‘Enjoyed the great privilege’: M&C Saatchi responds as Tourism Australia changes the guard

Rose Byrne in 'Come and Say G'day' for Tourism Australia by M&C Saatchi

M&C held the account since 2018, and was responsible for its ‘Come and Say G’Day’ campaign.

“M&C Saatchi Group has enjoyed the great privilege of supporting Australia’s Tourism Industry throughout our partnership with Tourism Australia,” a spokesperson from the creative solutions company told Mediaweek.

The comments follow the news that Tourism Australia has appointed a panel of agencies – Accenture Song, The Monkeys, and Droga5 – to handle its integrated global creative and digital services.

Effective from July 2024, the panel has secured a five-year contract with the government agency that spans three years, with options for two one-year extensions.

The M&C spokesperson continued: “Together we have created globally acclaimed effective work culminating in the global launch of Come and Say G’Day

“We are equally proud of the Holiday Here This Year work created during the pandemic to support local tourism operators in a time of need. 

“As our term of service comes to an end, we wish all the parties involved every future success.”

The Come and Say G’Day campaign, which supported and helped rebuild the Australian tourism industry following the pandemic, has been widely acclaimed.

Directed by Australian director Michael Gracey, the campaign introduced two adorable CGI animated characters: Ruby, a souvenir kangaroo voiced by Australian actor Rose Byrne, and Louie, a toy unicorn representing international visitors, voiced by actor Will Arnett. It went on to win Best Animation Short at last year’s Los Angeles Film Festival.

The Holiday Here This Year platform was launched in 2021, featuring homegrown personalities and Tourism Australia ambassadors, Hamish Blake and Zoe Foster-Blake, to promote the appeal of Australia’s major cities to its citizens.

M&C Saatchi won the creative account after the five-year contract with Clemenger BBDO expired in December 2018.  Digitas won the digital tender, replacing DT (now part of AKQA). Both agencies failed to make the shortlist after the account went up for pitch last September.

Upon announcing the new appointments, Tourism Australia chief marketing officer Susan Coghill thanked M&C for their contributions to the Tourism Australia brand:

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank M&C Saatchi and Digitas for all of their hard work over the past five years,” said Coghill.

“It was a challenging period and thanks to both agencies we were able to pivot into the domestic space, with the Holiday Here This Year campaigns, and once international travel resumed we launched our current global campaign Come and Say G’day welcoming travellers back to Australia.”

It has not been an easy time for the agency. Last month, the account for BWS, previously held by M&C, went to BMF when the agency won the Endeavour Group pitch

In an upswing for the agency, however, it was announced this week that M&C Saatchi was appointed as the creative behaviour change agency for Australian Red Cross Lifeblood.

Top Image: Rose Byrne in ‘Come and Say G’day’ campaign for Tourism Australia

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