Anne Majumdar

Wildlife will be the next big focus for Tourism Australia as it continues to evolve “brand Australia”.

Managing director John O’Sullivan told KarryOn that the tourism marketing organisation continues to look to Australia’s unique strengths in order to stand out in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

“We’re on a bit of a journey with the brand,” he said.

“One of the great things we did in 2010 was reset the brand to take it away from “Where the bloody hell are you?” and into something which matched what the research was telling us – that Australia is a very unique part of the world.”

Food and wine was the first major step on the There’s nothing like Australia journey, with the area an ongoing focus for TA. Then, it softened the brand by “focusing on the blues and greens of the country” with its coastal and aquatic campaign.

“So, the next iteration is about bringing that focus in on wildlife,” O’Sullivan confirmed.

Instead of looking at the three campaign strands as columns, he compared them more to “chapters of a story that that we continue to build on”.

For example, the coastal and aquatic campaign incorporated plenty of food and wine experiences – a blurring of lines that looks set to continue with the new wildlife push.

Image credit: Australia.com

Image credit: Australia.com

So will the new chapter feature virtual reality and 360 video as heavily as the last one? It looks likely.

“Australia is the ultimate try-before-you-buy destination,” O’Sullivan said.

“People have a completely different perception of Australia once they’ve been here as opposed to when they first start thinking about it in that dreaming phase.”

Putting VR technology in the hands of travel agents, their customers and consumers in general is therefore a very powerful tool, enabling potential visitors to sample the destination before committing.

And the most popular videos so far? The ones involving wildlife – particularly swimming with sea lions or diving with whale sharks – have been a particular hit, a good sign for the new wildlife campaign.

“Technology is becoming more and more accessible so it’s really becoming a key part of how we can tell stories about our brands,” O’Sullivan said.

The new campaign will roll out later this year.

What do you think of the latest theme for the There’s nothing like Australia campaign?