Don’t feel sorry for Old Mate’s mates

The South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC) came under fire last month for its ‘Don’t Feel Sorry for Old Mate’ campaign which was slammed as ageist, offensive and the saddest tourism advertisement ever.

Rather than capitulating to public perception, rolling over and licking its wounds, the tourism board has doubled down on its contentious campaign with a sequel to the initial ad.

The original ad created a stir among older people for its messaging on ageing and regret.

It also afforded Tasmania Tourism the opportunity to parody the promo with its own ‘Old Mate’ spot featuring an elderly man quaffing fresh Tasmanian oysters and a voiceover saying “Don’t feel sorry for old mate, he’s been coming to Tassie for years.”

The 16-second ad has been a hit.

“Given some of the recent attention the ‘old mate’ campaign has been attracting, we felt there was some room to be a little cheeky on social media – a channel which lends itself to some lighthearted fun,” said Tourism Tasmania CMO Emma Terry.

“One of our own past campaigns has featured the imagery of our own ‘old mate’ taking part in a uniquely Tasmanian experience and clearly enjoying it.

“It’s great to see the post generating some positive commentary about Tassie and our wonderful oysters.”

The SATC sequel shows ‘Old Mate’ and his mates enjoying the sights, scenes and sounds of the South Australian capital to the tune of Thin Lizzy’s The Boys are Back in Town before picking up where the original ad left off.

“Don’t feel sorry for Old Mate’s mates,” says the voiceover. “It’s their damn fault they didn’t visit Adelaide sooner.”

According to the South Australian Tourism Commission’s PR agency, the campaign has been very successful and aims to increase Adelaide’s domestic visitation growth by encouraging those who’ve not been to give it a go.

“Our market research indicates that while Adelaide is a rising destination, there are still many people who have put off coming to Adelaide and South Australia to ‘one day’, or its ‘on the bucket list’,” stated the agency.

What do you think of these ads? Are they a bit of fun, or do you find them offensive?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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