• Michael Weeding

For Dick, is this the exposure he really wanted?


Dick Smith is furious that a television advertisement he filmed for Australia Day, which is saturated with “Dick” jokes and innuendo, has been deemed too offensive to air during prime time television. If you are one of the few that has not seen it by now it is worth watching and includes an elderly woman wearing a cardigan stating: “There’s only one Dick I’ll be eating on Australia Day,” while a farmer ploughing his fields proclaims: “I love Dick”.

If you have followed the fallout from this ad you have seen Dick questioning the higher classification rating and threatening legal action, just to add to the drama Dick was forced to call short a trip to China to come back to Australia to address the issue. Now if this is not the reaction he had planned from this advertising campaign then I am a dead dingos donga.

Now when I was growing up there was nothing funnier than a reference to “Dick”, when driving past as Dick Smith Electronics store, or at least it was amongst my friends. There is nothing more Australian than innuendo, so what do you get when you put Hungry Beast and Can of Worms comedian Dan Ilic, Andrew Denton and Dick Smith together, you get a campaign that is made for the Internet.

If you are questioning whether this type of an approach to advertising is pointless I should not have to remind too many (blokes) about the hugely successful Agent Provocateur ad featuring Australian, Kylie Minogue that was banned by all UK TV networks when it came out in December 2001. As a result it made its way to the Internet and became one of the most viewed videos ever.

It is a this point I point out there is no comparison to watching Dick Smith promote his peanut butter to Kylie Minogue riding a mechanical bull while dressed in lingerie and I do not expect this ad to become one of the most viewed videos ever but the advertising concept is the same, create something controversial and maybe you will create some hype and will get exposure beyond what you can pay in traditional media.

So Dick, I do not believe for one minute that you never expected this outcome, but as your ad appeals to my sense of humour I wish you luck in obtaining the exposure that you were expecting. Just a word of advice, if you are looking for more material for you next ad come over to a BBQ’s at my house with my mates, in just a few short hours you will have enough content to support your advertising for many years and it will only cost you a case of beer and a few snags.

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