New Zealand Culture ANZ Bank Advertisement
01/02/2017
Simon
Culture
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Mending a Cultural Divide

It's not often that I'll go out of my way to sing the praises of a multinational corporation, however I've just seen an advertisement from ANZ which has an important theme. Whether it was intentional or not I don't know.

The one minute long ad shows a young European boy bouncing on a trampoline before throwing a bouncy ball at a window to attract the attention of someone in the bedroom. A young Maori girl comes to the window and we find it's actually the Maori girl's tramp that the European boy is jumping on (interesting parallels to history there). The kids riff for a bit, she calls him creepy and he teases her about her name. The ad ends with both kids happily bouncing on the tramp.

Having closely observed the American election cycle over the past year and a half, I naturally became more aware of their cultural problems. It's blindingly obvious that the USA has a real problem with race relations between blacks and whites. This is not helped at all by politicians who aim to divide voters into distinct blocks or the media who seem to be actively trying to incite violence, maybe for nefarious means, or simply to have something juicy to report on. Thankfully we don't have it that bad in New Zealand, but there is still something bubbling under the surface.

ANZ and their ad agency have created a narrative where two young neighbors from our different cultures get along happily. This is one area of New Zealand that has room for improvement and it's programming like this that we commend in an effort to get more of.