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July, 2024

Tourism Australia taps Accenture Song for global creative and digital account – but no new idea on the table

Tourism Australia’s 10-month long creative and digital pitch has wrapped, with Accenture Song, fronted by The Monkeys and Droga5, taking out the coveted accounts over offerings from Publicis Groupe and Clemenger Group.

While the incumbent was knocked out earlier in the process, it’s their idea that stays – the winning agency will have to take the over-arching creative and brand platform developed by M&C Saatchi, as part of the clear mandate laid out in TA’s review.

Agencies typically prefer their own original creative IP, but privately, Accenture Song execs are said to have pointed to clients like NRMA and “help” and Meat & Livestock Australia’s Lamb work with Sam Kekovich as examples of making work “better” that has not originated from the firm. Accenture Song is also understood to have aligned with Mirimar, the ex-Droga founded LA shop belonging to Australian siblings John and Luke McKelvey, to compete with the global assets put forward by Publicis and Clemenger.

The appointment is effective for the five years from July 2025. The contract is structured as an initial three-year agreement, with options for two further one-year extensions.

Chief Marketing Officer, Tourism Australia, Susan Coghill, said: “We will be working closely with Accenture, The Monkeys and Droga5 to remind the world why ‘There’s Nothing Like Australia’ and are excited to learn more about the creative ideas and big thinking they can bring to the table as we look to get Australia’s tourism industry back on a path of sustainable growth.”

Fronted by a CGI Kangaroo and the resurrected 1984 ‘Say ‘G’Day’ tagline, Tourism Australia’s 2022 campaign from M&C Saatchi rollout underpinned a $125 million marketing blitz that boosted consideration 18 per cent per Coghill. The agency is understood to have contested the account, partnering with Howatson+Company for the first stage of the pitch, but did not make it into the final round.

Meanwhile, Publicis Groupe was understood to have made the shortlist with a power of one offering that leveraged its global assets, and Clemenger Group tapped Clemenger BBDO and CHEP, pitching alongside independent Indigenous-owned creative consultancy Campfire X.  

“We have a very specific brief at Tourism Australia with a global footprint that sees us actively market into 15 key international markets. Our campaigns have set a high benchmark over the years and as our operating environment continues to evolve we need to ensure Australia stands out on the world stage,” said Managing Director, Tourism Australia, Phillipa Harrison.

“During the tender process Accenture Song, along with The Monkeys and Droga5, proved they were best placed to provide Tourism Australia with the integrated global creative and digital services we need. We look forward to working with them to showcase the best Australia has to offer to the world.”

CEO of Accenture Song, and founder of Droga5, David Droga, said the win meant a lot for the business “professionally and personally”. “We are thrilled by the wonderful opportunity, immense responsibility and the rekindled partnership.”

ANZ President of Accenture Song and The Monkeys Cofounder and Group CEO, Mark Green, said: “It’s a privilege to partner with Susan and her team of outstanding marketers to help transform and elevate Tourism Australia’s global creative and digital marketing approach.”

“Combining the creative firepower of The Monkeys (Australian agency of the decade) and Droga5 (US agency of the decade), underpinned by the technology and global footprint of Accenture Song, we have some of the best Australian talent from around the world coming together to bring the best of Australia to the world,” added Green. 

Coghill thanked the incumbents for their work over the past five years.. “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. 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,” said Coghill.