100 Percent Pure New Leader: ad man ScoMo gets the top job

Finally, Australia has a Prime Minister with a solid advertising background. But how can Scott Morrison apply the tricks of the trade he learnt in his years as marketing director of Tourism Australia to the benefit of the country he now leads? The Fin’s own marketing and advertising expert, Rowena Groin-Transfer, takes a look at how our 30th prime minister’s expertise in the dark arts of creative advertising slogans could serve Australia well.

“Where the bloody hell are you?” In this fresh and innovative new ad campaign, a bikini-clad Laura Tingle wanders around the beautiful, pristine Australian coastline looking for the million or so Liberal voters who have deserted the party in droves. With her cute girl-next-door looks and Aussie twang, Laura is the perfect embodiment of the innocence and friendly openness of the mythical Australian swinging voter as she wanders from one unmanned polling booth to the next in search of someone – anyone! – who will hand her a Liberal “how-to-vote” card. As she pops into her local bank, she discovers an elderly group of retirees trying to draw money out of their superannuation accounts only to find they are completely empty! Laura’s frustration grows as she visits beautifully filmed popular tourist destinations around the country but the mythical ‘grey nomads’ are nowhere to be seen because they can no longer afford the holiday they’d been promised their super would pay for. In the dramatic closing scene, the camera pulls back to reveal a sweeping shot of dozens of retirement villas on a cold chilly night with all the electricity and lights switched off so that typical Aussie retirees can meet their Paris commitment.

“Throw another PM on the barbie.” If there’s one thing people from all around the world know about Australia, it is our laid-back, friendly habit of cheerfully tossing a discarded PM onto the scrap-heap at least once a year. In this delightful ad, a laconic, smirking Scott Morrison warns potential tourists of the natural dangers down under, from getting wet in the surf to getting dumped by your own party.

“You oughta be congratulated”. A revamp of the classic 80s margarine ad written and performed by the multi-award-winning MoSco agency and the legendary creative duo of Alan Morrison and Scott Johnson, this typically jaunty jingle and cheesy visuals takes a look at the everyday life of a cheerful, smiling treasurer as he goes about his business dramatically cutting into excessive government spending and profligacy with an extra blunt butter knife. “You stopped the boats and stopped illegal immigration. You stole half of our superannuation. No-one else can do, a budget just like you, you oughta be congratulated.”

“Liberal One Day, Labor-lite The Next.” Capturing the sunny optimism of a famous 1990s tourism slogan for Queensland, this new modern Liberal party slogan perfectly embodies the breezy, lazy sameness of every single moment in Canberra, in which one day merges effortlessly into the next and the policies of the two major parties remain completely indistinguishable from each other. Bliss.


“A hard-earned thirst”. With its earthy visuals and sweaty atmosphere of smoky backroom deals and weekends spent working the numbers, this timeless TV ad conjures up the hard-earned work of a treasurer forced to work day and night to help himself to the fruits of hard-working Aussie retirees who’ve worked year in year out to get their hard-earned super only to discover the government has nicked it. The lyrics capture the poignancy and heartache of a typical leadership challenge: “You can get it wheeling, you can get it dealing, you can get it just after noon. Matter of fact I’ve got it now. A leadership thirst needs a big cold spill. And the bitterest cold spill is Lib. Liberal Bitter.”

“100% Pure New Leader.” Imagine the beautiful sunny uplands of a pristine new Australian political landscape basking in the purity of its renewable energy targets and bounteous, abundant gifts of nature such as an unlimited supply of coal, gas, uranium, er, hang on, wrong script, are we still in Paris or not? Is the NEG dead or not? Are we building a new coal-fired power station or not? Josh? Josh?

“How do you feel?” Another from the classic MoSco stable, in which a former hero of the conservative side of politics has to wrestle with the impossible dilemma of keeping the party together despite his own acts of treachery and betrayal of his core supporters. “How do you feel, when you get the job, from the lefty mob, and conservatives squeal? How do you feel, when you’ve got to try, to put all behind, and get the party to heal?” And the climactic answer: “I feel like a reshuffle” never fails to bring back fond memories. Or even possibly Tony Abbott.

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