Bill Lawry, Kate Ritchie and Leisel Jones star in MLA’s new musical ad ‘The Greatest Meat on Earth’

The Monkeys and Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) – who have created numerous large-scale campaigns for lamb – have come together to promote beef as the greatest meat on earth.

Andrew Howie, group marketing manager at MLA told Mumbrella beef’s position as the category leader spurred the need for a more emotional campaign which reminded Australians of the meat’s “greatness”.

The campaign kicks off with a man walking into a butcher asking for “just a rump steak” before he is told by irritated butchers they don’t sell them.

“As Australians we use the word ‘just’ all the time as a way of playing things down, but it’s not ‘just’ beef, it is the greatest beef on earth,” Howie said.

The ad then turns into a musical with the butchers explaining why ‘just’ is an inadequate word to accompany beef.

“Was Bradman just a great cricketer, Peter?” the butcher asks the customer – before Bill Lawry interjects.

“Did Kate just do a spot of telly?” another butcher questions as Ritchie shows up sporting her Logies.

“And did Leisel just enjoy the occasional dip?” the butcher says while Jones jangles her numerous medals.

“We chose the talent that we put in the ad based on their ability to meet the brief of greatness,” Howie said in light of Lawry’s controversial comments last week, noting the ad had no “link or endorsement to anything he has or hasn’t said”.

“Kate Ritchie was chosen for the fact she has won two gold Logies, she is the people’s champion, and Leisel Jones is an Australian swimmer from the very young age of 16, and she went on to achieve greatness many many times. They were chosen because of their ability to be able to deliver on the greatness brief.”

The commercial then turns musical, using the original song ‘The greatest song on Earth’, written by Hugh Gurney, as the customer and butcher travel the world to experience greatness.

“You wouldn’t call The Great Wall just a wall,” the butcher sings as the duo walk across The Great Wall of China. “Or Everest just a foothill in Nepal,” he continues as they find themselves on the mountain.

The song positions beef alongside some of the world’s most well-known features in a bid to remind Australians of its greatness and stop them simply dismissing it as “just beef”.

“One of the struggles is that beef is the category leader and as such it does often become a magnet for criticism and it also carries as the captain, a lot of the burdens that the industry has, so in recent times we’ve been promoting the nutritional benefits of beef which is one of the benefits of it, but we realised that if we are really going to get Australians buying more beef more often, then we have to try and give them a more emotional platform that sits above some of those rational reasons to buy,” Howie said.

“We went back to the beginning and started a full brand review process and what that actually started with was, what’s the true essence of the brand? And where we got to was greatness,” he said.The MLA marketer also explained how the ad aimed to deliberately differentiate both the companies brands, lamb and beef.

“We are an organisation but we have brands, and the brands are very different in what they set out to achieve and what their purpose and the role they play in the consumers repertoire.

“For lamb it is unity, it is about bringing people together and you see the work we do there it is all about the coming together of Australians and so we really wanted to make sure we pulled the two apart given that we look after both.

“Lamb very much focuses on unity and beef is now this idea of greatness.”

Meat & Livestock Australia decided to use creative agency The Monkeys for its latest beef work, however, Howie said BMF will remain on the roster.

“This time we have gone with The Monkeys, UM and One Green Bean and we sat down and went through a process and both agencies went around and had a look at what the strategic opportunity was and on this occasion the strategic opportunity of greatness was the one that we felt was the ownable one for us.

“All agencies see the concepts and the work before we do, so part of the collaboration is all of the agencies being on board with the direction that we go in and the opportunity for them to then bring that core idea to life through their relevant channels, and it means there’s no commercially driven competition where they are trying to steal money off each other.”


In light of his own comments last month that too many Australian marketers are “crap” and scared – Howie said it was important for marketers to spend more time on the strategic process, which is what MLA did this time around.

“This whole process actually came about at the very top of the funnel which was sitting down doing a strategic review for our brand and identifying where the opportunity for our brand was to try and own a space,” he said.

“Too often we try and use creativity as the solver of our problems but actually it should be strategy, and if we get those things right then the work is brave sure but it’s commercially sound and it makes sense to be doing the work that we are doing.”

“The audience of this work is Australian consumers and if we sell more beef then that’s a win.”


  • MLA
  • Chief Marketing Officer: Lisa Sharp
  • Group Marketing Manager: Andrew Howie
  • Brand Manager (Beef): Magali Nonnenmacher
  • Assistant Brand Manager: Jasmin Koch
  • Agency: The Monkeys
  • Chief Creative Officer: Scott Nowell
  • Creative Director: Grant Rutherford
  • Creative team: Grant Rutherford, Hugh Gurney & Chelsea Parks
  • Executive Planning Director: Fabio Buresti
  • Head of Planning: Michael Hogg
  • Managing Director: Matt Michael
  • Group Content Director: Humphrey Taylor
  • Content Director: Samantha Heckendorf
  • Content Manager: Bec Barnier
  • Senior Producer: Penny Brown
  • Integrated Producer: Tanith Williamson
  • Graphic Designer – James Halliday
  • Senior Digital Producer: Kit Peebles
  • Digital Producer: Krystyna Allen
  • Junior Designer: Lauren Elliot
  • Production Company: Finch
  • Director: Benji Weinstein
  • Executive Producer: Corey Esse
  • Producer: Catherine Anderson
  • DOP: Andy Commis
  • Editor: Dave Whittaker at The Editors
  • Colourist: Billy Wychel
  • VFX Post Production: Finch VFX
  • Sound: Song Zu
  • Musical Director: Ramesh Sathiah
  • Songwriter: Hugh Gurney
  • Arranger: Nathan Cavaleri
  • Sound Designer: Abby Sie
  • Producer: Katrina Aquilia
  • Media: UM
  • Client Group Director: Mike Worden
  • Senior Client Director: Ed Passerotti
  • Client Manager: Jacqui Ollevou
  • Sydney Strategy Director: Chris Colter
  • Senior Connections Designer: Ashleigh Vogel
  • Partnerships Director: Simon Turner
  • Partnerships Manager: Jessica Ngu
  • Partnership Trader: Emily Ng
  • PR: One Green Bean
  • Managing Partner: Louise Pogmore
  • Senior Account Director: Kirsty McGorty
  • Account Director: Corinna Fawls
  • Senior Account Manager: Sariyah Jalaluddin
  • Account Manager: Taylor York

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