Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Paris Hilton’

”]One DirectionCelebs from all across the world have flocked to Sydney in recent months.

The lovely Leo DiCaprio set up home over the summer to film scenes for The Great Gatsby.

In recent weeks Will.i.am and Paris Hilton were in town for the opening of Marquee, the city’s newest nightclub.

And this week we’ve been spoilt with Rihanna, Zac Efron and the latest boyband on the block One Direction all flying in for a visit.

Too much effort

It used to be the case that Sydney, as with all of Australia, didn’t get much of a look-in when it came to promotional touring or A-list attendance at events.

For a country of 20 million people and around a day’s travel time from the US or the UK, it was always easy for Aussies to be pushed off the list of important crowds to please – versus the effort, cost and time required.

Reading the celebrity pages of the newspapers and magazines when I first arrived here in 2010 I was struck by how distant everything showbiz seemed from this place. The duopoly of the UK and the US in terms of the celebrity world became so much more apparent since I wasn’t in either of those places, but rather somewhere else, looking over.

Giving the thumbs up

But now, the shift is happening.

Zac Efron – here for the world premiere of his new film (yes, a world premiere in Sydney!) gushed to breakfast TV on Tuesday morning about the surfing, the laid back lifestyle and his love for Australia. Rihanna was spotted taking snaps of the Opera House from her hotel bedroom. And those One Direction boys have been spending their days off cruising on the Harbour and this weekend plan on doing the infamous Bridge Climb.

And Aussies love this. They love that when the celebrities come to Australia they aren’t just hiding in the hotel room, but are checking the place out, just like a regular tourist. They are flattered and proud when an A-lister – in fact any visitor – chooses to come here and gives the thumbs up to everything that they find.

Australia can’t be ignored

So why has the shift taken place?

  • The rise of social media has no doubt had its impact. No longer can you ignore the Australian fans when that fanbase is so actively demanding attention through the likes of facebook and twitter. According to a Nielsen study last year, Aussies are topping the list of social media users in the developed world, meaning that a higher proportion of the population are speaking out via these mediums.
  • Celebrities who do come over get greater cut-through and exposure across all media platforms as there’s much less competition for coverage. I doubt there’s an Australian who doesn’t know about One Direction right now. Amongst everything else, they headlined the 7pm news here tonight and were interviewed at prime time on every breakfast show, both radio and TV.
  • Businesses and key influencers are doing everything they can to use their positions of power to bring celebrities to Australia. Australian tourism was hit hard in the last few years because of the strong Aussie dollar discouraging overseas visitors and because of natural disasters in key markets such as Queensland. Oprah back in 2011 was a highlight for Tourism Australia, and set the benchmark for others who know they need to do their bit. Australian Director Scott Hicks’ insistence that the world premiere of The Lucky One took place Sydney last week is another testament to that.
  • On the flip side, the economic crisis has not hit Australia as it has done in Europe. Those key markets for filmmakers and pop starlets are not quite as lucrative as they once were. Australia in comparison is doing very well. We’re now seen as the opportunity to fill the income gap for the music and film industry.

And finally. Let’s just state the obvious. Australia’s a beautiful place to visit with citizens who love making visitors feel welcome.  Maybe it’s not that complicated a reason after all. Maybe it’s just that the celebrity world is finally getting it.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: