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Bold Australian Lamb campaign goes global

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Adam PoulsenCountryman
Lamb Australia's New York billboard, which references the time US President Joe Biden forgot Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison's name.
Camera IconLamb Australia's New York billboard, which references the time US President Joe Biden forgot Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison's name. Credit: MLA/Supplied

Australian lamb has been spruiked on billboards in London, New York, Paris, Auckland and Perth as part of another cheeky advertising campaign from Meat and Livestock Australia.

Dubbed Letters to Leaders, the international campaign invited world leaders to bury their past tensions with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison by coming together over a lamb barbecue.

It followed the launch of Australian Lamb’s annual summer TV ad, with the dual campaign aimed at boosting lamb consumption at home and abroad by poking fun at Australia’s tough border restrictions.

“Hey Mark, come visit Australia some time,” the Perth billboard reads. “We’ll fire up the barbie.”

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The message was surely not lost on West Australians, many of whom were fuming at Premier Mark McGowan’s recent decision to keep WA’s borders closed.

Lamb Australia's Perth billboard poked fun at WA Premier Mark McGowan's tough stance on border closures.
Camera IconLamb Australia's Perth billboard poked fun at WA Premier Mark McGowan's tough stance on border closures. Credit: Supplied/MLA

Other billboards referenced current events and lighthearted rivalries, such as the London billboard, which alluded to the Australian cricket team’s 4-0 Ashes series victory:

“Hi England, cooking lamb over some ashes if you’re keen?”

The New York billboard reads: “Hey Joe, BBQ at my place. Love, that ‘fella Down Under’.”

The ad was an unmistakable reference to when US President Joe Biden forgot Mr Morrison’s name during the announcement of a trilateral security partnership with Britain and Australia.

French President Emmanuel Macron also received an unceremonious greeting — an apparent reference to the fallout that ensued when Australia backflipped on its submarine deal with France:

“G’day Manny, Let’s forget the past. BBQ at my place? Kisses, Scotty.”

Lamb Australia's Paris billboard translates to: “G’day Manny, Let’s forget the past. BBQ at my place? Kisses, Scotty.”
Camera IconLamb Australia's Paris billboard translates to: “G’day Manny, Let’s forget the past. BBQ at my place? Kisses, Scotty.” Credit: Supplied/MLA/Yonathan Kellerman/MLA

In New Zealand, the billboard simply reads: “Hey NZ, BBQ at ours. No need to bring any lamb.”

According to MLA, the subtle dig was a “gentle reminder to our friends over the ditch” of “where the best lamb really comes from”.

MLA domestic market manager Graeme Yardy said it was hoped the campaign would put a smile on people’s faces.

“Now international borders and nearly all of our State borders are starting to open up, we wanted to get our Aussie lamb message of unity out a bit wider this summer,” he said.

“We hope our Letters to Leaders give people a laugh, but also serve as a reminder that Australia is home to the most delicious lamb.”

The success of the billboard campaign, which ran until January 30, remains to be seen.

But according to Mecardo analyst Angus Brown, MLA’s annual summer TV ad — which this year conjured images of an Australia forgotten by the rest of the world because of ongoing border closures — probably boosted demand for lamb domestically.

“Sadly, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics no longer reporting lamb slaughter and production monthly we can’t measure domestic demand on a monthly level,” he said.

“For the five years to 2020 however, we can see that lamb demand was higher in January.”

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