Where The Wild Things Are-inspired Kangaroo Island ad prompts growth in searches

An ad by the South Australian Tourism Commission to promote Kangaroo Island has resulted in an increase in searches for the destination on South Australia’s tourism website.

Two weeks after ‘Let yourself go’ launched on 22 February, searches for Kangaroo Island on had increased by 208 per cent, the SATC told Mumbrella. However, it did not disclose what the actual number of searches was.

John Baker, managing partner of KWP! Advertising, the Adelaide agency that made the ad, has called it “probably the most beautiful thing we’ve ever created.”

The TV ad, which is running on free to air and pay TV, is being supported by outdoor and indoor cinema, along with newspaper, magazine and digital.

The ad features the music of Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder in the track ‘Rise’. Copyright restrictions prevent the ad from being viewed on by anyone outside Australia and New Zealand.

David O’Loughlin, director of marketing and communications, South Australian Tourism Commission said in statement: “Our latest campaign shines the light on Kangaroo Island in a way that we haven’t before and is about making people in the Eastern states aware of it as an unrivalled holiday destination. KI is a place for escape and where people can reconnect with the simple pleasures that are overlooked in the stress of everyday life.”

O’Loughlin said it was too early to determine the impact the ad has had on tourist visits to KI.

It was O’Loughlin’s idea to use an allusion to the famous children’s book Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, which was made into a film directed by Spike Jonze in 2009.

Hence the boy in the ad dressed in a kangaroo costume.

‘Let yourself go’ was directed by Jeffrey Darling, an Aussie stills photographer turned director of photography turned director known for his commercial work for Diner’s Club, BMW, Boeing, Maybelline, Jaguar and Volvo. Darling was also DOP for the shoot. It is his first tourism ad.

‘Let yourself go’ credits:

  • Creative Director: James Rickard (KWP!)
  • Producer: Di Willson (KWP!)
  • Production: KOJO / Moth Projects
  • Executive Producer: Barbara Devlin (KOJO)
  • Director:  Jeffrey Darling
  • Producer: Kate Sawyer (MOTH)
  • Offline Editor: Adam Wills
  • Online Editor: Marty Pepper (KOJO)


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