Tourism Northern Territory: Bombing of Darwin Harbour 75th Anniversary

CHALLENGE: While many Australians are aware of the details of Pearl Harbour, little is known about the Bombing of Darwin. To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the bombing in 2017, Tourism NT tasked us with generating national publicity around the anniversary day, and as such, highlighting Darwin’s military tourism offering, an important niche market within their key 50+ demographic. The anniversary also tied in with the launch of a new tourism offering – the Royal Flying Doctor Bombing of Darwin Harbour virtual reality experience.

STRATEGY: A two phased approach was taken; launching the VR exhibition, and then generating publicity around the anniversary.
To launch the exhibition, we sent details of the new offering to consumer travel, travel trade, military and consumer lifestyle media ahead of the anniversary to account for long lead media. In addition, as a number of schools were heading up to the exhibition for educational excursions, we approached education media with case studies to help encourage schools to visit Darwin for excursions.

For the anniversary day, multiple stakeholders meant that the challenge would be creating national media opportunities with Tourism NT cut-through, as well as leveraging other media opportunities from additional stakeholders. We enlisted the help of journalist and author Peter FitzSimons as campaign spokesperson, who travelled up to the region for the anniversary weekend and encouraged Australians to consider taking a trip to Darwin to learn more about Australia’s history. In addition, we utilised access to a Darwin-based historian and veteran case studies and where we could, looked at how we could leverage local Darwin media opportunities that had potential for national syndication, as Darwin’s remote location and the time difference was also a challenge.

IMPACT: The exhibition launch was picked up in Voyeur Magazine, Wartime, YOURS, eGlobal Travel Media, Australian Schools Directory, Australian Geographic, Mature Traveller, Contact Air Land and Sea and the Grey Nomads.

Prior to, and on the morning of the anniversary day, a Radio Release was distributed which was picked up by 52 stations nationally. Peter also mentioned the trip in his Fairfax column, and interviews were conducted with ABC Radio Darwin (which syndicated nationally), TODAY, Channel 9, The Huffington Post. In addition, Peter’s travel photos were also seeded out to news and photo desks, as well as glossies.