JOURNALIST: Kathy Border asked the Tourism Minister and Member from Moncrieff, Steve Ciobo, if there's more to come in the campaign.
STEVEN CIOBO: There certainly is. This is the first advertisement in the campaign that's going run for the next two years, but of course the buzz has been generated around the teaser trailers, which have been out there in the marketplace for the last week or two. The proof of the pudding is in the tasting, as they say Kathy. What we've seen is more than 400 million engagements, 80% of which are in North America around this campaign. We have more than 100 million Americans that watched the Super Bowl. This has been the most talked about commercial in the Super Bowl, more than Budweiser Beer, or Doritos biscuits, or anything like that. It's a terrific, terrific, traction that this advertisement's gotten.
KATHY BORDER: How much does it cost taxpayers? How much were the actors paid?
STEVEN CIOBO: Oh, this is a $36 million campaign over the next two years. To put some context around that, the reason we're doing this is because this is a campaign to drive more American tourists to Australia. The reason that matters is because tourism is a $41 billion industry. It directly employees more than 600,000 Aussies. In places like the Gold Coast, of course, it's one of the biggest, if not the biggest, employer in the local economy. So getting more tourists into the cities of Australia, or into the regions of Australia, will help to drive economic growth and help get more jobs for Aussies as well.
KATHY BORDER: The actors, how much were they paid?
STEVEN CIOBO: So the actors have been fantastic. I cannot thank enough the outstanding work of people like, Russell Crowe, and Margot Robbie, Chris and Liam Hemsworth, Jessica Mauboy. They all stepped up. Now, they all agreed to accept what's called the, SAG minimum, the Screen Actors Guild minimum, which is a requirement for them to keep working in Hollywood. But, basically long-story short, they have saved Australian taxpayers millions and millions of dollars by charging the bare minimum for their roles.
KATHY BORDER: Good on them. Paul Hogan gave his blessing?
STEVEN CIOBO: Yeah, he did. Hoges was crucial to this all happening. He gave it cover, so to speak, by putting it under Rimfire Productions, which of course, the original company he did Crocodile Dundee with. Hoges has been absolutely stellar in terms of stepping up to the plate on this too.
KATHY BORDER: How did those negotiations go? Was there a moment where you all thought, ‘uh oh’ it's not going to happen?
STEVEN CIOBO: Well, I wasn't involved personally in the negotiations. Tourism Australia drove this campaign. When they pitched the idea to me as Minister I said, "Okay guys, I want to know a couple of things. Does the board support this? Is Australia's tourism industry behind it? Have you got program partners involved? Will the states and territories line up as well?" They were able to reassure me with a tick in every one of those boxes. We've got more than 20 program partners who are also tipping in their own money as part of this campaign in North America. So we've set this up really well. Kathy, as I said, this has had more traction than any other Super Bowl ad. It's just the start of the campaign. If you actually look at the potential audience reached, just from the news value of people talking about this campaign, that's now in excess of 3 billion people. I mean, these are extraordinary numbers. It's been a really successful campaign so far.
KATHY BORDER: Now you are of course, our Tourism Minister and the Member from Moncrieff, am I right in thinking the Gold Coast, we don't even see a snap of the Gold Coast in there at all in the ad?
STEVEN CIOBO: We don't fall into that trap of having to picture every single town and country and region in Australia, Kathy. What matters here is a bit of integrity in terms of making sure that the story rang true. Everyone knows the Dundee story and what it's about. That's the most important thing. That's the reason why this got traction. I mean, if you left it up the Members of Parliament, Kathy, then every Member of Parliament would want one or two second shot of their own electorates in the commercial and of course, the whole thing would collapse under its own weight. So what it's about is getting a credible story that has traction. That's exactly what we did here.
KATHY BORDER: But, you do expect benefits to flow on to the Gold Coast tourism industry?
STEVEN CIOBO: Of course. I mean, the Gold Coast is Australia's premier holiday playground. The number of international tourists coming into Australia now is more than 8 million. They spend more than $41 billion in terms of tourism export earnings. As I've said, 600,000 people employed across Australia are on the Gold Coast, tens of thousands employed in the industry. Of course, we stand to be big beneficiaries.
JOURNALIST: Steve Ciobo Tourism Minister, Minister from Moncreiff, here on the Gold Coast speaking with Drive producer Kathy Border, earlier on today. Now, those actors Chris Hemsworth, Margot Robbie, those Australian actors involved in this particular process, this Australian tourism advertisement, accepting the SAG minimum rate, Screen Actors Guild minimum rate. Oh, I hear you think. What is that? What is the minimum rate? Are you curious? Well, the SAG minimum daily rate for an actor is $842.00. The weekly rate, $2,921.00, give or take, give or take, there or thereabouts. In relative terms, a bit of a bargain, perhaps.
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