The scenic route to our nation’s capital

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Yesterday Tourism Australia launched a new advertising campaign “There’s nothing like Australia“.

With Aussie cliche heaped upon cliche, the video ad was quickly panned by media and marketing blog Mumbrella for looking and sounding a little too much like a Discovery Channel spot from last year.

The website’s cool, but it refers to the audience as “fellow Australians” – a little confusing since the campaign is supposed to be for an international market.

Set to adorn the walls of train stations in major cities all over the planet, the campaign will include 12 print ads displaying the fabulous attributes of various Australian locations, including Sydney, Melbourne, Ningaloo Reef, the Whitsundays, Uluru, Tasmania, Arnhem Land, Kakadu, the Great Ocean Road, Kangaroo Island, the Gold Coast – and Canberra.

This is the poster for Canberra, tiny little caption saying, “See yourself in the nation’s capital”:

Note how the little descriptive bit with its fake diary friendliness is riddled with inaccuracies and misleading sentences:

“No maps needed.”

What? No maps? In Canberra? But this place is a maze and none of the roads connect like you think they should and tourists get lost all the time!

“Explored hidden gems”

We are not a mining town.

“discovered secret cafes.”

Printing error – secret cafes belong in Melbourne.

“a lifetime of history”

One lifetime. Thanks for rubbing it in.

Our nation’s capital is many good things being, you know, the seat of power, centre of Australia democracy, place of many monuments and art galleries and so on, but for some reason Tourism Australia thought these weren’t quite good enough. Canberra needed to be marketed as some kind of second class Perth or Melbourne with better hot air balloons and “complimentary champagne breakfast”.

Telling is the tagline for Canberra that reads “There’s nothing like the scenic route”.

Yep. The scenic route. Because the only reason you would come here is if you had time to meander past en-route to Melbourne, Sydney or some such, right?

Ouch.

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