<%@ Language=VBScript %> <% CheckState() CheckSub() %> You'll never never know, if you never never go
Advertising Federation of Australia

Advertising Effectiveness Awards


Advertising Federation of Australia Limited, Level 1, 201 Miller Street, North Sydney NSW 2060,
PO Box 166 North Sydney NSW 2059
Tel: +61 2 9957 3077  Fax: +61 2 9957 3952

You'll Never Never Know, If You Never Never Go

Simon Burgess
Colin Wilson-Brown


Australia's Northern Territory. These days it conjures up images of sunset tours on Yellow Waters in Kakadu, visiting Katherine Gorge, peering over the rim of King’s Canyon, golfing in Alice Springs or quite simply climbing the Rock.

Unfortunately until mid-1992, the words 'Australia’s Northern Territory' were more likely to have inspired visions of hardy adventurers, trekking from one inaccessible location to another (and spending vast sums of money in the process).

This submission details how the Northern Territory, from a position of marginalised appeal, is now high on the list of holiday-making Australians as an exciting and diverse destination.

It details the implementation of the 'Map' campaign which was instrumental in reversing what had the potential to become a negative trend. It also details the two subsequent phases of the campaign, 'Daryl' and 'Dear Daryl'; the first of which re-defined the appeal of the Northern Territory and surpassed all marketing objectives for 1993. The second further refined the strategy and has led to unprecedented results for 1994.

Whilst of course the advertising alone is not responsible for the entire turnaround (a new marketing and management team at the NTTC had made changes to most elements of the marketing mix), the advertising has been acknowledged as playing an extremely significant role in the resurgence of NT tourism.


The Kennedy report

In June 1992, a report prepared for the Chief Minister, Northern Territory, by The Hon. J.J. Kennedy CBE 'to assess whether current and planned expenditure by the Tourist Commission is appropriate in today’s competitive environment' was tabled for public review. The report, 'Northern Territory Tourism - The Way Ahead' was to have a far reaching impact on the structure and marketing of Northern Territory tourism.

The 'Kennedy Report' as it came to be known, found that 'figures demonstrate very little growth, if any in total visitor nights since 1984... Tourism in the Northern Territory has failed to keep pace with the growth of tourism in Australia (and) the results do not justify a continuation along the present path.'1

More specifically in terms of advertising, the report found that the Northern Territory had created a very narrow image of itself. That is, Northern Territory advertising and promotion had created perceptions that the Northern Territory:

A much broader image needed to be created to advertise the Northern Territory, if the mass tourist market was to be effectively tapped.

Short and long term needs

The aftermath of the Kennedy Report resulted in an almost entirely new management and marketing team at the Northern Territory Tourist Commission and the appointment of a new advertising agency - Magnus Nankervis & Curl.

This team was required to act extremely quickly to generate immediate bookings in the short term, to resurrect fallen morale in a local tourism industry that the Kennedy Report had found was 'struggling to survive'.2 To this end a price-led immediate response campaign was implemented.

This campaign was known as 'Map'.

At the same time, a mass marketing campaign was being developed to address specifically those perceptions identified by the Kennedy Report as the main obstructions to taking a holiday in the Northern Territory.

This mass marketing campaign would come to be known as 'Daryl', featuring TV personality Daryl Somers.


The campaign

A short term 'shot in the arm' for Northern Territory holiday bookings, the campaign was specifically designed to 'get bums on seats'. This was achieved through the advertising of five unprecedented price deals to Alice Springs, Ayers Rock, Darwin and Darwin/Singapore.

The 'Map' campaign also began to communicate two very important strategic issues identified by the Kennedy Report.

Deals were promoted as being for 'Top End' and 'Red Centre' destinations. This 'regionalisation' of the Northern Territory was intended to make the Northern Territory seem more accessible.

Top End and Red Centre executions focussed on an array of things to see and do in each region. The communication of a broad range of holiday possibilities suggested a rich holiday experience.

'Map' campaign extended from 14/11/92 to 20/2/93 using television in five metropolitan markets and was supported by national press activity.

Campaign results

The results of the 'Map' Campaign were impressive to say the least:

Results to December 1992 reflect these indicators (see Table 1).


Visitors Dec Qtr 1991 Dec Qtr 1992
NT  (Intra) 59,220 90,612
Interstate 65,330 82,875
Total 124,550 172,987
Source: NT Travel Monitor


Creative strategy

The creative strategy behind what was to become known as the 'Daryl' campaign, flowed as a natural consequence of the quite definitive findings of the Kennedy Report. 

  1. 'The Northern Territory is only for the adventurous.'
    What better way to overcome this perception than to demonstrate the effortless interaction of a 'tour guide', our tour guide, with the places and people to be found in the Northern Territory? To accentuate the ease of touring 'the Territory', our guide should be a 'city slicker'.
  2. 'The Northern Territory offers a very limited range of things to see and do.'  
    To counter this perception, show our tour guide in a variety of locations engaged in an even wider variety of activities.
  3. 'The Northern Territory is inaccessible.'
    This requires a two-prong approach:
    - promote the Northern Territory as two distinct holiday destinations - Top End and Red Centre - breaking the vast expanse of the Northern Territory into perceptibly more accessible areas.
    - ensure that all advertising promotes a variety of product for Top End and Red Centre holidays, communicating that there are myriad ways of getting to and around the Northern Territory.
  4. 'The Northern Territory takes a very long time to see.'
    The promotion of the Northern Territory as two separate holiday destinations counters this perception (which is only true if you intend to see the entire Northern Territory in just one trip).
  5. 'The Northern Territory is not a value for money holiday option’
    To successfully counter this perception, not only should all advertising carry a variety of product, but this product should be packaged for perceived value for money and ease of purchase.

The challenge was to develop a campaign which successfully combined all of these elements into a cohesive and workable multi-media advertising idea.

Why Daryl Somers?

Serendipity: A happy accident which revealed that:

In addition:

Call to action

All advertising features a call to action which:

'You’ll Never Never Know, If You Never Never Go'.

Execution of the campaign




Co-operative advertising activity

Since the ‘Daryl’ campaign launched in March 1993, the Northern Territory Tourist Commission has funded dollar for dollar, co-operative advertising campaigns with operators to and within the Northern Territory.


Operators supply the holiday product to feature in a 15 second 'tag' which is coupled with a relevant Top End or Red Centre television execution.


Again, operators supply the holiday product which features in press advertisements in a choice of metropolitan and regional newspapers.


The 32 page insert for the Women’s Weekly featured six pages which were allocated to operators to and within the Northern Territory.

Co-operative advertising benefits the Northern Territory and co-operative partners in the following ways:

To date, partners have included:

Media strategy

Communications objectives of the 'Daryl' campaign were to broaden the awareness and appeal of the Northern Territory as a holiday destination.

The basic thrust of the campaign therefore was to the mass market, and this was reflected in target audience selection:

primary - All people 18-44

secondary—All people 45-65

Priority was given to reaching as many markets as possible, provided satisfactory reach frequency levels could be maintained in these markets.


The clear and obvious choice to reach mass market:


Implemented to support television activity:

Woman's Weekly was selected to carry colour insert due to:

Sheer penetration of the Women’s Weekly into market place (1.25 million at time of insert production).

Need to reach regional markets.

To reiterate, media were selected on the basis of broadening the 'very narrow image of a very narrow segment'3 of the holiday making population with regard to the Northern Territory.

An integrated campaign

Trade advertising

Prior to the launch of the ‘Daryl’ campaign, advertising was developed which announced the new thrust the NTTC was taking in its marketing and promotion of the NT.

Collateral material

All collateral materials produced incorporate Daryl Somers as tour guide for prospective holiday-makers to the NT.

Trade launch events

To revitalise the Northern Territory as a holiday destination in the minds of travel agents, launch events hosted by Daryl Somers were held in Sydney Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth during March 1993.

NT launch

The launch of the ‘Daryl’ campaign was preceded in the NT by a message from Daryl Somers outlining various aspects of the campaign and included a preview of the television commercials.

Public relations

Above and beyond the 'call of duty', Daryl Somers has not ceased to contribute to the success of the campaign. Frequent mentions on 'Hey Hey It’s Saturday' mean that the Northern Territory is never out of the media for long.

Results of Phase 2 (March - December 1993)


Key performance objectives for the NTTC interstate marketing campaign in 1993 were:

  1. Increase interstate visitor numbers by 4%.
  2. Increase interstate visitor nights by 4%.
  3. Increase interstate visitor expenditure by 10%.

All objectives were met or surpassed.


    1992 1993  % growth
1. Interstate visitors '000s 372 388 4.3
2. Interstate nights '000s 3,784 4,244 12.2
3. Interstate expenditure '000s 277,265 321,214 15.9
Source: NT Travel Monitor

Advertising awareness

advertising campaign had achieved higher awareness figures than all other states the exception of Queensland, as demonstrated by Figures 1 and 2. Indeed, unaided advertising awareness for Northern Territory had doubled since Daryl’ campaign began in March 1993 (see Figures 3 and 4).

Attitudes towards the advertising

Consumer attitudes towards the advertising were also extremely positive, confirming choice of Daryl Somers as a presenter with no indication of ‘wear out.’ While no hard research exists, trade attitudes to the advertising were also highly positive and Daryl had established excellent rapport with NT Tour Operators and the trade through the advertising and his appearance at trade functions.


Refining the strategy

There was no doubt that the advertising campaign had stimulated high awareness for the Territory and a desire to visit. Converting this preference for the Northern Territory as a holiday destination into more actual visits was the marketing and advertising challenge.

Brian Dermott & Associates (BDA), a consultancy specialising in marketing and advertising planning, were briefed by the NTTC to analyse and integrate all available data, and to pinpoint the obstacles to converting positive attitude into action. The marketing situation in June 1994 is summarised in Figure 5.

As the chart shows, NT has the second highest awareness and preference as an interstate holiday destination, but the lowest conversion of preference to visits of all states.

Barriers to conversion

From an extensive study of available data, BDA identified ten key barriers to conversion:

  1. The most popular month for interstate travel (January) coincides with the Wet Season in the Northern Territory.
  2. Travelling to NT by road involves huge distances.
  3. Cost of travel to NT is comparable with overseas destinations such as Bali, Fiji or New Zealand. 
  4. Distance makes NT unsuitable for short visits.
  5. Far more effort is required planning and holidaying in NT compared with destinations such as the Gold Coast.
  6. With its low population, NT misses out on the VFR (visiting friends and relatives) market.
  7. The climate is regarded as one of extremes - hot, wet, dry cyclones, harsh and so on.
  8. The retail network is relatively weak due to the complexity of NT as a destination and the relative difficulty in constructing and selling a holiday there compared with a single destination such as the Gold Coast or Barrier Reef.
  9. Product and infrastructure is still relatively under-developed in NT compared with, say Queensland which has many top quality resorts and attractions which undertake their own marketing.
  10. There is no urgency to visiting the NT - the icons (Ayers Rock and Kakadu) have been there for thousands of years - it is a holiday that can wait until 'we have more money/time', 'the kids have left home.'

These barriers add up to a formidable marketing challenge!

Redefining our market

BDA also undertook an analysis of The Roy Morgan Research Centre (RMRC) ‘Value Segments’ in order to identify the segments of the population that offer most potential for visits to the NT This enabled us to make a fundamental shift in the advertising from a demographic to a psychographic focus.

The 'Value Segments' were analysed and represented on a BDA positioning map (see Figure 6) to show:

Our primary targets

Three groups, representing over 50% of interstate holidays, were identified as primary targets, but each had a very different psychographic (and demographic) profile.

Socially aware

Visible achievers

Traditional family life

Reaching our primary targets

Matching product, message and media to our 'new' target audience

Television had been the primary medium during Phase 2 of the campaign, but with more tightly defined target audiences, it was apparent that the emphasis needed to change.

'Socially aware' and 'visible achiever' segments

These groups are light watchers of television so, in addition to carefully selected television programmes and cinema, we would need to reach them through magazines.

'Traditional family life' segments

The existing television and retail press approach would continue, but at 'maintenance' weights, allowing us to divert funds to magazines and reach the 'SA' and 'VA' segments.

Research had shown us that these three priority market segments had different needs from a holiday so the product and message would need to be tailored to each - particularly to the segments offering the greatest growth potential - 'SA' and 'VA'.

The magazine campaign

The use of magazines allowed us to do several new things:

Qualitative research

The magazine advertising concepts were pre-tested in qualitative research among our primary target audience (‘Socially Aware' and ‘Visible Achievers’) by Melbourne based research group Open Mind, which found that:

This approach can be effectively used to address the barriers which have been discussed in this research and which are the focus of some of the ads. The use of clever questions to focus attention on barriers is effective and does claim attention.

Qualitative Research also endorsed the effectiveness of television commercials:

'These commercials are endorsed as both informative and fun. They have been instrumental in increasing familiarity with the Northern Territory and in motivating interest in visiting the Northern Territory.'

And the appeal of Daryl Somers to our primary target audiences (‘Socially Aware’ and ‘Visible Achievers’):

'Daryl Somers himself is a highly effective presenter for the Northern Territory who is generally liked by this target audience. Even those who do not like Daryl acknowledge his credibility and effectiveness as a presenter for the Northern Territory. His humour is liked, his credibility goes unquestioned and the visual images he shows are appreciated.'


The success of the ‘Dear Daryl’ campaign has been such that the NTTC have received several requests for co-operative versions of the ‘Dear Daryl’ advertising.

To date, two versions of ‘Dear Daryl’ have been created for two separate co-operative partners: Darwin Region Tourism Association, and Alice Springs Town Council/Central Australian Tourism Industry Association.


Appeared between 19/9/94 and 30/11/94 in four national circulating magazines.


First appeared 13/3/95 and will continue to appear until May 1995.

In both cases, leads generated by advertising activity are forwarded to the relevant co-operative partner.

Results of Phase 3 (July - December 1994)

Telephone/coupon responses

As at 13 February 1995, the 'Dear Daryl' campaign had generated approaching 15,000 qualified enquiries for specific information on Northern Territory holidays.


The results of the Phase 3 campaign have been staggering. The December quarter 1994 vs December quarter 1993 NT Travel Monitor figures show for the Commercial Accommodation sector:

The reason for lower figures for nights and expenditure is because the campaign was achieving immediate results leading to short length stays. The effect of longer term decisions has obviously not been felt yet, but we expect the expenditure growth to match the growth in number of visitors.


September quarter            
Interstate Visitors ‘000 Visitor Nights ‘000 Expenditure $M
1993 1994 % 1993 1994 % 1993 1994 %
76.3 82.9 +8.7 807.9 950.4 + 17.6 81.4 116.8 +43.5

December quarter

1993 1994 % 1993 1994  % 1993 1994 %
36.5 53.2 +45.8 332.3 397.1 +19.5 48.5 55.4 +14.3

December half

1993 1994 %  1993 1994 % 1993 1994 %
112.8 136.1 +20.7 1140.2 1347.5 +18.2  130.0 172.3 +32.5
Source: NT Travel Monitor VFR = Visiting Friends and Relatives


Whilst the NT advertising spend has been substantial, unlike every other State and Territory in Australia, the entire burden of creating demand for a Northern Territory holiday falls upon the NTTC.


  State vs. Government Adspend 1993  
  State specific Adspend $000 Govt Adspend $000 Govt Adspend as % of total state
NSW 19,757 2,659 13.5
Vic 9,352 1,463 15.6
Qld 18,087 3,766 20.8
SA 2,199 584 26.6
WA 5,069 545 10.8
Tas 1,980 634 32
NT 3,883 3,671 94.5
Total 60,327 13,323 22.1

Unlike other states, the NT received very little industry support (at the time) for either inter or intra-state activity. However the recent successes of our advertising campaigns has generated positive response to co-operative activity.

Capturing sales data

Sales data information for Northern Territory holiday product promoted by the NTTC is very difficult to obtain due to the splintered nature of NT holiday sales.

Territory stations

A network of Northern Territory Travel Stations exists in each capital city. These stations comprise a devoted consultant within an existing travel agent. Call 13 16 88 from anywhere in the country and you will automatically be diverted to your nearest NT Travel Station.

These Stations book direct with the airlines and individual tour operators. The availability of sales data therefore is at the discretion of the airlines and operators involved.

NT holiday centre - Alice Springs

This is an information centre for both travel trade and consumers. Reservations may be made via the Holiday Centre for certain parts of Northern Territory Holidays (for example, car rental) but ticketing is ex the individual operators.


The principal co-operative partners of the NTTC have in the past been the two major carriers. Understandably neither is willing to divulge any specific detail other than the most general of sales information (for example, number of packages sold or percentage increase in bookings).

All this adds up to the exact source and cause of leads being very difficult to isolate.

However, when advertising for December quarter 1994 went to air on 11/9, the following results were recorded 15/10:

Industry recognition

The Northern Territory Tourist Commission continues to address consumer perceptions and industry awareness of the NT as a desirable holiday destination through ongoing research and the implementation of strategic and tactical marketing initiatives.

Recognition of the significant steps the NTTC has taken during the post-Kennedy period has come through the following:


The task facing the NTTC in September 1992 was daunting to say the least. However the three stages of the campaign put in place to date have achieved outstanding results.


'You’ll Never Never Know, If You Never Never Go' is the story of turning a destination with 'marginal' appeal into a destination on the list of most holiday-making Australians.

The true enormity of this achievement becomes apparent in considering the position of Northern Territory tourism at the time of publication of the Kennedy Report in 1992.

The scale of this accomplishment is evident from the results the three distinct phases of the campaign have generated.

The campaign represents a shining example of what can be achieved when a Client relentlessly pursues a clear strategy but has the flexibility to modify that strategy when new information becomes available.

But most importantly of all, the campaign continues to promote one of the most spectacular nature based holiday destinations in Australia. The Northern Territory is a quite extraordinary product but 'you’ll never never know, if you never never go'.


1 Northern Territory Tourism - The Way Ahead. Chapter 1, pp. 1-2. (back)
2 Northern Territory Tourism - The Way Ahead. Chapter 1, pg. 2. (back)
3 Northern Territory Tourism - The Way Ahead. Chapter 1, pg 3. (back)


Television Commercial Copy: The Top End (March - December 1993)


We see Daryl Somers on a tourist boat in Kakadu.   'You know, I’m crazy about Kakadu - it’s full of the most incredible wildlife . .
We can see a pair of pelicans floating along a brolga (the huge bird that’s the symbol of the Northern Territory), a sea eagle which is sitting on top of a tree nearby, and hundreds of geese suddenly take off from the bank.   .... some friendly.
We see a huge crocodile lying near the water’s edge.   some not so friendly'
He turns to camera.   'You know I once spent three nights in a massive croc .
We cut to see the Crocodile Hotel near Jabiru.   it even had room service.'
We see a close up of a barramundi that dwarfs the frying pan it’s in. We pull back to see Daryl holding a very small pan with a very small fish in it.   'The Top End’s a top place for fish
We see Daryl, wearing jacket and open necked shirt putting a $2 chip on the roulette table at Darwin Casino.   and chips.'
We see Daryl in a party of tourists looking at rock paintings.   'I love touring the galleries . .
We cut to a close up of Daryl’s face and pull back to reveal he’s wearing pyjamas and floating on an airbed in Katherine Gorge.   ..... or just lying in bed.'
We cut to see him on another tourist boat. He’s eating a leg of chicken. He’s waving it over the water as he talks. A huge croc leaps out and grabs it. He does a double take.   'After years of holidaying in the Territory, it’s still full of surprises.'
Super: Northern Territory logo.   'But, you’ll never never know, if you never never go.'

Television Commercial Copy: The Red Centre (March - December 1993)

Video   Audio
Open on aerial shot of road out in the middle of nowhere - a little spec in the distance is Daryl driving a combi van - the camera catches up to Daryl’s van which is being towed by two camels.   'It’s surprising what you come across when you holiday around Alice and the Red Centre.'
Cut to Daryl 100% to camera. Behind him we see two camels drinking from a waterhole.   'This is the original spring that gave Alice Springs its name.'
Cut to Daryl kneeling on the ground - he’s looking over the edge of Kings Canyon - as he points down into the canyon his watch falls off his wrist.   SFX: Camels growl. / 'And here, a king sized canyon to peer into.'
Cut to Daryl on a steam train, shovelling coal into the fire engine - cut to silhouette shot of Ghan travelling along train line - with sunset in background.   'My watch (echo) . . . I dropped my gold watch (echo).'
Cut to Daryl 100% to camera. He is holding a plate of food. The Ghan is stationary in the background.   'Or you might like to take a trip on the old Ghan.'
Daryl looks up into the sky as he speaks. The sky turns from dusky to midnight blue and is filled with thousands of stars.   'And you can eat out...this is a 5 million star restaurant.'
Cut to exterior shot of tennant creek gold battery. Camera goes inside and we find Daryl standing beside gold panning machinery - he looks into the machine and finds his gold watch.   'At Tennant Creek there’s an amazing old gold battery'

'Hey that’s my gold watch!!' 
Cut to Daryl driving along beautiful green golf course in a golf buggy.   'You can just relax and enjoy a nice drive - and if golf’s not your game...
He gets out of the buggy and removes a club from his golf bag - it slips through his fingers and falls to the ground.    
Cut to Daryl driving past the Devil’s Marbles in the golf buggy.   there’s always ma... marbles—the Devils Marbles.' 
Super: Northern Territory logo.   'But you’ll never never know, if you never never go'


© Advertising Federation of Australia Limited 1994