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Masters of Spin - SA Tourism, Sydney Water, NRMA & Cadbury

On this weeks episode of Masters of Spin, we digest Tourism South Australia's latest ad, Sydney Water's latest campaign, NRMA editing their ad after sfaety complaints and Cadbury Chocolate's Diversity Bar.

You can watch the whole segmrnt here, transcript below.


An add promoting south Australia tourism is under fire for being offensive and ageist and their some of the nicer comments, if you'll believe that. Now the video shows a gentleman in his seventies visiting popular landmarks around Adelaide for the first time.

Basil Zempilas: Dave as he's known, looks somber and teary on his holiday and then comes this punchline.

Adam Ferrier: Don't feel sorry for the old mate, it's his own damn fault he didn't visit Adelaide sooner.

Basil Zempilas: Hmm

Monique Wright: What do you think about that? Well our masters of spin join us now to tell us their thoughts. Advertising and marketing experts Adam Ferrier and Matthew Bywater. Welcome to you both.

Basil Zempilas: Morning guys.

Monique Wright: Adam, some of the other comments that I saw appalling, shocking, depressing, waste of money not really something you want to be associated with. Certainly hasn't been well received. What did you think.

Adam Ferrier: I think, first of all South Australia never causing [inaudible] the best for years. Its been absolutely fantastic. This has obviously missed the mark and what's really damaging about it is that it creates a paired association between being old and lonely with the state, and kind of almost plays into how people view the state at its weakened way anyway. So its not great at all.

Monique Wright: I found it more offensive that their actually saying “well he's a guy in his seventies looks like he's in really good health. He's not old”

Adam Ferrier: Well it kind of feels stereotypical in terms of kinda taking images of an old, sad lonely man and then using that to represent the state, it just doesn't feel

Adam Ferrier: And I know with the joke at the end it just doesn't work.

Basil Zempilas: It doesn't work. And now Matthew, they could've used a line like I don't know “So beautiful it makes you cry” or something.

Monique Wright: Yeah that would have been better.

Basil Zempilas: Do you agree that they've missed the mark?

Matthew Bywater: Yeah, the ad definitely make you cry itself and Adams right about South Australia having some great creative but it is interesting this year it's actually done at a Victorian agency so maybe there's something in that.[crosstalk 00:01:51]

Monique Wright: So it's the Victorians fault then?

Matthew Bywater: So there may be something in there. I don't get the ad, they're trying to go after the millennial market I assume, but that doesn't hit the millennial market either and they got this blog set up and you look at it and think, well hold on this looks more like a glossy advertorial and it doesn't really hit the mark.

Monique Wright: Well someone's making Sydney a bit shaky.

Basil Zempilas: It is shaking

Monique Wright: Behind you as well, Matt. Yes it's the wind, it's the wind. That's our actual camera moving, our live shot. It is very windy in Sydney at the moment.

Monique Wright: Okay moving on, the NRMA is known for putting safety first of course but the organization had self-centered this ad after a flood of complaints. Now, the original version showed a boy putting a ladder against a power pole to rescue a koala. The scene was removed after heaps of complaints said it was dangerous. Adam, it seems that some people have taken the ads very seriously.

Adam Ferrier: Yeah, it feels like a few people have and it also feels like NRMA insurance have taken the complaints seriously as well by self editing it before there was any kind of major concerns. It's not unusual for advertising to edit after first release and you know, they've gone and done that and well done to them.

Basil Zempilas: What's interesting though, Matthew so the two ads that we've seen so far today, we have to agree given one, the reaction and secondly on this one the recut, they haven't got the ad right. So does it happen more than we think?

Matthew Bywater: Well, I think it's gonna get tougher and tougher as time goes on. There seems to be a lot of keyboard warriors with an extra grind and they're looking for an excuse to actually push their agenda so that's something that we have to be aware of and just something we've got to be flexible with.

Monique Wright: The other thing is that we often talk about in this segment is that you've got to be different to have cut through and sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn't. So I guess its about taking calculated risks.

Monique Wright: Talking about taking risks, Sydney Water starts issuing fines for breaking the drought restrictions. That's not the risk, this is the ad. They've released a couple curious commercials. One has parents giving their daughter a camel for her birthday, calling it a water efficient puppy. I'm sure that washed, while another has a water saving mood guy in a gym who proudly boasts that he works out naked to save water on washing clothes.

Monique Wright: Now Matthew, apparently these are the consequences of not saving water. Well they're creative, aren't they?

Matthew Bywater: Well certainly very creative. I think I like them. You can go back say ten years ago in Sydney when we last had this drought when we had the water poised, we had that heave hand sort of that big stick approach. This is a much better approach, bring people along for the journey, a little bit of humor and there's lots of tips on the website there's a lot of follow through on this as well.

Monique Wright: On how you can buy a camel.

Basil Zempilas: [crosstalk] Austin Powers on the guy walking through the gym. Its very nicely done, intricate.

Basil Zempilas: Now Cadbury is copping some flack also Adam, for two campaigns. One was in India where a multicolored block of chocolate was released with white, milk and dark varieties. It was meant to symbolize diversity and another in Britain where the chocolate wrapper has no words to raise awareness of loneliness among the elderly. So the backlash is over the company making statements on social issue. I guess this question often pops up, is that what we want Cadbury to be doing and would they have expected this backlash?

Adam Ferrier: Yeah, this is ridiculous advertising I think. On the chocolate ones we can see these different colored chocolates are all segregated, which I think some kind of clever person finds it out which is a little unfortunate and what's Cadbury doing playing this space? You know chocolate all about joy and fun and being nice simple moments, and it feels like everybody's feeling really obligated to all have a high order purpose these days and maybe they should just be selling chocolate and know their place.

Monique Wright: Jeez. You know how we always tease Adam and Matt? Turns out their actually really good at their jobs because there's so much intricacies that you have to be thinking about. We'd never tease you two we think you're both amazing.

Basil Zempilas: Thank you, well done.

Adam Ferrier: Thanks Mon.

Monique Wright: Thank you.

Monique Wright: How interesting. Still, to come this morning, the brand new music video from Miley Cyrus. I know you've been waiting for this one, for her breakup song from Liam Hemsworth.

Basil Zempilas: Is it sad?

Monique Wright: Of course, it's sad, but its also defiant.

Basil Zempilas: Okay, well were gonna see it next.

Monique Wright: I actually have no idea, but we're gonna find out. See you next.


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