Tourism ad criticised for portraying Aussies as “bogans”

June 1st, 2010 - 3:56 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, June 1 (ANI): An ad by Tourism Australia for the global market has been criticised for casting its inhabitants as a nation of tone-deaf bogans caught in a ’70s time-warp.

Bogan is an Australian and New Zealand English slang, which describes a person who is of a lower-class background, and whose character is often crude.

“How cringeworthily embarrassing,” the Australian quoted one post on the media website Mumbrella as stating.

“Bogan pride at its best,” wrote another.

“I’m embarrassed to be Australian. When will we shake these dowdy, 50-year-old stereotypes?” another added.

The 90-second ad, which was launched on May 31, features everyday Aussies singing (slightly off-key) ‘There’s Nothing like Australia’ as it scans the staple icons of Uluru, the Barrier Reef and the Opera House.

“There’s nothing like this bear,” sings a woman holding a koala.

“That’s not a bear,” she is corrected.

“There’s nothing like these furry things that bounce around in herds,” a child sings. She’s referring to kangaroos, which is a mob.

“There’s nothing like the people here, where everyone’s your mate,” sing drinkers in a pub.

The cultural historian Tony Moore, author of The Barry McKenzie Movies, reckons the new ad is better even if it does play on stereotypes and harks back to the appeal of the Paul Hogan ads.

“I think it probably will work,” he said.

Dr Moore, director of the National Centre for Australian Studies at Monash University, said: “It seeks to plug into the Australian reputation for irreverence, established in films we have exported internationally over the decades, such as The Adventures of Barry McKenzie or Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.”

Matt Eastwood, the national creative director of DDB Australia, says it does not portray bogans but “authentic” Australians giving a warm welcome to international travellers.

He says Lorina Gore, from the Opera Australia company, is about its only professional singer. She leads its chorus for a very in-tune finale.

Michael Gracey, who is behind YouTube’s most-watched commercial, the Evian Roller Babies, directed the ad. The music is by producer Josh Abrahams. (ANI)

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