Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Paul Hogan Myth?

Last night I attended a session on the impact of the mining boom on tourism featuring Richard Dennis from The Australia Institute. A post on that will follow, however there was comment made at the event by Boyd Scott on the previous success of the Paul Hogan advertising campaign to "put another shrimp on the barbie" which deserves a query.

How successful was that campaign beyond popular mythology? Criticism of that (mis)perception and continual attempts to replicicate that campaign has come from John Richardson, former assistant general manager of the Australian Tourism Commmission:
Australia had a salutary lesson with the Hogan campaign in the United States in the early 1980s. That campaign aroused enormous interest in America, awareness of Australia went sky-high and was still high a decade later. And in that decade the growth in tourism from the United States to Australia was the poorest of any of our major markets by far.  Almost all of the growth you referred to came from other markets, where the Hogan campaign was not shown. That campaign had nothing to do with it the rapid increase of tourism to Australia in the 1980s. (I discussed the Hogan campaign in some detail in my book A History of Australian Travel and Tourism, published by Hospitality Press at the end of 1999).
That quote comes from a post in 2008 at the blog of Andrew Bolt to whom I prefer not to link because of his increasingly irrational political rabidity.  There is some further commentary elsewhere. The comments from Richardson are of interest given the current political push to return to marketing strategies from the past perceived to have been successfull in their era.

In that context perhaps this comment from Richardson has some relevance:
To think that a bunch of advertising geniuses in Australia, led by someone unskilled in international destination marketing, can work out a one size fits all advertising campaign that will be effective in 22 different markets is a joke.

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