‘The New Paul Hogan’: Australia Unveils New Ruby the Roo Tourism Ambassador | Tourism (Australia)

Tourism Australia has revealed a computer-generated kangaroo named Ruby Roo as “the new Paul Hogan”, an unofficial national mascot which it hopes will attract international travelers to Australia.

The latest global campaign, featuring the cartoon creature voiced by Australian actor Rose Byrne, was unveiled to the world on a large digital billboard in Tokyo on Tuesday, kicking off a world tour which will officially launch in New York on October 19.

The hoodie and ‘come say hello’ tagline are part of the next installment of Tourism Australia’s There’s Nothing Like Australia branding platform.

Tourism and Trade Minister Don Farrell said Ruby Roo would showcase Australia’s “most iconic” destinations and support the recovery of the tourism industry by converting pent-up demand into bookings.

Ruby marks a departure for Tourism Australia, which has in the past marketed the country overseas with the recognizable faces of Australian celebrities, with mixed results.

A $180 million advertising campaign created in 2006 under the approval of then-CEO Scott Morrison that featured model Lara Bingle asking “Where the hell are you?” was later banned by regulators in the UK and Canada for controversial language and depiction of alcohol consumption.

This controversy contrasted with a much-loved 1984 ad featuring comedian Paul Hogan, in which the movie star waved Americans off to Australia and offered to throw another “prawn on the barbie” at them.

“Ruby the roo is, if you will, the new Paul Hogan,” Farrell told ABC Radio on Wednesday.

He said the costs of traveling to Australia from the United States remained a barrier, but were part of a “combination of problems” leading to fewer tourists from the northern hemisphere.

The most recent global campaign was voiced by actor Chris Hemsworth in 2016. Three years later, a $15 million music video campaign, Matesong, starring Kylie Minogue, was pulled after weeks of distribution while that bushfires were ravaging the east coast of Australia.

Matesong: Kylie Minogue stars in Tourism Australia 2019 British advert – video

Tourism Australia chief executive Phillipa Harrison said the new campaign would help rebuild the post-pandemic tourism industry by “converting pent-up demand for a holiday in Australia”.

“We know that Australia consistently ranks high on people’s list of considerations, but we need to get travelers to take that critical next step and book their Australia vacation to experience all we have to offer,” she said.

Tourism Australia’s marketing director, Susan Coghill, said the kangaroo was Australia’s most recognizable image among international audiences.

“Using an animated character in Ruby was a conscious decision that aims to reduce the clutter of destination marketing internationally,” she said.

“In Australia, we are so lucky to have a globally recognizable and lovable icon in the kangaroo and to bring that to life through animation CGI is creating a unique Australian brand ambassador in Ruby, which translates to both countries English speakers and non-English speakers.”

The new campaign will be the second to be unveiled following the reopening of international borders after the publication in February of a $40 million, “don’t be small, go to Australia” ad.

Comments are closed.