 30 years, with slogans ranging from “Pride of the
Orient” to “Fiesta Islands” to “Philippines: The last bargain in
Asia.” Its current slogan, “WOW Philippines!,” was intended as much to
instill national pride as to attract overseas visitors.

It is all the more impressive, then, when a place gets it right. When
tourism officials in India launched their first-ever international
promotion, in 2003, they pitched a kaleidoscope of experiences
including yoga, wildlife and festivals. Today, with billboards at New
York’s Times Square and commercials on CNN, the “Incredible India”
campaign is regarded as a great success – in spite of Mr. Ip’s
complaint. Its promoters say it contributed to an increase of 25% in
foreign tourist arrivals in 2004.

As many as 10 ad agencies have worked on the Indian campaign, but some
countries can’t afford outside help. Tourism officials in Bangladesh,
inspired by India’s breakthrough, dropped the decades-old tagline
“Visit Bangladesh Before the Tourists Come” in 2004. Now they are
promoting their latest homemade effort, “Bangladesh – Beautiful
Surprise,” with an ad budget of just $71,000. “Until and unless we
have an aggressive marketing plan, the slogan doesn’t really matter,”
says Mahfuzul Haque, chairman of the Bangladesh Tourism Organization.

High-school students in Uganda helped choose the African country’s
first-ever slogan, “Gifted by Nature.” Tourism officials there are
trying to rescue a cash-starved ad campaign by outsourcing it to a
private consortium.

With countries retooling their messages more frequently, Tourism
Australia felt it needed to spice up its own efforts to “cut through
the clutter,” a spokesman for the tourism agency says. Its old slogan,
“See Australia in a Different Light,” wasn’t doing the trick, so it
spent $4.6 million to hire M&C Saatchi to conduct focus groups for six
months.

“What we found from a massive research campaign is that people like
Australia not so much for Australia but for Australians,” says Tom
McFarlane, M&C Saatchi’s regional creative director in Sydney. He
settled on the “bloody hell” tagline after considering and tossing out
dozens of others, which the agency declined to disclose.

In a TV version of the ad, smiling Australians describe,
tongue-in-cheek, their efforts to make visitors feel welcome: “We’ve
had the camels shampooed…And we’ve got the sharks out of the
pool…We got the 'roos off the green…” An Aboriginal dancer adds:
“And we’ve been rehearsing for over 40,000 years.” A bikini-clad young
woman on an otherwise empty beach delivers the saucy tagline.

“What I think this captures is the real Australia and who we really
are – an easygoing, welcoming nation,” Mr. McFarlane says. “And
people like us for that.”

Write to Bruce Stanley at bruce.stanley@wsj.com