South Australia's new tourism ad campaign is being slammed online for being "depressing" and "ageist"

Publish Date
Tuesday, 3 September 2019, 2:53PM

South Australia's new summer tourism advert has got viewers talking ... but not for the right reasons.

Launching their latest campaign, Old Mate, which is meant to promote Adelaide in a humourous manner, the 30-second video features an elderly gentleman savouring a glass of wine at a vineyard in the Barossa Valley, wandering along a busy jetty at the Moseley Beach Club and even climbing Adelaide Oval’s roof.

However, his smiles of enjoyment gradually turning to tears of regret as he watches young people enjoying the good life and realises he left his visit to Adelaide too late in life.

That's when the unsympathetic message "Don’t feel sorry for Old Mate — it’s his own damn fault he didn’t visit Adelaide sooner" can be heard from the voiceover artist.

But despite the tongue-in-cheek approach to the advertisement, the commercial has caused a massive stir online, with many taking to social media to call the clip "depressing", "sad" and even "grim" to watch.

"Appalling sentiments. Which Adelaide resident would want to be associated with such a lack of compassion? Not me," one person wrote on Facebook.

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Another added: "Not going to entice anyone to visit our State. Sad and shocking to think money has been wasted on this."

A third questioned: "Terrible ad. Sad and depressing. Where's the excitement and discovery to visit Adelaide?"

"This ad is terribly depressing. Being older and lonely is not a funny thing," pointed out another.

South Australian Tourism Commission marketing executive director Brent Hill defended the advertisement, claiming it was aimed at people from Australia aged 25 to 45 following a response to market research they'd received about visiting the state.

"While there are lots of positives around Adelaide, there are still some dated misconceptions and perceptions around churches and it being quiet or boring," he said in a statement.

"Much of this perception though is based on dated knowledge — people haven't been for a while, or are hearing third-hand from others.

"We, therefore, designed a series of ads based around these insights. The first simply says one thing. Don't put off your trip to Adelaide till your later years — do it now."

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