The AFL will soon be releasing its 2013 premiership season advertisement and it’s certain to turn a few heads.
Rather than going down the 2012 route once again, which featured a heavily Aussie theme and included a soundtrack from AC/DC’s hit song ‘It’s A Long Way To The Top’, AFL honchos have decided to take a more international flavour in this year’s edition.
It comes as a result of the first season where football is being played for premiership points outside of Australia. The irony in all of this is that New Zealand, the country where St Kilda and Sydney will do battle on ANZAC Day, is sadly not even featured in this latest instalment.
Instead of seeing true blue Australians with their pie in one hand and full beer in the other jumping for joy at the many big thrills our game brings, this 2013 premiership season advertisement opens in a desolate caravan somewhere foreign.
We soon see the eyes of many around the world turn to small televisions that see short snippets of AFL action flash across the screens. They turn around in disbelief as to what game they are seeing.
The advertisement is based largely around Americans and this is typified when one native compares Andrew Walker’s spectacular mark over Essendon’s Jake Carlisle to prominent basketballer LeBron James, remarking that “He went as high as LeBron, y’all!”
As much as this ad tries to bring together as many people from a range of diverse backgrounds, it falls painfully short of what really matters and the target audience, that being the fans.
There is hardly any full screen footage of those magical moments and they are in turn replaced with little snippets of footage watched by those who probably haven’t seen a Sherrin in real life before.
Some of us as football fans like to preach to the world that our game is superior to others when it comes to grace, skill and pure raw talent. For a game that has so many highs and lows, the AFL’s latest advertisement falls short of showing the many highlights of an enthralling 2012 season.
Many who don’t follow our chosen code state that we are constantly looking to those in bigger markets in order to somehow validate our sport. The fact is very few people around the world that aren’t Australian experts care for our game. As much as it pains us, the game really is only popular in just one country in the world.
While this is sometimes seen as a negative, the AFL had a real opportunity to promote the game in a way that makes us proud to support such a great code.
Following on from last year’s truly Australian ad, this year’s edition falls short in the key areas. Those who support football make their way to the grounds across the land to support their club. These people are Australian rather than American, who are much more likely to have heard about the San Francisco 49ers than the AFL’s largest team, Collingwood.
At the end of the day, we have a superb game that is indigenous to our great land. The AFL nailed it last year when the ad focused on the big marks, crunching tackles and spectacular goals through the eyes of the Australian football fans.
Sadly, this season’s advertisement, that is supposed to get fans pumped for a new season ahead, stops short of all the relevant marks and takes a view of our game through the eyes of a market the AFL would like to think they are impressing in the United States, rather than focusing on the ones that they have already captured, the true Australian football fans.