Make Lamb, Not Walls…..A Timely Reminder


Each year we look forward to the launch of Meat & Live Stock Australia’s (MLA) iconic Lamb ads. And this year was no exception. It is always a question of how this years’ ad could possibly outshine the last.

For the past 14 years the MLA have run some of the country’s best ads - funny, yummy and quintessentially Aussie. The ads come to be a natural cue for Australia Day celebrations and trigger images of backyard barbies and the smell of a good lamb chop being burnt on the flames.

Well the wait is over and it doesn’t disappoint. Last week the MLA team launched ‘Make Lamb, Not Walls’. The ad is set in 2031 and draws inspiration from the state hard borders we endured this year, and also takes a swipe at Trump’s “Wall” (which he never did build – thankfully!).

There are a few versions of the ad – including an epic 2:30s edit which is a hilarious parody and fully sets up the story. But the version which is being aired on TV is just the 30s edit which moves quite quickly. We were interested to see what people thought and how the two edits compared.

As you would expect, ‘Make Lamb, not Walls’ is a highly engaging ad. People feel the ad is exciting to watch and it will get noticed – already 59% claim to have seen it – this shows that it is striking and memorable. It works so well as it doesn’t rely on just one creative hook but four. It is the combination of the highly relatable story, the use of music, great casting and, of course, the humour.

The humour especially resonates. We have seen that there are two types of humour in ads – one is surprise/slapstick humour and the other is based on human truth. This ad has a bit of both. We laugh at the silliness but we also find it amusing also because it reflects how we are feeling after a year of lockdowns and hard state borders.

This is also the sort of ad which keeps on giving. You can enjoy watching it multiple times, even though it is so long. Each time I watch it I notice something new which makes me laugh – check out the posters at the newsagent at the start – one says “delays to the roll out of the NBN’. And the stab at ScoMo making his way of the plane from Hawaii is a favourite.

But interestingly, for the 30s ad there is a challenge with comprehension as the edit isn’t able to catch the narrative as well. This limits the appeal of the humour and overall execution a little.


People get the message that you should share the Lamb and east Australian Lamb on Australia Day, but they are missing the narrative of the storyline. Perhaps the team have tried to condense the story too much and missed some of the key elements of the set-up and the humour.

The ad leaves people feeling still feeling positive about buying and eating Australian Lamb. Emotionally people can relate to the ideas and scenario.

A clever story well told in a high amusing and relevant way. Advertising brilliance that will be hard to beat next year!

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