SATC’s Book Them Out campaign asks domestic tourists to support bushfire-affected Kangaroo Island and Adelaide Hills

The South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC) has launched a campaign to encourage domestic tourism to the Adelaide Hills region and Kangaroo Island following the bushfire crisis that ravaged the areas.

The Book Them Out campaign began over the weekend with SATC’s executive director of marketing, Brent Hill, posting on LinkedIn yesterday to promote that 2,500 hectares of Kangaroo Island remains untouched with beaches, small businesses and wineries needing tourists to revive the region.

According to Hill’s post, the TVCs were all shot over the previous weeks, and the campaign has been turned around by creative agency TBWA and media agency Wavemaker.

The campaign launched as a wrap on News Corp’s Adelaide weekend title, The Sunday Mail, yesterday, as well as across social media, digital, outdoor, and TV.

The wrap featured a letter from the SATC to South Australians, calling for continued support for local businesses and asking them to make plans to visit the affected areas as: “the best we can do now, and over the coming months, is to completely book them out.”

The wrap featured a letter to South Australians asking for their continued support for the state (click to enlarge)

Social media videos show prominent South Australians, including Maggie Beer, AFL player Rory Sloane and television presenter Bel Sloane, encouraging viewers to visit the Adelaide Hills and Kangaroo Island and #BookThemOut.

Hill told Mumbrella that the SATC first brought the campaign in motion after the Adelaide Hills fires in December, but knew it had to ‘step up’ following the Kangaroo Island fire.

“Obviously our first job as a Tourism Commission was to provide comms and to make sure that we were providing accurate up to date information for tourists and any potential tourists,” Hill said.

“Our hearts had been broken with so much loss and that was really the tone to begin with – as we just wanted to share with our friends and tourism family, our feeling of loss alongside them… With unfortunately lives, wildlife, habitat and livelihoods.”

Following an initial push for donations, Hill said the narrative quickly shifted to residents desire to get their tourism businesses back up and running.

“Initially our messages were all around donations. But, as the fires abated, we travelled into the fire zones – first to the Hills and then to KI, within a day or so of it being safe and able to do so, to talk to the guys on the ground about what they needed and wanted,” He said.

“We didn’t want to get in the way of recovery or of emergency personnel. But what came back overwhelmingly was that they wanted to get back to their jobs – doing tourism. Many of these brave guys were CFS volunteers out fighting fires all over KI and the Hills, but their jobs were actually to run tourism operations, and that’s what they’re proud of and want to do again.”

The wrap that appeared on The Sunday Mail

The entirety of the Adelaide Hills region has now reopened for tourism businesses. A comment Hill left underneath his post stated that the Adelaide Hills TVC will launch later this week, followed by a 120 combined version. A 30 second version promoting the two destinations will also launch for interstate markets, with a message tailored with the consideration that areas in other states are also doing it tough due to the bushfire crisis.

Hill also thanked the media, the SATC’s retail partners, TBWA and his team for their commitment and support for the campaign.

“The media have also been great and really helped out and jumped on board, but it’s been so pleasing to see the response. The public and media have shared it and we want that to keep going,” Hill said.

“We had a cruise ship in at KI on Sunday – the first back there since the fires, and that was also great. Its definitely doing what we want it to do, and our retail partners – Sealink, KIC, Qantas, Rex, Hertz, Budget, etc have all been fantastic too.

“I’m so proud of my team and the wider group for their commitment. No-one resented coming back early from holidays to work on this, no-one said it was too hard, and we understood the need to be quick to market given cancellations were mounting.

“One of our crew from TBWA Adelaide even missed his best mates’ wedding – it was huge. Everyone just pitched in.”

Mumbrella has contacted TBWA for comment.

If you’d like to assist with bushfire recovery, relief and rescue efforts, please explore the options below: 


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