The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Contentment Stunts Evolution …
August 10, 2007, 7:00 am
Filed under: Comment


SEEK – the recruitment company – have a lovely campaign idea running in Australia at the moment.

Instead of talking about how life is too short for shitty careers or that they have jobs for all types and levels of people – they’re saying that if humans don’t explore just what they are [or could be] capable of, then we’ll end up being a civilisation of conformity and minimal choice.

I’m not really giving the idea justice – and the execution could be much better – but I really like it … not just because it’s a fresh approach to a staid category, but because it will truly resonate [and motivate] people to get off their arses, especially those who don’t like their job but don’t hate it enough to really explore options. [Which is a massive percentage of the working public]

Good work to whoever was behind it [I wonder if a planner or a great creative thought of the sentiment of the idea] because apart from one other ad [which also talks in terms of a philosophical viewpoint but – and this might demonstrate it’s lacking in one core area – I can’t remember who it is, ha] I’ve seen nothing that has made me feel Australia really deserves the creative reputation it claims to have.

OK … there are some great people and agencies here … and yes, it has created some fantastic ideas and work … but I think it needs to stop being so bloody myopic [which is sadly, a cultural trait] because if it continues, it could get the sort-of nasty wake up call many Australian industries are currently experiencing given they decided to align more with Western markets than actively nurturing a relationship with their much-closer neighbours in Asia.

Sure, it might of made sense decades back [though I still think their decisions were influenced by Australia’s inherent need to feel a major player on a World stage] but it was a pretty fucked decision in the longer-term wasn’t it?

How the hell have I gone from a recruitment firm ad to criticising the short-sightedness [and ‘chip-on-the-shoulder’ mentality] of Oz business in just a few paragraphs? 

That’s the magic of this blog I guess, haha! 

Have a good one all … 

14 Comments so far
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Nice to see you’ve lost none of your ability to piss off Australia on a massive, generalistic scale. How many countries have chased you out of town now then Rob and are you a record breaker?

Comment by Pete

I just say it how I see it Pete – and I see it from exploring the situation, not just judging it.

I love this country … I lived here for years … I actually regard it as my ‘home’ … Jill grew up here … I have lots of wonderful friends all around the place … but that doesn’t excuse the fact that [just like every country in the World] it has it’s “issues” – the biggest one being this deluded arrogance it is a major economic, commercial and industrial power in all it does [admitting in a few areas, it really is the leading player] so can afford to treat its Asian neighbours with the sort of contempt and ridicule that borders on blatant racism.

The irony is all they are doing is stopping themselves from achieving the economic, industrial and financial power they crave because they Asian countries are so fed up of the way they’ve been treated they’re not including Australia in their plans for World domination.

It’s not just Australia that has acted this way – but given they are so centrally located in the region, it wasn’t the best thing for them to do long-term. But hey, who the fuck am I … I can’t even read a balance sheet half the time, ha!

Comment by Rob

does Australia have a reputation for being creative, or is it just that they’re creative about their reputation?

the more i’m away from home, the more i absolutely love my home country, but loathe the small man syndrome that pervades government and business. there’s something to be said for aiming high, but realistically when we’re only just in the second league and acting like we can take on the winners of champions league, it’s pretty fucking embarrassing.

and, i wonder who we inherited this arrogance from – the brits or the yanks.

Comment by lauren

A great observation Rob. I think our problem is definitely in fighting to appear more important globally than what we are. So this, plus the geographical isolation subconciously promotes this “us VS them” mentality when it comes to just about everyhting.

BTW. The ad is fantastic, and really stands out when you are watching TV because it’s so different from what we usually see (read: it’s creative).

Here’s the ad:

Comment by Age

Lauren … I don’t think this is about being influenced BY the Brits and the Yanks, it’s because of an inherent desire to stand side-by-side WITH the Brits and Yanks.

I am sure this is a byproduct of Australia being so far away from everywhere else in the World … and without doubt, the British influence in Australian modern culture meant there was a desire to allign more with ‘what it knows’ that what it doesn’t … but rather than also embrace and explore the potential of bigger opportunities within its own region, it decided to act like an over-enthusiastic boyfriend and treat the big, old, ugly sisters of the UK and US as it’s “heroes” when in reality, their strength was no longer being built on great values and vision, but lowest common denominator development and bullying.

Asia is slowly becoming the dominant World power again [which is always was except for the last 500 years or so] and if Western countries continue to treat and regard Asia as ‘poor cousins’ then they may one day realise their ’empires’ were built on sand, not stone.

I do think Australia has a creative reputation – and I do think it has been astounding in some areas [and I don’t just mean in ads] but it certainly isn’t achieving the dizzying heights it professes it is – but then you can’t really blame them because most people today live in a World of delusion and illusion, ha!

Comment by Rob

Oh, my RSS seems to be on the blink -it’s directed me to some sort of Open University/Guardian chat room when I was looking for

Comment by John Dodds

Great post, but forgive my lack of comment as it hurts when I think… my head is killing; i’m surprised ive even got to work.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Such is the lifestyle of the creative review journalist Mr Mortimer.

Comment by John Dodds

Actually, I spent last night helping to paint my future mother in law’s new house.

Just illness, not hangover!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

at least Bundaberg (whatever that is) is holding up the flag for Australia:

Comment by Seb

Trust me Seb, you don’t want to know what Bundy is – though given they still are using our strat from 3 years ago, I shouldn’t be too harsh on them and a mate did the ad so I’ll just say its a rum for the sort of bloke that uses Castrol GTX as his aftershave.

And Mr M … what on earth happened???

Comment by Rob

I woke up this morning and my head felt like id accidently leant on a drill…

Only paracetemol is keeping me out of bed.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

rob, i know it’s about wanting to play with the brits and the yanks in the playground – i was being a bit cheeky by suggesting that by having british and american cultural and colonial influences, we’ve inherited an arrogance from them about our ‘importance’ in their lives. it’s like we’ve had an affair with the two countries and believed it when they’ve told us that they love us and we meant the world to them, even though we secretly knew we were just a young blond bit on the side with big tits. and now we’ve got a lot of growing up to do.

Comment by lauren

For that Lauren. you get my vote for YOUNG AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR … though I do have to say I may be the exception there, ha!

Mr M … get better soon … your country [or this blog at least] needs you.

Comment by Rob

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