Opinion

Credit where it’s due: MLA’s lamb campaigns

credit where its due logoAs the MLA unveils its latest Australia Day lamb ad we give Credit Where It’s Due to the legacy of clever campaigns which have come before it. 

Selling lamb is not the most glamorous of briefs for any marketer or agency, but somehow every year Meat and Livestock Australia’s Australia Day campaign captures the public’s attention.

In little over a decade it has managed to turn lamb into the ‘must have’ staple for any good Australia Day party, making anyone who doesn’t have it feel ‘unAustralian’.

This year it made the tough decision to move on from its brand ‘Lambassador’ Sam Kekovich to embrace a new brand message – and one that’s probably more inkeeping with both modern day Australia and more shareable to boot.

But while big Sam has a cameo, let’s not forget some of the other things he was prepared to do in order to shift some meat.

The campaign began small with what would become a classic Sam rant set against an Australian flag, with lines such as “unAustralianism is everywhere – for example, people wearing those plastic brightly coloured flip flop shoes with flowers on them? What’s wrong with rubber thongs in simple primary colours? If I hear another person say thong when they mean those swimming costumes pouncy Brazilian fellows wear up their bums, I’ll do my block”. It was the beginning of an annual tradition.

2006 continued the theme, with Sam Kekovich sitting behind a prime ministerial style desk and the national anthem providing the music. The ad largely followed the style set up the year before with Kekovich blaming the Australia losing the Ashes on a failure to eat lamb.

In 2007 while the format of the ad stayed the same with a Sam Rant, it was extended from around one and a half minutes to three minutes. It was the first version of the ad to feature Kekovich in a non-rant environment, travelling around Australia as a lambassador, including shots of Kekovich in a John Howard inspired tracksuit.

In 2008 Sam called for the abolishment of Australia Day, calling on a week to celebrate lamb and Australia.

Kekovich blamed the world’s economy problems on “unAustralianism” in 2009 as the GFC struck.

2010 saw Kekovich take it to the next level and address the UN on the “problems of unAustralianism” and what could benefit from eating a lamb chop.

Kekovich continued with his global theme in 2011, taking on Europe and blaming the Euro economy’s problems on unAustralianism and a lack of people eating lamb.

2012 saw Kekovich return back to Australia and behind a desk with a rant in which he contributed Shane Warne’s obsessive tweeting to a lack of a lamb chop.

And who could forget the other part of that 2012 campaign which saw Kekovich take on the Aqua tune “Barbie Girl”. We’re not sure if a lamb chop could have improved his singing.

It was in 2013 when the campaign started to get crazier. The scene was set for the campaign with Ten uploading a video to its YouTube channel last week which appeared to show Kekovich being injured by a misdirected cricket ball during a live cross with weatherman Tim Bailey. The campaign then saw Kekovich explain he had “lambnesia”.

Last year’s Australia Day campaign saw Kekovich urge parents to teach their offspring that lamb is the official dish for Australians, and features a giant baby stomping someone asking for tofu</a>.

Credit Where it’s Due is all about generating positivity about our fantastic industry. While we welcome positive and constructive comments, anonymous or otherwise, this feature a snark-free zone so please bear that in mind when commenting.

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