By Heather Taylor, Advertising Week
Tourism Australia has never had an animated ambassador until now. In a new global campaign, Tourism Australia is encouraging travelers to “come and say g’day” and join their unofficial national mascot Ruby the Roo in finding adventure across Australia.
Ruby the Roo is first introduced in the short film “G’day” directed by Michael Gracey. Voiced by Australian actress Rose Byrne, Ruby is a stuffed kangaroo living in a gift shop in Queensland.
Ruby desperately wants to see the world outside but can’t get out of her toy box. The arrival of a new toy, Louie the unicorn (voiced by actor Will Arnett), allows Rub to hatch her plan and Louie to keep the flexing his muscle he’s, uh, a magic unicorn. Once outside of the gift shop, Ruby is in awe of their surroundings: the Great Barrier Reef!
The pair stowaway on a boat where they see the Sydney Opera House. From there, Ruby and Louie continue their travels through some of Australia’s most famous landmarks. They drink too much coffee in Melbourne, float along in a hat through Nitmiluk National Park, and nearly get swept away in a waterfall!
After briefly separating, the pair find their footing once again in Uluru Kata-Tjuta National Park where they learn how the stories of Australia live through its people. As Ruby and Louie eagerly talk about their plans to get an act together and tour on the road, the camera pans over to Byrne who is listening to a translator for an Anangu resident named Charmaine.
“Down under, G’day is the start of every good adventure,” Byrne says. “It’s our way of saying ‘If you’re not a friend yet, you will be, mate.’”
Byrne encourages travelers to come down and say g’day as the short video ends.
Behind the Scenes of G’day
Director Michael Gracey credits Byrne for giving Ruby the Roo so much of the kangaroo’s enthusiastic, adventurous spirit.
“In terms of feeling the Australian personality in the film, that’s Rose,” says Gracey. “And Ruby and that optimistic, can-do belief, that’s very Australian to me.
While Byrne says in a behind the scenes video part of the reason why she wanted to do the campaign was because of Gracey, it’s also because of her love for Australia.
“Australia is a very old, very historical place with a lot of stories. The original storytellers are here and I hope we get to highlight that within the campaign,” says Byrne.
Watch the full video of “G’day” here and don’t forget to come and say g’day when you plan your next big adventure in Australia!