The annual Australia Day Meat and Livestock Australia ad has dropped again and this year, aside from being brilliant, it’s laced with a message.
The ad, which plays more like a motion picture and features just as many famous faces, tells the satirical story of how indigenous Australians met the First Fleet for a beach barbecue.
“When did you get here?” the Captain asks.
“Since… forever,” the indigenous Aussie answers.
Subsequent boats belonging to the French, Germans, China, Italians, Greeks, Serbians and New Zealanders all arrive when, just as the multicultural party (which is clearly an Australia Day event although notably never referred to this throughout the ad) is kicking into gear, a dodgy boat is spied in the distance.
“Hey, there’s the ‘boat people,’” one of the sailors of the First Fleet yells causing Poh Ling Yeow (runner-up of Masterchef) to turn round and throw out the question:
“Hang on, aren’t we all boat people?” to which one of the indigenous Aussie answers: “And you’re welcome!” causing the crowd to cheer.
As if that wasn’t enough to push home the message, cricket legend Adam Gilchrist thanks the indigenous Aussies for “having us”.
"As a brand, Lamb stands for unity. Australia is the greatest country on earth and lamb is the nation's favourite meat. Hence we have brought those two things together to prove we should be able to celebrate this great country every day of the year," Andrew Howie, Group Marketing Manager at Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) said in a statement.
The brand has even gone so far as to ambiguously call this year’s advertising push its “January campaign”, as opposed to previous years where it has hooked it’s advertising on Australia Day celebrations.
Celebrating Australia Day on January 26 has become a topic of controversy in recent years as indigenous Australians consider this date to ‘Invasion Day’ – when white settlers took ownership of their land. There have been calls to change the national holiday to a different date but as yet no official decision has been made by the Government. However, some local councils across the nation have banned fireworks on this date as a sign of respect.