Domestic Lamb

Vegans thanked for successful Australia Day lamb campaign

Terry Sim April 8, 2016


VEGANS, thank you — for the most successful Australia Day lamb campaign of its type ever.

Meat & Livestock Australia’s controversial 2016 Australia Day lamb campaign has proven to be the most successful campaign of its type – delivering a record increase in lamb sales for the Australia Day period.

Despite the fact that many of the country’s lamb producers didn’t see the campaign on their televisions, it generated a 34.4 percent sales lift versus the weekly average, for the week preceding Australia Day, and a 39.5pc sales lift versus the weekly average, for the week of Australia Day.

The campaign’s success equated to a 36.9 per cent sales increase across the two week campaign period, by far the most successful on record, MLA said. This was despite Australia Day on January 26, falling on a Tuesday this year, at the end of a potential long weekend.

MLA said the campaign video was watched over 5.5 million times online and generated 1274 pieces of media coverage which delivered a cumulative audience in excess of 404 million.

The video also survived formal Advertising Standards Board complaints and almost 650 complaints from vegans and others about a kale-torching scene, commando extraction raids on apartments and the use of the ‘Operation Boomerang’ title.

“Operation Boomerang” featured Lambassador Sam Kekovich, who was joined by cult SBS newsreader Lee Lin Chin and a host of Australian icons, on a mission to save Australians abroad from going without a lamb BBQ on Australia Day.

Vegans provided free advertising for campaign

Sheepmeat Council of Australia president Jeff Murray and Victorian Farmers Federation Livestock Group vice-president Michael Craig agreed the campaign video’s tongue-in-cheek jibe at vegans, blow-torching of some kale and the role of SBS news presenter Lee Lin Chin contributed to its success.

“Thank you to the vegans for the free advertising, for being hypersensitive – thank you vegans.”

Mr Craig said Lee Lin Chin also broadened the audience and appeal of the campaign.

“They put the Lambassador campaign together well, this was kind of the next stage to it – it makes a  lot of sense. The problem is that they have set the bar far too high, it is going to be harder and harder for them.”

Mr Murray said the vegan element in the campaign probably contributed to its success, .

“That’s been the tone of the campaign right through really – we’re probably getting the best bang for our buck. I hark back to those early ones when Bruce Ruxton and those sort of people were stirred up over different things, so we are certainly getting good leverage for our dollars.”

Due to the strict mass market focus of the campaign, Mr Murray said people in the agricultural areas of Australia don’t see the television ads as city dwellers do.

“I have several producers say they didn’t even see the ad and I said well ‘we haven’t got many dollars to spend so it’s targeted at the city consumers, not necessarily the rural ones’.”

Now in its twelfth year, the annual campaign from MLA has become as iconic as lamb itself, and each year it is designed to encourage consumers to come together to celebrate Australia Day with lamb.

Campaign delivered returns for lamb producers

MLA’s group marketing manager Andrew Howie said the success of this year’s campaign continues to demonstrate MLA’s domestic marketing program is delivering results for producers and the red meat industry.

“This is MLA’s most successful Australia Day campaign on record. Australian lamb is a quality product and by continuing to foster Australia’s love affair with lamb we are seeing demand strengthen which ultimately delivers value back to the farm gate.

“MLA continues to be relentless in our pursuit of effective marketing programs that deliver returns for producers and the broader red meat industry. We are proud of the impact we have been able to have this year,” Mr Howie said.

MLA’s domestic marketing campaigns for both lamb and beef are underpinned by the latest data and consumer insights to ensure we reach and engage with our target audience in new ways and drive demand, he said.

Mr Murray said the industry was thrilled with the 2016 campaign and the benefits to industry were significant.

“The record boost in lamb sales around Australia Day this year demonstrates that the campaign is a great investment for sheep producers,” Mr Murray said.

“The Australia Day lamb campaign goes from strength to strength, continuing to raise the profile of Australian lamb, especially with metropolitan consumers, and increase consumption.”


Additional content from MLA.


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  1. Shane waett, April 10, 2016

    What a sad day .. This is not a win, it’s a disgusting holocaust waged on innocent animals. I too wish there was a god that could strike down with a fierce iron rod such sadists that clearly celebrate profit from death.

  2. Graeme M, April 8, 2016

    I am not a religious man – I don’t believe in God. But still, there are times, when I wish there was a god who knew right from wrong. I like to think that such a god would judge us wanting for the evil we do in the pursuit of profit… Full names required in future for reader comments please Graeme, as per our long-standing comments policy: Editor.

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