The purpose of this paper is to discuss one nation's attempts at tourism branding in which elements of Indigenous identity featured as a key element of the brand, arguably impairing persuasion results. The methodology follows a qualitative and interpretivist approach. A recent tourism advertising campaign for Australia is described; observations are made regarding Indigenous Australian identity in relation to the broader national identity; recent international tourist arrival trends are discussed; and connections between this triad are proposed. The campaign under study is also compared with proximate campaigns. The study raises questions about tapping a contested national identity for tourism branding purposes, and comments on the pitfalls of inconsistency in brand positioning, drawing on available tourism data to support the discussion. The study contributes by examining nation brand from a marketing communications perspective where exaggerated identity claims are argued to undermine perceived brand image. The use of secondary tourist arrival data to support our thesis is a limitation of the study and must be seen in the phenomenological light of the overall discussion. We conclude with suggestions for further research.