Colourful Scenery, Colourful Language: Representing White Australia in the ‘Where the Bloody Hell are you?’ Australian Tourism Campaign
Audiovisual Tourism Promotion A Critical Overview
School of Arts and Humanities / Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts, Technology, Education and Communications
In 2006, Australia launched an international television campaign to invite overseas tourists to the country. The visuals presented Australian iconography such as the outback, white sand beaches, kangaroos, Indigenous dancers, Uluru, and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The picturesque landscape images of Australia also featured ‘everyday’ Australians including a young blonde, bikini-clad woman who, at the end of the visual montage, addresses the camera and asks, ‘Where the bloody hell are you?.’ In the global tourist market, the use of the phrase was bold and distinctive. However, the Australian catchphrase did not translate as an invitation, but rather as an offensive term. This chapter will examine the discourse surrounding the controversy, the outdated race and gender representations, and the long-standing cultural impact of the ‘Where the Bloody Hell Are You’ advertisement, which was considered successful in gaining international attention, but unsuccessful in attracting tourists to Australia.
Society and Culture
Creativity, culture and artistic practice