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Tourism Australia unveils Baz Luhrmann global ad campaign

LONDON - Tourism Australia has unveiled a £19.5m international marketing campaign featuring a 90-second commercial created by film director Baz Luhrmann, inspired by his forthcoming blockbuster 'Australia'.

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The 90-second stand-alone film takes its cue from Luhrmann's epic, which stars Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, and is to be released worldwide this December. The film tells the story about a woman who loses her sense of self, but finds adventure and romance when she comes to Australia.

The ad opens on a panoramic view of New York at night, and an overworked American woman, who is berated on the telephone by her boyfriend for always being occupied by work.

During the night, while the woman is asleep, a small aboriginal boy whispers into her ear: "Sometimes we gotta go walkabout".

The boy then pours a handful of Australia's distinctive dusty red sand into the woman's hand, and the film cuts to the couple swimming in a sunlit billabong.

The ad ends with the on-screen words: "She arrived as Miss K Mathieson, Executive VP of Sales. She departed as Kate."

The ad was conceived by Luhrmann, who directed 'Romeo + Juliet' and 'Moulin Rouge!' and his team. It was directed by four-times Australian director of the year Bruce Hunt, with production handled by Luhrmann's company Bazmark in association with production company Revolver.

The music for the ad was composed by Elliott Wheeler, from Nylon Studios.

The campaign breaks in the UK today, with a 60-second version running during 'Griff Rhys Jones Greatest Cities of the World' on ITV1 at 9.15pm and during 'Desperate Housewives' on Channel 4 at 10.30pm.

The activity also includes a mix of 30-second TV spots, online advertising and print executions running until 4 November.

Geoff Buckley, managing director of Tourism Australia, said: "We knew that this huge film would create a wave of publicity that would put the country in the spotlight around the globe. And we found that the film's story had a remarkable resonance for what we do marketing the country as a travel destination.

"The challenge was always going to be how to ride the power of the film, but with a stand-alone and self-reliant tourism campaign. Getting Baz Luhrmann and his team on board to make that campaign was simply the best result we could hope for."

The campaign will also run in all of Tourism Australia's 22 major markets around the world from now until mid-2009.

The tourism body will invest around $40m in the ad campaign and around $10m on promotional opportunities around the movie when it is released later this year.

Tourism Australia will also develop a more long-term campaign for release in mid to late 2009, which will be developed by its recently appointed global ad agency DDB Worldwide.



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