MLA and Merrick Watts parody iconic Aussie 'shrimp' ad

Meat & Livestock Australia has launched the third phase of its 'Throw Another Steak on the Barbie' campaign with an online ad which parodies Paul Hogan's famous Tourism Australia spot from the '80s.

The campaign, which launched early last month, was designed to leverage the popular international association between the ‘Throw another shrimp on the barbie’ line and Australia, made famous by Paul Hogan in a Tourism Australia ad in the 1980s.

MLA, in its summer beef push, recruited comedian Merrick Watts to front a campaign which asked Australians to petition for a change.

The third phase was contingent upon getting 50,000 signatures on the petition, which triggered the launch of the online video. The video is MLA’s attempt to ‘set the record’ straight with a version of the infamous ad which features beef rather than shrimp.

MLA group marketing manager Andrew Cox told AdNews: “This line is a myth and in the phase we’ve been up to until next week, Merrick Watts has been lobbying Australians to get behind this crusade to set the record straight. For those people who have been following the campaign, the video will be a pay-off for them.

“It’s a little piece of off-beat content, it’s not a faithful reproduction of the original [Tourism Australia ad].”

Cox said the third video had been in the planning stage before the campaign launch. However, it did not go into production until it looked likely the petition would reach its goal, which, according to Cox, was early on in the process.

Central to the campaign has been the integration of digital with a traditional media buy. The MLA ‘Nothing beats beef’ Facebook page has doubled the number of ‘likes’ within weeks while its engagement rate is sitting at an impressive 135%, among the highest for a brand in the Australia Pacific region.

“In the old days, it was about a simple message. Online can direct people to further engage with your communications and be inspired to direct response. Facebook and YouTube are now delivering on reach and allows you to be more portable,” said Cox.

Of course, it’s not all fun and games, there is a commercial imperative. He added: “We’re trying to increase our market share over summer in terms of what people are spending on beef. We’re trying to increase beef steaks’ share on the barbecue and demonstrate its superior desirability. Beef is already desirable for consumers but we need to reinforce, rebuild and leverage what’s already out there.”

To view the original Tourism Australia ad, click here.

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