Home / Australia / Tourism Australia Hoax Drives Super Bowl Viewers Online 01/24/2019

Tourism Australia Hoax Drives Super Bowl Viewers Online 01/24/2019

by Nina Lentini

7 hours ago

The Challenge

From 2016 to 2017, Australia’s share of U.S. tourism remained stagnant at 1.3% while American out-of-region travel had grown 11%. Tourism Australia needed a
circuit-breaker moment that could make the nation top-of-mind and memorable, and would drive U.S. intent to book. 

Research showed that Americans are highly receptive to
clever messaging during the Super Bowl with its proven brand-building reputation and purchase intent acceleration. However, insights further revealed that too many brands sacrifice the element of
surprise, in exchange for searches, by releasing their ads in full prior to the game. 

To this day, the primary U.S. association with Australia is the iconic 1986 film
“Crocodile Dundee,” still the highest grossing in Australian history. 

The Execution

In January 2018, we
announced a Hollywood reboot with “Dundee: The Son of a Legend Returns Home.” Presented as a buddy comedy, the plot follows Danny McBride (Brian Dundee) and Chris Hemsworth (Wally Jr.) as
they attempt to save Mick “Crocodile” Dundee from danger. However, this movie wasn’t really a movie. It was the centerpiece of an elaborate integrated media campaign for Tourism
Australia. And the hoax would be revealed during Super Bowl LII. 

Several weeks prior, it launched branded behind-the-scenes “leaks,” press releases and four
blockbuster trailers complemented by “official” branded assets including movie website, social handles, IMDB/Wiki pages, digital banners and videos, and OOH billboards. 

Halfway through its Super Bowl ad, the brand revealed the ruse to over 100MM viewers. At that moment, all media simultaneously transformed into Tourism Australiabranded assets, from
“coming soon” to “come soon.” It then retargeted all previously and newly engaged users with compelling offers and content addressing “Why Australia?” while
directing them to Australia.com to explore itineraries. 

The Results

The week following reveal
saw a 35% growth in searches for flights.“Dundee” was the #1 most-viewed Super Bowl campaign. Seventy-eight percent of American
travelers felt it differentiated Australia as a vacation destination, a 50% increase. Sixty-six percent of consumers exposed were more likely to visit, with an 83%
increase in intent to book.

Key Takeaways

You can fool all of the people some of the time.

Go big, go Super Bowl when you have an
arresting idea and creatively follow through.

Use what you are best known for to capture attention, then zap your audience with a twist in the plot line.

This was a finalist in the Influencer Marketing and the Branded Entertainment: Original Film/Video categories in MediaPost’s 2018 Creative Media Awards.