Following the brouhaha of its last Australia Day lamb campaign for Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), independent creative agency The Monkeys has played it a little safer in its latest ad.
Shot by director Paul Middleditch, the ad follows a similar line to The Monkeys’ spring lamb commercial – an all-inclusive barbecue with appearances from a number of familiar faces, including the lamb man himself, Sam Kekovich, Olympian Cathy Freeman, former NRL star Wendell Sailor, ex-Test cricketer Adam Gilchrist, comedian Rhys Nicholson and former Masterchef contestant Poh Ling Yeow.
The Monkeys’ executive creative director, Scott Nowell, said that following the evolution of lamb over the past 12 months, the thought behind the ad this year was to celebrate all the people who have contributed to making this country great, “uniting the way we know best at this time of year – over a lamb barbecue.
“This time everyone was and is invited to be part of it,” he said.
The ad is also toned down compared to last year’s Australia Day campaign featuring Li Lin Chin, which turned out to be one of the most complained about ads of 2016.
Many of the complaints claimed the ad discriminated against vegans, with one viewer saying “This will encourage other meat eaters to act violently towards vegans and sends a message saying that veganism is wrong and non-acceptable”.
However, The Monkeys went easy on vegans in this year’s ad, having a cheeky little dig at them instead.
Viewers will get their first look at the new long-form ad from 12 January across digital channels, including YouTube, Facebook and owned socials, with a 30-second TVC airing on 15 January.
Broadcast partner Channel 9 will support the campaign through integration with the TODAY show, Aussie-themed movies and on-air features throughout Nine’s cricket coverage.
The campaign will also be supported on radio until Australia Day through Nova’s Fitzy & Wippa.
In-store, product-focused point-of-sale will deliver lamb barbecue inspiration, focusing on the variety of different cuts and cuisines.
And on 26 January, lamb-lovers from across Australia will unite at Sydney’s Parramatta Park for The Big BBQ, where both Nine and Nova will be broadcasting live to their audiences.
As part of the Nova partnership, some lucky Aussies will also be flown in from across the nation to join in the celebrations.
MLA’s group marketing manager, Andrew Howie, said that as a brand, lamb stands for unity.