So where the bloody hell are you?

One of the many advertising photos used to promote tourism in Australia

One of the many advertising photos used to promote tourism in Australia

In what was meant to be one of Australia’s best advertising campaigns turned out to be the most controversial. The advertising at a cost of $180 million was created to make an ‘in-your-face’ approach by questioning “so where are the bloody hell are you?” which didn’t translate well with other countries. Watch video below

The purpose of this ad was to bring more foreign tourists to Australia, by presenting them with a unique holiday experience, showing off our wonderful landscape, our rich history, modern cities and overall diversity, by using a larrikin and laid back lifestyle which Australians are known for (e.g. man says “we’ve poured a beer for you”). The question “so where the bloody hell are you?” was meant to be a sort of catch phrase and easily remembered like Paul Hogans “have a shrimp on the barbie” ad campaign in the 1980’s which today still well known today for its Australian context.

In Australia it looked harmless and looked to be a success, the rest of the world however perceived it quite differently.  It was banned in the UK due to the words “bloody hell” as well as Canada and parts of Europe and Asia. Some nations even said its subtle reference for alcohol drinking was reason enough but primarily it was found that people  found the words too offensive and inappropriate for national television which made it more controversial. Australians who are known for their cheeky sense of humour we’re trying to play on that were now being conceived as rude and immature.

Was this intentional? did we want countries to think we are immature? Of course not. All we tried to do was challenge tourists to a one in a lifetime holiday using our authentic “Australian-ness” but turns to be a big miscommunication and a clash of cultures.

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