"Ultimately, that’s what a good ad is supposed to do.”
The creators of an innovative ad campaign have really stumped Super Bowl fans.
For several weeks, the internet has been abuzz over trailers for a reboot of Crocodile Dundee, the hit fish-out-of-water movie from 1986 that featured Paul Hogan as an Australian bushman brought to New York.
The new trailers feature Danny McBride as the son of Dundee opposite Australian star Chris Hemsworth, while sporadic scenes highlight prominent Aussie actors such as Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman, Isla Fisher and Ruby Rose. Given the star power, many speculated whether the movie is real, but an ad that aired during Super Bowl LII on Sunday confirmed that the teasers and trailers are part of an elaborate campaign to promote Australian tourism.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, McBride says the idea for a Dundee reboot “seemed silly enough that it’s something that Hollywood would do, and in this day and age, to get people’s attention by doing a fake movie trailer for a fake franchise seemed like a great idea."
Tourism Australia teamed with ad firm Droga 5 to create the campaign, part of a two-year, $27 million effort to lure Americans to the country. U.S. tourism is worth about $3.7 billion to the Australian economy annually, according to the agency, which has a goal to increase the spend to about $6 billion by the year 2020.
The spots were directed by Steve Rogers, a noted commercial helmer, with cinematography by Russell Boyd, who was the director of photography on the original 1986 film. They were shot in such picturesque places as Lawn Hill Gorge, Mission Beach and Kangaroo Island, as well as such urban locales as Montalto Winery and the Quay Restaurant in Sydney’s Harbour. The quick shoot took place mostly in December (it’s currently summer in Australia), with the cameos added last month.
Over the next two years, there will be close to 150 pieces of content for the campaign that will feature McBride interacting with other Australian celebrities, such as crocodile wrangler Matt Wright, singer-actress Jessica Mauboy and celebrity chef Curtis Stone.
“People were confused and wondering what it was,” says McBride of the ads. “They were talking and speculating. Ultimately, that’s what a good ad is supposed to do.”