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Tourism Oz boss: Comparing our TV ad with the Opera House film is like comparing apples and pears

Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy has hit back at claims by Host CEO Anthony Freedman that the Sydney Opera House’s new long-form film promotes the country better than the There’s Nothing Like Australia ad, saying that it’s “like comparing apples and pears.”

He told Mumbrella: “ ‘Ship Song’ is a beautiful, four-minute online music video, against a short TV commercial targeting a global consumer, across 30 international markets. To put the two up together is like comparing apples and pears.”

The ad, which was created by DDB and launched in May last year, was based on research Australians’ desire to promote the country overseas. McEvoy said:

“We know from our research that Aussies want to help promote Australia to people overseas, and that’s what this campaign is all about. They are the experts on what makes Australia unlike anywhere else, not owners of advertising agencies like Anthony Freedman.”   

“At the launch of this campaign under the banner There’s Nothing Like Australia, you had 30,000 real life Australians sharing their own favourite Australian place or experience with the world, making it one of Australia’s most successful consumer-generated promotions ever.”

He added: “Everybody is entitled to their opinion, but the fact is that this campaign is working, and hitting the mark with people in the key international markets like Asia is what really matters. In China for example – our fastest growing and most valuable inbound tourism market – 97 per cent of a recent sample of people who had seen the campaign were motivated to the point of researching a trip to Australia.”

McEvoy said that a better example to compare the Sydney Opera House piece with is the tourism body’s Making Tracks campaign, which won best of show at this year’s IAB Awards.

“The TNLA TV spot is doing a fantastic job but if you want to compare apples with apples, have a look at our award-winning Making Tracks campaign, which has generated more than 2.7 million views on YouTube since being launched around the YouTube Symphony Orchestra in February,” he added.

“This campaign was deliberately designed as a long-form online video composition, like Ship Song for the Sydney Opera House. Incidentally, Ship Song is fantastic and we’re promoting it heavily through our own digital and social media channels, including our 1.8 million Facebook fans.”

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