South Australia’s latest attempt to attract visitors to the state appears to have missed the mark, with its new campaign labelled “the saddest tourism ad ever”.
The South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC) ad, titled ‘Don’t feel sorry for old mate…’, stars an elderly chap called “Dave” who appears morose and depressed visiting the state’s tourist attractions, including a vineyard, local beach and Adelaide Oval.
It finishes with the line: “Don’t feel sorry for old mate. It’s his own damn fault he didn’t visit Adelaide sooner.”
Check out the clanger below:
And, yes, social media was quick to condemn the ad, with some wags claiming it was so depressing it should have included a link to a suicide hotline at the end of it. Here’s a selection of the criticism:
“If it truly is an advertising campaign, then it’s a terrible mistake.”
“Don’t like it at all. It’s not funny or quirky, [it] just mocks an old man who is lonely.”
“Who is going to feel in any way encouraged to visit Adelaide after seeing this? I am appalled and surprised money was wasted on such dreadful sentiments.”
“It so depressing it needs the Lifeline number at the end.”
“Terrible ad. Sad and depressing. Where’s the excitement and discovery to visit Adelaide?”
“It’s offensive to our state and older people”.
“Trust me when I say: the latest tourism campaign for Adelaide of the grimmest things you’ll see in a while.”
However, SATC’s executive director of marketing, Brent Hill, argued that the spot was deliberately controversial and aimed to get people talking.
“You’d be crazy if you made an ad like this and didn’t expect to get some response,” Hill told ABC Radio Adelaide.
“That’s obviously what it was designed to do – we definitely wanted to put something out there that was getting a message across. We knew it wasn’t going to be of everyone’s cup of tea.
“We want to punch home that message that too many people were saying ‘we’ll get to Adelaide one day’.”
Travel Weekly has contacted SATC for further comment.