'Go down south with your mouth' unofficial South Australia tourism campaign captures attention

A risque new tourism campaign, purporting to be for South Australia, has generated plenty of attention on social media, but the state's official tourism body has denied any involvement.

The supposed campaign urges Australians to "Go down south, with your mouth", a phrase immediately interpreted as a double entendre.

Given it's April Fools Day, one might have expected this sort of joke, but the campaign announcement was made with a press release two days earlier.

For a prank, it's a sophisticated one. The release gives little indication that the campaign is not official, citing tourism research data and written in a straight style, not tongue in cheek (no pun intended). There's even a video with high production values similar to a real tourism campaign. 

"In response to a year of adversity and commercial hardship, the Taste Down South campaign positions South Australia as a destination for fellow Australians with untapped potential," the release reads.

"It aims to change the perception of those yet to experience Down South by promoting the unique strengths in South Australia's culinary and hospitality industry. The campaign aims to boost domestic awareness and state economy by the third quarter of 2021 through increased tourism dollars and greater opportunities for local jobs."

The campaign will roll out over six month across traditional, digital and social media, the release claims. 

"It is 100 per cent not us," a spokesperson for the South Australia Tourism Commission said.


So who is behind it?

The release quotes Clarke Reid, a "Taste Down South representative", but whether or not he exists remains in question.

The official website for the campaign is registered to a company called ICBM, based on the Gold Coast.

The ABC reports that this company's directors are Adam Blackburn and Blaze Tripp, who previously created the viral fake tourism campaign for the Northern Territory, "C U in the NT".

That campaign proved so popular it sparked a boom in merchandise featuring the logo in the territory. However, Darwin's city council was not amused and banned the sale of the merchandise from markets on public land.

Last year, a fake campaign urging people to stay away from regional Victoria during Melbourne's COVID-19 outbreak was created by two advertising industry workers. The Art Deco style images featured signature scenes of each place and a slogan seasoned with swear words.

Despite the South Australian slogan's potential to offend with its sexual innuendo, the message behind the joke campaign is serious - the tourism industry nation-wide has struggled in the wake of snap border closures and a resulting lack in confidence for Australians to travel interstate.

With JobKeeper now ended, South Australian tourism business may welcome any help they can get.

Tourism Industry Council South Australia (TiCSA) CEO, Shaun de Bruyn, said that, while he had no comment on the unofficial campaign, many tourism businesses were struggling. 

He said that while many regional tourism businesses that relied on self-driving tourists were doing well, those that relied on visitors from interstate and overseas, such as in major cities, were doing it tough. 

"Many tourism businesses that rely on interstate visitors don't have access to their customers," he said. "What the industry really needs is direct enterprise support in the form of extending Jobkeeper or cash flow support."

See also: 'We move our tails for you': The worst airline slogans of all time

See also: Albania is a hot contender for the world's worst tourism slogan