South Australia in need of rebrand, says Premier, ‘people confuse us with South Africa and think Melbourne is our capital”

South Australia: A brilliant blend of what?

South Australia is suffering from an “unclear image” overseas, and is in need of a rebrand, the state’s Premier has said.

Premier Jay Weatherill said in an interview with the ABC that the state is often confused with South Africa, and it is believed that its capital is Melbourne.

Weatherill was recently introduced at a ‘G’Day USA’ conference as the Premier of New South Wales.

In the interview, Weatherill said: “We’re not cutting through with existing efforts, so we’re wanting to ask question, can we do the branding excercise better?”

The state will be looking to British creative Bill Muirhead, the founding director of M&C Saatchi London, and architect of the 100% Pure New Zealand campaign, to reposition the state.

“The basic principal of marketing anything is that first you need to have awareness before you get preference,” Weatherill said.

“We need to find another way of cutting through with the message that we’re here, and send a clear message about the essence of South Australia.”

South Australia was in the news recently when it emerged that celebrities had been paid to tweet about popular tourist destination Kangaroo Island. KWP! Advertising was behind the social media activity.

Tourism South Australia director of marketing and communications David O’Loughlin was unavailable for comment at the time of writing.


  1. A bit far fetched
    10 May 12
    2:36 pm

  2. I find it hard to believe that South Australia is mistaken for South Africa

  3. Eugene
    10 May 12
    3:08 pm

  4. Sometimes SA is used as an abbreviation for South Africa in stories or headlines, and it can come up in searches

  5. Gavin
    10 May 12
    3:12 pm

  6. It can get mistaken when abbreviated as SA, but you can’t do much to stop that apart from rename the state entirely!

    Also the “A Brilliant Blend.” tagline comes from South Australia being a wine region.

    I think South Australia does reasonably well in terms of state branding compared to other Australian States, but it does need to be pushed more, existing campaigns are a bit long in the tooth these days.

  7. Woj Kwasi
    10 May 12
    3:20 pm

  8. e.g. search Google for “sa wine”

  9. Expat
    10 May 12
    3:23 pm

  10. The Wine State. Anything else is overthought and forgettable. Even leaves scope for barrel inuendo.

  11. Craig
    10 May 12
    3:25 pm

  12. Well Australia still gets confused with Austria – and people regularly fly the wrong flag for us at events… Or play Waltzing Matilda as our anthem.

    I can totally see SA being confusing for people used to SA meaning South Africa.

    The obvious solution is to change South Australia’s (boring) name to something more distinctive such as Biteland or Underbelly.

  13. Cynical
    10 May 12
    3:26 pm

  14. Sounds to me that a branding company really needing some new business.
    An excuse to spend an awful lot of money, with some awareness metrics to show for it at the end.

  15. TC
    10 May 12
    3:27 pm

  16. Let’s hope this doesn’t result in another (spectacularly amusing) dead goldfish saga.

  17. Brett Ramsey
    10 May 12
    4:06 pm

  18. Why can’t they sell the naming rights? McDonaldsaria? Etihadville? or better still Disneyland!

  19. Al
    10 May 12
    4:29 pm

  20. lolz at Craig – Underbelly is brilliant

  21. Rawnocerous
    10 May 12
    4:43 pm

  22. @Brett Ramsey – how about Cooperstan? With a Great White Shark knocking back a Pale Ale stubby as the logo/flag. Now, that would be refreshing.

  23. kirill
    10 May 12
    4:55 pm

  24. Break it up into a federation of wineries and an Australian Coopers Territory.

  25. Andrew Bolt & Gina Rineharts Lovechild
    10 May 12
    5:01 pm

  26. I go to South Australia regularly. Have some bodies in barrels that need looking after.

  27. Jeremy
    10 May 12
    5:06 pm

  28. I think before you decide on a new brand you should understand what your product is. South Australia has been insecure for a very long time. It’s defence mechanism has been to retreat into a parochial, staid holding pattern that is not sure which direction to go in. Taking advice from those who have the benefit of outside experience has never been its forte, possibly as it has been seen as negative or threatening. One could perceive this as an inferior complex or a state of denial, or even arrogance. Irrespective, its about time it did sit down and work out why it does exist, what it does offer, how others outside of the state perceive it and stop pandering to an ageing, crusty old selfish few that don’t want to see change as it may influence their bank accounts and their comfy existence. Tourism is a good indicator of the confusion the state has in marketing itself. They have a struggling remote and non-spectacular unpackaged product mix which is lacking in what appeals/caters to the world market and even highly competitive interstate market needs/experiential desires. Which comes first product development or marketing – same applies to the State’s economic appeal. Hardly can boast of the attractive infrastructure f*&^ ups that are everywhere about us, whether demolishing a piece of world sporting history, centralising critical health services to one hospital in a town two thirds the spread of London metropolitan area, one way freeways, Hindmarsh Island arctic condominium developments, and on and on it goes. I think Jay is onto something – a reality check that should be influenced by an outside impartial. Like a spoilt child SA needs a smack and a wake up call. Maybe not a branding exercise as much as a reality check!

  29. Tiser
    10 May 12
    5:45 pm

  30. SA needs a theme tune – a song to capture the brand essence:

  31. Dave may
    10 May 12
    7:16 pm

  32. This sad, sad, sad story sums up EVERYTHING that is wrong with tourism marketing in this country.

    Overfunded. Non-commercial. And doomed to bob around with the economy and the strategies and commercial success of the airlines.

    SA is a poor product that has little potential.

    That’s just how it is.

    Awareness as a precursor to preference is more ancient than their product.

    The best thing state and federal government could do would bento give to give the $500m spent by this country on tourism advertising to jetstar, air asia and other lccs.

    Or. Even more radical. Put some money into investing in the tourism product infrastructure.

    The best

  33. Dave may
    10 May 12
    7:17 pm

  34. Sorry be to. Not bento.

    That’s a strategy for the Japanese tourist market.

  35. Colonel Light
    10 May 12
    8:52 pm

  36. Sorry, NSW has run with the ‘barrel’ theme … featuring Premier Fatty O’Barrell.

  37. Bobby Dazzler
    10 May 12
    9:01 pm

  38. Bring back the Brown’s Government’s memorable yet brief campaign…

    “SA – Going all the way!”

  39. jean cave
    10 May 12
    9:27 pm

  40. How about Take a Tasty Bight. . .

    If OZ was a face SA would be the chin/lips/and nostrils
    Half of Australian wine is produced there.
    OMG! South Australia has had women’s vote since 1861 . . Phenom.

  41. Hmmmm...
    11 May 12
    10:25 am

  42. You could throw the most brilliant marketing minds onto this for a decade, and you’d be wasting every fucking cent.

    Spend every dollar you have on creating must-see events, destinations and happenings. I’ll go to SA for WOMA and Fringe. Why the fuck would I go just to sample the general delights of SA? It’s a 4th rate small city surrounded by some nice vineyards and a trillion hectares of desert.

    I’m going down to Tassie next month, but not because Tourism Tasmania created some awesome campaign about rediscovering myself or getting lost in the 18th Century. I’m going there because some dude built MONA, and MONA just happens to be in Tassie.

    Create great things to do. Don’t waste taxpayer’s money advertising a shit product.

  43. Rushdie
    11 May 12
    11:01 am

  44. South of anywhere is bad.

  45. Peter Rush
    11 May 12
    11:04 am

  46. Call it North New Zealand.