Year in Review: Trends Among Remarkable Australian Ads of 2016

March 29, 2017

Lambs, growth, and the cold hard truth are what took center stage in the roundup of Australia’s top ads.

Just before new spots flood the telly, AdNews released its list of their top picks for Australian campaign ads this 2016. These ads have been shortlisted for their playful and often absurd elements, “but all are brilliant”, according to the publication. Now let’s take a closer look on these ads and uncover the trends that made them hardly forgettable.

One word: Lamb

There is a nationwide craze over lamb in Australia and advertising is to blame. In a 2015 report by Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), “around two thirds (67%) of Aussies claim that lamb is the most patriotic meat and over the past three years lamb sales on Australia Day have increased by an average of 34%”. In 1989, the Australian lamb landed an iconic spot in the advertising world as Naomi Watts chose to turn down down a date with Tom Cruise over lamb roast. After that, the next thing we know in mid 1990’s, eating lamb suddenly became so Australian.

This trend carries on year after year, and on 2016’s Australia Day television spot, ‘Lambassador’ Sam Kekovich together with journalist Lee Lin Chin commenced Project Boomerang where Australians all over the world are fetched by special agents back to their land for Australia Day. With a catch phrase “You never lamb alone on Australia Day”, there seems to be a silent agreement between all Aussies that said meat does unify and bring its people together on the country’s special day. To celebrate patriotism, Australian icons like cricketer Mitchell Johnson, captain Stephen Moore of Wallabies, and even a vegan starred in the ad, but the brightest spotlight is still directed towards lamb.

 
Later in September, MLA released yet again another ad advocating spring lamb and this time, diversity. The colourful cultural heritage of Australia is highlighted as indigenous and multi-ethnic Aussies come together claiming the existence of a racially selective television landscape. Although this is arguable, Luke Jacobz made his views clear in his opening line: “I’m here to address concerns that too many perky white males are contributing to a lack of diversity on our screens. We couldn’t agree more.” Partnering lamb with a very powerful societal message, there’s no wonder this ad is remarkable.

Growth in movement

Two ads share a narrative of growth with central themes of athleticism and movement, all in order to show support for the Australian sports community.

‘Diamonds’ and aspiring kid athletes take the spotlight as Samsung evoke empowerment and inspiration in their ‘Rethink Role Models’ campaign. In partnership with the Australian National Netball Team, also known as ‘Diamonds’, the brand gets real in telling how role models are made — out of sacrifice, hard work, confidence and pain — and it’s precisely the same way diamonds are formed.

 
Meanwhile, Woolworths’ ‘Grown in Australia, Picked for Rio’ is a light storytelling of growth, except that the mise-en-scene tells of how elite sportspeople are groomed for winning while the narration tells of how the brand grow and harvest the best food products. Backing up the Australian Olympic team for Rio 2016 Olympics this time around, this simple ad is a masterful craft in trying to merge two completely different stories into one.

Truth revealed

Perhaps the biggest shockers in the roster of top Aussie ads are those that tell the truth, and that’s precisely because the truth shock us all the time anyway.

The Transport Accident Commission (TAC) made a bold move as they introduced Graham, a.k.a. the only person with an evolved body that can survive a car accident (and mind you, his body compared to ours is almost inhumane). The ‘Meet Graham’ project is the brainchild of accident & trauma medical practitioners made tangible by Melbourne sculptor Patricia Piccinini with the hope to further reiterate “how vulnerable the human body is to forces involved in transport accidents.”

 
Lastly, the claims behind gender inequality as experienced firsthand by children is challenged by ANZ Bank. After making them do the same amount of chores, the girls were perpetrated getting paid significantly less than the boys, which elicited varying reactions from the group. The brand spent no time sparing these little ones and those watching in the screens from the claims that women are often paid less compared to men.

 
Australian ads made quite a clamor in the advertising world. Here’s to looking forward to what lies ahead for us in 2017!

How about you — got any particular ad stuck on your mind? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Written by: Kriselle Marian Gueco

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