Unlike most other high profile celebrities these days, Isla has opted not to go the route of putting her face to multiple advertising campaigns. She has lent her name to a couple of brands, and did make some adverts when she was a child and trying to break into acting.
In July 2021 Isla posted a video on her Instagram of a commercial she did for Ring Fit Adventure on Nintendo Switch. Despite a lot of searching, there was no further information about this available online – not even a press release – so we don’t know whether this is a one-off or if we can expect more.
• More: News & Updates for Nintendo Switch at Isla Fisher Web – video
During the 2018 US sporting event Superbowl, a trailer was shown for a new Crocodile Dundee movie starring a host of Aussie stars, including Isla. It was soon revealed, though, that this was not a movie trailer, but a clever new advertisement for Australia itself! The tourism campaign shows US actor Danny McBride travelling to the country and meeting Chris Hemsworth, and has cameos from Isla, Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman, Margot Robbie, and other Australian stars.
Supported by Qantas, American Airlines and Wine Australia and featuring appearances from some of Australia’s biggest celebrities, the campaign is the largest Tourism Australia has run in the United States since Paul Hogan’s famous Come Say G’Day ads more than 30 years ago. Celebrities featured include Chris and Liam Hemsworth, Hugh Jackman, Paul Hogan, Margot Robbie, Ruby Rose and Russell Crowe as well as American actor Danny McBride.
Australia’s Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, the Hon Steven Ciobo MP said 2018 presented the perfect opportunity to ‘aggressively target’ the US market.
“The United States is a critical market for Australia, with close to 780,000 American visitors spending A$3.7 billion per year. A favourable exchange rate and strong aviation capacity leading to highly competitive airfares makes this the right time to increase our investment in the United States,” he said.
“Whilst Australia ranks highly among Americans in terms of desirability and awareness of our tourism offerings, we lag behind our competitors when it comes to actual bookings. This new campaign will address this conversion challenge.
“This is the single largest investment Tourism Australia has ever made in the US market and one we believe will grow annual spend by American visitors to A$6 billion by the year 2020.
“It’s amazing to have Australia’s stars come together for their country and support this campaign. Aussie icons like Chris Hemsworth, Margot Robbie and Hugh Jackman are huge in the US, their popularity will help showcase Australia and get the message out to visit Australia,” he said.
The campaign was officially kick started with a new broadcast ad, unveiled to a TV audience of more than 100 million Americans during the Big Game.
A special cameo film featured the rest of the cast with an impressive roll-call of Hollywood heavyweights and homegrown talent, including Hugh Jackman, Margot Robbie, Russell Crowe, Ruby Rose, Liam Hemsworth, Isla Fisher, Luke Bracey and Jessica Mauboy.
The carefully orchestrated PR and social media campaign encouraged fans to tune in and watch the ‘official movie trailer” during the Big Game where, helped by a cameo appearance by Paul ‘Crocodile Dundee’ Hogan, Tourism Australia’s new campaign was ultimately revealed.
To convert interest into bookings, Tourism Australia has also published tailored travel itineraries and inspiring destination information on Australia.com supported with a dedicated campaign ‘marketplace’ which includes airfare and tailored holiday offers from 20 campaign partners, all aimed at encouraging Americans to book a trip Down Under.
• More: News & Updates for Tourism Australia at Isla Fisher Web – press release and video
In June 2015 it was announced that Isla was to be Australian banking firm ING Direct’s new celebrity ambassador. A campaign was launched through social media, TV and cinema that month, including the website www.islaforingdirect.com.au. With ING Direct being the most recommended bank in Australia, the focus of the campaign was encouraging viewers to interact and help Isla get to know more about the bank and its services, all the while aiming to make the bank more relatable and encouraging customers to take an active role in successfully managing their finances. The bank also wanted to gain more feedback from their customers, with Isla encouraging customers to share their experiences of ING Direct on their website.
In the series of adverts Isla played a stereotypical Hollywood actress version of herself, and she was seen filming the ads and learning more about the bank. Fiona McGee directed the adverts. The campaign was put together by Creative Agency VCCP, and cost $10m. Many of the scripts were based on actual conversations and written on the day, alongside Borat co-writer, Ant Hines. VCCP Sydney’s Founding Creative Director, Dean Hunt, said “Working with Isla on her role as a True Brand Ambassador for ING Direct was quite a ride. We were after something reflecting the reality of the relationship between Isla, the bank and the project as a whole – something more honest and entertaining.”
Isla was chosen to spearhead the campaign because of her public persona, her high level of local and global awareness, and her lack of presence in other advertising campaigns. “We were looking for someone who was well known but who was authentic and genuine and who wasn’t going to be bigger than the brand. Isla was perfect. She has an irreverence about her which goes back to our heritage brand values. We want to put fun into the campaign,” executive director of customers John Arnott revealed. “Isla is our first celebrity ambassador since Billy Connolly, and we’re delighted to have her on board. We’re confident that she will help us make banking human and show Australians how banking can be,” he said, adding “Isla is going on a journey to understand who we are, what we stand for and what is so good about us. She becomes a customer and a brand ambassador.”
Arnott believes that their use of Isla’s celebrity status can help make their campaign unique from the many other celebrity endorsements today, saying “It was important we had someone who would appeal to our core target group and who hadn’t worked extensively in the advertising industry before and had a fresh perspective. It’s true to say that some [personalities] are seen as being in it for the money rather than the cause.” A study in 2016 found that celebrity ambassadors aren’t worthwhile for brands unless they are a credible source that relates to that brand; in 2016 ING Direct took a new angle with their campaign, adding in ‘real people’ to their adverts with Isla, in a further attempt to bring-to-life the benefits real people can gain from banking with ING Direct.
ING Direct marketing director Fiona Nicol addressed the irreverent, fun nature of the campaign, saying “That is our brand, that’s how we see ourselves. Yes, we take money seriously but we don’t take ourselves too seriously. The campaign is a bit cheeky, it’s innovative and a bit edgy. It is quite possible to be irreverent and serious. People are saying we are doing just that. It is all part of breaking down the boundaries of how people perceive things.”
“We’ve had a great response to Ms Fisher as our brand ambassador […] The above the line campaign with Fisher has not only increased brand awareness, but has shifted familiarity and consideration to their highest levels and doubled customer growth,” Arnott reports, with Nicol adding “We were very, very surprised at the level of responses, which have been overwhelmingly positive. It has far exceeded our expectations. The concept behind the campaign has been customer advocacy. Australians trust their friends and family and we have leveraged that in our campaign to get the message out.”
Isla has not commented on why she chose to work with ING Direct.
At the age of 9, Isla begged her mum to let her do commercials, and she gave in, with Isla soon appearing on several advert spots on Australian television. The most prominent of which was as an extra in an advert for a local Australian lottery. Isla reportedly hyperventilated for four hours after she was picked for the job, causing her to almost faint! She recalled the job in an interview several years later, saying “I was wearing the worst outfit: a Hawaiian shirt tucked into high-waisted safari shorts. I was so excited – I laid that outfit out the night before!”