In 2006, Parks Australia, in conjunction with Tourism NT appointed Frost to undertake a large scale branding project for Kakadu National Park. The aim, to not only realise a shared vision for tourism in the park – the first of its kind for a World Heritage-listed National Park, but to also position the region as one of Australia’s first National Landscapes. With a goal to firstly develop an overarching brand strategy that would drive all creative, I undertook, in my role as Group Account Director at Frost extensive consultation with the Kakadu Board of Management, Traditional Owners, tourism operators, NLC representatives, Park Staff and other stakeholders. Many doubted the desired outcome, due to the diversity of interests, however our determination and diplomacy secured a balanced and compelling outcome for all with the brand essence of ‘Connection’.
However the challenges did not end there. we knew the identity for the Park could not be created solely in Sydney if it was to have authenticity with the target audience and acceptance from operators and Traditional Owners, so conducted creative workshops with local Kakadu artists and elders ‘on country’ to collaborate directly in its creation. Bringing representatives of the many clans in Kakadu together to agree and paint one ‘story’ for the brand was truly a world-first. Such an outcome would not have been possible without an intimate understanding of the challenges faced by tourism marketers in the Northern Territory. I went onto to lead many other projects within the Park. Brand Kakadu is a holistic project that extends to the Park Visitor Guide, entrance gates and arrival experience, Park staff uniforms, livery, website and advertising. A critical long-term element has been the development of Interpretive Principles, which guide all future signage and interpretive projects across the entire Park, an area close in size to Switzerland. Importantly these Principles consider critical environmental issues, which will help position the Park as a model for sustainable and cultural tourism around the world.