Category: Strine Biz

Let’s Barbie! Aussie-Style BBQing for the Japanese!

Australia beef is the most visibly successful Australian export to Japan, leaving considerable distance to its closest rivals, which these days are probably Tim Tams, Miranda Kerr and hordes of drunken ocker snow bunnies in country towns like Niseko and Hakuba.
To be honest, Oz doesn’t really enter the consciousness of most Japanese, except for Aussie Beef, which is probably the first thing that comes to mind for many Nihonjin when asked about Oz.
And this year, Meat & Livestock Australia Ltd (MLA) is going all-out to try and convert Japanese consumers to worshiping the barbie in much the same manner that many Aussies do.
MLA is conducting a huge Let’s Barbie campaign to encourage people to use the summer months to enjoy munching away on some good old tucker.

The Let’s Barbie pop-up store in Tokyo’s trendy Aoyama district

And they’re using Strine to do it, too, with part of the campaign involving a pop-up shop placed smack-bang in the middle of Aoyama, one of Tokyo’s trendiest districts, and a huge sign urging passers-by to “barbie!”
The pop-up shop is offering demonstrations of cooking, Strayan-style, and serves up three different kinds of steak and salad “meat parfaits.” There’s Beauty, with lime and ginger, Genki, flavored by chili pepper and garlic, and Let’s Barbie, with lime and mint. All are delicious and served in a cup with salad and mashed spuds.
Part of the campaign is teaching the Japanese about how Aussies barbie. Here’s what the official Let’s Barbie campaign website says about the Barbie…

About the Barbie

What’s a Barbie?
Barbecue Superpower Australia calls barbecues “barbies” and 3-4 times a week, (Aussies) enjoying tucking into thick-cut, Aussie Beef steaks and fresh salads anytime, anywhere. You can relax and enjoy them, and everybody’s all smiles out in the wilds of nature, which brings everybody closer. And the communication tool that brings that about is the Aussie-style barbecue: The Barbie.
Aussie lifestyle is about not putting on airs, and the real thrill of the barbie is being about enjoying communication with your mates and your family.


It’s hard to see what sort of impact the campaign will have. Japanese tend to be great barbecuers, anyway. And while many would gladly abide by the campaigns exhortations to get out and enjoy a good steak with your mates, most are stuck inside the office waiting for the boss to go home before they have any hope of being able to leave.

Related links
Barbie (Strine Strife)
Barbie (Yabai-lingual)
Barbie (Go-cabulary)

Sexism Sells…Aussie Princes and Arresting the Great Japanese Tourist Decline

Japan’s Aussie Prince Campaign website seeking women’s photos of sexy blokes

In this day and age, it would be unthinkable to use taxpayers’ hard-earned money to promote a campaign promising a 1 million yen order-made trip to Australia for a young bloke sending in photos of a sexy member of the opposite sex.
But, when the shoe’s on the other foot, it seems to be all right.
At least, it was until just a few years ago.
For a while in the late Noughties to early 2010s, Tourism Australia worked desperately hard to arrest a drastic and dramatic decline in Japanese tourist numbers.

Japanese Visitors to Australia 2002-2012

Part of those efforts involved a campaign that Tourism Australia conducted in Japan back in 2009-2010. The campaign played on the Japanese homophones (words that sound the same but have different meanings) for Aussie (oojii in Japanese) and prince (ouji in Japanese).
The Oojii Ouji Campaign promised a 1 million yen prize to the entrant that provided Tourism Australia with the best story of a visit to Australia. Participants were also asked to send in a photo of an Aussie they’d enjoyed spending time with. The implied wording of the campaign (using “prince” in Japanese immediately implies a Disney-style, good-looking and virile hetero male who can sweep a woman of her feet) and actual use of only good-looking young Aussie blokes to promote the cause in Japan made it fairly obvious the promotion was all about physical attraction.

Aussie “princes” promoting the tourism campaign

The “princes” Australia sent to Tokyo to promote the campaign were Aborigine Prince Warren Clements, Great Emotion Prince Nick Atkins, Wine Prince Brett Stanley, Beach Prince Shannon Eckstein and Sports Prince Ben Tomkins.
Tourism Australia made no secret of targeting women in their 20s and 30s, a gender-oriented promotion they would not be able to engage in back in Australia.
Actually, it makes sense for tourist organizations to target younger Japanese women. They are less likely to be caught in overtime trap, have more of a chance of building up disposable income (especially if they’re living at home) and can be a bit more adventurous.
Ultimately, destiny made the campaign’s timing disastrous. Before the effects of the campaign could be felt, the Great East Japan Earthquake struck and there were far more serious issues to deal with.

The website featuring “Aboriginal Prince” Warren Clements

Tourism Australia has reverted to a more standard approach to promoting the country in Japan, which no longer has the importance for the Australian tourist market that it held when it was sending 700,000-800,000 people a year Down Under from the mid-1990s to the early Noughties. Hordes of Chinese tourists swooping into Australia have made the need to encourage more Japanese to visit a far less critical issue than it was a decade ago.

Japan’s Crucial Role in Turning “Mad Max” into a Global Aussie Icon

The Japanese movie poster for “Mad Max”

Turning the clock back 40 years, Japan played a crucial role in giving Australia a leg-up toward becoming a player in the global movie industry.
In late 1977, a couple of fledgling Australian filmmakers pooled their meager funds and shot a movie starring mostly unknown young actors and actual motorcycle gang members serving as extras.
Almost two years later, Mad Max opened Australian theaters and became a steady, but controversial hit. The car action movie was immediately banned in New Zealand as some of its motorcycle gang violence resembled actual events in the market most closely resembling Australia’s.
Australia’s movie industry was in the middle of a growing renaissance, backed by a generous government funding program and the emergence of a large number of talented directors and actors. Mad Max was made for a mere pittance in movie terms, costing just $350,000. Backed by the steady performance at the Australian box office, the movie’s first overseas sale was made to Japan, then a country where bosozoku motorcycle gangs were having their heyday.
Mad Max became a massive hit in the world’s second-largest movie market. This Big in Japan success made overseas sales a much easier task and the movie was sold widely across the globe. It would be a slow burner that flared following the phenomenal success of its first sequel, Mad Max 2, released in 1981. The box office for Mad Max would eventually surpass $100 million and for more than two decades it would hold the world record for the greatest ratio between production cost and box office.

“Fist of the North Star”

These sales led to a sequel and opened the door for the actor in the title role,Mel Gibson, to become a global superstar (until he destroyed his career a quarter of a century later in a drunken rant about Jews followed by enraged verbal and allegedly physical attacks on the mother of his youngest child). Further sequels, Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, which came out in 1985, and 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road with Briton Tom Hardy playing the titular character.
Mad Max created an enormous legacy that went much further than the sequels and Gibson turning into a Hollywood superstar. The effects were particularly strong in terms of Australia-Japan collaborations. The movie itself benefited greatly from Kawasaki, which donated all the motorcycles used in the film. But there was much more.
Drawing heavily from the Mad Max saga, the enduring Fist of the North Star would become one of Japan’s most successful manga in the 1980s and made stars of its writer, Buronsanand illustrator, Tetsuo Hara.
Akira Kushida would get one of his early hits with Rollin’ into the Night, which played over the end credits of the Japanese version of the movie.
As noted in the accompanying newspaper article from the May 10, 1982, edition of the Melbourne Age, the success of the early editions in the series would spark joint movie production efforts between Japan and Australia.
The article mentions a movie under production and entitled “The Southern Cross.” The first-ever joint Australia-Japan feature film collaboration would eventually come out later in 1982 with the new English title of The Highest Honor (it would remain under its original title in Japanese). That movie was quickly forgotten, but it is notable for being the debut movie of Hitomi Kuroki, still one of Japan’s most successful actresses to this day.

A Toast to Fine Electronics

 

Breville sandwich maker

日本は世界中に素晴らしい家電など電気製品で知られているが、オーストラリアもグローバル存在感が大きな電気製品会社があったのは知った?
 それはブレビル社という会社。
 1932年にメルボルン市で設立されたので歴史がそこそこあるが、家電を中心に展開した。
 日本ではブレビル商品に関してバリスタが使うコーヒーメーカーかジューサーが主な商品だけど世界中に発売されている。日本ではお馴染み薄いが、トースターについて英語圏の一部ではトーストサンドが「ブレビル」と呼ばれているぐらい浸透している。
 チャンスがあったら、オーストラリアのブレビルを使ってみてはいかがでしょうか?

カンガルーの玉袋が不足している!

カンガルーの玉袋おみやげ

 オーストラリアの定番おみやげとなっている「カンガルーの玉袋」が不足している。
 この数年、洪水、間伐その他の気候変動によって行っている現象がカンガルーの数に影響を与え、本体が少なくなってれば玉袋も当然稀となる。
 オーストラリアの有数カンガルー玉袋製造者であるジョン・クルーガー氏によると激しい天気になるとカンガルーがもっと安全である内陸へ逃げ狩りづらくなる。
 気候変動による激しい天気の頻度が高くなっている。

Kangaroo Scrotums Are the New Victims of Global Warming(英語)

ピーナツの気配も無ピーナツ・バター味Tim Tamが豪最低製品Shonky賞を受賞

PEanut Butter 日本のコンビニや駅売店などで販売されて親しみ馴染んでいるオーストラリアの大人気クッキーであるTim Tamが「ピーナツ・バター味にも関わらずピーナツ及びピーナツ成分のものでも入ってない」として最低製品を表彰するShonky賞を受賞した。
 Shonkyは、独特なオージー英語スラング言葉一つであり、「怪しい」という意味だ。
 このShonkyは、一般消費者向け製品やサービスなどを信頼度調査・評価などを行なっている雑誌である「Choice」誌が2006年以降毎年全豪で最も信頼できない商品を選別し「Shonky賞」を与える。

大ヒット中のTimTamって「豪菓なビスケット」と言っていい?
豪キャブラリー: Shonky
豪最低製品が2013年Shonky賞で選ばれる
主催者サイト:Arnott’s Tim Tams Peanut Butter Flavour(英語)