Virgin and Tourism Australia target Oscars to lure American tourists

Virgin Australia and Tourism Australia are targeting this year’s Oscars in a $4 million joint marketing campaign aimed at luring more visitors to Australia from America, the country’s fourth largest international tourism market. 

The primarily digital and TV campaign starts today and runs until 24 March 2015, combines Tourism Australia’s ‘There’s Nothing Like Australia’ destination imagery alongside a Virgin Australia call to action, ‘There’s No Better Way to Get There’.

The latest in a three-year, $20 million line of collaborations between the brands, it builds on the partnership in ‘Restaurant Australia’ featuring footage of unique dining experiences.

The campaign will feature TV advertising airing during the Oscars pre-show and during Oscars coverage on Good Morning America, custom content on the Huffington Post and the Los Angeles Times websites and takeovers on Yahoo, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal.

The United States is Australia’s fourth largest international tourism market, with 537,600 US arrivals during the year ending September 2014, up 10.8%. Total annual overnight visitor spending for the US market is currently approximately AU$2.7 billion , with the potential to grow to up to AU$5.5 billion by 2020 .

Virgin Australia’s chief customer officer, Mark Hassell says this latest campaign is an example of Virgin Australia’s significant investment in inbound tourism. “Our partnership with Tourism Australia continues to go from strength to strength and we’re delighted to be jointly promoting Australia on the world stage,” he says.

“This is an emotive campaign highlighting Australia’s best food and wine experiences and our outstanding level of service. We hope to ‘wow’ discerning American viewers with the breadth and depth of experiences Australia has to offer, beginning with the award winning product and service our airline provides.”

Managing director of Tourism Australia, John O’Sullivan, says that the campaign will keep with the theme of its current global marketing activities: food and wine. “Restaurant Australia has created a great platform for us, particularly within the US, and allows us now to really put our focus on conversion opportunities.

“The journey is such an important part of the overall experience and we are really pleased to be partnering with an airline of the quality of Virgin Australia, whose commitment to world-class customer service is so high,” O’Sullivan says.

The campaign will be supported by an A$4 million media buy to drive traffic to its newly upgraded website, where a TravelZoo booking widget will enable customers to book holiday packages from five wholesale travel partners.

“Ultimately, the goal is to build upon the growth we have seen from the US market over the past 18 months, by delivering compelling destination messages and great travel offers to affluent, middle-aged leisure travellers in 10 of America’s key states,” O’Sullivan says.

Peter Roper
BY Peter Roper ON 10 February 2015
Editor of Marketing Magazine and