Tourism Australia, Qantas benefit from Oprah's latest brand love

By T.L. Stanley on Tue Sep 14 2010

Oprah Winfrey has always been a good brand shepherd on her wildly popular afternoon chat show. Remember all those Pontiacs she gave away a few years back? Well, on Monday, she threw a little international travel into her shilling repertoire, surprising her audience of 300 fans each with an eight-day vacation to Australia. Collective meltdown ensued. Really, it was Bieber-sized fandemonium. (Check out the video.) Winfrey linked with Tourism Australia and Qantas Airlines to make this happen for the uber-fans she invited to the opening show of her final syndicated season. John Travolta played his part by showing up in his Qantas "ambassador at large" gear (including a replica plane on the set). Apparently he'll be flying the group to Australia himself, or at least that's the promise. The plan is to tour the country in December and film several episodes of The Oprah Winfrey Show at the Sydney Opera House, boosting the region's profile with the Oprah faithful and maybe selling some travel packages to folks in the U.S. This isn't the first time Oprah's gone gaga for Australia. Before, it was the Baz Luhrmann movie Australia, and she spent an entire hour with stars Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman talking about how many Oscars they'd win for the romantic epic. Oh well, maybe this will work out better.

Elmo taking to skies with starring role in Qantas in-flight videos

Posted on Wed Nov 4 2009


There are definitely some people (most of them under 11 years of age) who think Elmo's voice is the cutest thing in the world. For the rest of us, well, there's a limit. It's why, for millions of us, that Tickle Me Elmo beneath the Christmas tree meant a January's worth of plugging our ears. Now imagine Elmo's voice being piped in at 30,000 feet while you're strapped into coach for a long-ass haul over the Pacific! No, Elmo's not doing the safety announcements ("Elmo says the nearest exit might be behind you!"). Not yet, anyway. The fuzzy red creature will star with cohorts Ernie, Bert and Cookie Monster in a series of in-flight videos on Qantas Airlines' trans-Pacific flights, beginning Dec. 1. The six episodes ready for viewing are what the press release from Sesame Workshop describes as "fun, engaging adventures." We take it they don't mean stuff like trying to board the plane without passing the shoe inspection or, the biggest adventure of all, snaring a pillow without getting charged for it.

—Posted by Robert Klara



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