Witty Australian Lamb ad examines what it means to be ‘Un-Australian’

Australian Lamb is renowned for its humorous annual ads summing up the state of the nation, with this year’s spot poking fun at the country’s current struggle to define itself

In our polarised times, a range of shortcut expressions have emerged that aim to sum up where someone sits on the political spectrum. While in the UK, these still tend to circle around Brexit, in Australia there is the term ‘Un-Australian’, which is levelled at anyone deemed to be doing … well, anything really.

This makes the term ripe for some mickey-taking via Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), in its annual summer campaign for Australian Lamb. “The use of ‘Un-Australian’ has got out of control,” explains MLA’s domestic market manager Graeme Yardy, “everything from putting onions on your sausage sizzle to having a wedding on Grand Final day is on the chopping block. Chances are you’ll be viewed as ‘Un-Australian’ by someone!”

The spot sees all those accused sent to a lifeless desert – before long, pretty much everyone is there. But when a barbecue arrives, suddenly being sent to exile doesn’t seem so bad.

The spot, created by The Monkeys, is pitched just right, packed with plenty of witticisms about how easy it can be to make a wrong move in our judgmental age. But beneath the gags there’s a wider cultural point being made about the fact that the identities of nations are in constant evolution.

“We’re in an uncertain time where people are struggling to define what it means to be Australian but, ironically, some find it very easy to define what is Un-Australian,” says Scott Dettrick, creative director at The Monkeys. “Our campaign explores how we can rethink what it really means to be a modern Australian and, with the help of a lamb BBQ, come back together as a nation.”

Creative Agency: The Monkeys, part of Accenture Song
Group CCO and Co-Founder: Scott Nowell
CCO: Tara Ford
Creative Director: Scott Dettrick
Head of Innovation: Beth O’Brien
Creatives: Emmalie Narathipakorn, Seamus McAlary
Production Company: MOFA
Director: Yianni Warnock
Edit House: Arc Edit
Editor: Phoebe Taylor
VFX: Arc – Patrick Campbell, Ian Lewis, Richard Lambert, Chris Betteridge
Music & Sound: MassiveMusic