“Offensive, Ageist, Depressing!” South Australian Tourism Ad Slammed As The Worst Travel Ad Ever!

“Offensive, Ageist, Depressing!” South Australian Tourism Ad Slammed As The Worst Travel Ad Ever!

South Australia’s latest attempt to attract visitors to the state appears to have missed the mark after a new campaign was labelled “the saddest tourism ad ever”.

The spot, titled “Don’t feel sorry for old mate”, is reportedly the work of South Australian Tourism Commission’s creative agency TBWA\Melbourne.

It stars an elderly chap called “Dave” who appears morose and depressed visiting the state’s tourist attractions including a vineyard, local beach and the Adelaide Oval. It finishes with the line: “Don’t feel sorry for old mate. It’s his own damn fault he didn’t visit Adelaide sooner.”

Check out the clanger below:

And, yes, social media was quick to condemn the spot, with some wags claiming it was so depressing it should have included a link to a suicide hotline at the end of it.

“If it truly is an advertising campaign, then it’s a terrible mistake.”

“Don’t like it at all. It’s not funny or quirky, [it] just mocks an old man who is lonely.”

“Who is going to feel in any way encouraged to visit Adelaide after seeing this? I am appalled and surprised money was wasted on such dreadful sentiments.”

“It so depressing it needs the Lifeline number at the end.”

“Terrible ad. Sad and depressing. Where’s the excitement and discovery to visit Adelaide?”

“It’s offensive to our state and older people”.

“Trust me when I say: the latest tourism campaign for Adelaide of the grimmest things you’ll see in a while.”

However, SA Tourism Commission marketing executive director Brent Hill argued that the spot was deliberately controversial and aimed to get people talking.

“You’d be crazy if you made an ad like this and didn’t expect to get some response,” Hill told ABC Radio Adelaide.

“That’s obviously what it was designed to do – we definitely wanted to put something out there that was getting a message across. We knew it wasn’t going to be of everyone’s cup of tea.

“We want to punch home that message that too many people were saying ‘we’ll get to Adelaide one day,'” Hill explained of the unfortunateness.




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  • peter82 2 years ago

    Disappointing! The advertising industry has been criticised for being ageist. Treatment of senior citizens in aged care has been front and centre in the news, due to the commission into aged care facilities. But it’s still ok to poke fun at old people! And that’s going to motivate me to head straight to the City of Churches? I think not. This is creatively naive.

  • Craig Thomler 2 years ago

    I have to agree with Peter and the online commentators. I saw this ad before reading this piece & felt it was flat, lacked a strong motivator & was ageist towards the man presented.

    I wouldn’t complain about the ad though, I just wouldn’t consider visiting to Adelaide.

  • David Tunnicliffe 2 years ago

    Another shits ‘n’ giggles team gurgling up their sleeves about how ‘edgy’ they’ve been and then post rationalising naivety as ‘thought provoking’. Woeful stuff.

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