South Australia appoints brand agency to tackle identity conundrum

South Australia: what does it stand for?

The conundrum of creating a new brand for South Australia is to be tackled by brand design agency Cato Purnell Partners.

South Australia’s brand image was called into question in May by state Premier Jay Weatherill, who said that outsiders tend to confuse South Australia with South Africa and think its capital is Melbourne.

Cato Purnell Partners, which recently branded Dubai airport, re‐branded Air India and helped develop brand Victoria for the Victorian Government, was selected after a pitch involving six other shortlisted agencies from an initial field of 36.

Branding South Australia project leader and Economic Development Board member, Darren Thomas, said: “The task facing the successful agency will be to condense the essence of our State from the extensive international, interstate, and intrastate consultation and research which has been undertaken, into a single brand and message which properly projects South Australia across the country and the world as a great place to live, do business with, invest in and to visit.”

“The State brand will support the Government’s objective of taking full advantage of the current window of opportunity to develop the economic and social prosperity of South Australia, the benefits of which will flow to all South Australians,” he said.

The task of branding South Australia is described in this video, hosted on the Branding South Australia website:

The news comes a week after Adelaide’s Advertiser Newspapers ran a contest inviting its advertisers to create a campaign to promote South Australia as a destination. This was prompted by mining giant BHP Billiton’s scrapping of an expansion plan that would have pumped $20bn into the region.


  1. Kat Karvess
    6 Sep 12
    4:32 pm

  2. Haha – Poor South Australia being confused with South Africa and accused of having a Melbournian capital city. No wonder they’re having an identity crisis!

    Sometimes places need a little help with their identity. Cities and towns become synonymous with the things they produce (ie: think about Bega and don’t think of cheese – I dare you).

    We’re in the process of completing a similar place branding exercise for the Latrobe Valley – Home to most of Victoria’s energy supply. With the much publicised ‘transition’ plans dominating the media after the introduction of a carbon price, there are a lot of people talking about Latrobe at the moment.

    Yes – Latrobe Valley is the brown coal mother-ship, but there’s much more to the story than that. To help change people’s minds about the Valley, we’re asking people who live in the Valley to say what’s great about living there. The actual residents are natural brand advocates and more than willing to share a few words.

    We’ve launched a website,, which also links to a Facebook quiz which challenges people to test their Valley IQ and commonly held stereotypes.

    If anyone’s interested, you can read more here:

    Anyway, best of luck to Cato Purnell and Co. Place branding is an exciting challenge and I’ve had a great time working on our Latrobe Story project.

  3. Shutup
    6 Sep 12
    11:28 pm

  4. Please shutup. Nobody cares about your Latrobe valley.

  5. Kat Karvess
    10 Sep 12
    11:24 am

  6. Yup ok – thanks for that!