I was pleased to see outgoing Tourism Australia, Executive Director, Andrew McEvoy say that Australia was past using celebrities as spokespersons. Speaking in an interview with The Telegraph he said, “"the big thing that has changed is that back in the '80s, advertising was about instructing the consumer, jumping through the screen. The modern traveler needs more sophisticated coercion, with a major shift ‘from disruptive to engaging, traditional to digital’ advertising.”
The success of the original ‘shrimp on the barbie’ campaign featuring Paul Hogan is legendary, and it certainly helped elevate Australia onto the world tourism stage. However, for too many years following that success and many times due to political influence there was an ongoing obsession to have a celebrity as the spokesperson. This was despite research showing that consumers wanted to see more of Australia as the star.
I found McEvoy’s comments to be refreshing and very realistic. He finished by saying, “Since the launch of ‘There's Nothing Like Australia’, which is translated into 17 languages for 25 different countries, "we've had growth every year", McEvoy said.
I hope that his successor at Tourism Australia, doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel and be distracted by reigniting a search for the next new celebrity star.