What does an animated kangaroo, $46 million, a smattering of Australian sports stars and Elle Macpherson buy you these days?
Sadly, not a lot and definitely not the World Cup. It does however get you one of the 22 FIFA votes. Thankfully (or not if we’d just kept it!) Paul Hogan returned the cup to FIFA in time for it to be sent off to Russia for 2018 and Qatar for 2022.
While we may have missed out on the World Cup for 2022, we’ve hopefully learnt one major lesson … Paul Hogan is no longer a mandatory feature of Australian promotional videos. Can someone please update the relevant forms?
There’s no denying Paul Hogan has raised the profile of Australia over the years but surely there are other less cringe-worthy characters or in fact real people who better represent our amazing modern Australia.
Enough about Hogan, and on to the animated kangaroo. I don’t think I’m the only person who spent the weekend trying to work out why anyone would chose an animated kangaroo over the real people of Australian soccer or indeed why you would bother flying Elle in for a brief appearance at a soccer themed event? Did I miss her entrance on to the world soccer stage? Can she ‘Bend it like Beckham’? Or perhaps they just had a few frequent flyer points left over…
And if you’re going to use an animated kangaroo, you have to make sure it measures up to the world class animation being produced around the world … surely an iconic Australian creature like the Kangaroo deserves to look a little more realistic!
I must say, I don’t quite understand why they didn’t continue along the track of the videos they produced towards the beginning of the pitch process with different Australians kicking a soccer ball across Australia … our best asset is our landscape!
Looking at bid presentations from other countries, the US pulled out the big guns with former President Bill Clinton (although they did go 5 minutes over time) while Japan looked to the future and technology.
However, Qatar’s commitment to build dozens of world-class, air-conditioned stadiums and then move them brick by brick to developing soccer countries was pretty compelling. And Russia’s “Ready to Inspire” campaign was pretty … what’s the word … inspiring. Both countries focused on the people of their countries.
While we may not have hit the mark with our bid and bought home the cup, we still got an opportunity to promote Australia on the world stage. It’s just a shame the focus was on an animated cartoon and Paul Hogan!
At least we have Oprah coming to town next week to dispel many of the myths about visiting down under … or will she? Only time will tell and that’s another post in itself!
the c word
PS. Perhaps we could have saved a few dollars and shown them an episode of Dot and the Kangaroo or even an episode of Skippy … have always loved Fast Forward’s version of Skippy … Enjoy!