On Australia Day a wave of patriotism spreads across the nation like vegemite on hot, buttered toast. Australian flags appear on cars and clothes. Australian songs dominate the airwaves (or should I say the playlists) and we celebrate one exemplary individual as Australian of the Year (yes, I know, it’s likely to be a sports “hero” again).
On Australia Day, it’s a celebration of Australian-ness in all it’s gory beauty. It’s a celebration of shared values with more than a touch of larrikin humour.
But sometimes what we THINK of as Australian is less than true blue. Vegemite is one. But there are many others.
Dick Smith’s products have always called this out. In the 80s he was famous for “Dick jokes” – using his name to send a nod and a wink to the mums and dads at home in TV land while cleverly entrenching himself as “one of us”. After all, he was using that great Australian value – Larrikin humour – to differentiate himself from everyone else. You’d hardly imagine Tandy Electronics using the tag line “electronic dick” in their advertising, would you?
But Dick Smith’s latest campaign for his home grown products has sailed into troubled waters. Falling foul of regulators, the 60 second spot received a PG rather than G rating. This means that the ad can’t be shown in the peak slots around the 6pm news bulletins.
Take a look at the ad. While times have changed and we are certainly a more conservative nation than we once were, it’s not a patch on the ads that used to run when I was a kid. And it’s almost un-Australian to not like a dick joke.
I don’t know about you, but I love Dick.