Day 5 SXSW with Tourism Australia: Mediaweek launches Road to SXSW Sydney

Tourism Australia

Australia House sessions with Tourism Australia and Yolngu surf rockers King Stingray

This week at SXSW Australia House and Tourism Australia outdid themselves, what an incredible opening party. Where do I start … with me, it is normally the food – Nornie Bero of Mabu Mabu Melbourne showcased native ingredients that turned good food into great – the prawns and Aussie cocktails, beer and wine were all first class.

The highlight for me was definitely the Aussie surf rock band King Stingray who just smashed it and bought the house down.

Also, we “unofficially” launched our Mediaweek Road to SXSW Sydney new monthly editorial feature to debut later in the month leading up to SXSW Sydney in October.

SXSW sessions with Susan Goghill (Tourism Australia) and King Stingray

Say G’Day was the theme as I was back at Australia House for more inspiration in the morning when I attended a great panel on Travel Through Song, Art & the Written Word moderated by Adweek’s USA digital editor Colin Daniels with excellent panellists including Susan Coghill (CMO Tourism Australia and watch out for an interview with Mediaweek soon in our SXSW sessions), Cam Blackley (chief creative officer M&C Saatchi) and Millie Millgate (executive producer Sounds Australia).

Susan Goghill, Tourism Australia CMO

Susan Coghill proudly shared insights into the current campaign and not only with brilliant storytelling, but the background of the musical collaboration with Colin Hay and King Stingray. Both Coghill and Blackley highlighted the necessary value exchange to engage and entertain global consumers with a nine-minute film.

My top takeaways from Tourism Australia CMO Susan Coghill:
* In a highly competitive category, you cannot afford to be boring
* Really, and she means really, understand your consumer (walk in their shoes)
* A short and long story can be compelling – it has to be good whatever length
* The storytelling has to be distinctive – Ruby (the roo – as voiced by Rose Byrne) is a loveable unique Tourism Australia icon

The great news is … it’s working, whatever metrics for success you look at it is delivering tangible results.

Tourism Australia

Later in the day, another excellent panel at Australia House titled Connecting to Country – The Power of Song, Food & Movement featured Alex Temblador (Dallas-based author) chatting with Aussie basketball legend Patty Mills, Nornie Bero, and from King Stingray Yirrnga Yunupingu and Roy Kellaway (pictured above). It was a compelling conversation that captivated the audience, personal stories from their heart and soul that powered their cultural identity. Unlike so many panels that deliver platitudes and the same old stuff, this really connected and had me hanging off every powerful word.


Patty Mills as SXSW. Main top photo: Mills with King Stinray

Seeking SXXpress passes

Another SXSW mantra is no matter what time you go to bed you still power on every day and at 9am you engage in the annual rite of passage of trying to lock in your SXXpress passes for the next day.

You are allocated four per day and after many years I am still endeavouring to crack the code – they are normally gone by 9.01 am. When I do get them, they normally are for closing sessions at 4pm.

Another brilliant day at SXSW Austin and my body may be exhausted but the mind is inspired!

See also:
SXSW Day 4: Sparrow with TikTok in Austin, missing Deepak Chopra again
SXSW Day 3: Sparrow on Amy Webb, Ed Helms and Brian Baumgartner
SXSW Day 1 and 2: Sparrow at the keynotes including Disney and AI insights
SXSW Day 1 and 2: Trent Thomas visits Prime, Paramount & Audible
SXSW interview sessions: TikTok’s Anny Havercroft with Mediaweek in Austin

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