Oprah coming to Australia – the facts and milestones

Oprah’s announcement last week that she is bringing 300 of her audience to Australia is in my opinion the best marketing Tourism Australia has done since Paul Hogan’s throw another shrimp on the barbie ads of the mid 80s.

The announcement by Oprah generated global media attention last week and will no doubt generate a lot more when the lady herself arrives in Australia.

The Fairfax press over the weekend wrote an insightful article outlining the events leading up to the announcement and some of the numbers involved. I have summarised the facts below:


  • April 2010- discussions to bring Oprah and her audience to Australia started with Oprah’s production company Harpo
  • Around 14 August 2010 – the deal was put through to Oprah herself
  • 17 August 2010 - Oprah confirmed the deal and advised she would like to announce on her first show of her final series
  • 9 September 2010 – the filming of the show where Oprah announced the trip occurred
  • 13 September 2010 – the show was broadcast and widely reported in world media
  • 7 December 2010 - Oprah and her audience arrive in Sydney  and will be split up into three groups; the groups each visiting either NSW, Victoria or Queensland
  • 14 December 2010 – everybody will reconvene back in Sydney  for filming of the first show in front of an estimated audience of 6,000 on the Opera House steps
  • Mid-January 2011 - The Australia episodes will go to air

The numbers:

  • Tourism Australia is spending $1.5 million on the extravaganza (an absolute bargain)
  • Tourism NSW is contributing ‘between $1 million and $2 million. Tourism Victoria is investing about $500,000, and Tourism Queensland about $400,000
  • Qantas is flying the 450 crew and audience free of charge
  • The Oprah Winfrey show is watched by about 9 million people daily in the US – mostly women over 55
  • The Oprah show is screened in 145 countries
  • A 30 second advertising spot on the US network screening Oprah comes in at around $100,000 (though this number is expected to be much higher for the final series)
  • Advertising equivalency is no suitable measure for measuring PR effectiveness, but if people are willing to pay $100,000 to reach Oprah’s audience during an ad break for 30 seconds, you can only imagine the value of the two episodes, each made up of 43 minutes of Australian focussed content
  • Like there was for the announcement, I expect global media coverage to of the event to extend the reach well beyond the Oprah audience itself

Included in the article I mention above was this paragraph:

According to Janice Peck, author of The Age of Oprah, advance notice that a book is to get the Oprah seal of approval is enough to persuade most publishers in the United States to increase their print run by 500,000 copies.

Congratulations Tourism Australia, PR success doesn’t come much greater.If you enjoyed this post why not subscribe to my blog via RSS or email by following this link. Also whilst you’re at it why not follow me on Twitter .

  • Carl

    Yes Oprah is the PR machine. The question is….will John Travolta really be flying that plane or was that a ploy by his PR people to get another movie role?

    • http://matthewgain.com Matthew Gain

      I have heard Travolta will be out here at the same time for Qantas's 90th birthday. Will he be flying? If I was Qantas I would be working hard to get him flying that plane – would be great for PR.

  • http://twitter.com/WillMac @WillMac

    Well Travolta has his own ex-Quantas jet and has been their brand ambassador for a while – so strong chance there!