Lamb brings people together in new MLA campaign by The Monkeys

Meat and Livestock Australia has launched a new campaign promoting Australia’s diversity and the role that lamb plays in bringing families and friends together.Spring Lamb DiversityThe Spring Lamb campaign created by The Monkeys features 150 people from a variety of backgrounds – including a Hare Krishna vegetarian – coming together over a lamb barbecue.

Lamb ads have mocked vegetarians in the past but the new campaign challenges Australians to embrace diversity. The ad opens with TV presenter Luke Jacobz announcing: “I’m here to address concerns that too many perky white males are contributing to a lack of diversity on our our screens”.

Jacobz walks past a tree and morphs into Indian/Australian actor Arka Das, who continues: “And we couldn’t agree more…”

“We’ve got everyone in the room.”

The ad features cameos from transgender comedian Jordan Raskopoulos, footballer Greg Inglis, Olympian Cathy Freeman and model Samantha Harris.

Howie says MLA did not aim to offend

Meat and Livestock Australia marketing director, Andrew Howie, said the he felt lamb was the right product to speak to the wonders of Australia’s diversity in a way which celebrated it, and said he lamented in a way that the ad needed to be made at all.

“I think you only have to look around any day and see Australia’s multicultural mix continues to evolve and what it means to me is that Australia’s always changing. We have touched on that and started to build a real theme with our work.

“But what we discovered when we started digging was the insight that advertising and marketing hasn’t really kept pace with Australia and how Australia’s moved on. What you see on TV very much reflects yesterday in Australia. Given lamb is Australia’s favourite meat we really wanted to right that wrong.

“We really thought it was important to highlight that when you watch TV and what you see in the broader media does not reflect what Australia truly looks like.

The launch of the campaign comes just a week after a Screen Australia study revealed TV drama was failing to reflect the make-up of the general population and was marginalising ethnic communities.

Howie said that it was a rare opportunity for a brand to talk about a topic which he believed consumers had given permission to talk about.

“There is a heap of things that you’d love to talk about but if your brand doesn’t have permission or doesn’t have the kudos to do it then you sometimes just can’t do it. But in this instance the idea of inclusivity is something that we’ve really tried to evolve and bring to life over the past couple of years.

“We have moved away from exclusion and we’ve really been very much about inclusion, so much so that there is actually a Hare Krishna in the ad this year.”

“Really what we were going for was to try to showcase as much diversity as possible.”

He said that where lamb’s Australia Day campaign was lighthearted, and there were jokes littered through the Spring campaign, MLA was treating this as a serious campaign.

“Why are we still talking about not talking about diversity?” he said.

“It’s quite sad that we have to run a campaign to say ‘hey Australia, you know what, we are really diverse and we should be accepting of everything and everyone’. There is an irony in having to run a campaign in Australia that is multicultural; mix we have to try to showcase the multicultural mix we have.”

The ad finishes with a punchline where Arka Das asks the crowd ‘Who was first?’ and Jackson, Harris and Inglis shout: “That’d be us!”

The campaign will be supported through social and with outdoor in a range of different languages of groups who were identified through 2011 Census with print ads in ethnic publications and outdoor.

Howie admits he is concerned that narrow-minded people may target the multi-lingual ads, but he believed the approach underlined the importance of celebrating diversity.

“It felt right from the start, from the moment we saw the insight, from the moment we saw the concept,” he said.

“I think probably the area of greatest concern is around running ads in different languages in outdoor – not because we don’t feel it’s right, but more because we know there is a small part of society who we are not going to give up or bow down to who would see this as an opportunity to raise their myopic view of what Australia should be.”


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.