Thursday, February 11, 2010

Those naughty Australians!!

In the UK, Australians are generally known for what might be called an extreme (and seemingly unself-conscious) directness of manner, which can - depending on your mood and sensibility - either be interpreted as refreshingly unihibited or as crude and abrasive. I posted a couple of classic comedy clips illustrating this stereotypical view on my Barstool Blues blog a couple of weeks ago to mark Australia Day.

This unihibitedness or, er, shamelessness manifests itself especially in the country's advertising. We all know that "sex sells", but there aren't many countries where you can get away with using sex in your advertising quite as brazenly as this. This campaign from a few years ago was promoting a new line of wetsuits from the Radiator company - the idea being that these suits were so thin that you felt like you weren't wearing anything at all, and, ahem, this helped to improve your flexibility while surfing!! Yes, the dots connect so easily, don't they? It's almost impossible to conceive of how they might have promoted this sports clothing any other way.

You can find some of the other photos from this series here, if you're interested. And the slogan was (oh, dear me!): "Not as thick. Just as warm. All the rubber you need."

Perhaps one of the most egregious examples of this (for an uptight Englishman) rather disconcerting lack of restraint is the long-running series of TV ads for the Antz Pantz underwear brand - which uses a spiny anteater in a highly risqué manner. This, I think, is the original of the series, more than 20 years old now. I recall it caused some discomfort with the TV regulatory authorities when it was aired on a late-night comedy programme in the UK; it would never get approved for screening as an ad, I don't think, not even in cinemas. And that one was fairly understated, compared to more recent entries in the series such as this.

Me, I think I prefer something like this 1980s UK TV spot for Brisbane's Castlemaine XXXX beer. It was probably toned down a bit from what the same ad might have looked like in Oz, to accommodate our sticky-beak Pommie sensibilities - but still quite out there.

De gustibus non est disputandum, eh? Well, not if you're an Aussie, anyway.


JES said...

Good Lord. With ads like that, I'd be surprised if the Radiator people didn't have a substantial non-aquatic customer base.

Froog said...

And substantial litigation over unplanned pregnancies.