Lifeguards Let Swimmers Drown In Poignant New Refugee Advocacy Ad

Lifeguards Let Swimmers Drown In Poignant New Refugee Advocacy Ad

For as long as we can remember, the refugee crisis and Australia’s useless ‘stop the boats’ policy (thanks Abbott) has remained somewhat unresolved.

Hannah Edensor
Posted by Hannah Edensor

Enter Common Ventures with its latest campaign for refugee advocacy group Ourstralia, led by Balmain for Refugees, and the ads titled ‘It’s un-Australian not to help’.

The ads feature lifeguards Bruce and Kev who are looking out over the beach, with two separate videos depicting two scenarios where a person is in trouble, and the two men don’t help.

The ad closes with the tagline, ‘This doesn’t happen at our beaches. Don’t let it happen at our borders’.

Bruce and Kev are filmed justifying their reasons for not helping in ways that a large number of Australians will no doubt relate to.

Some of their excuses include asking, “How do we know he’s actually drowning?” and the clincher: “If we’re lucky he’ll be taken out by the tide and over to another beach; he’ll become someone else’s problem”.

The ads follow last month’s ‘I came by boat’ campaign and look to change the attitudes of Australians towards struggling refugees.

“The aim is for Australians to see the fact that we don’t treat anyone else in society like asylum seekers, and remind them of the core penchant of Australians to help people in need,” one of the founders of Common Ventures Damian Damjanovski told B&T.

“It’s a straight-forward message that people should be pretty decent. They’re [refugees] not animals, they’re humans in need.”

Damjanovski added that the agency hadn’t featured Surf Life Saving Australia, but rather generic lifeguards in order to ensure there were no copyright or infringement issues.

B&T contacted SLSA for comment but had not heard back at the time of publishing, however Damjanovski said he “would hope they would get behind the message” for the sole reason that “it’s not acceptable to treat refugees like shit”.

“We wouldn’t accept this attitude anywhere else.”