#5 Paul Hogan-Australia owes you $5 billion

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In 1984 Paul Hogan used his messaging skills to convince 300 million Americans to love Australia. His tourism campaign was such a success it underpinned Australia’s economic success for two decades. Unfortunately, that great messaging has been displaced over the last few years with two things:

  1. The disastrous ‘Where the Bloody Hell are ya?’ campaign, which contradicted Hogan’s great message that ‘Australians are the friendliest people on earth’.
  2. The message vacuum in the mind of Americans, which started to fill with a ‘fear of poisonous animals’ thanks to the National Geographic channel.

The podcast finishes with a call to bring back Paul Hogan to do Australia’s tourism ads! (at 27:26)

Links mentioned in the podcast:


Top Messages in this episode:

  • “Not only did Paul Hogan open the doors for business success in America, he convinced 300 million Americans to welcome Aussies with open arms.”
  • “Fosters, it’s Australian for beer.”
  • “You’re literally thinking Australian beer is Fosters – with the positive association of friendly Australians.”
  • “America, you look like you need a holiday, a fair dinkum holiday.” “You’ll have the time of your life in Australia.”
  • “Down Under”
  • “No Worries”
  • “Come on and say G’day. I’ll slip an extra shrimp on the barbie for ya.”
  • “The wonder Down Under”
  • ”What’s your marketing budget? It’s unlimited! You test and keep spending money at anything that works.”
  • “Paul Hogan gave Australia 20 years of success with a brand that oozed positivity and success.”
  • “Aren’t you all convicts?”
  • “The old belief that Australians have a propensity for profanity.”
  • “Where the bloody hell are you?”
  • “Haven’t you guys got the deadliest animals anywhere?”


Show Notes:

00:35 My headline of the day is that Australia owes Paul Hogan five billion dollars
1:25 Paul Hogan embedded a number of messages into the mind of the United States
2:05 A look at Paul Hogan’s history
4:37 The perception of Australian’s by America before Paul Hogan
6:25 Paul Hogan’s idea for tourism ads that changed American’s mind
9:16 Analysing the messages in the TV commercial for America
14:10 Australia benefited from tourism for years and Paul Hogan success
17:01 Paul Hogan paved the way for Aussie actors in Hollywood
17:28 Let’s go back to B.H. before Hogan
19:23 The confirmation bias and what I sometimes call the closeness problem
21:18 Where is Australia now from a brand perception and from a marketing point of view
22:29 Australian Tourism Board ran an unsuccessful campaign in 2006, Lara Bingle
25:30 There’s been a messaging vacuum for many years
26:47 What’s taking over is influenced by National Geographic