Karl Stefanovic: Oh. How good are the Hemsworths? Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham joins us. G'day Simon. How are you?
Simon Birmingham: G’day Karl. I’m good, and yourself?
Karl Stefanovic: You can't lose with a Hemsworth.
Simon Birmingham: Well much better to put a Hemsworth on the ads than me or even you probably mate.
Karl Stefanovic: Oh whatever. That's all we have time for, thanks for joining us. What do you think stars like the Hemsworth brothers do to bring people to Australia though?
Simon Birmingham: Well, look, this is about really building on the US market. We launched the first stage of this campaign in the Super Bowl. It had huge reaction, was viewed by more than 100 million people. And we know that that then drove massive hits onto the Australia.com website. And this is all about lifting tourism visitation to Australia from the US.
Karl Stefanovic: What’s the biggest challenge? I mean I would have thought the dollar the way it is right now is a big attraction?
Simon Birmingham: Look, that absolutely helps. Distance is the biggest challenge, it always is. Distance, cost. People want to come to Australia. We have to convert them to come to Australia, though. And so, this is about providing that motivation, that prompt. And this is a campaign, where having used the other Hemsworth brothers, using Luke this time, it's got a great capacity to spread. Not just through the paid media buy that we apply, but of course to be a talking point in the US market.
Karl Stefanovic: How many Hemsworths are there?
Simon Birmingham: Three I believe.
Karl Stefanovic: That we know of.
Simon Birmingham: Well, look, we'll go out and hunt for another one. If we do there can be another stage of the Dundee campaign.
Karl Stefanovic: There you go. Well the recent campaign has kicked off with a tease of a 'Crocodile Dundee' sequel. Can you tell us anything about that?
Simon Birmingham: Yes, this is now about an introduction to come and visit the set of the movie. For people who may not know the first part of this campaign was basically pretending that we had made a new Dundee movie. And there was huge free publicity associated with that as people got excited about the idea of this new Dundee movie. And then part way through it became clear it wasn't a movie it was an ad for Australia. This is now an invitation to come visit the set. So it’s a slightly more direct call to action in that sense – actually make the trip, come down here. And of course it includes images from each and every State and Territory around the country. We have multiple different versions of the ad that we air. And it's all about building on what is a 700,000 plus market from the US already. And making sure we get more of those visitors, because each one spends on average about $5,000 per person while they’re here in Australia.
Karl Stefanovic: We have been trying for a long time now since Hoges threw another shrimp on the barbie to get this right. Is it worth the money?
Simon Birmingham: It’s absolutely worth the money. As I was saying each visitor here spends $5,000 per person while they’re here. It’ll only take four extra jumbo planes over the course of the year to actually recoup the investment in this ad. So it’s pretty low investment. And you’ve just got to be constant. I mean you can say we've been trying since Hoges and we’ve had great success since Hoges as well in growing the market. But you can't just exit the market and stop advertising. Coke don't ever stop advertising their product. Australia’s got to keep being in the US market with a presence to make sure people convert that love for Australia into an actual visit down under.
Karl Stefanovic: Who will be the Member for Wentworth next week?
Simon Birmingham: That's up to the voters of Wentworth. I hope it will be Dave Sharma.
Karl Stefanovic: Tough?
Simon Birmingham: It is tough, very tough. The circumstances of a couple of months ago I understand that, they don't help. People should vote for David Sharma he's a hugely capable guy with an enormous contribution he can make in the Parliament.
Karl Stefanovic: I tell you who is good for tourism, Meghan and Harry.
Simon Birmingham: We are happy to have them here, knowing all the images are televised around the world and very happy that the baby announcement was made in Australia.
Karl Stefanovic: Thank you Simon.
Simon Birmingham: Thanks Karl.
- Minister's office: (02) 6277 7420
- DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555