Tourism Australia appoints M&C Saatchi and Digitas to its creative and digital agency roster

Australia-Tourism-Insert.jpgUPDATED - Tourism Australia has appointed M&C Saatchi as its global creative agency and Digitas as its digital agency, after a major pitch lasting more than six months.

The agency will provide Australia's national tourism organisation with global brand, advertising and production services, commencing work in January 2019.

The incumbent creative agency is Clemenger BBDO, Sydney, who won the account in 2013 from DDB Sydney, who was also on the pitch. Others known to be on the pitch list included BMF and Droga5 New York.
The win for M&C Saatchi sees it once again taking the lead creative agency role for Tourism Australia, twelve years after the controversial 'Where the Bloody Hell are you?' campaign in 2006 when Australia's current Prime Minister Scott Morrison was managing director of Tourism Australia.

Tourism Australia managing director, John O'Sullivan, said the appointment followed a comprehensive and competitive selection process aimed at continuing its focus on delivering world class creativity aligned with its strategic marketing objectives.

Says O'Sullivan: "I think Tourism Australia has set a pretty high benchmark in recent years with its marketing work and the brief we put together for this tender was very much about building upon that. The calibre of responses we received was exceptional.

"In the end, M&C Saatchi proved to be the stand-out agency in terms of their strategic and brand thinking as well as the culture and operating model we wanted for our business."

Says Lisa Ronson, chief marketing officer, Tourism Australia: "The ideas M&C Saatchi shared were extremely creative, and they demonstrated the kind of big thinking we need to effectively differentiate Australia from the competition."

Says Jaimes Leggett, CEO of M&C Saatchi: "The Tourism Australia team have bold creative ambitions and their passion is contagious. From the beginning it has felt like a great partnership, we cannot wait to get started."

Ronson thanked all the agencies who participated in the tender process, paying special tribute to current agency partners Clemenger BBDO Sydney and Droga5.

Says Ronson: "Over the past five years, we've has great support from our agency partners who have helped deliver some exceptional creative work. This includes Clemenger BBDO for stand-out campaigns such as Restaurant Australia and Aussie News Today, and more recently, Droga5 who were responsible for the Dundee campaign we launched at the Super Bowl."

The new arrangements with M&C Saatchi initially run for three years, with an option to extend the contract for two further periods of 12 months.

This year Tourism Australia partnered with Droga5 New York and UM to launch its star-studded 'Dundee: The Son of a Legend Returns Home' campaign, which secured a coveted Titanium Lion award at the 2018 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

Dundee-1.jpgTourism Australia picked up a total of 10 Lions. Tourism Australia's youth-focused 'Aussie News Today' campaign, developed in conjunction with Clemenger BBDO Sydney, also took home a Gold and Bronze Lion.

Developed in conjunction with Droga5 New York and Tourism Australia's global media services agency UM, the A$36 million campaign was officially unveiled at the Super Bowl in February with the aim of reinvigorating interest in Australia for a new generation of American travellers.

Initially appearing as a trailer for a new Crocodile Dundee movie, the 60-second ad, shot by Australia's Steve Rogers from Revolver, features Chris Hemsworth and Danny McBride as well as Paul 'Crocodile Dundee' Hogan. The campaign was also supported by a host of Aussie A-listers, including Hugh Jackman, Margot Robbie, Russell Crowe, Ruby Rose, Liam Hemsworth, Isla Fisher, Luke Bracey and Jessica Mauboy.

Tourism Australia has confirmed the appointment of Digitas, a subsidiary of the Publicis Groupe, to oversee its global digital and technology services requirements, commencing work in January 2019. Incumbent ASAP+ has also been retained for all digital services in China.

The digital creative, CX and technology scope of work includes assisting Tourism Australia to refine its higher value target traveller and strategically aligning its digital platforms and user experience to better attract, inform and convert these customers to travel to Australia. Digitas and ASAP+ will also support Tourism Australia's agency roster for major campaign development.
O'Sullivan said both agencies had demonstrated strategic vision alongside a strong track record of delivery: "Digital is the real battleground in today's world of destination marketing and we attach huge importance to our digital assets and the huge global footprint they give us.
"Both Digitas and ASAP+ demonstrated a real understanding of our target customer, both globally and in China, and identified where we can engage most meaningfully with them on their digital journey. They showed us a compelling vision and a clear pathway to execute it."

Ronson said the new digital appointments effectively completed its agency roster across media (UM), creative (M&C Saatchi) and digital (Digitas and ASAP+) and, alongside Tourism Australia, provided a world class destination marketing team.
Says Ronson: "Competition for the share of the global travel wallet is intense and as a destination marketing agency we are increasingly looking for cut through and high impact ideas.
"Digitas and ASAP+ certainly tick those boxes as our new global digital partners. We see them playing a key role working alongside M&C Saatchi and our media services agency UM in helping to integrate our brand narrative across all digital touchpoints."
Says Adrian Farouk, CEO, Digitas Australia: "As potentially one of the most competitive digital pitches of the year, we are humbled and excited to work with one of the country's most trusted and revered brands.
"We love working with ambitious clients and can't wait to drive more meaningful connections for Tourism Australia through the smart application of digital; creating data-fuelled stories and tech-enabled experiences to reach audiences in powerful new ways."
CEO of ASAP+ Dave Rumsey said it was an honour to continue as one of Tourism Australia's two digital partners: "The competition for digital attention in global travel has never been greater, especially in Australia's biggest inbound market, China. We look forward to bringing our ideas and digital expertise to a table that not only contains world leading agencies but also a courageous and innovative world leading client in Tourism Australia."
The new digital arrangements initially run for three years, with an option to extend the contracts for two further 12-month periods.


Randolph Duke said:

"Mortimer, We are back in business!"

Where the bloody hell are the Monkeys? said:

Clocks still on daylight savings time?

Employee of '06 said:

I hope the piss-up is as good as it was back in 06 when they won the pitch last time.

Really? said:

Criminal. There needs to be an inquest

Well done said:

M&C HQ wins one. Well done.

Gladys said:

Just 3 months ago the current CMO of Tourism Australia was singing the praises of the recent Tourism Australia ad campaign on US Superbowl and the subsequent roll-out to Asia and China at a National Convention of CMO's on the Gold Coast.

Today they announce a change of agency!!

Go figure.

Star F***ers!

Marketing 101 - profligate CMO's seeking self-aggrandisement at the expense of their employer are the greatest threat to every brand.

Lisa said:

Oh dear. Seems someone got outplayed by politics.
CMO of the year has ended up with a dud.
Good luck

Ex BMF said:

Congrats Cam.This one is made for you.

@Lisa said:

Ha ha ha ha ha ha.
Your bitterness. And jealousy.
It seeps out of you like puss from a teenager’s ass pimple.
It makes me so happy.

Elbow tatts said:

This just in: everyone to get Cam style elbow Tatts to celebrate.

Well done Cam and M&C!

Just a random said:

@Lisa Well said.

Bitterness and jealousy.

Well won, well done Cam and team.

Bring on the trolls.

Emoji said:

Well done Cam, Kura and M&C.

Jess said:

No doubt the talented Mr Flemming also played a part in the win.Congrats all round.

Who you know not what you know said:

Trust me, this was not the marketing team’s pick.
Politics is an ugly business
M&C played it brilliantly but Cam and his team had nothing to do with it. The work didn’t win it.
Congrats the Toms

Insider said:

The work was, by far, some of the best I've seen in a pitch for years.

Presented effortlessly by Cam and team.

And absolutely loved by the client.

Any sordid rumours are to be expected but completely wrong.

Presumably from the agencies that lost.

And symptomatic of the nasty bitterness that still exists in this unpleasant industry.

This was a backbreaking effort and the work crafted to an inch of its life.

And absolutely on point.

Congratulations to the winning team. You were brilliant.

As Maurice would say.

Truly Lovely said:

Congratulations Sophie your hard work truly paid off.

@Lisa aka @who you know not what you know said:

It would be clear the only thing you know is that Tourism Australia didn't choose you.

Now sit your salty ass down.

Every other industry, sport or person can acknowledge a loss and congratulate the winner. Why must you make our industry look like a spoil bunch of twats??

@Jess said:

Hi Andy.

On Fire said:

Take a bow Cam B and the team at M&C Saatchi. Certainly one of the most hotly contested pitches of 2018. Looking forward to seeing the work and what else follows from 99 Macquarie.

Andy F said:

I am not Jess.

I'm far more imaginative when bigging up work anonymously.

@Andy F said:

Stop pretending to be Jess.

Andy F said:


@realAndyF said:

Fake news.

Henry Innis said:

Would have been a competitive pitch with all the best agencies.

Well done M&C Saatchi. Don't let anyone take anything away from what is a great win.

Sore losers? said:

As someone that's seen all the work presented, whoever claims it's not because of the output that these guys won is just chap-assed that they lost.

Smart strategy, backed up with smart (and bold) ideas.

@sore losers? said:

Never have I ever seen a client so blatantly state their opinion on Campaign Brief. Well done for hiding behind what you thought was a M&C alias.

Luke said:

Congrats M&C. Fact check tho: Pretty sure our *checks time* current PM was actually MD of Tourism Aus when 'Where The Bloody Hell' was approved, not a minister.

Lynchy said:

Luke, you're right of course, now amended...

The Real Jess said:

It's true. I am the real Andy F.

Groucho said:

@Lisa how did the puss(y cat) get into the teenagers arse pimple?

Grow up. said:


I am assuming we are all grown ups here... just re read what some of you have written. It's disgusting. Grow up. And if you really want to give a negative and nasty comment, back it up with your real name.

We all work in the industry (and have all worked together in an agency at some point) Sometimes we lose, sometimes we win, nature of the beast.

Here's an idea, let's offer condolences when an agency loses a client (we have worked on with blood sweat and tears) and congratulate those who have a big win. I mean seriously, we will all be working together again at some point.

Be kind, your conscience will thank you for it.

What's left said said:

Anything interesting going down at Clems Sydney?

Pete said:

Well said Grow Up.You have made the end of a tough week much nicer.Now for a cold beer at The Clock with old mates from three different and competitive agencies.

End of AKQA? said:

Losing it is bad enough, but to digitas, that’s embarrassing.

R/GA falling apart and now AKQA(ish), going the same way.

You can’t fake an agency it seems.

It’s a dogs life said:

Susan as per usual, right place, right time.

Russty said:

Well done Cam & crew. These wins are few and far - go and ruin some good scotch with cola ;)

Start the clock said:

I give them one year.....

Insider Source said:

I heard Andy F was the driving force behind the win. Well done Andy.

Buck said:

Hey ‘Start the clock’-it’s a 3 year Federal Government contract you fuckwit.

@buck said:

Contracts don't get broken? You been on the bath salts again?

MissJ said:

Don't hate us cause you ain't us.

Wayne Carr said:

The comments here are extraordinary. Mostly the ones from M&C. Hi Andy. Hi Cam. Hi Kura.

Hope you all got bonuses, otherwise why do you care?

@ Insider Source said:

YOU are Andy F aren't you?
You bighead! LOL

Todd said:

Congrats Cam and the team. Amazing!

bigboysarecomingforyou said:

I’d like to congratulate Saarchi and Saarchi on the great win. I know Christian Brailing and Kurtus Macdonalds worked hard for this win two. Well done guyz. And also great feedback from so many amazing advertising minds above. Thru you’re constructive and instructive words of wisdom I can see why Australian advertising is in the shape it is. Keep up the homogeneous work.

Looking forward to seeing the new ads,

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