August 28th, 2008

Melbourne twilight

How to do tourism campaigns

Sometimes, my mother and I come up with the most random stuff in our telephone calls. Today? A general principle for effective tourism campaigns. Basically, it was inspired by a Chaser skit with alternatives to the "where the bloody hell are ya?" slogan, such as "fuck, Australia's fucking great, so where the fuck are you, motherfucker?" The principle: piss people off.

Imagine if the "fuck, Australia's fucking great" slogan were genuinely used in the US, for instance. The right-wing fundie mob would be mortified. They'd be throwing hissy fits online, they'd be phoning Rush Limbaugh, they'd be writing outraged letters to newspapers and the Australian embassy, so on and so forth. "Those awful sinners and their cussin'!" What they most certainly will not be doing is visiting Australia. It'll be all boycotts, discarded Crocodile Hunter DVDs, no more dinners at the Outback Steakhouse, and absolutely no trips Down Under. To which I say "fantastic!" Meanwhile, the accompanying furore in the media will give Australia publicity and exposure it simply could not get with some bland "koalas and kangaroos" tourism campaign. Anybody with a sense of humour, i.e. tourists we actually want, will be snapping up airfares to Australia!

So if you're running a tourist campaign, piss people off! All the uptight, humourless prats who you'd rather not visit will intentionally avoid you, while the cool people who enjoy a good laugh will come in droves. You'll thank Mum and I later when you're having a drink with some awesome visitors and laughing at their hilarious stories about miserable sods in their homeland.