G’day Mate!

australia

tuesday tvThis week for Retro Ad Tuesday, we’re going to wander off to a far away land (Well, it’s far away for most of us).  You know where it is, and even if you’ve never been there before, you know what it’s like there thanks to the extensive pop culture education we all receive throughout our life.

Now close your eyes and clear your mind.  Now what do you think of when someone mentions the country Australia?

Kangaroos?

No dear, we are NOT related to that no-good Buster!

No dear, we are NOT related to that no-good Buster!

Olivia Newton John?

Let's get physical!

Let’s get physical!

Vegemite Sandwiches?

No thanks.  Could you please pass the Polaner All Fruit instead?

No thanks. Could you please pass the Polaner All Fruit instead?

Ah, here we go….

The head swirls around the glass in the other direction in this hemisphere.

The head swirls around the glass in the other direction in this hemisphere.

If you grew up in my generation, you will always associate Foster’s beer with the Land Down Under.  Why?  Because of one of the best commercial beer campaigns of all time, that’s why.  Here’s a classic, and one of the best from the original campaign in the 1990’s…

Who needs a locksmith, anyway?

Who needs a locksmith, anyway?

Most people hear the word “stereotype” and immediately get a negative impression of the word…. and that’s true to an extent.  But there are three common exceptions to the normal rules of political correctness that govern stereotypes that make them become socially acceptable, and all three apply to the ad campaign that was used by Foster’s to promote its Aussie bear in the States…..

1. Non-minorities are perfectly acceptable to stereotype since we apparently have no right to complain about double standards.  Without this rule, we wouldn’t get to make fun of rednecks, snooty snobs, and the Mob.

2. It is perfectly acceptable to stereotype your own group.  This is why Foster’s made sure to get a narrator with a thick Australian accent.

3. No group out there is going to disown any stereotype that paints them in a totally awesome light.

fat possum

Skanki’s heard the rumors about the infamous possum forked junk….

In America, our views of Aussies is that they are a tough lot and masters of the outback, and Foster’s wanted to weave that image into their beer.  So in each ad, we see humorous takes on some of our common ordinary terms, which in Australia are one hundred times more awesome.  Locksmith —> Guy headbutting a door open, as Beer —> Foster’s.  Who wouldn’t want to be as awesome as the folks from Down Under?

Up for a little Aussie Rules Beer Pong, little squirrel?

Up for a little Aussie Rules Beer Pong, little squirrel?

And really, we see confirmation of this stereotypical Australian toughness all the time.  Just the other day, I stumbled upon this blog post about a new term that’s become common in Australian rugby called the “squirrel grip”, where one player attempts to tackle another player by grabbing hold of their testicles.  Now think about the last time you heard of something like this happening in American sports.  Of course you can’t come up with one, because in America, we are too wussified a culture to tolerate yanking a man down by the family jewels.  And if you still aren’t convinced that the Aussies are tough, consider the fact that they aren’t afraid to turn some of the deadliest animals in the world into cute amigurumi figures!

Anyone got a toothpick handy?

Anyone got a toothpick handy?

And where did this bushman personification of Australian culture come from?  Only one of the biggest movies of the 1980’s….

G'day!  You're just in time for dinner, wallaby on the barbie and yams!

G’day! You’re just in time for dinner, wallaby on the barbie and yams!

Paul Hogan taught us all about surviving the outback in the 1986 blockbuster “Crocodile Dundee”, only with slightly fewer members of the production crew than Bear Grylls needed to make it through the wilderness alive.  To drive the comparison of American to Aussie life home, they brought Crocodile Dundee to New York for some culture shock, where he promptly showed some wannabe thugs what a real knife looked like, used a limousine ornament as a boomerang, and performed Hollywood’s most famous squirrel grip on an unsuspecting transvestite…

Foster's?  Sorry pal, I go best with a little Funky Cold Medina.

Foster’s? Sorry pal, I go best with a little Funky Cold Medina.

So let’s crack open an ice cold Foster’s and celebrate the tough lads and sheilas from that penal colony turned country, Australia!  We at The Nest salute your rugged individualistic ways, your amazingly beautiful menagerie of unique fauna, and for giving us the super-awesome Kylie Minogue.  Fair dinkum!  We can only hope that the many educational lessons we got from all of those Foster’s ads can one day make us as tough and gritty as Crocodile Dundee’s pal Donk.  Or maybe that’s……

RAINBOW DONK!!!!

RAINBOW DONK!!!!

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About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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27 Responses to G’day Mate!

  1. Juliette says:

    Now I’ll have that “Men at Work” song in my head all day. Fun post. Now if I could only find my legwarmers…

  2. Christie1111 says:

    Very funny one LB, er ES. Needless to say there is quite a bit of Foster’s beer memorabilia around the bar in my house! Unfortunately Husband1111 is English and not Austrailian and definitly not related to any beer fortunes. Damn.

  3. So, I clicked on the link to amigurumi and much to my surprise I see a bunch of my regular readers there, I’ll ask them if they have knitted that little snake.
    Let’s not forget they (Australians) also gave us Crowded House.

  4. Her Majesty says:

    “Of course you can’t come up with one, because in America, we are too wussified a culture to tolerate yanking a man down by the family jewels.”

    Au contraire, mon frere! They don’t call them the Nuggets for nothin’…..

    • Funny that you would find an example from basketball, since basketball and wrestling were the two big winter sports at my high school, and the basketball players always had all kinds of… well, what we would now call homophobic terms to describe the wrestlers….

  5. ksbeth says:

    i love the term, ‘squirrel grip’ and intend to use it as needed )

  6. What a deliciously fun post! My family are indeed “masters of the outback”. One time one of my relatives
    (a small lady) popped her 2 little children under a fence and knocked a bullock out with a spindle (big lump of wood intended to go between 2 bullocks) cos the bullock had turned rogue and was goring her husband to death. He was in hospital for six months but got better and they had 3 more kids together!
    Apparently the bullock recovered well also. 🙂

  7. reocochran says:

    I loved all the Australian different aspects, good reminders all of what I am missing. Oh, funny, too! As always, you got me smiling! (Even on a sort of yucky long day at work, too!)

  8. Fun fact – no one in Australia drinks Fosters … at all.

    • I noticed that when I was doing the research, and thought it was funny but wasn’t too shocked.

      • Yeah it’s just a clever marketing ploy to sell a brand overseas. We have popular beers here that are made by the same company though – and chances are they are pretty much the same thing in different packaging.

        The depiction of Australians in this way has always been a bit of a sore point with me – but it bothers me less these days. If we have to have an inaccurate stereotype, it could be a lot worse than being a bunch of friendly, tough, nature-lovers … albeit drunken, brutish, simple-minded ones. Also, there ARE plenty of people like that here – they’re just not the majority.

      • I think that pretty much sums up where stereotypes come from… the ones who stand out and are noticed help craft the image of the entire group…

  9. Bruce says:

    A funny, enjoyable post; don’t all locksmiths open doors this way? I think this Reggie Evans is lucky not have copped a knuckle sandwich from Chris Kaman. Looks like the squirrel grip has been around for a while, just using an alias or two. I would not have been as cool as Kaman.

  10. Wilhelmina says:

    The squirrel grip is one of several things that make me squirm, squeal and scrunch up my face when I watch Rugby League. I love it! I’m shocked by it! I can barely understand why I enjoy it so much. (There should be a team called “The Evil Squirrels”, yeah?)

  11. Reblogged this on gentlestitches and commented:
    Reblogging because this is HILARIOUS and not just because my snakes are mentioned at the end. (although I was delighted) Thank you Evil Squirrel!

  12. Shane knight says:

    The summery of our Aussie nature

    Shane 😉
    The son of gentilestitches

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