Sunday, October 15, 2006

September 6: Aussie Adverts

I watched the Emmy's the other night with my friends from North
America (leave it to us northern hemisphere folk to stick together!)
Though the program is American the advertising most certainly is not.
Do you know that Australian's must be the most naturally
prone-to-consume people on the planet? How else can you explain their
consumerist tendencies when their advertising could not entice a fish
back to water?

Perhaps Australian advertising is the ultimate
expression of the Australian egalitarianism and 'fair-go,' and
identity that the country seems to rally around. How else can you
explain the homemade commercials aired on prime time television? At
first its shocking. This is a country which advertises for skilled
migrants on its Department of Immigration and Multi-Cultural Affairs'
(DIMA) website. There is a need for electricians and plumbers and
hairdressers—this they know, but what about advertisers? Has it
escaped the attention of all but the foreigners residing amongst them
that Australia is in desperate need of some over-priced, make you
gotta-run-out-and-get-it advertising? How is it possible that
advertising has lagged behind so much in this country? Upon pondering
the subject further, with more than a little ridicule, I must admit, a
more accurate picture becomes clear. This is Australia epitomized.
And, while American's pride themselves on their 'pull yourself up by
your own bootstraps' ethos, Australia embodies it, letting their
hardworking, small-business owning men and women make a name for
themselves with their prime time advertising. And though I can't
remember what product the commercial was advertising for, I must say I
was struck by the theme song which featured a man on a shed roof
indicating that he was 'proud to be a react man.' I can't say with
any certainty that I know what being a 'react man' entails, but it was
kitschy and catchy and in my adopted home of Australia, as I struggle
to make amends with those values that I adore but have yet to
understand fully, I can say honestly, I too, am proud to be a react
man. This country, its people, and now its advertising, never fail to
make me smile, to laugh.


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