Tuesday, September 23, 2008

the face of the nation

When I first left New Zealand I would have been lucky to make it back for a visit every eighteen months, or so. These days, with the state of the elderly parents, I am hopping across the Tasman every three or four months. Considering the frequency of these visits you would think there would be no changes in the place big enough to surprise me.

But there was one thing that struck me like a blunt object between the eyes – the biculturalism of New Zealand television.

In Melbourne the box has been in the shed since the last trip ‘home’ so I’ve become completely desensitised to advertising. Being in family lock down as I got exposed to rather a lot of what was on TV in Kiwiland. A year or so ago I became impressed with the ALAC campaign “It’s not the drinking. It’s how we’re drinking”, on alcohol awareness. Most of us would prefer to not clone ourselves when on a bender but this public health series does well by avoiding demonising alcohol or moralising about standard drinks measurements.

But it was everyday advertising that struck me this time. New Zealand is a Maori/Polynesian and Pakeha (white) society. When mainstream ads reflect this, then you know that is true. It seemed to me that almost every home grown commercial featured the true faces of the country. How often are Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders depicted in ads for every day products? Can anyone think of any?

Though you’d need to be familiar with name of the company shown at the end to know what the heck it was actually trying to sell, as a slice of life I fell in love with the ad recently.

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Blogger Lene Andersen said...

That's a fantastic commercial! Well, I have no idea what they're selling, so maybe not an effective commercial, but it's incredibly charming.

Wish we had that kind of effortless diversity over here. There's some, but we still have a ways to go.

2:01 pm  

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