Friday, 14 June 2013

The Rivalry that Unties Us

Remember how we had to just grin and bear the piles of marketing slop that have become Cricket Australia's stock-in-trade over the last few years? It was going to get the ladies and the kiddies interested, you see. 

CA had to get away from that dreadful white, middle-aged demographic that had everyone down at Jolimont threatening to jump out the window in despair. I mean Channel Nine called Ten's bluff and stumped up big cash for the TV rights, that was a bummer. Ten would have at least brought them a fresh approach. It wasn't a certainty that this approach would lead to young kids dragging themselves away from iPads and grabbing the new Wisden, but it was worth a shot.

But what exactly is this new ad for the upcoming Ashes saying? That we should feel sorry for John Howard that Cricket Australia like him far more than the ICC do? That Jimmy Barnes is a big hit with youthful demographics? I mean, he was great in this NRL ad back in 1993, wasn't he? But that was twenty years ago, when we had batsmen who regularly averaged over 40 in international cricket.

I just think if you're trying to get away from this dreadful scourge of middle-aged white guys, stuffing your ad to the brim with them is an odd way to go about solving the problem. Also, when was this filmed? Were we really banking on Shane Watson being a certain starter? Maybe I'm being a bit bitchy there. Anyway, if CA finally decides who it is they want to watch their cricket games and how they're going to go about reaching out to them, someone please let me know.

Also, the "Cmon mate" thing remains embarrassing. How are the advertising agencies the only people in the world who don't realise this? I guess that's something that hasn't shown up in the focus groups yet.


In the meantime, tomorrow morning I am off to the USA for four weeks and will be missing the first Ashes Test due to cunning planning on the behalf of my girlfriend and an abject lack of diligence on my part. The last time I was in the US I had some absorbing cricket conversations with Indian expat cab drivers so hopefully I'll find a way to take in the first Test.

Americans like cricket, don't they? Muhammad Ali is mad for it...

ZZ Top are all over it...

Even Eisenhower stopped by the 1959 Australia v Pakistan Test at Karachi because he simply could not get enough cricket...

Anyway, I wish everyone well in their Ashes-watching endeavors. especially in the Southern Hemisphere where there'll be bleary eyes aplenty. 

If you snooze, you lose.


  1. Addendum:

    "Cricket is the number one sport in Australia for passion and we wanted the campaign to capture the intense passion, rivalry and anticipation that only an Ashes Series can deliver,” Dunne said."

    Ah, the age old "number one sport in Australia" line, trotted out by the marketing spivs of EVERY. SINGLE. SPORT. IN. AUSTRALIA.

  2. for 'passion', no less. hard to disprove.

    1. Tennis Australia and Netball Australia are the best at that. Complete and utter bullshitting. Other than "participation", which Netball probably is Number 1, I guess.

      But yes, you're right about 'passion'. That's like saying someone is "the most envious person in the world".

  3. Surely if Watson and Clarke are at the crease it can't be that tense a finish? Unless both were injured and came in at 10 and 11 (which admittedly is a very strong possibility) what are they doing letting it come to the last ball with 8 wickets in hand? This is only an advertisement and I am already outraged by the incompetent leadership. Also, why are so many Englishmen in the pub at 7am? They should be having breakfast.

    Nit-picking and the choice of characters aside, it isn't a bad ad. I still maintain the best cricket ads ever were the '97 Ashes ones for Ch.9 that basically replayed key moments from '93 with graphical extras. This does a similar, if fake thing (I guess replaying bits from 10-11 isn't a great strategy - but at least they've moved on from the team of '01-07)

    By the by, if you were in the US 100 years ago you could have taken in the first (and as it turned out, only) test

    1. I would prefer to watch Test cricket in America than baseball, but the latter will do.

      Re: the ad, it's all part of the strategy to hide the fact that it's cricket. You don't even really see that the ball has been bowled. Better not scare off any potential customers with that cricket stuff. 46 seconds and about half a second of it is actual cricket action.

      The best cricket ad was the Nine one for WSC. Good song, good game footage. Simple.

    2. I committed similar bizarre what-the-hell-was-I-thinking faux pas in 2005 (booked a villa in Spain without TV for a fortnight) and 2009 (booked a house in Cornwall without TV for a fortnight). In the former case, I had to have the last two hours of the Trent Bridge Test phoned over by my brother, which cost a fortune; in the latter I found a pub.

      You can watch streaming cricket in the States via

      Plus it's in a lot of cable packages... or English bars!

      Good luck... and may the best team win!



      (If this appears twice, sorry - I didn't realise I had to log in.)

    3. Cheers Dan, will check that out.

      I love how we tend to remember holidays and trips according to the sport we saw/missed. I once remember completely abandoning a holiday for two full days to watch Jason Gillespie make his double hundred against Bangladesh.

  4. Same old CA... Still playing to "that dreadful white, middle-aged demographic" by bunging in the tragically staid and almost preserved (museum-style) visage of John Winston Howard.
    Couldnt they find anyone else less white-bread to sell cricket to Australia's ethnic diverse, as well as non-male, audience?

    1. Crazy idea: how about Elysse Perry???

  5. Re: "due to cunning planning on the behalf of my girlfriend and an abject lack of diligence on my part."

    Oh, how that resonates!
    I mean, what chance do we stand when womenfolk are capable of planning fully six months in advance?! Argh!

    1. I'm useless in the face of that kind of planning.