Tourism Australia focuses on culinary credentials in first Clemenger BBDO campaign

Tourism Australia is continuing with its ‘There’s nothing like Australia’ positioning but shifting the focus to the food and drink the country has to offer in its first major work since Clemenger BBDO Sydney won creative duties nearly a year ago.

The new $10 million campaign, which was flagged last September by the body, aims to convey the idea that Australia is the world’s greatest restaurant through showcasing the various food experiences available around the country from Uluru to the cities and the beach.

The three-minute film, the first by Clemenger for the body since it won the lucrative account last May from DDB, utilises a remixed version of the song ‘It’s Like Love’ which was at the centre of the last major work in 2012, which had a production budget of $4m and a media spend of $250m, with a focus on attracting more Asian visitors.

The new film cost just over $2m to produce, with the three minute film able to be broken down into 90, 60 and 30 second edits as well as customised edits for different global markets and into Australian-state based edits. 

Nick Baker, Tourism Australia’s chief marketing officer, told Mumbrella while the full media spend is difficult to determine until the regional media plan strategies are finalised, the campaign has an initial spend of $3 million to kick start it in the Asia Pacific.

“The concept of ‘Restaurant Australia’ has been built based on consumer research which identified ‘food and wine’ as a key factor in holiday decision making and the most important emotive trigger, ahead of world class beauty, for influencing people’s destination choice,” Baker said.

“For people who’ve never visited Australia awareness of our food and wine offering is low. However, once they visit, people realise the variety and quality of our food and wine experiences is world-class and Australia moves to the top of the rankings as a one of the world’s best culinary destinations.”

The new campaign aims to address this by featuring people enjoying a culinary experience alongside chefs, including Sydney’s Quay restaurant head chef Peter Gilmore, preparing food.

“The research that we did showed that all of our primary markets are very strongly interested in food and wine. So this isn’t exclusive to certain parts of Asia or certain parts of the West, it’s a true global campaign. We believe this is going to have some major impacts in our principal markets – the UK, the US, China, Japan, Korea – but really, across all markets, our research pin-pointed that food and wine was one of the top three motivators and reasons to travel in all of our primary markets,” said Baker.

Complementing the three-minute long video, is the Restaurant Australia website which businesses, operators and people involved in Australia’s food, wine, tourism and hospitality industries can submit stories to. Products and experiences can also be amplified through Tourism Australia’s social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, by using the #restaurantaustralia hashtag.  The digital elements of the campaign have been developed by STW Group’s agency DT.

Baker explained the three-minute video will sit on the website.

“Underneath that will be 90 second, 60 second, 30 second ones and there’ll also be ones that will be custom made for certain markets. So let’s take some markets that are really interested in seafood, they’ll take that out,” he explained.

“It’s built so that it can be broken down into chapters like the existing ‘There’s nothing like Australia’ campaign.”

Baker said the new campaign has not used any existing footage from the campaign, however he explained “it’s built so that we can insert elements from this campaign into that one so that they can both play together and both be hybridised. The soundtrack that sits behind it is in both of them.

“We built it such as that each state and territory will get 30 seconds of footage in an ad shape,” he continued.

John O’Sullivan, Tourism Australia managing director, said: “Restaurant Australia is all about bringing together the incredible stories of our people, place and produce to demonstrate to the world that every day, unique and exceptional food and wine experiences are being served-up in remarkable locations, and then sharing these stories through the creation of rich and compelling content.”

Campaign activity will roll-out in 12 key international markets in the coming months.

“We anticipate that this will be played out on cinemas, digital and on TVs around the world,” said Baker.

“There’s no plan to have it played heavily in the domestic market as from July 1 Tourism Australia is not responsible for domestic tourism so we won’t be putting it out, we’ll be focusing all our resources on the international market.”

An international media familiarisation program is also to be hosted in partnership with all states and territories in November this year.

“The ‘Restaurant Australia’ familiarisation will bring together up to 80 media and key influencers, who will travel to different parts of the country to cover the food and wine experiences on offer in every state and territory during a week-long visit and capture their experiences through their media and online networks internationally,” said O’Sullivan.

Their visit will conclude with all participants coming together for a special ‘Invite the World to Dinner’ gala event, which will see produce from around Australia prepared and served on-site at MONA in Tasmania on November 14.

The total $10 million campaign cost covers these events as well as the production of all the campaign assets, including the filming of eight new food and wine chapters for the commercial, stills and website, social media, research and media buys.

“The word-of-mouth advocacy this familiarisation will generate internationally is aimed squarely at closing the gap on perceptions of Australia’s food and wine offering internationally and motivating people to travel here to indulge in our local cuisine. We want to win over their hearts, minds and their stomachs so that the dream of visiting Australia becomes reality.”

The campaign has been developed in consultation with its state tourism partners and industry along with its marketing partner, Wine Australia.

“We’re very excited because for the first time it brings together three big industries – tourism, food and wine industries – to show our best experiences to the world and that really is a unique position to be able to bring those together around a common goal,” said Baker.

“It’s a new way to show Australia, we’ve been focusing on Australia’s natural beauty and this is a way to bring food and wine which adds an interesting cultural lense to the way we show Australia to the world. It is quite a big change in that and a big new element that is very exciting.”


  • Chief Marketing Officer: Nick Baker
  • General Manager Consumer Marketing: Matt McInnes
  • Marketing Communications Manager: Emily Hill
  • Project Manager Restaurant Australia: Monica Armesto
  • Agency: Clemenger BBDO Sydney
  • Executive Creative Director: Paul Nagy
  • Art Director: Dan White
  • Copywriter: Rees Steel
  • Senior TV Producer: Lisa Brown
  • Group Account Director: Emily Perrett
  • Senior Account Manager: Melanie Spence
  • Production Company:  Zoom
  • Director: Mark Toia
  • Producer: Keri Grant
  • Sound & Music Production:  Nylon Studio
  • Composer / Musical Arrangement: Scott Langley

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