There was a time when people had no clue where Australia even was and no one really dreamed of visiting our far-off land, these ads put Australia on the map, for better or worst.


Come and say G’day, 1984-1990

This is the ad to blame the next time you meet an American and they ask you to put another shrimp on the barbie.

The 80s was a confusing time and Paul Hogan was an ideal ambassador for all things Australian. The campaign was a huge success shooting Australia from #78 to #1 on American’s dream holiday lists.

And just because we can’t get enough of Paul Hogan, here’s a few more cracking ads.


Good Time Aussie Holidays, 1990

Back when mullets was the haircut all the cool kids were rocking, John Farnham had a go at promoting Australian holidays as a good time.

It’s weird to see an ad with the man who belted out hits “You’re the voice” and “Two strong hearts” with the cheesiest music as the backing track.

I’m sure it seemed like a great idea at the time.

What really seals this as cringe-worthy for me is the last scene with Farnham wading across the water in a white tee, budgie smugglers, and the mullet waving through the air beckoning viewers to “come on”.


So where the bloody hell are you?, 2006

Featuring a bikini clad Lara Bingle may not be such a bad idea but this ad raised a few eyebrows with the now famous term etched into our memories “Where the bloody hell are you?”

The ad was one of the most controversial ad campaigns ever run and received a tonne of negative media coverage.

It probably didn’t help that this was the time that Australian beaches were associated with Sydney race riots. However, Federal Minister for Tourism Fran Bailey was this morning defending the slogan, saying it’s unashamedly Australian.


Come Walkabout, 2008

Trying to leverage off the back of Baz Luhrmann’s film Australia, starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, the ad featured the film’s young Aboriginal star Brandon Walters.

It’s a completely different approach and it’s unusually serious for us Aussies.

However, we can’t argue with results, the tourism campaign found 62 per cent of people who saw the film were more likely to visit Australia within a year, rising to 87 per cent for those who had seen the advertisements as well.


Best Job in the World, 2009

A personal favourite, Tourism Queensland put out a worldwide invitation to apply for the best job in the world.

The position is to work as caretaker of the Whitsunday Islands, based in a multi-million-dollar villa on Hamilton Island for six months.

It generated more than $400 million in global publicity value and was awarded three top awards at the Cannes International Advertising Festival.

It was so successful that in 2013, Tourism Australia followed suit adding more jobs to the list.


Which one was your favourite?