In MLA's Australia day advert, Richie Benaud is inviting the whole gang for Australia Day. As in literally, the Kelly Gang.
The campaign is the first of Meat and Livestock Australia's (MLA) annual Australia Day commercials to come from new creative agency The Monkeys and sees cricket personality Benaud, in the true spirit of all Australia Day celebrations, arranging for a barbecue. And he's inviting legends from all walks of history.
There is Captain Cook, still sailing the sevens seas – who Benaud affectionately calls Cooky – explorers, Burke and Wills, a gluten-intolerant Ned Kelly, Ita Buttrose and, of course, Sam Kekovich. Because it wouldn't be a barbie without Sam.
The one minute 40 second edit of the clip will premiere on Channel Nine's Today show on 9 January with 60 second and 30 second edits to be aired on TV until Australia Day.
Benaud said: “In addition to my love of cricket on Australia Day, I wanted to be involved in another key part of our national day, the iconic lamb campaign. For me, this year’s campaign encapsulates what Australia Day is all about; Australians getting together for a lamb BBQ.”
As part of the campaign, 10 Aussies (and two of their mates) will be given the opportunity to attend a barbecue to meet Benaud, by uploading an impersonation of Benaud's lamb barbecue call “Top Lamb Chop That' to the We Love Our Lamb Facebook page.
The campaign will also include lamb barbecue inspiration for the masses with butchers and retailers Australia-wide displaying posters with lamb recipes at the till.
It marks a firm departure from the Sam Kekovich Lambassador ads which have emerged at this time of the year for the past several years. For 14 years BMF handled the lamb campaign, which is focused around Australia Day, until The Monkeys were appointed to the account in September last year. BMF still works on MLA's beef account.
MLA general manager global marketing Michael Edmonds said: “As a nation we love our lamb, and it’s our belief that you never lamb alone. That goes double on Australia Day.
“Benaud might not be at the cricket surrounded by his army of fans this year, but he’s still making the most of the day and spending it with this pantheon of notable Australians.”