If you’ve never been to some of Australia’s most picturesque scenery, Tourism Australia is here to help by diving headfirst into the virtual reality world.
Virtual reality (VR) takes a spot in the front row of Tourism Australia’s (TA) latest $40 million international brand campaign, created by Clemenger BBDO, which focuses on the aquatic and coastal leisures Australia has to offer.
It’s the first time the tourism body for our fine country has dabbled in VR.
“The one thing we wanted to get through in this campaign was how beautiful Australia is, and we really wanted to show that beauty to the ultimate benefit of the potential traveller,” said Lisa Ronson, chief marketing officer at TA.
“We wanted to really bring the immersion right through all of the different campaign assets.”
And it’s the simplicity in the design that is what really has Ronson pleased.
“Often with technology, the technology is great, but how the consumer accesses it is tough. So we were really all about making that consumer experience great and easy to use.”
Indeed, we headed to the TA offices in Sydney yesterday to have a play on the VR experiences. And while looking at a number of them in a row made me feel a wee bit queasy, TA had gone all out with 17 different experiences for consumers to try.
The VR 360 degree offerings, as well as the 2D TV spots were all filmed at the same time over a two and a bit month period, added Ronson, as it’s “more cost effective”.
Check out the 360 degree video TA has uploaded to YouTube. Click on the video and drag it around to see all the different viewpoints.
Alongside VR, the campaign also includes TV spots with the voiceover of Thor actor Chris Hemsworth, a refresh of the brand’s print and digital assets, a 116 page supplement with publication Australian Traveller, social media, and a heap of user-generated content.
“It’s the most comprehensive campaign we’ve ever developed, in terms of assets,” added Ronson.
“What we’ve come up with, we’re all quite pleased with actually. A big part of this was getting people on board, collaborating with all the states and territories to make sure we had a well-planned out campaign.”
The whole campaign has been nearly a year in planning, just a few weeks after Ronson started at the beginning of February 2015.
“It’s my first big one I’ve worked on from end to end.”
On what’s the toughest thing about the campaign is the scrutiny the brand often receives, mainly from Aussies themselves, said Ronson. While the campaigns are designed to attract overseas travellers, Aussies often get in on the action as this is our country being portrayed.
“The toughest thing I think about Tourism Australia campaign – it’s the toughest and also a great thing too – they’re very scrutinised,” she said. “But if the majority of the people engage with it and like it, we’ve got a whole heap of powerful advocates that can talk about it.”
One example being the announcement of Chris Hemsworth as the ambassador, as it was picked up by a number of media outlets and was all over the Facebook feed of this reporter.
Hemsworth was the perfect fit for the brand, said Ronson.
“When we approached him, he was really keen to do it because he loves Australia and he’s keen on helping us tell the Australian story to the world,” she said.
And despite declining to say how much it cost to get him on as ambassador, Ronson said he was the main person they wanted for this campaign.
“When we were talking about the campaign, Chris’s name just kept coming up as the absolute obvious one.
“It wasn’t like we hunted down and had a list to tick off, Chris just seemed like an obvious choice for the campaign.”
The official unveiling of the campaign was in New York City, hosted by Aussie chef Curtis Stone.
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