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Remembering Australia’s Best & Worst Marketing Campaigns

by | Oct 26, 2016 | Digital Marketing

The goal of any business or brand when they kick off a new marketing campaign is always pretty clear. They want to grow their business in one way or another. Whether that be through actual sales, or just through growing their brand awareness – growth is the goal.

Sometimes brands hit the nail on the head… and other times not so much. Here are some examples of Australian campaigns that were a hit and others which missed the mark.

The Good

We Love Our Lamb Australia Day Campaign (2016)

Watch it here!

Watch it here!

For a decade, the Meat & Livestock Association have campaigned for Australians to eat lamb on Australia day. Over that time Sam Kekovich was the face of the brand, but in 2016 the ad style got a revamp. With two starkly different ads, ‘Operation Boomerang’ and ‘You Never Lamb Alone’.

Both are based around humour, but in response to some negative backlash from Operation Boomerang – You Never Lamb Alone focused on the cultural diversity around Australia (and it’s lamb!). The social media strategy definitely caught significant traction through Facebook especially, and rightfully so.


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Tourism Australia: There’s Nothing Like Australia (2012)

Watch it here!

The most serious of the ads on the list, this piece from Tourism Australia was aired across televisions, cinema screens and around social media sites in 2012. It took quite a significant turn away from previous iterations of Australian Tourism ads.

1984’s quite hysterical stereotypical take of bikini clad ladies, fair dinkum blokes and the beloved shrimp on the barbie – was moved aside. This look around Australia at the natural beauty encapsulates every point of emphasis from Tourism Australia for the year.

AAMI: Rhonda & Katut (2013)

Watch it here!

Perhaps Australia’s most iconic ad campaign from AAMI has become a bit of a cult favourite. Rhonda and Katut’s love story encapsulated the nation and spawned a series of ads from AAMI as well as from brands trying to replicate the humour.

Although it is hard to say exactly what this ad did in terms of ROI for AAMI, the impact this series of ads ended up having on Australian advertising is obvious. If this campaign were launched in the current social media climate you can imagine it reaching some really significant virality.

The Bad

Toohey’s Extra Dry: Repay Your Mouth (2013)

Watch it here!

This one from Toohey’s was just weird, and a bit disturbing. Having the main character’s mouth leap off, talk to him, then flashing to the characters prior… activities… only to have him drink a beer was a strange and jumpy story to say the least.

Combine it with a poor music choice to end it all off, and the ad misses the mark by quite a bit. It can be hard to really nail ads like this one, especially when you consider that this was a year where Carlton as well as XXXX had ads which well exceeded expectations.

The Ugly

Saatchi & Saatchi’s Toyota Yaris Campaign (2009)

This campaign needed it’s own section of incompetence. The story behind this was that Toyota gave five different agencies $15,000 to complete a social media campaign. Saatchi & Saatchi decided on a competition to encourage the everyman to create a video that included a Toyota Yaris.

The campaign resulted in less than 200 combined Facebook and Twitter followers, without a single video submission. Just dying to get any kind of result, Saatchi and Saatchi sent this email to their professional contacts:

From: Rob

Subject: Clever Comp

Hey creative people

I’ve got something that you’ll (or your housemates, brothers, sisters, artistic friends etc will) be interested in.

It’s a film comp in aide of promoting Toyota Yaris.

“A film comp? I don’t have the time!” you may say, but listen up. So far, NO ONE has entered and it has been open for more than 10 days and closes 1st December. Voting is done on hits and comments so if you’re in first you have a huge advantage. And you don’t have to make an ad, just put a Yaris in somewhere a la the ‘number 8′ or ’spring’ in Tropfest or something

First prize is $7,000. $3,000 for second and $1,000 for 3rd. At this stage, you could enter a picture of your cat playing in his kitty litter and win 7 grand.

Details are in the attachments. If you win, I’d love an all carbon fibre road bicycle for Christmas.

Cheers y’all.


If you want to read more about this, Mumbrella have a great write up on it.


Any standout campaigns which you remember? Share them with us in the comments or on twitter at @5Tales_aus.


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