Tourism Australia was reportedly considering legal action against a website that was posting parodies of ads from the new “There’s Nothing Like Australia” campaign. After launching an unsuccessful attempt to find the mastermind satirizing the ad campaign they spent over $100 million on, Australia’s official tourism agency decided against taking legal action.
Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy told The Australian Online, “We expected that people would spoof the ads and we are fairly relaxed about that. Did we look at it? Absolutely. Are we taking legal action on it? No.”
The parodies on nothinglikeaustralia.net pull few punches making light of everything from race riots to the late Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin feeding a croc with one hand while holding a baby in his other hand to a mother who blamed the 1980 disappearance of her baby on a dingo.
The official ad campaign calls on Australians to submit photos of their favorite places to accompany the “There’s Nothing Like” tag line, and has already been panned as dull and uninspiring by parts of the advertising industry. Like the official campaign, the spoof site is also seeking submissions.
The Australian reports that Tourism Australia had tried buying up domain names similar to the campaign, but obviously missed an important one. Interestingly, the parody site was registered in the US minutes after the campaign’s launch and posted its first mock ads within a few hours. The timing of the parody site could either be suspicious or impressive. Is it the malicious work of someone with inside information? Just someone with a quick wit and wicked sense of humor? Or perhaps more likely, a combination of the two? Regardless, Tourism Australia’s initial reaction seems likely to have shifted media attention from the real campaign to the fake one, not to mention given much more exposure to the mock ads than they might have gotten on their own.
If that wasn’t enough, Tourism New Zealand also tried to steal some of their Australian counterpart’s thunder by buying online ads that accompanied news stories about the new Australian campaign.
It seems unlikely There’s Nothing Like Australia will approach the success of the most popular Australian tourism campaign ever, the classic 1980s version starring Paul Hogan:
[image credit: nothinglikeaustralia.net]