I knew Grant McCracken would pick up on and analyze the new Australian travel marketing campaign. If you haven’t seen it, here it is.
What’s good about the line “So where the bloody hell are you?” is that it captures what I take to be a peculiarly national endowment. Australians have so perfected the art of bonhomie that they can trade in frankness without being rude. They can challenge without ceasing to be companionable. In the vernacular: Australians can get in your face without getting all up in your face about it.
And that’s precisely why I think it’s a brilliant idea; while it does make a simplifying generalization about an entire nation, it does a great job of capturing one large aspect of Australian culture that is charming and appealing, and widely recognized: the “art of bonhomie”, as Grant puts it.