TOM ELLIOTT: All right, so it sort of starts off as a new version of CrocodileDundee, and then the American bloke who's allegedly the son of Mick Dundee,realises he's in a tourism ad for Australia. To me, the fact that we have to goback to 1986 and reuse one of the more hackneyed bits of Australian moviemaking, I think, is a pity. Joining us on the line, though, now, the FederalMinister for Tourism, Steve Ciobo, good afternoon.
STEVEN CIOBO: Good afternoon, Tom.
TOM ELLIOTT: Did you approve this ad?
STEVEN CIOBO: I certainly did, andwhen Tourism Australian came to me with the concept, I asked a couple ofpreliminary questions, of course, which is, does the board of Tourism Australiasupport it? Does industry support it? Do the states and territories support it,and will we have program partners? They were able to tick all of those boxes.The proof of the pudding is in the tasting, as they say, Tom, and this hasgenerated tremendous cut through in the North American market.
TOM ELLIOTT: Really?
STEVEN CIOBO: Oh, yeah. We've had, inthe last week or two, since the teasers went out, and now the advertisement'sgone to air, we've had more than 400 million social media engagement around it.And bear in mind that 80% of that has been in the North American market.
TOM ELLIOTT: Okay, I know that's what we want to do, we want to get Americansto come and visit here, but is reinventing or reusing the Crocodile Dundeething, is that really going to work?
STEVEN CIOBO: Well, mate, neither younor I are the experts when it comes to this marketing, I'm afraid to say.Whereas the team at Tourism Australia, they've been doing this for quite awhile. They research all of this, they do focus groups, they understand themarket, and as I said, with more than 400 million engagements already, morethan 20 program partners that have come on-board. In terms of the actualviewership around Super Bowl, more than 100 million Americans watch it, and ifyou look at the actual discussion around this advertisement, all the newsclips, the fact that CBS News is talking about it, this is the most talkedabout advertisement from the Super Bowl. Bigger than Budweiser, bigger thanDoritos chips, bigger than Pepsi.You are talking about apotential viewing audience on these programs of more than 3 billion people.
TOM ELLIOTT: What do they say?
STEVEN CIOBO: So, great cut through.
TOM ELLIOTT: Okay. All right, all right. I grant the people are talking aboutin America, what are they saying though? I mean, I know there are probablymillions of things that have been said, but what has been the general reactionto the ad?
STEVEN CIOBO: Well, the generalreaction has been incredibly positive, and I can't thank enough the fact thatwe've had some outstanding Aussie talent, like Chris and Liam Hemsworth, likeMargot Robbie, Jessica Mauboy, even Hoges himself, who have all stepped up tothe plate.They've been involved in this campaign.They've been driving it through their social media, they're doing radio and TVinterviews around it, as well. They're doing it for an absolute minimum fee,which is what's called the Screen Actor's Guild minimum, which is a requirementthat they charge that absolute minimum.The fact is, Australiantaxpayers have saved millions. And on that point, Tom, I might just correctsomething you said in terms of the introduction, when you said TA, that isTourism Australia, spent $36 million making this ad, that's actually notcorrect.It's $36 million campaign over two years,where we've got program partners like Qantas, you know, hotel chains, car hirechains, they're all coming into this, they're also contributing, and this willmake a difference in terms of the cut-through that we're getting in thatmarket.
TOM ELLIOTT: Do you reckon we'll ever get away from the Crocodile Dundee theme?I only say this, because I remember 15, 20 years ago, I went to the States, andyou meet people, and I'd say to them, "What do you think ofAustralia?" And they go, "Oh, Mick Dundee, one."
STEVEN CIOBO: Yep.
TOM ELLIOTT: Two was Steve Irwin.So, the entire country is reduced to blokes who wrestle crocodiles for aliving. Are we ever going to get away from that?
STEVEN CIOBO: Well, look, I thinkit's a fine balance. I mean, take for example what this advert does. I noticeyou played an excerpt before. What we're trying to do is draw the link betweenthe kinds of perceptions and icons they know about Australia, but also, what weare able to do now.So, that advert that you played before,some of the audio of, part of that focus is upon redirecting people to say,"Did you know Australia is producing some of the best wines in the world andsome of the best restaurants in the world?" Bear in mind, we're not aimingthis at every single tourist in North America, but we're after the premiumtourists. The ones who are big spenders when they come here, because they'rethe ones that help to drive our export of tourism, and that in turn, means morejobs for Australians.
TOM ELLIOTT: Can I just ask you one more question, why were there no images ofMelbourne or Victoria, as far as I could tell? Why was it all Sydney, and notthe north of the country?
STEVEN CIOBO: So, earlier today, Iwas chatting to ABC Gold Coast, and they asked me how come there are no imagesof the Gold Coast in it, and this is the thing. We don't fall into the trap oftrying to tick every box by showing every single town and region acrossAustralia.
TOM ELLIOTT: Yeah, but Melbourne's a pretty big part of Australia.
STEVEN CIOBO: Of course, it is. It'smore than a big part, I mean, it's a critical part of our tourism offering, butwhat it's about is producing something that was credible, something that wouldfly in terms of the whole pretext of this, which was the Dundee film.So, what's featured heavily is the footage et cetera, aroundbuilding the story on the old Crocodile Dundee film originally, and nowupdating it with the new cast and new actors, and that's why, because it wascredible, it got traction.
TOM ELLIOTT: All right. We'll leave it there.