No, we’re not talking about Chris Hemsworth. Even though earlier this year Chris became a new Ambassador for Tourism Australia and after his first advert in the campaign, surveys already confirm that U.S tourists are now more likely to holiday in Australia, he is not the ingredient we are referring to.
In 2012 a major international tourism research project was unveiled by Tourism Australia which explained what motivates people from 15 key markets to visit Australia. A huge opportunity was seen in growing their share of food and wine tourists. Perception was that only 26% of people saw Australia as a food and wine destination if they hadn’t visited Australia before, while those who had visited 60% of respondents viewed Australia as a food and wine destination. Tourism Australia started creating their most delicious project yet, with the aim to switch the way people perceive Australia in the motivation stages of their holiday planning.
How did Tourism Australia Change the World’s Perception?
Midgley and Cann 2014 report that the aim was to create the world’s largest conversation around food and wine. Extraordinary culinary events were created where scores of food and wine influencers converged in cities across the country. This combined with a strong integrated marketing approach including advertising worldwide through; TV, print and, online, has, over the course of the campaign, boosted its reach time and time again.
Tourism Australia set about ‘Inviting the World to Dinner’ which Callan 2014 states, attracted bloggers, food critics, chefs and personalities. This mix of people ensured the message about Australia’s fantastic array of food and wine was being shared far and wide, and just as importantly, people were believing the message.
The Shapers of Perception
The Restaurant Australia team sourced influential bloggers who pushed the message out via online via social media, sharing their journey in tantalising pictures and stories leaving followers hungry for more. Uzunoglu 2014, describe bloggers with large networks of like-minded followers as having online authority. By analysing the connections and distribution these bloggers have through their networks, Tourism Australia had the opportunity to justify the expense in having them attend their events.
Food Critics and Chefs
By choosing highly awarded chefs the campaign gained credibility, reminding the world of not only the world class dining experiences available but also the unique food offering. Hearing from experts in their field helped to convince people to consider making Australia their next foodie destination.
Personalities and Celebrities
Strong iconic people have helped build brand personality for the Restaurant Australia campaign which added a new dimension to the typical Australian experience. Malik and Guptha 2014 found that celebrity endorsements assist in customer recall and provide a higher level of appeal than just a regular person with the same message. Using celebrities has been an effective way to keep Australia in the minds of those looking to travel somewhere with a food and wine focus.
Since the launch of ‘Restaurant Australia’ in May 2014, spend on food and wine in Australia has grown by $886 million (or 21 per cent) and the association of Australia and good food and wine has improved 4 places putting us ahead of Hong Kong, USA, Germany and Hawaii.
As Iacobucci 2014 explains, celebrities are used for endorsements in the hope to build positive associations around the brand. The Restaurant Australia campaign scored some of big names in the foodie world, such as; Guy Rossi, Neil Perry, and Heston Blumenthal which no doubt helped people associate the country with excellence. These names along with less famous but heavily connected people spread the word across the globe.
We can only hope that adding Chris Hemsworth to Tourism Australia’s marketing mix yields as strong results as ‘Inviting the World to Dinner’ has achieved.
Callan, B. (2014), ‘Red carpet finale to Australian Restaurant campaign’, Sydney Morning Herald, The, 15 November, Newspaper Source Plus, EBSCOhost, viewed 2 May 2016.
Fitzmaurice, S. (2016), The Daily Mail Australia, retireved from, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3416717/Chris-Hemsworth-cuts-dapper-figure-launch-event-new-Tourism-Australia-ad-seen-screen.html#v-5514171093319136677, accessed 7 May 2016
Iacobucci, D. (2014). Marketing Management (MM), 4th Edition, South-Western, Cenage Learning, Mason
Malik, G, and Guptha, A. (2014), ‘Impact of Celebrity Endorsements and Brand Mascots on Consumer Buying Behavior’, Journal of Global Marketing, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 128-143
Midgley, N. and Cann, C. (2014), ‘Restaurant campaign to put Australian culinary experience on the world menu’, 2014, Travel Trade Gazette UK & Ireland, no. 3098, p. 19
Scrimshire, J. (2016), The Daily Mail Australiia, retireved from, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3559658/American-tourists-likely-consider-holiday-Chris-Hemsworth-s-Tourism-Australia-advert.html#ixzz47Zkrt84L, accessed 7 May 2016
Tourism Australia. (2014), ‘Restaurant Australia’s head chefs announced: Neil Perry AM, Peter Gilmore and Ben Shewry share the kitchen for the first time’ retireived from, http://www.tourism.australia.com/news/Media-Releases-Three-Chefs-Tasmania-Gala.aspx, accessed 6 May 2016
Tourism Australia. (2015) , ‘Food and Wine Report’, retrieved from, http://www.tourism.australia.com/documents/Statistics/TA_Factsheet_CDP_FoodandWinereport.pdf, accessed 7 May 2016
Uzunoğlu, E. & Misci Kip, S. (2014), ‘Brand communication through digital influencers: Leveraging blogger engagement’, International Journal of Information Management, vol. 34, pp. 592-602. A, accessed 8 May 2016
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