Tourism brands are becoming a ‘foggy mess’ for consumers argues Tourism Tasmania boss



Tourism Tasmania’s head of marketing has warned many of Australia’s tourism brands are becoming a “foggy mess” because they are all using the same imagery in their campaigns.

Speaking at today’s PRIA National Conference, Guy Taylor admitted the state’s latest campaign, which is intentionally different from the traditional campaigns, did not test very well before it went to market.

“We knew absolutely unless we focused on our competitive differentiation – that’s less on being similar to everyone else and more on what makes us different – we were in a whole world of trouble,” said Taylor, adding Tasmania had the second lowest tourism spend in the country in front of only Canberra.He argued consumers want reality and they will accept mistakes as opposed to a beautiful, generic experience.

“People want a nuanced, three dimensional story,” Taylor said.

On their current campaign, Taylor did admit “it doesn’t test very well”.

Referencing Queensland’s tourism slogan, he said: “If you ask someone where you want to go ‘Beautiful One Day, Perfect the Next’ or ‘Dark and Spooky’, pretty much it’s ‘Beautiful One Day, Perfect the Next’.

“It goes to market with difficulty but what’s interesting is that customers soon equate difference with good and it soon generated large market share.”

Tourism Tasmania’s current campaign, created by JimJam aims to get behind the scenery that Tasmania is known for and tell the stories of locals.

Taylor singled out Tourism South Australia’s Kangaroo Island campaign as an example of what Tourism Tasmania set out to avoid.

“In our industry you need a native animal, you need a demographically appropriate couple, you need a sunset and sunrise shot and you need a food and wine offering. Then if you rearrange those four factors anyway you like that’s tourism marketing. That’s what we have to move away from,” Taylor said.

“You can make things as beautiful as you want but if everyone is the same tools to make it beautiful you end up being generic,” he said.

Taylor said the tools tourism bodies use to create their brand, such as brand pyramids, to define their brand are causing them to all end up pushing the same attributes as other states or regions.

“You end up designing a brand that has exactly the same elements,” he said. “What happens in the consumer’s mind is it all ends up as a great big foggy mess. Who wins in a game like this? He or she who has the biggest marketing spend.”

Miranda Ward


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