SOME New Zealanders couldn’t bring themselves to help Australians sell more lamb when Meat & Livestock Australia asked recently.
New Zealand is the Australian lamb industry’s biggest competitor on the world stage and both countries are currently jockeying for better sheep meat market access in post-Brexit trade negotiations.
But enough Kiwis were willing to help MLA to base its latest summer campaign for Australian lamb on a tongue-in-cheek call for Australians and New Zealanders to come together over a lamb meal in a huge floating party in the Tasman Sea.
The campaign features a new long-form advert, which takes watchers back to 1900 when Australia’s first Prime Minister, Edmund Barton, was finalising the Constitution Act to make New Zealand part of the Commonwealth. This actual historical moment then inspires two modern day Aussie politicians to connect both countries again.
The stage is then set for both nations to come together over a lamb barbecue, set in a huge floating party in the middle of the Tasman Sea. The comical advert celebrates the best of both nations and joins us together in New Australia-Land.
MLA domestic market manager, Graeme Yardy, said the campaign is entirely tongue-in-cheek – aiming to get ‘cut-through’ to consumers with its humour — and it isn’t intended to be a serious call for Australia and New Zealand to work together to promote lamb internationally.
Mr Yardy said some of the New Zealand actors approached declined to be involved in the campaign.
“Definitely some Kiwis we approached said no, saying maybe they didn’t want to be held up as promoting another country’s product.”
Mr Yardy said MLA liked to “specialise in the absurd a little bit” with its lamb campaigns.
“One of the keys to advertising and marketing campaigns now is to get cut-through, because there are so many pieces of content you could watch and if something isn’t entertaining, funny or it doesn’t move you emotionally it doesn’t cut through these days,” he said.
“So I’m a believer that you can be clever and entertaining and that is what we really went for with this one, because the lamb brand is about unity – it’s a great sharing meal – so that’s what we are about.
“We looked at a few different ‘targets’, then we said ‘You know what, these two countries at this end of the world we are doing pretty well and compared to the rest of the world we’ve actually got some pretty good things going on’,” he said.
“So we said instead of us just being rivals, why don’t we actually celebrate what we do well together and perhaps well, we should work together.”
But Mr Yardy said the ad wasn’t an attempt to incite some real ANZ lamb marketing co-operation, merely to spark some social media, talkback radio or barbecue conversation interest. Early feedback has been “very positive”, with 55 million opportunities to see the advertisement’s video across various media platforms.
“It is actually a relatively cost-effective way to spread the message pretty quickly.”
Building on the new brand platform ‘Share the Lamb’, the new integrated campaign sets out to extend the ‘rosemary sprig’ to Australia’s neighbouring nation and bridge the divide over something everyone can agree on – lamb, MLA said.
Even Australia’s most infamous Lambassador Sam Kekovich plays a small cameo part in the floating party, silently passing the chops, and has followed this up with media interviews today.
“People really like to try to find him now – it’s a bit like ‘Where’s Wally’ – so he did his fly-in and fly-out and he was a lot of fun on the shoot, and he was on the Today and Sunrise shows this morning,” Mr Yardy said.
Quality Australian lamb would again be front and centre of the campaign, while utilising the brand’s trademark humour to actively encourage consumers to come together and share some Australian lamb, he said.
“The good-humoured rivalry between Australia and New Zealand is something that underpins both countries’ cultures.
“As a brand, lamb stands for unity, so we thought it was the perfect opportunity to bring both nations together over some tasty Aussie lamb,” Mr Yardy said.
“Our marketing is driven by deep consumer insights.
We know that undoubtedly, lamb is the meal that Australians love to share across the summer,” he said.
“Our job is to remind consumers of these great opportunities to enjoy lamb and the care and quality of Australia’s hard-working lamb producers.”
The campaign will see the advert run across national metropolitan and regional TV, digital, social and radio. As part of the broader campaign, media partners – Nova Network and Junkee – will support the campaign across multiple channels, encouraging both nations to unite as New Australia-Land.
Nova Network’s Fitzy and Wippa will help bring the campaign to life through a series of activities, culminating in an event to celebrate New Australia-Land and bring both nations together over a summer Lamb lunch. Digital partners Junkee will integrate the campaign onto their site by capturing video and editorial content of Aussies and New Zealanders coming together over Lamb.
In-store, product-focused point-of-sale will deliver meal inspiration, focusing on the variety of different lamb cuts and cuisines. Trans-Tasman recipes developed by Daniel Wilson, will underpin the campaign and inspire Aussies to cook and share a Lamb meal together.
“The campaign has been designed to support continued strong sales for Lamb and ultimately provide strong returns for the dedicated community of Australian Lamb producers,” Mr Yardy said.
Watch the film via the Australian Lamb Facebook and YouTube page or view the content at www.australianlamb.com.au.