Ad Nut
Jan 11, 2021

Lamb chops down imagined walls in Meat & Livestock Australia ad

The lamb-marketing entity's annual big-budget TVC presents the meat as a unifying force for Australians divided by...an illogical and bizarre extrapolation of the events of the last year.

Well, here's the big annual ad from Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), which is for some reason a highly anticipated event in the industry, at least for some people. The ad has sometimes been amusing, but has also led to offense and yawns in years past. This year, however, it seems like small potatoes compared to the overall state of the world. 

Still, the marketing budget apparently exists and therefore needs to be spent. So here's a long TVC from The Monkeys, with a big concept and a bunch of effects shots.

Despite what you might think from the initial images of a giant wall cutting across the landscape, the ad is not about immigration policy. Turns out it's 2031, and we learn it's been 10 years since "a once united nation" was divided by "the great state walls". We also hear that "tensions are escalating". This sets the stage for some brave person to break through one of the walls—using a lamb chop, of course. And this leads to a meat-drenched, multicultural party. Hooray.  

According to press materials, the ad "reflects upon 2020 as a pivotal time in our history where, for the first time, Australia was physically divided due to the pandemic."

Ok...but what's that got to do with the potential future shown in the film? Why would the pandemic restrictions Australians have bravely endured in the past year—including not being able to travel from state to state—have led to the erection of giant walls, let alone the apparent cultural divisions and supposed tensions shown in this imagined 2031?

The ad doesn't bother to explain, and Ad Nut knows why: Because it can't. Because it makes no damn sense.

The people of Australia have been united in their determination to conquer the disease (with the exception of the small cohort of denialist wingnuts that every country seems to have). If anything, people might appreciate the other states more than they used to due to the 'absence makes the heart grow fonder' effect. Most people have been tolerant of the very reasonable and science-based restrictions, and are looking forward to their end. No one believes that lasting physical barriers will become necessary, or that the unity of the nation is at risk.

So it's not like the ad's setup is capturing some kind of existing zeitgeist. It's just a weird and forced extrapolation. It tries to manufacture a danger just so it can have something for the product to triumph over. In doing so, it only succeeds in making the annual MLA campaign even less relevant than it might have been with a more straightforward premise—one grounded in people's actual experience rather than an unlikely and nonsensical future.

The ad launched on broadcast and pay TV nationally last night, and the media agency, UM, will drive it out on digital, social and retail OOH channels. One Green Bean is in charge of PR.

CREDITS

Client – Meat & Livestock Australia
General Manager – Marketing and Insights: Nathan Low
Domestic Market Manager: Graeme Yardy
Brand Manager: Anna Sharp
Assistant Brand Manager: Krystina Batt

Creative Agency – The Monkeys, part of Accenture Interactive Group CEO and Co-Founder: Mark Green Managing Director: Matt Michael Group Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder: Scott Nowell Executive Creative Director: Vince Lagana Creative Director: Scott Dettrick Creative team: Harry Boothman & Joash Tham Art Director OOH: Jonathan Rands Business Strategy Director: Kit Lansdell Group Content Director: Ciaran Miller-Stubbs
Content Director: Fizzy Keeble
Senior Content Manager: Ruth Peck
Senior Producers: Christina Wilmot & Penny Brown
Producer OOH: Will Haslingden
Design Lead: James Halliday
Senior Designer: Laura Ives

Production Company: Airbag
Director: Ariel Martin
Executive Producer: Alex Tizzard
Producer: Megan Ayers
Managing Partner: Adrian Bosich
DOP: Lachlan Milne
Edit House: ARC Edit
Editor: David Whittaker & Lucas Baynes

VFX: Airbag
Grade: Fergus Rotherham
Conform: White Chocolate

Music & Sound by Song Zu
Composer: Haydn Walker
Sound Designer: Simon Kane
Producer: Katrina Aquilia

Media agency - UM
Georgina Parchert – Connections Strategist
Jonny Day – Connections Design Director
Hayley Pyper – Client Director
Jenny Lam – Senior Partnerships Manager
Joshua Coles – Partnerships Executive

PR Agency – one green bean

Ad Nut is a surprisingly literate woodland creature that for unknown reasons has an unhealthy obsession with advertising. Ad Nut gathers ads from all over Asia and the world for your viewing pleasure, because Ad Nut loves you. You can also check out Ad Nut's Advertising Hall of Fame, or read about Ad Nut's strange obsession with 'murderous beasts'.

 

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