‘Can’t even hang on to a Prime Minister’: MLA calls for a united New Zealand and Australia in summer campaign

Meat and Livestock Australia has launched its annual campaign, this time arguing that Australia would be a much better country if it united with New Zealand.

The ad, directed by Tim Bullock and created by Accenture’s The Monkeys, begins with Australia’s first prime minister, Edmund Barton, as he finalises the constitution act which includes New Zealand becoming part of the Commonwealth.

The historical moment then inspires two modern-day suits to unify both countries again.

“We used to be the greatest country on earth, but we have lost the plot. Cheating at sport, can’t even hang on to a Prime Minister,” one public servant says as a portrait of former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is removed from the wall.

“We finally make New Zealand a part of us,” another suit suggests as a solution to Australia’s short comings.

As well as alluding to Cricket Australia’s ball tampering scandal, the ad also includes references to Australia’s nationalist, right-wing populist party, One Nation.

Meat and Livestock Australia’s summer campaign aims to put lamb at the centre of the solution to Australia’s problems, arguing lamb is “the smell of unity”.

The commercial aims to celebrate the best of both nations and join Australia and New Zealand together in ‘New Australia-land’.

The conclusion of the ad shows two Australian politicians and two New Zealand citizens meeting in the Tasman Sea as the politicians agree that “New Zealand is doing Australia better than Australia”.

The New Zealand citizens agree they have to consult their Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and suggest a different date for Australia Day.

Sam Kekovich, the original ‘Lambassador’, also makes a cameo appearance in the ad as he passes a plate of lamb to the New Zealand citizens as a peace offering.

Graeme Yardy, who replaced former MLA group marketing manager Andrew Howie in November 2017, said the ad draws on the “good-humoured rivalry” between Australia and New Zealand and the way it “underpins both countries’ values”.

“As a brand, Australian Lamb is famous for settling differences and promoting unity, so we thought it was the perfect opportunity to bring both nations together over some tasty Aussie lamb.”

Vince Lagana, who joined The Monkeys as an ECD from Leo Burnett late last year, added: “Lamb has always been about uniting Australians around what makes our country the greatest, but in recent times we seem to have lost our way.

“Whereas our Kiwi neighbours, under the leadership of Jacinda, are progressing nicely. True to tradition we always claim the best of New Zealand – but this time, with the help of a little lamb chop, we want to go one step further and claim the entire nation to form ‘New Australia-land’. Edmund Barton almost made it happen in 1900. In 2019 we want to make it a reality.

“In this fun natured, tongue-in-cheek campaign everyone wins…except maybe the All Blacks.”

The ad follows last year’s Summer campaign which turned Australia’s left and right into a Broadway-style musical called ‘Lamb Side Story’.

Meanwhile in September last year, the brand temporarily ditched the politics and put food back in the story line for its ‘Too Easy’ Spring campaign.

This year, MLA has partnered with Junkee Media and Nova’s Fitzy & Wippa to produce video and editorial content showing Australians and New Zealanders coming together over lamb.



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