In 1986, Michael J. “Crocodile” Dundee introduced American audiences to a world down under — and Australia has been eating up the attention ever since.
For Super Bowl Sunday, Dundee — along with fellow Aussies including Chris Hemsworth and American actor Danny McBride — returned, albeit briefly.
When the teaser trailers ahead of Sunday's promotion first started airing in January, fans got excited — and then dubious. The teasers were for another Dundee film (what would be the fourth in the series), but no one had heard any previous news about filming, or even about the project getting greenlit. Hemsworth's involvement was also questionable. He is, after all, an ambassador for the tourism authority.
And so it was confirmed, “Dundee: The Son of a Legend Returns Home” is no film, but one part of an advertising campaign.
But anyone who feels duped should appreciate that Paul Hogan himself was part of an Australia tourism campaign that predates the original film.
“Crocodile Dundee put Australia on the map for Americans, and many other international travelers,” John O'Sullivan, Tourism Australia's managing director, told Travel + Leisure. “Off the back of Paul Hogan’s ‘Come Say G’Day’ campaign, the 1986 film and Mick ‘Crocodile’ Dundee helped shape the American view of Australia and is still relevant today ... It showed Americans that Australia is a stunningly beautiful country and Australians to be friendly and welcoming people.”
Even though Dundee has had incredible staying power, there are parts of the legend that Australia's tourism officials would like to dispel.
“The original Crocodile Dundee took place in the rugged outback. Its gritty view of Australia helped define America’s view of the country for decades. Our new Dundee will explore a more contemporary version of Australia,” said O'Sullivan. “He’ll visit a dazzling array of locations that include the outback, but also gorgeous mountains, stunning beaches, award-winning restaurants and even wineries.”
The locations in the Crocodile Dundee Super Bowl ad include Lawn Hill Gorge, a national park in Queensland; Mission Beach and the Opal Reef; the award-winning Quay Restaurant, in Sydney Harbour; Montalto Winery, in Victoria; Kangaroo Island; and Cable Beach.
Turning the one-minute Super Bowl ad into a travel itinerary could keep you busy for weeks.
The framing of the fake film as a buddy comedy — starring McBride and Hemsworth — is no accident.
“There's that saying that every party is better with an Australian and Hogan/Mick Dundee personified that genuine mateship,” said O'Sullivan. “We haven't really promoted one of the best reasons to come to Australia is the friendly locals and the genuine experiences you will have there.”