A male sprinter breaking from the starting blocks in ruby red pumps is one of several provocative images used in a new campaign to draw gay visitors to Sydney, Australia, in November for the Gay Games.
The Australian Tourist Commission is set to launch an ad campaign from Dailey & Associates, West Hollywood, Calif., that appears to be one of the most far-reaching efforts in recent memory aimed specifically at the gay community.
The multimedia campaign, set to break the last week of April, marks the first time the 30-year-old government-sponsored ATC has specifically targeted gay tourists, said Bob Monfrini, the client's director of marketing.
Monfrini said the ads are meant to capitalize on an international sporting event that has strong appeal to the gay community and is taking place in a popular destination.
"We saw the Gay Games as a great opportunity," said Monfrini. "The gay community is an affluent, loyal group that is also well-organized. We wanted to give them a reason to travel to Australia and remind them this is a very gay-friendly country."
Monfrini said the somewhat racy ads, which will run in gay magazines, are likely to draw more chuckles than outrage. "We're doing these ads with a wink and smile," he said.
Another ad draws a comparison to the recent Winter Olympics with the message, "Salt Lake City was for sissies." A third ad reads: "We need athletic supporters."
Mike Perdigao, Dailey svp/man aging supervisor, noted that the campaign is an innovative way to capitalize on an event that is expected to draw more international spectators than the Olympics.
"That was surprising to us, but when you get ahold of information like that, it seems wrong not to use it," Perdigao said. "In the post-9/11 environment, people want to travel someplace where they feel safe. We are giving them a great reason to go to Australia."