Rose Byrne stars in Tourism Australia’s new global campaign as stuffed kangaroo
Australian actor Rose Byrne has given life to a souvenir kangaroo, Ruby, as the voice
Australian actor Rose Byrne has given life to a souvenir kangaroo, Ruby, as the voice of a new international tourism campaign.
The first world-wide tourism advert in six years, it goes to all the places you’d expect, and some you wouldn’t.
Tourism Australia has staged a “break out” from a Queensland tourist shop for the setting of their latest advert. The animated film about the stuffed roo named Ruby who goes in search of Uluru hopes to inspire international visitors to plan their own Outback adventure.
G’Day – directed by Michael Gracey – visits all the obvious highlights of the country, from the Barrier Reef to the Melbourne laneways. It’s designed to show what the international market has been missing after a period of two years of closed borders.
Ruby is accompanied on the journey by US-Canadian actor Will Arnett, in the guise of a toy unicorn. “We have a shorthand with one another,” says Byrne.
However this story about stuffed animals aims to do more than reanimate old appetites for Australian holidays. Filming at the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park the campaign is encouraging international travellers to visit the parts of their country and culture many Australians are unfamiliar with.
The film was made in collaboration with Anangu Elders, who shared the story of Napaljarri-wanu Jukurrp with Byrne.
“I grew up in the city suburbs of Sydney and am very much a city girl, so the opportunity to travel to Uluru and witness, learn and experience the ancestral history of the Anangu Traditional Custodians was extraordinary,” Byrne says.
Artist Charmaine Kulitja, daughter of renowned painter and community leader Rene Kulitja, voices a character in the film speaking Pitjantjatjara language.
“The original storytellers are here and I hope we get to highlight that,” says Byrne.
The film’s soundtrack also re-records the pop hit Down Under in both English and the Yolŋu Matha language, from northeast Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory.
Australian musicians including William Barton, Frank Yamma, the Marliya Gondwana Indigenous Girls Choir and Iwiri Choir lend their help to the score – a retooled version of Men At Work’s 1980 hit.
As a showcase for Australia’s unique landscape and culture, there’s no corner of the country left untouched.
“I always encourage people to travel to Australia,” says Byrne.
“Come and Say G’day is unashamedly and unmistakably Australian,” says Tourism Australia Managing Director, Phillipa Harrison. “After a challenging time around the world, our uplifting and joyful campaign will stand out in what is a highly competitive international tourism market.”
As the first global campaign since 2016, the film will be playing on YouTube and international media channels from this week.
The film will debut on australia.com/gday at 9:00 AM NZDT on Thursday October 20.