A new ad for Queenstown’s snow fields featuring Aussie comic Dan Illic has been unveiled at a travel roadshow in Sydney overnight. The TVC arrived in the B&T offices from one shocked roadshow-goer who described it as “grossly unfunny and in bad taste”.
The ad is clearly aimed at attracting young, Aussie snowboarders to the ski fields in spring and plays on the great tradition of the Aussie sickie to take time off work and uses the moniker “Sick Day Stow Away” and was done by Sydney agency One Green Bean.
And Illic’s no stranger to controversy. In January 2013 he wrote and produced a TVC for Dick Smith that was deemed so offensive it was pulled by the Advertising Standards Board.
For his Queenstown outing, Illic uses plenty of schoolboy poo gags to promote the famed Kiwi party slopes and uses cliches used by Aussie workers to take a day off as an instructional guide to get the best out of a quick long-weeked ski/snowboarding break that’s just “three hours from the Australian east coast”.
Graham Budd, chief executive of Destination Queenstown said: “The research we commissioned for this campaign showed that a third of Aussies had pulled a sick day in the past month so we just wanted to have a bit of fun with that in a tongue-in-cheek way. We thought that Queenstown would be at the top of a wish list as a sick day stow away destination, which is how this cheeky campaign came to life.
“We know that Australian’s have a great sense of humour and this wasn’t intended to cause any offence. We briefed Australian agency, One Green Bean, so we could get an independent professional take on the best approach for the campaign. The tone is clearly humorous so we have faith that at least some Australians will turn up at work in the next couple of weeks! We chose to work with comedian Dan Ilic so that people understand not to take the campaign too literally. We’re not actually recommending people take sick days as most people will happily take annual leave to visit Queenstown.”