KWP: ‘We had to change tourism advertising again’ for new Adelaide spot

Agency KWP has released the third spot in its trilogy of ads in the Breathe series for South Australia Tourism, using singer Emma Louise and her astronaut alter ego discovering and exploring the city of Adelaide set against her cover version of the INXS classic Never Tear Us Apart.

The spot is a follow-up to Kangaroo Island ‘Let Yourself Go’ and Barossa ‘Be Consumed’, which both featured music heavily with Nick Cave and Eddie Vedder tracks, with the ad’s director Jeffrey Darling and KWP’s creative director James Rickard telling Mumbrella the ad was an attempt to “move on” the tourism advertising genre once again.

“It was pretty evident after Kangaroo Island and Barossa that the style we were creating was being mimicked by other tourism bodies and other advertisers outside that category,” said Rickard.

“So this emotive sense of communicating that hadn’t really existed before in that category is now being taken on more and more, so we had to change it again. That’s still the underlying truth of what we’re doing in Adelaide but we had to give the work more eccentricity and edge, but of course in-keeping with the brand because the brand of SA and Adelaide does have some eccentricity. We had to push that and bring that too life in a really fresh way.”

“There’s obviously a family there,” said Rickard. “They’re different siblings, they’re not triplets they’re quite different in how they’re exposed and the language they have.”

Darling and Rickard said the Adelaide piece had to stand out; it had to be entertaining to get into the psyche of their target market.

“The reality is with our market is Adelaide isn’t on the radar. We’ve really got to stand out and punch well above that to connect,” said Rickard. “With Adelaide as a brand there’s extreme contrasts – beauty, leafy, vain, sophisticated half of the city and then there’s the other half of the city that’s quite grungy and edgy and youthful.

“But its the youthful exuberance that permeates the city and is bubbling up through it that we’ve managed to capture in the style.”

Darling said the process of creating the Adelaide spot had been the same the team had used in working on the Kangaroo Island and Barossa spots.

“We really get people to immerse inside it and that comes out of that immersion, that discovery of what a place is,” he said.

The Adelaide ‘Breathe’ commercial marks a first for Darling and Rickard, with the music track featured being chosen before shooting had even begun as opposed to it being chosen in the post-production phase as in the Kangaroo Island and Barossa commercials.

“The difference with Adelaide is the track was selected beforehand. One of the major reasons for that is the protagonist is performing the track in the ad,” explained Rickard.

Darling said they wanted to create more “immediacy” with the new Adelaide commercial, bringing the characters to life “as opposed to just looking at them from a distance,” he said.

“So our protagonist had to engage so one of the ways that we could do that is use them as the singer of the song in the story and genre wise we looked at cover versions of songs so we ended up doing a cover version of what is an INXS track.”

The track was produced by record producer, composer and engineer Nick Launay and Midnight Oil’s Jim Moginie.

“Inevitably for the cover style we were doing, we needed something that was incredibly known so that we could really deviate from what it is, we could really create a different style for it,” said Darling.

Rickard added: “Make it unique and notable by the brand as opposed to just doing a cover of the song that’s identical. We wanted to attach our own personality to it.”

Darling and Rickard said the use of an INXS track in the ad coinciding with Channel Seven’s ‘Never Tear Us Apart’ mini-series, which tells the story of INXS frontman Michael Hutchence, “is a happy coincidence”.

Rickard said: “That wasn’t the reason the piece was selected but that’s come as a happy coincidence. There’s probably going to be fans of INXS who are going to either love this cover or hate it.”

Music has always played a huge role in the SA Tourism ads with music by Eddie Vedder and Nick Cave featuring on Kangaroo Island and Barossa respectively.

“It’s amazing how much of a door opener Kangaroo Island was, once we actually got Eddie Vedder to connect. He said I’ve been to Kangaroo Island surfing, let’s do it. As soon as he came to the party, we had the credibility,” said Rickard.

“We wanted to use a Nick Cave track as soon as we put Kangaroo Island in front of him, he saw it wasn’t a crazy FMCG product bolted onto the end of it, that it was actually a beautiful piece of communication, and once he and The Bad Seeds saw that they said yeah, we’re on board.”

While it was the Kangaroo Island spot that awarded the team credibility moving into the Barossa campaign, it was not without controversy, after revelations that celebrities were paid to tweet positive things about the island and the ad.

However it was successful in terms of boosting interest in the island, with the SA Tourism Commission reporting that two weeks after the ad launched at the end of February 2011, searches for searches for Kangaroo Island on had increased by 208 per cent.

Awareness of the ad in Sydney and Melbourne was measured at 29%, with 68% of the target market describing it as having “high appeal”.

On the success of the Kangaroo Island and Barossa campaigns Rickard said: “Records are being set.

“It is actually working, there’s no way that the SA government would continue to fund it, if it wasn’t working. We had to re-pitch the business, if it wasn’t working we wouldn’t be getting the business.”

While KWP has held the creative account for the tourism commission for the last decade it wasn’t until the body’s marketing director changed that the agency was allowed to bring its creativity to the fore.

Rickard told Mumbrella: “The biggest revelation was the introduction to a guy called David O’Loughlin who came to use via the agency world and became the marketing director of Tourism and he completely changed their strategic direction and enabled us and opened up the opportunity for us to do what we’re doing now and really tap into this emotional aspect of tourism advertising.”

Darling added: “He’s just put a whole confidence in that area.”

On their hopes for the new ad, the duo aim for the reachable, saying they’ll be delighted if its received half as well as Barossa. “And Barossa caused a stir so hopefully this one will two,” said Darling. “The deal is getting people conversing about it.”

They are also hopeful this new ad will receive less criticism compared to its sibling ads. “This will have its share of critics again for different reasons, but I suggest they come fewer and quieter as time goes on because we’re proving it with good results,” said Rickard.

And what’s next for the pair and their collaboration with the SA Tourism Commission?

“We see the state as very much a layer cake, and we’ve started those tiers – Kangaroo Island, Barossa and Adelaide – and we’re looking towards the next one already. As it stands for the moment we’ve already started the seed for the next one,” Rickard said.

The Adelaide ‘Breathe’ commercial is running across TV and cinema supported with digital, print and editorial.

Adelaide ‘Breathe’ Credits:

  • Agency KWP! Advertising
  • Creative Director/Writer James Rickard
  • Art Director Michael Gagliardi
  • Agency Producer Di Willson
  • Account Manager Tristan Glover
  • Production Company Moth Projects
  • Director Jeffrey Darling
  • Executive Producer Sarah Blair
  • Producer Kate Sawyer
  • Editor Adam Wills
  • Post Production Kojo
  • Grade and Compile Marty Pepper
  • Music Never Tear Us Apart, INXS
  • Performer Emma Louise
  • Producer Nick Launay

Miranda Ward


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