Dept of finance campaign bad for their brand and the entire government

Branded content recruitment

Game Changers branded content perpetuates the perception that the government is out of touch with most Australians

During the past few days, The Australian Government’s Department of Finance has managed to create their place in history with a stunning fail in government advertising.

In an effort to attract more graduates, The Department of Finance created a video to showcase how ‘cool’ it is to work there.

Labelled as ’embarrassing, hilarious and the worst government ad ever’, it’s hardly positive PR for the department.

At first look, you could forgiven for thinking this is a parody or an episode of Utopia. Unfortunately it’s not.

The department’s marketing team and the creative agency clearly thought this would be good for the brand.

It appears no-one considered how their audiences would react and what impact this would have on the department’s brand.

Recruitment video branded content

The use of actual department staff was presumably an effort to be authentic or cut costs (or both). Neither has be achieved and it’s hard to quantify how much will now need to be invested to undo the damage.

Using real people instead of actors is always dangerous but it is the cliche language and bad scripting that makes this video so horrendous for the department’s brand.

From the title of ‘Change Makers’ to just about every line delivered, the video is incredibly hard to watch and take seriously.

Below is a selection of some of lines that made us cringe (if fact, just about every line did).

“Hey guys, I’m going to get a Paleo pear and banana bread if you would care to join me.”

“I’m so stoked about our presentation to the executive this afternoon”.

“This year’s grads are real game changers. I’ve heard some fantastic reports about their work”.

“Hey buddy. Sorry, I have to do that every time, because we are in the buddy programme”.

The Game Changers video reinforces just about every negative stereotypes about government employees. The video showcases plush offices, with employees enjoying loads of perks, being over resourced, having lots of meaningless meetings and just spending their time putting together PowerPoint presentations to please each other.

The video reinforces negative perceptions that ‘they’ are just wasting ‘our’ money and are out of touch with the real world.

Beyond the Department of Finance, this video has the potential to tarnish all government departments and anyone who works there. It also gives right wing Trumpists and One Nationists plenty of ammunition to further their cause for smaller government.

Branded content, Government

The only positive out of this is that Department of Finance has managed to significantly lift awareness that they actually exist. Maybe they will be considered by graduates after all, especially those just looking for a cushy job.

The three minute video was created by Together Creative who proudly boast of ‘famously good creative’. Well, they are certainly famous now but perhaps for all the wrong reasons. There website was also down when we checked up on them – this might be as a result of their fame!

The video has now been removed from the department’s website.

Michael Hughes

Michael is Managing Partner and Strategy Director at Truly Deeply, a brand agency with 25 years’ experience working with brands to position them for growth. His deep expertise is in unlocking the strategic power of your brand to create a differentiated, compelling and authentic brand proposition that will engage all your audiences. Michael has extensive experience working across Australia and the Middle East working with leading Australian and International organisations across just about every sector.

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