Maybe I’ve been watching too much of The Walking Dead, but during the launch of Kangaroo Island’s new campaign I kept reflecting on the pristine wilderness’s desirability as a place to ride out a zombie apocalypse.
Once you’ve cleaned out the zombies, there would be no way any new ones could find their way ashore.
The campaign was launched at an evening at Sydney’s Boathouse Restaurant at Blackwattle Bay attended by top level South Australian Tourism folk, Tourism Australia supremo Andrew McEvoy and James and Halley Baillie the owners of Southern Ocean Lodge, the island’s premier accommodation.
But no one wanted to discuss my zombie apocalypse theory, so intent were they on singing the praises of the island, its natural beauty and its food.
Ms Baillie said one of the highlights of the island for her was swimming with the dolphins in the shallow pure water.
“Nothing could prepare me for it. It blew my mind. There would have been 40 wild dolphins around and below us,” she told Lunch Magazine.
The centrepiece of the campaign is a striking new television commercial capturing the freedom and beauty of the island, which has hit television screens around Australia.
Using the tagline “let yourself go” and featuring the song Rise by Eddie Vedder, the commercial is designed to capture the unique sense of transformation, discovery and escape the island offers.
SATC Director of Marketing and Communications, David O’Loughlin, says Kangaroo Island is one of the country’s great treasures.
“This marketing campaign shows that we are serious about ensuring Kangaroo Island becomes known as one of Australia’s top tourism icons,” Mr O’Loughlin said.
“Activity will run for a minimum of 18 months on the eastern seaboard and will be supported by an extensive retail campaign.”
The campaign, which will also include digital, print and editorial components, is a response to research showing that while Kangaroo Island is an attractive proposition to many potential interstate visitors, general awareness about it is low.
South Australian Tourism Minister Gail Gago says the television commercial is the most impressive the state has ever produced.
“There is great potential to increase tourism to Kangaroo Island among this market, which simply doesn’t yet know about the island’s existence or what it has to offer,” Ms Gago said.
“In particular, we are targeting high-yield travellers who are looking for a sense of discovery and an escape from busy lives.”
Director Jeff Darling, renowned for directing commercials for Qantas featuring children’s choirs, says he wanted to capture the raw textures and experiences of Kangaroo Island.
“There is a real feeling of freedom on Kangaroo Island that you can’t find in other places and I wanted to make this story a personal journey,” Mr Darling said.
“Some of the characters featured are children and they really helped us capture the sense of freedom and exploration that you can’t help feeling when you are on the island.”
Pierre Gregor, chair of Tourism Kangaroo Island, is confident the campaign will entice more visitors to the island.
“The commercial has a feeling of breaking free and relaxing in natural surrounds, which is what Kangaroo Island is all about,” Mr Gregor said.
“The local community can be proud of how the island is being represented to a national audience and we look forward to seeing lots of new visitors coming to discover the place for themselves.”