It may be “vulgar” and feature a slogan “for bogans with bad grammar” that makes him wince, but advertising expert Toby Ralph has given the Northern Territory’s new branding campaign an overall seven out of 10.
The Northern Territory Government launched the $1.5 million campaign on Monday, led with the tagline “Boundless Possible”.
It is designed to dispel perceptions the region is “isolated, full of crime, racist and masculine” and encourage 2.8 million new residents to move to the NT.
While Mr Ralph – a regular on the ABC’s Gruen Planet – thought the campaign would be successful, he believed the advertisement was lacking in subtlety.
He would have preferred to see greater effort taken to demonstrate the region’s attributes, rather than simply claim them.
“It’s a bit like, you know Stephen Hawking might have been the brightest bloke on the planet, but if he went around saying ‘I’m the brightest bloke on the planet’ it would be a bit embarrassing,” Mr Ralph said.
“I think it’s a bit vulgar. It’s like Brad Pitt saying he’s handsome.”
He also believed the Territory had suffered from a second-rate image for a long time, based around “rugged individuals”, and supported the move to showcase its more cosmopolitan, sophisticated side.
But he also questioned whether using a slogan with grammatical flaws was the best way to do that.
“Boundless Possible just makes me wince quite honestly because it’s so incorrect. The grammar is just so bad,” Mr Ralph said.
“I think the Territory is to a degree associated with bogans. And to have a slogan for bogans with bad grammar might not be the best possible look.”
However, he also believed the slogan captured the essence of the campaign, and the grammar disruption – although irritating – may be effective.
Overall, he thought the campaign was “OK”.
“It’s good. It just could have been better,” he said.
Following the launch of the campaign on Monday, Chief Minister Michael Gunner today dismissed the idea it was too Darwin-centric, stating there was “a common truth to that story that speaks to most Territorians’ experiences here in the NT”.
He was also questioned how the NT government was to grow the campaign with a budget of $2.3 million a year, and said he expected the private sector to buy into it.
“You’re going to see a lot of other businesses in the work that they do interstate and overseas buying into this campaign as well, so you’ll see a lot more than $2.3 million spent,” he said.
‘So much more than a big rock’
Mr Gunner discussed the strategy with Darwin’s business community today, including PM Eat and Drink owner Alana Matthews.
Originally from the Gold Coast, she had moved to Darwin with her partner and child in 2014, and gone on to start a number of successful businesses.
She was confident the campaign would encourage others to follow in her footsteps.
“It’s the perfect place to have a dream, go for it and make a go of it,” she said.
“I think it hopefully will open people’s eyes and minds to the fact that the Territory is so much more than a big rock.
“Like there are people that live here, people that are doing really well here. There’s so much opportunity up here.”
‘All I see is a dead roo’
While many Facebook users supported the goals of the campaign, many questioned the choice of campaign slogan.
Whilst I agree with the sentiment, there are a lot of opportunities here, the wording sounds like a Donald Trump tweet after an afternoon in the sun on the goon — Deb Taipale
What comes to mind is bad grammar. Shouldn’t it be “Boundless Possibilities”..? Also coming to mind is Boundless fracking. Endless intervention. Definite fail. — Toby John Short
As if two conjoined words of nonsense will get the hordes flocking … I don’t think so. — Ted Whiteaker
Two words to sell the NT. We’ve gone from DO NT to boundLESS POSSIBLE. I guess it’s an improvement. (Though when I hear ‘boundless’ all I see is a dead roo). — Clayton Dwyer
It’s worked for us! We are a young family who have recently moved [to] the Territory and it has provided us with quick career progression and a lifestyle that was not possible in Melbourne. There is a lot to miss about Melbourne but we have gained so much moving here. Most importantly time. We have time to relax, time to spend with our children, time to explore and no time spent in traffic. — Nina Propsting-Jones
I think it missed the mark by not highlighting our strengths enough, Just talk to all the people who have left the NT, they pretty well all state they miss the lifestyle, social life, the great place to raise your kids, no other place in Australia is it about doing stuff, not having stuff. — Carol Phayer
Language/grammar fail comes to mind – very annoying — Helen Christensen