No Badge of honour for MLA

Nick “The Honey Badger” Cummins tucks into his new role as an MLA beef ambassador.
Using Cummins’ larrikin “blokeyness” to sell beef doesn’t appeal to me - and I love rugby
Nick “The Honey Badger” Cummins tucks into his new role as an MLA beef ambassador.

JUST months after Meat and Livestock Australia unveiled cricket icon, the late Richie Benaud, as a lamb ambassador comes news that quirky rugby winger, Nick “The Honey Badger” Cummins has become an MLA beef ambassador.

It would be crass to dwell on the fact the much admired and loved Benaud was old and feeble when chosen to front this year’s Australia Day lamb advertising campaign and died in early April.

But he was an odd choice, given his age and obvious ill health, as is the selection of Cummins as a beef ambassador to help promote the MLA’s new “You’re Better on Beef” campaign.

Cummins has become a cult figure in rugby circles for his politically incorrect one-liners during media interviews.

He also refers to scoring tries as bagging "some meat”, no doubt an abbreviation of the rhyming slang “meat pie” for a try.

Cummins has scored six tries in 15 Test for the Wallabies, a record that hardly marks him as a great player, not yet at least. Let’s see if he can make the Wallabies’ World Cup team.

And how widely known is Cummins outside of rugby?

Fans can rattle off some of his “classic” one-liners such as “I was sweating like a bag of cats at a greyhound meet”, “busier than a one-armed bricklayer in Baghdad”, “mad as a tree full of galahs” and “sweating like a gypsy with a mortgage”.

The theme of the “You’re Better on Beef” campaign is that life is a sport, so you need the right fuel.

Cummins’ first foray as an ambassador for the campaign is via a video in which he offers to help a boy scout, Felix Bodewes-Leach, improve his rugby skills in return for teaching the “Badge” some bush survival skills.

When Cummins announces he is so hungry he could “eat the crutch out of a low-flying duck”, Felix whips the top off a billy on their camp fire to reveal some warmed-up baked beans.

Predictably, Cummins won’t have a bar of them and instead pulls out a juicy T-bone and cooks it in a frying pan.

The video could hardly be classified as hilarious, and will probably do more to raise Cummins’ profile and bank account than encourage consumers to eat more beef.

Using Cummins’ larrikin “blokeyness” to sell beef doesn’t appeal to me - and I love rugby and admire the “Honey Badger’s” never-say-die playing style.

Having said that, the campaign will probably win a swag of advertising awards.

Vernon Graham

Vernon Graham

is the group editor of Fairfax Agricultural Media
Date: Newest first | Oldest first


Sam Trethewey
27/05/2015 5:32:58 AM

Great points Vern. I'd never heard of the Badger until a clip of his post match commentary took me back to smoko in a shearing shed and circled on Facebook about 9 months ago... I enjoyed the ad but don't follow rugby (As most states don't), but am glad I'd seen him on Facebook prior so I knew his deal. Maybe it's to boost sales in Qld and NSW?
27/05/2015 7:02:01 AM

Agree. I'm a big fan of the honey badger, but for anyone who doesn't follow rugby he's an unknown. The ads better be brilliant, but will it sell more red meat or be a covert rugby promo?
27/05/2015 8:16:16 AM

Selling beef to people who already eat it? The women feeling tired and run down, was and is still the best ad ever. However 'Life's a Sport' is a good theme.
Mike Logan
27/05/2015 11:08:49 AM

It may win a swag of awards, but as John Singleton says, ads that win awards usually don't sell the product. However, I liked the ad, thought it was fun and shared it. Time will tell. ......
27/05/2015 12:52:46 PM

Beef and Rugby - the combo for a great life.
A matter of opinionA selection of editorials from around the Fairfax Agricultural Media group covering the issues of the week.


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