When a trailer appeared for a new "Crocodile Dundee" movie starring Danny McBride and Chris Hemsworth on Jan. 19, 2018, the internet went bonkers. But with no forewarning that a remake of the Australian 1986 comedy was in the works, excitement soon turned to skepticism. Within a week, several outlets had rightly assumed that it was all the marketing stunt crafted by Tourism Australia for the Super Bowl.
At Tourism Australia and Droga5, the agency behind the campaign, there was an early expectation that the "secret" wouldn't necessarily stay a secret. (Scheduling a meeting between your chief marketing officer and Hemworth at busy Australian café doesn't count as guarding your surprise.) Still, nobody admitted the truth even as they released three additional teasers in the weeks leading up to the game. The semi-ruse included a roster of high-profile Australians, including Hugh Jackman, Margot Robbie, Isla Fisher and Russell Crow. Fans of the original movie with Paul Hogan meanwhile began petitioning for a real remake.
Droga5 Creative Director Kevin Weir and Associate Creative Director Jim Curtis said they couldn't even tell their families know why they were traveling to Australia. "We couldn't post on social media when we were in Australia for a month," Weir told Ad Age.
To create the feel of an actual movie trailer, they shot four or five full scenes and then edited down those scenes into the Super Bowl commercials and used some of the scenes as teasers. "We started with a lot of footage and cut it down from there so it would feel like a proper trailer," Curtis said.
The resulting spot in the Super Bowl was the first for Tourism Australia, kicking off a year focused on outreach in the U.S. Americans have a higher affinity for Australia than an actual tendency to visit, Tourism Australia Chief Marketing Officer Lisa Ronson told Ad Age. Europeans make up the bulk of visitors.
The idea was to reach Americans via the movie that helped put Australia on the map for many people in the States. "Crocodile Dundee is still so endearing as a character and what we are trying to do is take that character and bring Americans into a modern-day Australia," Ronson said. "Australia can be an abstract destination for Americans, so we are trying to break it down and demystify it."Send credit info to [email protected].