Wednesday, October 08, 2008

From Kintore East to Yuendumu

Stan, as well as the Monkey Messiah, both alert me to a new campaign from Australian film director Baz Lurhmann for Australia tourism. In this spot (a likely never-to-be-aired :90) the harried NYC executive gets the news from her guy that “we need to take a break.” You’re not sure if that means, “Let’s go on vacation” or “Let’s start seeing other people.” But when she gets back to her apartment, he calls again, this time saying, “You’re not the same person I fell in love with.” Ouch.

So the darling Aboriginal child sneaks into her apartment and sprinkles her with magic red sand from the Australian desert, whispering the solution to her life and love woes: Walkabout!

Dissolve to snake-infested billabong somewhere in the fly-infested desert, where harried executive and her guy are getting ready to make love by moonlight, complete with the magical red sand infesting the crevices of their bodies. Would’ve been much cheaper to just get a cabin in the Adirondacks if "rejuvenation" is the only selling point of Australia.

It’s pretty. It tells a story. It’s engaging. But as someone who actually plans to visit (perhaps live in) Australia some day, it seems a bit of a cliché. Mystical Aboriginal girl, the whole Walkabout thing, the buzzing, cold and dark city versus the calm country contrasts already done to death in the Squatsi trilogy. Why not throw in Steve Irwin for good measure? Oh, that’s right. Sorry.

I guess I want the actual Australia I’m going to see, not the fabled Outback Steakhouse version. Avoid the Opera House and Ayers Rock, of course, but maybe make Australia a little more tangible and real. I have an image of Australia that doesn't involve billabongs. It's about sunny beaches and vibrant cities, verdant valleys and cool people.

Then again, that cliché may have been done to death already as well.

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  • I got a Peter Pan meets Crocodile Dundee vibe.

    The only thing that could enhance the limited nature-induced-catharsis positioning is maybe subsequent spots hitting on the soul-searching possibilities of other Aussie locales as well.

    That or co-branding it with peyote.

    By Blogger M.M. McDermott, at October 8, 2008 at 1:21 PM  

  • Do I understand from the title of this that you're a Midnight Oil fan?

    By Anonymous Rohan, at October 8, 2008 at 10:42 PM  

  • Rohan:


    By Blogger Jetpacks, at October 9, 2008 at 9:08 AM  

  • Cool.

    Intense. Passionate. Australian. Qualified lawyer. Surfer. 6ft 6. Bald.

    What a combination.

    Really enjoying your regular bursts of sanity as a non-US citizen watching your election with interest/anguish/amusement.

    By Anonymous Rohan, at October 15, 2008 at 8:21 AM  

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