Following its Crocodile Dundee-themed Super Bowl ad that kicked off a $27 million U.S. marketing campaign, Tourism Australia representatives last week were meeting with U.S. travel agents to strategize how to convert the hype surrounding the star-studded commercial into bookings for travel to Australia.

"We're now moving into the conversion element of this," said Robert Keddy, head of commercial partnerships, the Americas, for Tourism Australia. "We have a whole toolkit for any partners who wish to align with the campaign and use any of the creative assets."

Beyond sophisticated marketing material, Tourism Australia has also partnered with numerous suppliers, including Qantas, one of the campaign's main sponsors, to ensure that U.S. travel sellers have a number of attractive offers at their fingertips.

The campaign marks the largest investment made by Australia into a single overseas tourism market, and it is the biggest campaign Tourism Australia has run in the U.S. since Paul Hogan, who played the original Crocodile Dundee, starred in the destination marketing organization's "Come and Say G'Day" campaign in 1984.

American visitors represent a significant tourism market for the country, having spent $3.7 billion in Australia in the past 12 months. But, Tourism Australia's managing director John O'Sullivan said, "despite rating highly in terms of aspiration and intention, we still have more work to do when it comes to converting American interest in Australia into actual visits. That's the challenge that this new campaign is seeking to address."

In order to make sure that Australia was top of mind once again for U.S. travelers, Tourism Australia used one of the country's most recognized names, Crocodile Dundee.

The Super Bowl ad, presented as a supposed movie sequel to the "Crocodile Dundee" films of the 1980s, featured Danny McBride as Brian Dundee, the long-lost son of Mick "Crocodile" Dundee, and Chris Hemsworth as his sidekick. The supporting cast included Australians Hugh Jackman, Margot Robbie and Russell Crowe.

As part of the larger campaign, the destination marketing organization forged a two-year, $12 million partnership with NBC, which included the Super Bowl spot as well as marketing messages on NBC's various platforms.

"There is a lot of clutter and a lot of noise, so [we needed] to cut through all of that and get a share of the consumer's mind," said Lisa Verbeck, Tourism Australia's acting regional general manager for the Americas.

The TV ad will be followed by a series of online films titled "Why Australia?" that will be accessible on the Australia.com website.

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