After Victorian Transport Authority’s advertising campaign Dumb Ways To Die won several prestigious honours at Cannes, The Daily Spread looks back fondly on one 2010 Toyota television spot that should be compulsory viewing for all voting Australians. (Please view before reading any further.)

Not on our watch. Copy: Steve Jackson

Not on our watch. Copy: Steve Jackson

Scripted and produced by Saatchi & Saatchi Australia, Steve Jackson and Julianne Shelton, this two-minute TVC is sharp, sardonic and still relevant. For one, it plays up the stereotyped “country Australia/metropolitan Australia” divide, which is always delightful. Next, it lampoons the rhetoric of shows such as Border Patrol, which perpetuate our intolerance towards immigrants, legitimate or otherwise. And finally, as an extra kicker, it draws attention to the lack of seaworthiness of vehicles chosen by outsiders to navigate their way to our home, girt by sea.

We’re approaching an election where “Stop The Boats” is used instead of pauses or punctuation. Last month, nine suspected asylum seekers drowned off Christmas Island. Approximately one thousand people have died attempting to reach Australia by boat. If they do get here alive, we haven’t adequate social and legal vehicles to protect, educate, teach and integrate these refugees into our “Lucky Country”. This campaign may be selling a car, but it does so by buying into the culture of jingoism, true-blue-Aussie-blokes-and-sheilas and xenophobia.


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