A decade after Sam Kekovich first implored Australians to grab a lamb chop on Australia Day, Meat & Livestock Australia is set to launch its new campaign this weekend with a very different character.
While the 2015 effort was led by Richie Benaud, the demise of the iconic cricket commentator last year pushed The Monkeys to once again move in a different direction for its latest “lambassador”.
Following criticism last year that the campaign was “white bread and male-dominated”, MLA set off in a striking new direction with its new ‘Operation Boomerang’ campaign, a teaser for which was revealed earlier this week.
In the teaser, MLA appears to have launched a strike force to bring home the one million Australian expats who spend Australia Day alone.
Chief marketing officer, Andrew Howie, said Operation Boomerang was part of the ongoing program to move lamb marketing from a handful of key dates such as Australia Day to a broader marketing approach that better serves producers throughout the year.
But the Australia Day message remains a creative benchmark.
“We realised the time had come to evolve our creative strategy,” Howie told Mumbrella.
“At MLA we continue to strive for producer returns and, with our limited budget we have to be as creative as possible. This is not a big budget production; far from that.”
After winning the account in 2014 following a long relationship with BMF, The Monkeys had massive boots to fill, even if the Sam Kekovich-fronted campaign had veered off course in recent years.
The agency set a bar high for themselves with last year’s effort, the lauded Richie Benaud Australia Day ad that saw the beloved cricket commentator invite a host of historical and contemporary friends over for a lamb barbie.
Despite the lack of budget, Howie promises an ad with all the trappings of a blockbuster which will more than live up to the legacy of the Australia Day lamb ads.
The ads will launch online on Sunday and be broadcast from Monday onward in the lead up to Australia Day. Those keen to see the ad can watch it here, on the home page, from 12.01am.