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Will it be a new Crocodile Dundee movie or a Tourism Australia marketing campaign that possibly includes a Super Bowl ad?
The Brisbane Times reported this week that Australian actor and official Australian tourism ambassador Chris Hemsworth and U.S. actor Danny McBride will be featured in a tourism marketing campaign for Tourism Australia, the country’s national tourism board, during the February 4 NFL Super Bowl.
A video appeared on YouTube on the Dundee Movie account on January 22 [see below], teasing “Dundee: The Son of a Legend Returns Home (2018).” The video so far has attracted more than 1 million views on that platform alone, but few other details are known about whether a movie is in the offing or a clever tourism campaign in the works. Or both.
Other publications have reported that despite an official-looking website there’s still no proof that Dundee is actually making a return to the big screen this year, and some have called the entire thing a hoax. The Super Bowl ad speculation seems more plausible; other destinations, like Ecuador, have used one of the world’s most-watched sporting events to air ads.
Tourism Australia told Skift on Wednesday that Crocodile Dundee is one of many projects the organization is working on this year, but wouldn’t confirm if it’s indeed an ad that will air during the Super Bowl, part of a larger official tourism marketing campaign, or a feature film hitting theaters this year.
A Super Bowl commercial could be aimed at getting Americans – who hail from Australia’s second-largest overseas market – to follow in Dundee’s footsteps and book a trip.
Hemsworth has been Tourism Australia’s global brand ambassador for the past two years, having first been introduced in January 2016. Hemsworth has taken over the destination’s social media accounts on several occasions and has also used his own social media to tell his travel stories about Australia and why the country is special to him.
He’s perhaps one of the most recent successful examples of a tourism ambassador that has staying power, relevance and seeming universal appeal. Tourism Australia has said Hemsworth has been part of some of its best-performing marketing campaigns to date and has generated plenty of interest for the destination from markets like the U.S.
In the video, Dundee’s American son (McBride) hops off a bus with luggage and a fanny pack, asking Hemsworth where the kangaroos are. The movie idea could be a hoax, a box office hit waiting to happen, or part of just part of a clever marketing campaign.
In recent years, Tourism Australia has distanced itself from its Dundee days in the 1980s and 1990s when the franchise was in its heyday and the character appeared in marketing campaigns. But some studies have shown that Australia’s reputation isn’t as strong these days in key markets like China so Tourism Australia could be returning to an iconic character/theme to once again help give it a boost.
Some 686,000 U.S. travelers visited Australia through November 2017, which is the most recent month for which data is available. It’s anyone’s guess as to whether the New England Patriots or the Philadelphia Eagles will win the football game, but Australia could be hoping to beat out other destinations for Americans’ vacation dollars this year.