Marketing daze like these


Scene: A terrace house in Glebe, Sydney. A couple are enjoying a late-afternoon drink on a lazy summer afternoon in early 2039.

Man: What’s the best holiday you think we’ve ever had in Australia to date, hon?

Woman: Gosh, you’ve put me on the spot there, darhl.

Man: That road trip around Tasmania perhaps? That beachhouse we rented for a week down near Lorne on the Great Ocean Road?

Woman: For mine, I reckon it was the time we both cut our hands getting into that rusty old open-air bathtub in outback Queensland back in 2022.

Man: Ah, yes. Who could forget days like that?

Woman: It was a beautiful way to be.

Okay, back to real time. And reality.

The holiday our fictional, now middle-aged, couple are fondly remembering is the time they spent at Charlotte Plains in outback Queensland, lured there by the Queensland Government’s latest tourism push centred around the theme, DAYS (change font) like (change font) THIS.

The Queensland Government is spending a motza trying to lure Australians from other states to make the Sunshine State a must-see after the COVID lockdowns of recent years.

The “squash-yourselves-into-a small-bath tub” ad (at top, right) was a full-page in today’s Sun-Herald out of Sydney. The one beside it was a two-page spread trying to lure southerers to the Whitsundays in last weekend’s Sun-Herald.

Marketing is a sort of science, right? You can get doctorates studying marketing? The people on Gruen are very clever at what they do?

So why should The Bug be arrogant enough to take a dig at these advertisements with nary an idea of the deep thinking and mountains of costly research that went into them?

To be fair, these ads could already be kicking amazing goals for Maroonsville. Already, there may not be a single, shitty, piece of accommodation available in Charlotte Plains, wherever the fuck that is, or the Whitsundays for months – nay, years – to come.

And, sure, The Bug accepts that Queensland tourism can’t keep using “Life is Great in the Sunshine State” forever. DAYS like THIS and A BEAUTIFUL WAY TO BE might just be the best slogans research money can buy. And that maybe there’s no coloured coral left anywhere along the Great Barrier Reef to use in such ads anyway?

And we also accept the possibility that an advertising agency’s intensely expensive research down south found that 76 per cent of young Sydney couples wanting a holiday somewhere in Oz have always dreamt about squeezing into a clearly uncomfortable old bath tub after finding no place to hang their towels or place the thongs needed to get across the sticky red cluggy mess or the enclosed steel-capped and solid-sole footwear needed to overcome the burr-infested, barren way to said tub if it’s at the back of an old shearing shed way out there in the outback.

You can almost sense our young Sydney couple keeping a wary eye on that water pipe, hoping it doesn’t swing around and hit them with scalding, stinking artesian bore water that would make stinking egg gas look like a marketable spray-on cologne.

Similar research might have found that Melbourne couples want no greater thrill more than to sit at the back of a speedboat in the Whitsundays as their hair is blown about by a helicopter landing on the nearby houseboat they originally rented but then got bored with which is why they booked the speedboat joyride in the first place.

And should we mention that a houseboat like the one depicted could be about as scarce to find in those parts as a cheap takeaway food joint on Hamilton Island?

Still, we don’t have degrees in marketing so what the fuck would we at The Bug know?

Somewhere down the track, we’d love nothing more than for the Queensland Government to be able to rub our faces in it with full details of how much the campaign cost and how amazingly effective it was.

After all … LOVE YOU QUEENSLAND! Oh, shit! Hasn’t that already been used somewhere else?

Don Gordon-Brown