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Australia Old Mate ad for South Australian tourism went ahead despite warnings before release

07:55  22 january  2020
07:55  22 january  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

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South Australia 's latest attempt to promote itself as a destination of choice has fallen flat with locals, and is being widely condemned on The ad Don't Feel Sorry For Old Mate … headlines the South Australian Tourism Commission's summer marketing campaign and was released over the weekend.

a man looking at the camera: The ad ended with a man in tears. (News Video)© Provided by ABC NEWS The ad ended with a man in tears. (News Video) South Australia's Tourism Commission was warned months before it released its now infamous Old Mate tourism ad the campaign was "not child friendly" and would mostly appeal to grey nomads, documents have revealed.

But the market research obtained under Freedom of Information (FOI) also suggested the ad could achieve its objective of driving visitor numbers to the state, especially if it were modified.

The first in a series of ads was released in September, and depicted an elderly man — labelled "Old Mate" — visiting popular tourism spots in South Australia.

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Well, a new ad from South Australia Tourism has bent those rules, with what is being described as South Australia Tourism new ' Old Mate ' ad for Adelaide. Grab from ad on YouTube Photo Brent Hill, marketing executive director for South Australian Tourism Commission, told ABC: "While there

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At the end of the 30-second video the man breaks down in tears, as a voiceover explains he is upset because he has left it so late in his life to travel to the state.

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' Old Mate ' South Australia tourism ad back with a sequel. Last month, the South Australian Tourism Committee released an ad that ruffled quite a few feathers. “This is where Old Mate ’s Mates leaps off. He has gone back to Sydney, told his mates about his overwhelming experience

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The ad was widely criticised as ageist by seniors groups, and prompted a parody by Tasmanian tourism authorities.

Heavily redacted market research documents obtained by the SA Opposition through FOI laws show the ad drew mixed reactions from focus groups ahead of its release, with some claiming it lacked diversity.

According to the documents, "most interstate travellers agreed that it's not child friendly and potentially aimed at older travellers or 'grey nomads'".

"More variety in the attractions shown in Adelaide/SA would help counter this and enhance the impact."

Individual respondents raised similar concerns, saying the ad was "for older people, wine lovers or sport lovers, males".

"I am not sure that they show that there is really enough to do and see there," one respondent said.

"I can't take my kids to any of these locations … I'd be more interested in activities for families — this type of holiday is about 30 years away," said another.

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South Australia ’s latest attempt to attract visitors to the state appears to have missed the mark after a new campaign was labelled “the saddest tourism ad ever”. The spot, titled “Don’t feel sorry for old mate ”, is reportedly the work of South Australian Tourism Commission’s creative agency TBWA

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However, not all responses were negative.

The research found most people understood the ad's humour, and that some would consider visiting South Australia as a result of viewing it.

"Overall, 'the old man' was the most likely to increase participants interested in going to South Australia or Adelaide," the review found.

"This ad would be further enhanced, however, by showing different people from different backgrounds or different demographic profiles enjoying the variety of activities in SA."

Government disputes Labor cost claim

Labor has labelled the ad a failure and has called for the Government to scrap it, as well as its contract with the Victorian-based company that created it.

"Let's get that advertising contract out of Victorian hands, back into South Australian hands and get our state's marketing back on the right track," Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas said.

Mr Malinauskas also called for the Government to reinstate funding he said had been cut from the tourism budget since the Liberals were elected.

"Steven Marshall's got an opportunity now. He's the Premier of South Australia, he's the Tourism Minister. The buck stops with him and he's got the chance to reverse that," he said.

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Days after its release , a now-controversial tourism ad which intends to promote SA — but ends by showing an elderly man breaking down in tears — is defended by the state's premier, despite criticism from seniors groups.

Mr Marshall took over the tourism portfolio from David Ridgway in the wake of the devastating Cudlee Creek and Kangaroo Island bushfires.

This morning, he travelled to the Adelaide Hills to promote the new 'book them out' campaign, aimed at encouraging tourists to return to fire-affected areas.

He hit back at Labor's claims the Old Mate campaign had cost $10 million, which he said was the total marketing spend for the year.

He said the bill was actually $1.2 million.

"Peter Malinauskas has got his figures all wrong and what he should be doing is stop with the petty politics and actually back the tourism sector," Mr Marshall said.

"The reality is we're spending more money on the 'book them out' campaign. It's already been phenomenally successful."

Mr Marshall said the Old Mate campaign had ended last year but defended the ads, saying they were seen by 22 million people.

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