Generations of 'Boat People' arrive to celebrate modern Australia in annual Lamb campaign via The Monkeys ~ but no mention of Australia Day

Screen Shot 2017-01-12 at 9.20.39 am.pngMeat & Livestock Australia (MLA) has launched its annual lamb campaign via The Monkeys, which shines a light on who we are as a nation, and celebrates modern Australia. 

This year's blockbuster, which for the first time does not mention Australia Day, opens on the pristine Australian coastline, as the nation's first people search for the perfect spot to fire up a barbie. It doesn't take long for other revellers to join the hosts. Every arrival, from the European settlers to the most recent of Australian migrants, is welcomed to the modern day lamb barbecue, each bringing their own dish and flavour to the celebrations. The resulting party is a truly united celebration of Australia.

Screen Shot 2017-01-12 at 6.11.29 am.jpgShot by director Paul Middleditch, the all-inclusive barbecue has appearances from familiar faces such as Sam Kekovich, Olympian Cathy Freeman and National Rugby player Wendell Sailor. Other Aussies present include Australia's culinary gem, Poh Ling Yeow, renowned Australian cricket player Adam Gilchrist and LGBTQI comedian Rhys Nicholson alongside a list of Australian extras; again proving lamb is the most multicultural meat.

Viewers will get their first look at the new long-form advert from 12 January across digital channels including YouTube, Facebook and owned socials, with a 30-second TVC airing on 15 January. 

Broadcast partner Channel Nine will support the campaign from launch, with a host of activity happening throughout January. This will include integration with the TODAY show, Australian themed movies and on air features throughout Channel Nine's Summer of Cricket.

The campaign will also be supported by an on air partnership with the Nova Network's Fitzy & Wippa nationwide program. Airing from January 12 through to January 26.

On January 26, lamb-lovers from across Australia will unite at Parramatta Park, Sydney at The Big BBQ where both Channel Nine and Nova will be broadcasting live to their audiences. As part of the Nova partnership, some lucky Aussies will be flown in from across the nation to join in the celebrations.

The ad will be pushed out across digital, social and TV. In-store, product-focused point-of-sale will deliver lamb barbecue inspiration, focusing on the variety of different cuts and cuisines.

Says Andrew Howie, group marketing manager at MLA: "As a brand, Lamb stands for unity. Australia is the greatest country on earth and lamb is the nation's favourite meat. Hence we have brought those two things together to prove we should be able to celebrate this great country every day of the year. How good is Wendell?"

MLA - Group Marketing Manager - Andrew Howie
MLA - Lamb Brand Manager - Matthew Dwyer

Creative Agency - The Monkeys
Executive Creative Director - Scott Nowell
Creative Director - Grant Rutherford
Senior Art Director - Paul Sharp
Senior Copywriter - Mike Burdick
Head of Production - Thea Carone
Senior Broadcast Producer - Jade Rodriguez
Planning Director - Michael Hogg
Managing Director - Matt Michael
Group Content Director - Humphrey Taylor
Content Director - Katie Wong-Hee
Content Manager - Victoria Zourkas
Production Company - Plaza Films
Director - Paul Middleditch
Executive Producer - Peter Masterton
Head of Production - Megan Ayers
DOP - Daniel Ardilley
Production Design - Sal Boucher
Wardrobe - Natasha Harrison
Make Up - Jane Atherton
Music Composition - Lamp Music
Music Composer - Adam Gock
Sound Design - Song Zu
Edit - The Editors
Editor - David Whittaker
Post Production - Fin Design
VFX Supervisor - Richard Betts
Media Agency - UM
PR Agency - One Green Bean


Well said:

To 'Old CD Guy' and the usual haters. Take a bow and go back to your digital display banners.

Greidy said:

The Monkeys have done it again.

Great job for lamb. And our country.

Gimme a sec... said:

Oh no. Brace yourself.

Invasion day said:

Nice one.

... said:

Not sure if ad for lamb or ad for excusing an entire country for still celebrating a day they probably shouldn't?????

yeah but no said:

wow, how forced can you get!?!

PJK said:

Love it. Nice work guys.

Tim Berriman said:

Well done everyone involved.
A good reminder to all the xenophobic and isolationist public, that we are not the original custodians of this great country!

Best yet said:

Best yet.

Lambasted said:

If the indigenous population don't take offence to this, some white privately educated feminists will take happily take offence for them.

Personally I love that there's an ad acknowledging indigenous people exist. I'm just not sure it has the same charm as the previous ad - invasion day is a big sore point.

Hello sailor! said:

Best one yet. Well done to all involved.

Left-Wing Lamb? said:

Dear people whom we'd like to buy lamb,

You're all racist invaders.



VB said:

We were doing this years ago...

My father often said:

Politics and religion, never at the dinner table.

He never mentioned the BBQ.

Nice work.

Dougie said:

Keep chipping, Shackles!

Bloke said:

Bloody Ripper

I have an idea said:

'Let's celebrate Australia Day by creating a mash up of 5000 racist and ethnic stereotypes and piss off the Aboriginal community while we're at it.'

Sounds about right!

This said:

is awesome

@ ..... said:

Kind of agree. Was really dragging and I'm like, "Whats this all about?" Then 2:20 into it, it really works. But thats a long wait? Feels like the gag had too much time on it.

Needed to get there sooner as the dragging feels like its an apology. Not a kick ass concept about sharing lamb with all Australians. Concept is good. Execution slightly lets it down. But well done all involved.

Aborginal said:

Haven't you flogged this horse already?

Really? said:

Australia is not a post-racist society, and using the arrival of the first fleet and imperialism as a punchline to sell a product and being commended for it as progressive is a clear example of that. Genocide is actually happened when all those boats arrived so its not witty even if you get a 30-something year old white copywriter to jazz it up and throw an ice gag in there. Lamb is an Australian agricultural product, an industry that's economic success is built on land stolen from indigenous people. The same people who's actors refused this script and leaked it because it was offensive.

Really? said:

Australia is not a post-racist society, and using the arrival of the first fleet and imperialism as a punchline to sell a product and being commended for it as progressive is a clear example of that. Genocide is actually happened when all those boats arrived so its not witty even if you get a 30-something year old white copywriter to jazz it up and throw an ice gag in there. Lamb is an Australian agricultural product, an industry that's economic success is built on land stolen from indigenous people. The same people who's actors refused this script and leaked it because it was offensive.

Gets popcorn said:

Yeah it's very insensitive to the ATSI community. And the other racial / sexual stereotypes are cringeworthy with big, long gaps that really labour the execution.

You can see it in the guys eyes at the end. It's like he's saying 'Fuck off whitey' while smiling at Gillies patronisingly thanking him for inviting us around for a BBQ.

Oh well. I guess that's the idea, right? Piss everyone off this year, not just vegans?

Prefer the old one said:

The last ad about multiculturalism had a nice truth in it, people from many cultures, especially the middle east eat lamb, so let's celebrate it as the nation's most diverse dish. Love it.

This ad jokingly explains away the erosion and genocide of a culture which is still being systematically oppressed today. in 2015 our Prime Minister said that living in remote Indigenous communities was a 'lifestyle choice' and he wanted to close those communities down, ending a way of life that has peacefully existed for over 60,000 years.

It then ties 'invasion day' into this fun genocidal bbq fest with indigenous actors saying through gritted teeth 'Yeah, you're welcome here anytime mate'.

In the early years, indigenous people were massacred to make way for farming land. Most of which was wool, where your cute little lamb chops come from. I'm not saying we can change that, but we can at least pay some respect to that by not linking your product to a day that celebrates the day the British completely fucked this entire continent.

Imagine an ad where a Native American celebrates Christopher Columbus day by inviting him ashore to join him for some gold old-fashioned gun slinging on some tin cans, using the same gun that killed his ancestors.

I know you didn't mean it that way, but you could have consulted with one of the many indigenous people right on your agency's doorstep. Even better, bought one a beer and had a yak with them at the pub about your ad. They would have said 'probably not a great idea...' and saved you the embarrassment.

It's a big miss for me and I'll be eating Kangaroo on Australia day instead.

Outside the bubble said:

I think we just hit peak relativism.

Old CD Guy said:

Why can't we see more work like this? Great writing and execution.

Sorry to disappoint you 'Well' @ 10:16AM.

I guess that makes YOU the hater, pre-emptively.

The client said:

Can someone tell me where my product went?

Chris said:

We all know that 'old CD guy is Monty, right?

The creative said:

@the client

Sam eats it midway through for about a second.

The client said:

@ The creative

Oh right, phew. I must have blinked. But good thing you didn't miss it. Um, that said, are you sure that Johhny middle Australia will even remember what the ad is for? I mean it's very clever and all, but we're all still trying to shift some lamb on Australia (invasion) Day yeah?

The creative said:

@The client

We made sure it looks like Sam is enjoying the product. Just don't blink

@The Client said:

Yeah, because the campaign only exists of this bit of content.
You must be a pretty good client.

embarrasing if you call this good said:

bottom rung humor

Love it said:

Ignore the hate Monkeys, this is fantastic. Whilst we are obviously not far into this year yet, this is my favourite work of 2017.

Not my fault said:

@Prefer the old one
Yep, blame the British, because you've only had like 200 years to try and rectify the fuck up by yourselves.

Sorry I was napping said:

So now the Lamb ads just make repeated ads about their past ads /controversies?

Oh, and this was pretty boring and long to me. Looks cheap too. Dress up party on a beach - Didn't laugh once... Unless you want me to LOL at colonial settlement and aboriginals on Australia Day.

ANDY said:

Well done Monkeys.

ASH said:

I love it. Well done Monkeys!!

ash said:

Job well done guys. Love it.

@Not my fault said:

Incorrect insecure British guy, we've only had 116 years of self governance and 86 years where we've been allowed to choose the Queen's representative (who can still veto the Prime Minister). In fact the Brits were even exposing Indigenous Australians to radiation in the 1950s and 60s on land designated as Native Title by the government of Australia.

While we still have a Queen's representative and that shit-stain in the top corner of our flag, our policies are still far too influenced by the 'mother country' that everyone (including yourself it seems) are so damn desperate to leave.

Zac said:

Fuck the haters, this is great.

KL said:

Monty is Old CD Guy?
That's nice for him,because he was never a Young CD Guy.

On so many levels said:

I'm not sure what offends me more – The trivialising of the impact of our arrival on the mostly wiped out Aboriginal people, or the wooden direction of this piece ?

Chur said:

Middle Australia will love this.

George said:

Great concept (though not an original one by any means).

Poor execution. The last lamb ad had warmth and showed how you do something like this without reducing people to dumb stereotypes.

Sophie said:

This is epic!

Eh said:

Love the creative concept, but the execution of the idea is sadly awful.

Views don't lie said:

Good to see the usual comments haven't stopped this going to #1 trending video on Youtube Australia.

Copy and paste said:

I think this is great. If you delve deep down in to the realities of what happened during those times of invasion/immigration you're a wanker who's smelling their own farts.

The goal of this ad seems to be to bring people together. I'm an immigrant and I don't entirely agree with some of the ideals of Australia day, but this is clearly a step in the right direction.

Positive and well written.

Anonymous CD said:

I really want to like this but it's just so poorly executed. I'm disappointed as I expected better from The Monkeys. Better luck next time boys.

Your old British man is showing said:

This just makes me so sad. Lamb is delicious, I can't believe this is the only way to get people to eat it. Like tell yourself it's to 'make a statement' and not just so you can be really stoked with your book. But you're trivialising colonialism for personal gain. Well done on polishing this soul-turd. Hope it was worth it.

Racism aside... said:

Production values are bloody awful

The monkeys are said:

...a blank canvas at an art exhibit. Everyone stands around saying "oh I get it, you're so clever." But really it's a bunch of hacky racist bits. 'New Zealanders talk funny, Asians have funny moustaches and fireworks. French people like smelly cheese'. It isn't brave, it's hack and lacks any insight beyond a pub joke. But none of that matters because the monkeys could shit on a plinth and campaign brief comments would call it brave.

To the PC-Gone-Mad Brigade said:

Dear Self-Righteous social warriors of all things PC,

If Indigenous people, in your White opinion, are going to take such offence to this, why did 3 Indigenous people agree to act in it?
Are you calling them idiots? Or hateful people insensitive to their own?
Who are the real racists here?
Could it be the PC-gone-mad Brigade?
Could this actually just be good-humoured inclusive fun that includes - gee! - Indigenous people in the cast itself too?
Pull your necks in and stop whining.
For the love of all Australians.

Expat said:

Not a fan for two reasons.

1. The arrival of Europeans led to the sustained genocide of indigenous Australians, and I just struggle to have a laugh at an idea that takes the arrival and tries to make it all matey-blokey-laughy. I know it's just an ad, and I know it's just trying to sell some lamb to middle Australia, but I just can't get over that and at least in my mind when I watch it I just can't stop thinking about the reality of what the arrival meant, so I struggle to have a laugh. But that's just me.

2. It's a very big budget script without the very big budget. And unfortunately that shows. I know budgets in Oz are a problem, but that just means you have to write to the budget you have, and not the budget you wish you had and hope for the best.

On the plus side, if you don't have a hang-up about the history of what the first few generations of white settlers did to the Indigenous population, it's an entertaining spot. And it's nicely written. And I think you'd like it. If you take away all the cultural and historical baggage, it's a good ad. But I just don't know how the hell you do that.

Long comments don't make you smart said:


Truth? said:

Surely this is not okay.
The whole time i'm thinking of the way it actually went down.

New Zealander said:

lol wut

Damn Lamb said:

Making light of a serious issues shows a real lack of knowledge and judgment from the agency and client.
They are more interested in getting a few laughs at the expense of real horror in order to sell some lamb. People were killed and brutally bashed damn it! It be like Americans doing a similar ad with Indians.
Casual Racism is a term used a lot in Australia recently. Which means we've normalised it. I recently encounted a confrontation in a bar where a lady called the bar tender a wog. She defended herself by saying: I was only playing. I love wogs!
This is casual racism at its best. Unconscious bias at it's worst.
People say middle australia will like this ad. I disagree. White Australia will like this ad.

Funny Bones said:

Advertising writers just aren't great at comedy anymore. I don't know why?

This feels very hammy and a bit ho-hum.

I made it to the end so that's something.

Russel Coite said:

Is the goal of our industry now just to make ads that 'people will talk about' even if they are absolute trash? It's longwinded, boring and painfully unfunny for a start.

And then there's the uncomfortable fact that every viewer with half a brain knows that in the deleted scenes the British invaders bayonetted those poor blokes, raped their women, infected them with their diseases and then systematically eroded their culture over the next couple of hundred years.

Let's sell some fucking lamb!

Not_One said: I missing something here? There's not a single middle eastern person in the ad?
everyone in the country is going nuts for this... but we're missing a reasonably notable part of the Australian community?

@To the PC-Gone-Mad Brigade said:

So if three Aboriginal people agreed to be paid to participate in the ad, then it's all ok is it?

I find it offensive because i'm a white Australian. No one should be proud of our Nation's sordid history and glossing over it so flippantly for the sole purpose of selling something is abhorrent. Throw in a party track from 'A Night At The Roxbury' and i'm about ready to king hit someone. Go Australia.

I haven't read the comments above but... said:

Whatever people think of this spot, we all should be celebrating that there is one Aussie client prepared to do something that people talk about. This type of scenario where a client works closely with an agency to push the boundaries must be what we fight for as a creative industry, not fight against. Celebrate it what for what it's doing - getting people talking. It's hard to buy that. Of course, props to The Monkeys and the team who have brought this to life.

Job Done said:

"Don't offended people realise they are doing my marketing for me." - Ricky Gervais, 2016.

Get it right said:

Didn't know indigenous Australians wore jeans and a T-shirt before the whitey's arrived. Kind of ruined it for me.

Yeah but nah said:

It's not bad... I just don't think it's good, eh. I like the message they're trying to get across but there's no excitement... it's just a little boring.

No way Josef said:

It's not clever, it's not funny, it's not tasteful, it's not cool, it's not on.

It's fucked.

Where's the nuance? The cleverness? The creativity? The subtlety?

There's none. I'm disappointed.

And the indigenous guy at the end seems resentful to boot.

To all the sad sacks who are picking this apart said:

It's not a fucking documentary.

Like hate said:

At least they've tried to send a good message unlike last year, and have obviously tried to make up for that one.
Cheers to MLA and the monkeys for trying to bring back something interesting and creative that will be talked about, whether that's good or bad, it's still publicity,
Let down on this is that the comic timing and cheese factor seems off.
Production value is ok but obviously feels like it needs more money, which is what all the Australia Day lamb ads have in common. The past two ads seem to get away with it in a more charming way.
My favourite is still the Richie Benaud one.

Think about it: said:

Big surprise but, no one is ever going to put genocide and brutality into an advert. So to everyone who keeps harping on about the fact that it's glossed over the atrocities that happened, get real. It's an ad. But what it can and has done is use it's notoriety as a major annual newsworthy ad event to change the conversation around (eating lamb on) "Australia Day" and recognised the fact the indigenous peoples were here first. Not bad for an ad, I'd say.

Don't think so said:

I know it is meant to be light hearted (don't take it too seriously is the Aussie way yeah?)
I know it is meant to demonstrate inclusiveness.

But it is still a commercial venture designed to flog product.
And by appearing to speak on behalf of Indigenous people who are happy to accept everyone, forgive, forget and get on with our "you bewt" country just doesn't seem right.
it is making assumptions it is not entitled to do.

Even if it is not intentional, it is demonstrating a level of insensitivity which is generally at the heart of why mainstream Australian life seems to struggle in this area.

Plenty of humour, some ok lines here and there, by ultimately just not right.

After again taking liberties in reference to Indigenous people with last year's "Operation Boomerang" this seems an attempt to square up, and again makes the same mistakes.

Lame said:


Ben said:

I like loved the original idea, and the billboard I saw a while back about lamb not discriminating about those eating in or out was a cracker. But this? Forget the politics, the production just doesn't do it for me, it's all so forced. Which I'm really surprised about given the calibre of all involved.

Look forward to seeing the 30, love to see what makes the cut to actually sell some lamb.

A country who is years ahead on this issue said:

This would be pulled off the air in NZ. Or turned down at the idea stage. We're many years ahead in the racial equality game and this would undo a lot of it. Bad place to start trying to make amends.

Ditched said:

Watch it again and pay close attention to Cathy Freeman when in frame.

Could the acting & direction be any more lost?!

History fails you said:

Without the English there are sheep.
Without ghe sheep no lamb.
No lamb no ad.

Can I steal this please? said:

I want to do an ad where Adolf H rocks up to Poland and the indigenous Jews celebrate Oktoberfest with pork schnitzels. It will be heaps funny because it's all inclusive and recognising our past and shit for Oktoberfest. Get a stein up ya.

hahahahahaah said:

It looks like Freeman is completely lost at 2:22-2:25

Shocking edit. The production values are like an Aldi cut of lamb.

@Can I steal this please said:

Best comment here.

Dont mention the war. said:

Like Jewish people greeting the Nazi's with open arms and meat goods.
That would be a giggle too wouldn't it? Because everyone know atrocities should be made light of to sell products. White Australians will love this as it will appease their guilt about celebrating the day. But none of this should be laughed at.

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