The South Australian Tourism Commission’s latest advertising campaign, featuring an older man crying, has been slammed as bizarre, ageist and depressing.
Titled “Don’t feel sorry for old mate …”, the footage features an elderly man, known as Dave, checking out famous South Australian locations.
He enjoys a glass of wine at a vineyard, wanders along a picturesque jetty and, finally, climbs the roof at the Adelaide Oval. Along the way, Dave’s quiet enjoyment turns into tears as he realises he has left his visit to Adelaide until he is too old.
“Don’t feel sorry for old mate. It’s his own damn fault he didn’t visit Adelaide sooner,” the voiceover says.
A key feature of the state’s summer marketing campaign, the 30-second ad was produced by Melbourne agency TBWA and released at the weekend.
The campaign also includes an Instagram account for the fictitious Dave to post his latest holiday snaps.
But it certainly hasn’t won over everyone. SA opposition tourism spokesperson Zoe Bettison labelled the ad “bizzare”.
“This advertisement seems rather bizarre and, what’s worse, it follows the Marshall Liberal government’s decision to outsource this work to a Victorian agency,” she said on Tuesday.
SA Tourism Commission marketing executive director Brent Hill conceded he had expected “some scepticism” but the campaign was “designed to get people talking”.
“You’d be crazy if you made an ad like this and didn’t expect to get some response,” he 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’.”
However, social media users were also unimpressed. The Facebook page of the Adelaide Advertiser‘s has been flooded with mostly negative comments.
“Omg! What a terrible advert. Missing the point completely. Get rid of the advertising agents … redo the ad and showcase what this state is all about. Not come here when your [sic] old and regret not coming earlier. I love SA but mortified at this advertisement,” Coreen Taylor posted,
“This is the most ridiculous ad I’ve ever seen!! Flat out embarrassing. It is wrong on many levels, most of all ageist. Suggest you bin it, your agency & start again…,” Mich Kelly wrote.
While some said the ad made them laugh, others said it was “so depressing”, “simply awful” and “dreadful”.
“This is what happens when they commission a Victorian company to make the ad,” Renae Dillon posted on the page.
An ABC Radio Adelaide listener described it as “offensive to our state and older people”.