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Tourism Australia launches news channel in campaign to target youth market

Tourism Australia has launched a news channel targeting the youth market as part of a $10m marketing push to entice more backpackers to Australia.

Aussie News Today will be fronted by a trio of well-known Australians – former Wallabies player Nick ‘The Honey Badger’ Cummins, TV presenter Teigan Nash and former Home and Away actor Lincoln Lewis – with stories shared on social platforms in key international markets.

Young Australians and working holidaymakers will also be encouraged to submit their own tales for inclusion on Aussie News Today.

A months’ worth of content has already been shot.

The channel is a central pillar of a wider push to attract working holidaymakers who traditionally stay longer, travel more widely and spend more than any other visitor to Australia.

It is the first major drive for the youth market since the highly-regarded Best Job in the World campaign in 2013.

Stories on Aussie News Today will be hosted on dedicated Facebook and Instagram profiles, and a news hub on Australia.com.

Content will be “fun, irreverent and uplifting” with the aim of “putting a smile on young people’s faces”, Tourism Australia managing director John O’Sullivan said.

The launch comes two months after Tourism Australia announced a partnership with Buzzfeed to send eight young travellers on a three month road trip to report on Australia’s culture, festivals, events, food and wine.

Tourism Australia chief marketing officer Lisa Ronson told Mumbrella the new phase of the campaign will tie in with its aim of pushing unique experiences, a strategy adopted under its There’s Nothing Like Australia branding.

She described the youth market as “very valuable” for the tourism agency.

“They spend an average of 16 or 17 weeks in Australia, represent 25% of all international visitors arrivals and contribute 46% of visitor spend,” Ronson said.

The socially-led nature of the campaign was simply a reflection of where the youth market consume their media, she added.

O’Sullivan said the Aussie News Today campaign, which costs $5m of the overall $10m investment in the youth push, will showcase the destinations and unique experiences and stories that surface in Australia.

“We plan to put a smile on young people’s faces with Aussie News Today, by serving up fun, sometimes irreverent and uplifting news stories of daily life Down Under,” he said.

Among the content will be stories on crocodile cage dives, camel racing and tuna throwing competitions.

Clemenger BBDO Sydney chief creative office Ben Coulson said: “We know how overwhelmed people are with a constant stream of bad news and we’re in a unique position, as Australians, to be able to deliver some genuinely good news.

“We’re bringing real experiences and humour into hundreds of pieces of ongoing content and we’ll be hacking traditional news media in surprising ways over the months to come. All to get young people talking about how good life could be if they jumped on a plane and came to live and work in Australia.”

The “hacking of traditional news media” is believed to be a reference to a plan to juxtaposition quirky stories on digital screens alongside reports by mainstream media.

The success of the campaign will ultimately be measured by the number of youth arrivals in Australia.

Tourism Australia want to see the number of working holiday visitors climb by 5% by mid next year, and expenditure from the four target markets UK, Germany, France and Italy increase 1.7%.

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