An animated toy kangaroo is the face of a new Australian tourism campaign.
This past week, Tourism Australia introduced “Come and Say G’day,” a multi-market and mass awareness campaign catering to international travelers to plan and take a vacation—or holiday—to this destination.
The centerpoint of this campaign is “G’ day,” a short live action film that introduces Ruby, a CGI animated kangaroo who is also the campaign’s brand ambassador. In the film, Ruby’s backstory is as a toy kangaroo who is to be sold as a souvenir at a gift shop.
However, Ruby is not staying inside that sales box for long.
In a media release, Tourism Australia’s Chief Marketing Officer Susan Coghill stated that Ruby was a joyful way to instantly connect with international audiences, as the kangaroo is considered to be Australia’s most recognizable icon.
“The use of an animated character, such as Ruby, was a deliberate move that aims to cut through the clutter of destination marketing internationally,” said Coghill. “Ruby is a versatile fluent brand device that can live across all platforms and channels.”
Ruby is voiced by the Australian actress Rose Byrne. Byrne is currently Tourism Australia’s Global Ambassador and she also makes an appearance in the film.
In “G’ day,” Ruby develops an unlikely onscreen friendship with a “magical” toy unicorn named Louie. Louie, who is voiced by actor Will Arnett, is described in the campaign as a symbolic representation of an international traveler.
The short film has Louie unexpectedly entering the gift shop, meeting Ruby and becoming her travel buddy. He helps Ruby escape from her box and they both head out on an incredible adventure around Australia.
These two characters are seen at the Sydney Opera House, the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. They also partake in Melbourne’s coffee culture with Ruby feeling quite jittery after having many cupfuls.
According to Coghill, picturing these well-known landmarks in Australia also signifies the familiarity of this destination’s identity with audiences. “It reinforces existing memory structures with consumers and reminds them of what they already know and love about Australia,” added Coghill.
Other important aspects of Australia are prominently featured in “G’ day.” Through talent, music and landscapes, Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures feature prominently in the campaign. Multiple Indigenous Australian languages are also shared.
The film also features a new cover of the Men at Work song, “Down Under.” The remake of this 1980s hit single was produced in collaboration with the band’s lead singer, Colin Hay, and performed by the Australian band, King Stingray. King Stingray sang this song in both English and Yolŋu Matha, an Indigenous language from northeast Arnhem Land in Australia’s Northern Territory.
The campaign was created in collaboration with M&C Saatchi, a global communications company, and supported by Tourism Australia’s global agency village. “Come and Say G’day” is the first global campaign from Tourism Australia since 2016.
Ruby will stay at the center of the campaign, which is being marketed through through partnerships with Australia’s State Tourism Organizations, key distribution and media partners and airlines including Australia’s flagship carrier, Qantas.
In the same media statement, Tourism Australia’s Managing Director Phillipa Harrison, said that “Come and Say G’day is unashamedly and unmistakably Australian. After a challenging time around the world, our uplifting and joyful campaign will stand out in what is a highly competitive international tourism market.”
Byrne, Arnett and representatives from Tourism Australia were on hand at a preview party for the campaign at 74Wythe in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. King Stingray gave a performance as well.