Operation Boomerang for Lamb Barbecues

Meat & Livestock Australia’s 2016 Australia Day advertising campaign, “Operation Boomerang”, presents a military-style operation to extract Australian expatriates from across the world so they can enjoy a lamb barbecue meal on January 26. SBS newsreader Lee Lin Chin heads up an international rescue campaign including Lambassador Sam Kekovich and Nova 969 radio hosts Fitzy & Wippa, pulling out desperate and not so desperate Australians in places like London, Tokyo, Los Angeles, New York, Bali and Copenhagen. Cameo appearances include Australian rugby captain Stephen Moore, retired cricketer Mitchell Johnson and certainly not Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark. As the troops land back on home soil, they’re met with a message from the ‘Prime Minister’ and a delicious lamb barbecue, manned by chef George Calomobaris. Because after all, you never lamb alone on Australia Day.

Operation Boomerang Sam Kekovich

Operation Boomerang was the brainchild of commander Lee Lin Chin. Having spent Australia Day 1996 in Warsaw, without ‘a chargrilled chop in sight’, she vowed to ‘never let that happen to another Australian again’. The tongue-in-cheek approach fits well with the newsreader’s media appearances. However she has experienced a wave of complaints over her character’s command to torch a table of kale in a vegan’s New York apartment. Andrew Howie, Group Marketing Manager, Meat and Livestock Australia says: “”The torching is metaphorical towards the kale in the bowl. It’s in no way intended to be abusive or violent … what we are trying to do is increase lamb sales over the period.”

Operation Boomerang Lee Lee Chin
Operation Boomerang control room
Operation Boomerang warm beer in London
Operation Boomerang dentist extraction
Operation Boomerang Stephen Moore
Operation Boomerang Mitchell Johnson
Operation Boomerang flame thrower
Operation Boomerang Fitzy & Wippa
You never lamb alone on Australia day

The Australia Day campaign will be supported on-air via a major radio partnership with The Nova Network’s Fitzy & Wippa show. Airing from Monday 11 January through to Australia Day, the hosts are showing their commitment to the Operation Boomerang theme by airing from London throughout the first week, and seeking out overseas Australians to be flown home for Australia Day and a lamb BBQ. Additional media spend will also see the ad pushed out across digital, social and TV, whilst PR will spread the message across earned media. In-store, product-focused point-of-sale will deliver lamb BBQ inspiration, focusing on a selection of different cuts.

Says Scott Nowell, executive creative director, The Monkeys: “Australia Day is a day for coming together over lamb. This year the thought was around what about the Australia Day orphans – all those ex-pats in foreign countries, cold and alone on January 26th, missing out on a lamb barbecue with their friends or family. Then it was about how we could get them back home with their loved ones this Australia Day.”

Says Andrew Howie, group marketing manager, Meat and Livestock Australia: “We’ve had a blast bringing this campaign to life with The Monkeys. The Australia Day Lamb campaign is now in its twelfth year. The challenge of evolving the campaign to ensure it remains relevant each year is certainly a fun one to have. This year’s campaign continues to highlight the value MLA places on brave creativity. Kookoo Koo.”


The Lamb Operation Boomerang campaign was developed at The Monkeys by executive creative director Scott Nowell, senior art director Paul Sharp, senior copywriter Mike Burdick, head of production Thea Carone, managing director Matt Michael, planning director Michael Hogg, content director Katie Wong-Hee, content manager Siena Shuttler, working with MLA Group marketing manager Andrew Howie and Lamb brand manager Matthew Dwyer.

Filming was shot by director Lachlan Dickie via Rabbit with executive producers Lucas Jenner and Alex Hay, producer Lucas Jenner, director of photography Germain McMicking and production designer Jackson Dickie.

Offline editing was by Dan Lee at The Butchery.

Post production was done at White Chocolate by VFX supervisor David Mosqueda, colourist Scott Maclean and deisgner/compositor Michael Blanche.

Sound was designed at Song Zu by sound designer Simon Kane and producer Jess Bonney. Music was produced at Sound Planet Australia by Damian de Boos-Smith.

PR was handled at One Green Bean. Media was handled at UM.