In 1986, Crocodile Dundee introduced Americans to the land down under. The iconic film put Australia on the map and is one of only a few 1980s classics not to have been rebooted in Hollywood. Until now.
8 Cannes Lions Awards
1 Titanium / 3 Gold / 2 Silver / 2 Shortlisted
In January of 2018, the iconic Australian franchise returned with Dundee: The Son of a Legend Returns Home. Presented as a buddy comedy, the movie features American Danny McBride as Brian Dundee, the long-lost son of Mick Dundee, and Australian Chris Hemsworth as his sidekick, Wally Jr. The all-Australian supporting cast has an impressive roll call of Hollywood heavyweights, including Hugh Jackman, Margot Robbie, Russell Crowe, Ruby Rose, Liam Hemsworth and Isla Fisher.
Teaser films and a promotional campaign encouraged fans to see the “official movie trailer” during Super Bowl VII. However, on the world’s biggest stage, the truth of the campaign was revealed: it was all an elaborate tourism ad for Australia.
Strategy & solution
They developed three phases to create a media frenzy without actually making a film:
To drive PR before the Super Bowl, they launched “Dundee” a month out, the way any studio would: a website, social handles, an IMDB page, PR, digital and OOH. They released four teasers through our talent’s social, each designed to arouse more suspicion than the last.
Their :60 Super Bowl TVC revealed the gag—turning into a flagrant excuse to highlight Australia’s dazzling locations, food and wine and acting as their campaign’s “PR flip switch.”
When the TVC aired, the campaign flipped from “film” to “tourism,” directing people to Australia.com to explore itineraries via a dedicated campaign marketplace. Importantly, their “Tease” phase wasn’t just for comedy: each teaser built their audience pool, which they retargeted with “Why Australia?” content they produced simultaneously, featuring McBride.
By phasing the campaign the way they did, they drove more organic PR and engagement than any other brand pre-Super Bowl (Amobee), and as a result Dundee became the #1 Most-Viewed Super Bowl Campaign (AdAge/Visible Measures).
But their objectives weren’t just PR; they needed to make Australia:
- A) TOP-OF-MIND
Australia’s budget couldn’t achieve this through paid alone, so to become top-of-mind, they needed to generate earned. Per Meltwater, Dundee generated 14,310 PR mentions, with a media reach of 7.7B consumers, with an equivalent advertising value of $84.4M. Their memorable teasers reported the highest Ad Recall of any Facebook study EVER in the Entertainment category.
- B) DIFFERENT
All of this attention meant nothing if they didn’t position Australia as unique to Europe. 78% of American travelers felt it differentiated Australia as a vacation destination, which saw them grow their already strong destination desirability by 50%.
- C) DRIVE INTENT AMONG AMERICAN TRAVELERS
This “tourism campaign in disguise” worked: 66% of consumers exposed were more likely to visit, with an 83% increase in intent to book per campaign tracking, generating over 250,000 leads. More importantly, they’re qualified, with an astounding 20% lead organic conversion rate (vs. 2% historical) and a 24% paid lead conversion rate (vs. 6% historical).
While they won’t see trended visitation data for months, by every metric this is the most successful tourism campaign in Australia’s history.