Modern Family Down Under special
US network ABC has released a short trailer giving a taste of upcoming episodes of hit show Modern Family filmed in Australia.PT0M11S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-36qvb 620 349 April 16, 2014
With a hefty dose of Vegemite, dingoes, beach babes, kangaroos and meat pies, it's no surprise that the Modern Family Australian vacation special traipses a well-trodden path in Aussie cliches.
Airing to 9.2 million US viewers on Wednesday, the episode will eventually hit a global audience of 125 million in what tourism bosses hope will be a priceless half-hour advertisement.
In the episode, which airs Sunday on Ten, Phil Dunphy (Ty Burrell) brings the entire clan to Australia as he attempts to get in touch with his roots. The plot is tenuously centred around the claim he was conceived while his mother was here on a stopover and travels here to embrace his Aussie identity — reincarnating himself as "Crocodile" Dunphy.
Tenuous link: Phil Dunphy (Ty Burrell) in Modern Family's Australian episode.
While Aussie audiences might wince at some of the hackneyed stereotypes, no one can argue that the show doesn't make a trip here seem a lot of fun. As the family hurtles on a breathless jaunt around tourism hotspots such as Circular Quay, the Bridge Climb, Bondi Beach and the Great Barrier Reef, it's a showcase with unrivalled reach.
In the US, it was the top rated show on Wednesday night among the key 18-49 demographic.
Tourism Australia tapped into social media as the show trended on Twitter, and earlier this month launched a new campaign in the US called "Someday" which aims to hit potential tourists with the message that Australia is easier to get to than they might think.
Cheaper than a global ad campaign: Modern Family's Australia episode.
The tourism body's managing director John O'Sullivan said: "Our social media team were watching the episode live as it aired in the States, and worked closely with our US team to engage in the massive online conversation around the show.
"It's been a lot of fun and, on the back of the Royals visit, another fantastic opportunity to showcase our country to the world."
The hit TV show was persuaded to come here with incentives engineered by government lobby Screen Australia and Qantas, with the airline rumoured to have spent millions in its marketing partnership with the show.
By comparison though, it's small change compared to bona-fide marketing campaigns, Tourism Australia's last big global campaign There's Nothing Like Australia cost $250 million.
Oprah Winfrey's visit in 2010 saw half of US visitors the following year influenced to come here by the TV show. Ellen DeGeneres's Australian episode last year saw an inbound flights boosted by 22 per cent according to Qantas.
<i>Modern Family</i> - Australia airs on Ten on Sunday at 6pm.