Is Ten’s viral Kekovich video part of a commercial deal with MLA?
Days after posting a video purporting to show Sam Kekovich being hit by a cricket ball during a live cross, Ten has revealed that it is the commercial TV network partner for this year’s Australia Day campaign from Meat and Livestock Australia.
Ten disabled comments on the YouTube video after a large number of people suggested that the footage was faked.
The new video apparently shows Kekovich taking part in a live cross with Ten weatherman Tim Bailey at Birchgrove Oval in Leichhardt.
The pair stand on the side of a cricket game at a barbecue, while Bailey introduces Kekovich as the “Lambassador”. Kekovich is the long standing frontman for MLA’s lamb promotions.
As Kekovich starts to speak to Bailey, he appears to be struck on the head by a cricket ball, the camera is knocked over and an anxious voice asks “Is he okay?”
But the video quickly raised suspicions.
Commenters pointed out that two different camera shots are used, and it would be unusual for an outside broadcast of this type to utilise more than one camera. They also question why the camera would fall over when it was Kekovich who was hit.
The video has already attracted around 300,000 views.
Recent years have seen the TV networks compete hard to win the bulk of the spend on MLA’s Australia Day campaign. Kekovich’s annual Australia Day address ad has become a celebrated part of the advertising landscape. Previous campaigns – masterminded by BMF – have included a tie-in with Seven’s coverage of the Australian Open tennis.
If the video has been faked, it would be a risky move by Ten for the credibility of its news brand, as it has uploaded the video onto the YouTube channel where it normally places its news reports. However, the fact that it features weatherman Tim Bailey, rather than any news presenters, perhaps helps mitigate that risk.
Today Ten issued a press release saying that it had won the MLA campaign. Aaron Quirk, head of cross-platform sales at Ten’s sales operation Connect said in the release: “We are delighted to have won MLA’s Australia Day 2013 campaign, arguably the most coveted cross-platform deal of the year.”
Ten’s deal includes a one hour prime time special featuring Kekovich called The Australia Day Showdown – You Can Never be Too Australian. Hosted by Charlie Pickering, the debate show is produced by Roving Enterprises. DMG Australia is also part of the deal.
Quirk said in the release: “The Australia Day Showdown is a perfect example of Connect’s ability to meet our clients’ needs in targeting a youthful audience through an integrated, innovative and tailored campaign.”
At the time of posting, Ten had not returned Mumbrella’s calls to ask whether the video had been manufactured.
Ten also promoted the video on its Facebook page, where many of the commenters also call out the video as fake.