Tourism Australia dusted off the cheesy 1984 advert for fans of its Australia.com page to enjoy – or cringe at – on Facebook, and within hours the 60-second ‘throwback Thursday’ item had attracted 54,000 ‘likes’ and 5000 comments, and had been shared a whopping 19,000 times.
The advert – set mainly in and around Sydney and aimed at the American market – features a bronzed-looking Hogan advising would-be tourists that they need a holiday – “A fair dinkum holiday; in the land of wonder – the land Down Under.”
As he emerges from the blue seas to greet an attractive-looking girl on a sun-kissed beach, Hogan warns his audience that they’ll have to get used to saying ‘g’day’ – “Because every day’s a g’day in Australia.” They’ll also have to call everyone ‘mate’ – “But apart from that – no worries – you’ll have the time of your life in Australia.”
The ad ends with Hogan’s classic pay-off line: “Come on – come and say g’day. I’ll slip an extra shrimp on the barbie for you” – as he pops the mother of all giant prawns on the charcoal while the camera pans out to show the impressive backdrop of the Sydney Opera House.
The ad’s revival was rapturously received by many Facebook followers, with Ann Theo commenting: “Still one of the best commercials for Australia. Even if it is 30 years old now.”
One American fan, Florida Town, wrote: “We saw a Paul Hogan ad one winter night. One cold, snowy, blowy, miserable winter night, and that convinced us to make Australia our next travel destination. Loved it, loved the people – would go back in a heartbeat.”
Kate Bloem said: “The only thing that has changed is that Paul Hogan has grown old – but our beautiful city of Sydney is still here.”
But the ‘shrimp’ line – written to make sense for an American audience – still rankles with many Australians. One of them, Tim Donovan, wrote: “If only he said ‘prawn’. Every foreigner for 30 years has been saying ‘Chuck another shrimp on the barbie, mate.'”
What do you think? Is it a classic ad or a disaster of Australian stereotyping? Is it still a valid view of Oz? What do you think has changed – or stayed the same – over the last 30 years? We’d love to hear your views here at TNT!