NEW YORK: Tourism Australia is building on the success of an ad disguised as a trailer for a new Crocodile Dundee movie with a series of online videos that form part of a “conversion exercise”.

Teasers for the fake film trailer ran in the weeks before the Super Bowl when the true nature of the campaign was explained.

“We couldn't be happier with the reaction to our Super Bowl ad,” said Lisa Ronson, Tourism Australia’s chief marketing officer.

“The ad and the teasers that preceded it caught the attention and the imagination of millions of Americans and have given us an unprecedented platform to now convert that interest into travel bookings,” she added.

The campaign drove record traffic to Tourism Australia’s website and generated more than 100 million video views on social media, The Drum reported; the PR effect was also sizeable, with more than 12,000 media articles delivering more than $74m in ad value.

The new Why Australia? campaign aims to capitalise on these figures, Ronson explained, “by harnessing some of our country’s best known international stars to show the high-value American traveller some of Australia’s top destinations and best experiences.”

Tourism Australia’s movie trailer approach, created by Droga5, was possibly the most high profile example of what several brands have attempted in recent months, including Taco Bell which created a trailer to announce a menu addition.

“We wanted to launch Nacho Fries the same way we would an award-winning movie, by borrowing from the best-in-class movie release playbook,” explained Brian Darney, senior manager, advertising and brand engagement at Taco Bell.

“Our goal was for people to legitimately question whether this was an actual movie, which they did.” That involved creating authentic IMDb pages and billboards for the fake film as well as believable trailers, Adweek noted.

But such an approach won’t work for everyone, cautioned Jarrod Moses, CEO of United Entertainment Group.

“The brands that work well in the space are brands that also have a lifestyle aspect to their core DNA where there is an emotional connection to the brand versus a tactical or transactional one,” he said.

Sourced from The Drum, Adweek; additional content by WARC staff