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This is a self-funded case study using our ad testing solution.
Where the U.K. has John’s Lewis’ annual Christmas extravaganza and the U.S. has Budweiser-esque Super Bowl blockbusters, one of the most iconic and enduring releases in the Australian advertising calendar takes place in the post new year celebration haze. And it comes courtesy of none other than agricultural industry giant, Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA).
By promoting seasonal lamb consumption through a long-term strategy that satirizes topical issues impacting the country, MLA have tapped into the cultural zeitgeist and power of fresh consistency. This unwavering commitment to a distinctively Australian sense of self-effacing humor has seen campaign instalments repeatedly toe the line between highly attention-grabbing and provocative.
But at a time where we’re being told “PC culture” is running rampant in wider society, does poking fun at each other still resonate with middle Australia? If MLA’s latest release titled “The Generation Gap” is anything to go by, Aussies of all ages are still happy to have a laugh at themselves (despite what you might read in some public forums).
Set within a futuristic city divided by generational stereotypes, the approach was designed to — in the words of Domestic Market Manager, Graeme Yardy — “get everyone talking”. Boomers were depicted as having life served up to them on a silver platter, while Gen Z were represented as disassociated digital natives (with Gen X completely overlooked, once again). The approach nailed the brief perfectly, with the concept highly magnetic — meaning that it stood out like a sore thumb (amongst both young and old).
While the tongue-in-cheek caricature of Australia in January is now synonymous with the humble lamb cutlet (bolstering how easily people were able to identify the advertiser in question), “The Generation Gap” still ensured the product itself was front and center. While not visibly present until deep into the 3-minute narrative, featuring a lamb encrusted barbecue as the resolving focal point of the conflict ensured the brand played a memorable role within the story.
While once joined at the hip to the Australia Day holiday, MLA has further distanced itself from the contentious date as the years have gone by, instead positioning lamb as a quintessential part of the long Australian Summer. As a result, Lamb Australia has effectively detached itself from any negativity surrounding the public holiday without sacrificing strength of brand connection, ensuring affinity toward it remains as strong as ever.
Ultimately, though, even with it being in stark contrast to the days when the campaign was fronted by long-standing “lambassador”, Sam Kekovich, the campaign’s core essence has remained intact — tapping into the galvanizing nature of a sizzling hot Australian barbecue. By combining this sentiment with self-deprecating, quintessentially Australian humor, MLA has continued to carve out a point of difference for the increasingly pricey red meat. And through relentless consistency the humble lamb cutlet has not just been engrained as an iconic Australian summer tradition, but its status has elevated into a representation of both country and culture.