Farmers Union Iced Coffee was launched in 1977 by a group of dairy farmers who were creating a new recipe for the Royal Adelaide show. The milk beverage is Australia’s largest selling flavored milk and each year Australians consume in excess of 27 million litres of the beverage each year. There are a few ideas and issues that are raised in the text that I can point out. I think that the idea of having an ad about the worlds history and issues while showing normal every day Australians playing out the roles and then able to hide the real message is a sensational advertisement.
The general idea in any advertisement is to try and increase the sale and popularity of a product. I have probably seen the Farmers Union ad a thousand times and never really paid much attention to it honestly not really knowing what they were going on about, but until I had actually taken the time to break it down and really think about it did I understand and give credit for how clever it was.
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I had an experience where I was in a shop with a mate who was looking to buy a drink, while looking at his options I pointed out a Farmers Union Iced Coffee and told him how I finally figured out what they were talking about on the television ad and explained it all out to him. When I told him each and every detail he came up with the decision to buy one, which then occurred to me that the ad was successful because when I saw the product it reminded me about how good the ad was which then led to me telling my friend who bought the product. I do believe that the ad does have a negative side to it.
Some of the scenes in the advertisement could be offensive to some viewers, for example, the Apollo 1 disaster in which all three of the crew aboard were killed in the fire, the feminist push in the 1970s where a man is seen burning a bra instead getting into the game of cricket which is on the TV. I think that it was a gamble to put these in the ad, they are only minor but could have received a fair bit of controversy towards the past and times where people would not like to have been reminded. Having said that everyone will have their own interpretation about the ad and how it is portrayed.
The genre of this advertisement would in my opinion be comedy, mainly due to the fact that the way the ad is produced and I believe that the laid back culture of Australians most people could maybe have a laugh. I get this because of the narrators voice, it almost brings out the way in which we may have acted during those times, like the underarm incident in the 1980s, I think the general action now would be something along the lines of “What he did was stupid, but look at how we all reacted” of course if I had lived through the particular time that is how I would be looking at it now.
I think that they could probably get away with a bit more than they could because the culture in Australia is seen as a friendly and laid back place, sure times are bad but here we get over them and look back at them while having a laugh. There is a higher representation of males throughout the whole of the ad. There are only two females showed, one being a minor character who doesn’t get much attention paid to her and another who represents Cathy in 2000.
Also neither of the females is drinking the beverage, in each clip where someone is drinking the Iced Coffee it is always a male which could give the stereotype that usually only males consume the product because they work out in the hard conditions sweating under the sun. I don’t think that it would cause much of a stir or would anyone really realize it, but it’s something I picked up while watching closely.
The dominant reading when someone firsts sees this ad I think would definitely be just going along with what the narrator is saying and possibly being confused at what is going on, but still giving it the attention to make sure they tune in next time to the advertisement to be able to fully understand it. It would also probably be easier for someone that would have lived through these times at which the events all occurred or have learned about them through education or interest in areas such as sport or travel to space in order to pick up the disguised meanings.
The Alternative reading would be getting the ad for its real backgrounds meanings which are disguised through normal looking people, but representing world wide issues. Someone would have to be pretty switched on throughout the adverts between their programs to pick it up. I do not think someone could have figured out each event the first time they saw the ad, it would probably take someone a few times to see the ad then work it all out.
The use of intertextuality in the advertisement of Farmers Union shows Australian tradesmen and hardworking sweaty men drinking it while they are working. It would give the message that this sort of beverage is for big, strong and tough men and is not for the light hearted. It also shows that if you are in a bad situation, the best Iced Coffee in Australia will get you through it and it already has through some of the good and bad times shown throughout the advertisement.
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