Ad Nut
Jan 29, 2018

Tourism Australia creates 'fake news' with made-up 'Crocodile Dundee' sequel

Australia's tourism authority fooled at least some people into thinking Chris Hemsworth and Danny McBride were going to star in a sequel to the 1980s hit films.

A series of 'trailers' (see above), a website and an IMDB listing were enough to convince at least some people that Dundee, a summer 2018 addition to the Crocodile Dundee canon, was a real thing—to the point that some people published some very serious commentary on the idea. However, the 'film' is now believed to be the brainchild of Tourism Australia.

Even Hugh Jackman joined in the hoax...

Entertainment publication People either got duped or played along, publishing a story treating the film as genuine and quoting not only McBride but the star of the original 1986 and 1988 films, Paul Hogan.

But the inclusion of Hemsworth, who fronts for Australia Tourism, should have raised suspicions, and did in some quarters. Soon enough the Brisbane Times was being credited for confirming (with unnamed sources) that the tourism outfit was behind the gag, part of an apparent Super Bowl campaign. Now the whole affair has its own Snopes page.

All in good fun. Except that part about People. Ad Nut can't find confirmation yet whether the publication was tricked or was deliberately publishing false information. Neither possibility is a good look for a supposedly legit publication, but the latter would be especially poor judgment, given the issues we're having these days with certain politicians who are determined to make people believe they can't trust the mainstream press. 

Update: The stunt's been very effective. According to Amobee Brand Intelligence, once the first teaser trailer went up, digital content engagement around Tourism Australia increased by 1,256%, comparing January 19 through 25 to January 12 through 18. In addition, Tourism Australia was the brand with the most Super Bowl Ad related digital content engagement globally, between January 1 and 25, beating out Pepsi, which is sponsoring the haftime show, and perrennial favourite like Budweiser.

Update 2: Here's the actual Super Bowl ad, which reveals the truth in an entertaining way:

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