Ford Australia‘s contribution to the Australia/England Ashes cricket series is “Tonk a Pom”, a web site dedicated to good natured humour. The site’s key interactive feature is the “Tonk a Pom” game in which players adopt an Australian ‘tonker’ (from a choice of Michael Clarke, Matthew Hayden, Mike Hussey or Andrew Symonds), face the English bowlers, and hit the ball out of the stadium. The more skillfully and hard you ‘tonk’ the ball the further you go – reaching the Gabba (Brisbane), Adelaide, Sydney Cricket Grounds and so on.
Besides the online game, the www.tonkapom.com.au site includes opportunities to win a Ford, information on four Australian cricketers, state and local cricket, information on collectible cards found at the Ford pavilions at each of the Ashes venues, wallpapers and screensavers, and the two television commercials.
Both Tonk A Pom and Tonk a Kiwi are referring people straight to the Ford Ranger website. The games are off, perhaps because Australia recently lost the Chappell Hadlee Trophy to New Zealand and the Commonwealth Bank series to England. What’s more – the Australian cricket side has been relegated to second place in the One-Day-International ranking, now behind South Africa.
Matt Hayden demonstrates how to Tonk A Pom!
“Step 1: When facing a Pom, avoid the orthodox batting stance. Instead, assume a position that says “Pom, you’re in our backyard now and you’re about to cop the traditional Aussie welcome – A tonking.” This will unsettle the Pom, making him wish that when he was back in Public School he’d joined the chess team like mummy had suggested.
“Step 2: Having successfully taken the Pom’s mind off the task at hand i.e. bowling, he’ll deliver a ball so slow you’ll be able to count the stitches in the seam. With the ball appearing the size of a watermelon, you’ll be supplied ample time to scan the extremities of the playing field and select an appropriate location to despatch the ball.
“Step 3: Go the tonk!
“Step 4: For dramatic effect, gaze heroically to the horizon. This gesture will further undermine the Pom’s confidence and reinforce the fact that one of his team-mates will be required to run a half marathon in order to retrieve the ball.
What does ‘Tonk’ mean?
The first definition in the Chambers Dictionary:
tonk (colloq) vt to strike; to defeat; to hit (a cricket ball) into the air; to hit (a ball) with a flat, wooden sound, or with an unenergetic or casual stroke. – n tonk’er [Imit]
Other blogs referring to ‘Tonk A Pom’
See also Stick It To The Poms – another interactive cricket site…
The Australian Advertising Standards Board ruled in December 2006 that five campaigns using the term ‘Poms’ were not intended to vilify or racially slur English people.
Some examples of the advertising taglines included “sends shivers down a Pom’s spine”; “the Poms are going to choke”; “Aussie cricket fans can stick it to the Poms”; and “for backyard fun, tonk a Pom”.
The community organisation, British People Against Racial Discrimination, was among several complainants who had objected to the use of the word “Pom” as a “derogatory, offensive and racist slur”.
In deliberating on the complaints, the Board considered that the use of the word “Pom” is part of the Australian vernacular, which is largely used in playful and often affectionate terms.
The Board also found that “Pom” is not used in a way to vilify, or incite racial hostility towards, people of British extraction, particularly when considered in the context of the cricketing tradition and affectionate rivalry between the two countries.
The Board unanimously dismissed the complaints against the five ads.
The Tonk A Pom Backyard Cricket game, along with its successor, Tonk A Kiwi, was developed by online agency Web Development Group (WDG).