The Gruen Transfer, an Aussie TV show that screens on ABC and delves into the mysterious, manipulative and wonderful world of advertising, has been a surprising ratings success across the ditch. But who really wants those pesky moving images and sounds when you could have a book instead? Cue The Gruen Transfer, now in handy non-moving, literary form. You can win one of three copies of this very funny, good lookin’, highly entertaining, educational and quote-filled tome about what one academic described as the ‘poetry of capitalism’ and all you need to do is either tell us an amazing fact/quote/lie/myth/statistic/story about advertising. Or, if you’re struggling for inspiration, just go for the lowest common denominator and tell us your best Australian joke.
According to this interview with the author and one of the show’s co-creators, Jon Casimir, the research that he and Andrew Denton provided to the ABC as part of their pitch for a show that claimed to “lift the lid on the persuasion business, examining how advertising works and how it works on us” has become the basis of this fantastic book. About one-third of it is based on the show (which is hosted by occasional Seven Days panellist Wil Anderson) and the rest is a quirky mix of “various aspects of advertising, such as product placement, newspaper advertising, celebrity endorsements, mobile marketing and online ads”. Like the show, however, it’s not necessarily directed at those within the industry. It’s also directed at all those people on the couch, at the mall, or on the computer. Basically, anyone in the crosshairs of the numerous marketing weapons being aimed at them.
We weren’t lucky enough to see the first three seasons of The Gruen Transfer on Kiwi TV screens and we couldn’t watch the content online either, but our country once again made Youtube Video“>good source material for the last Trans-Tasman inspired episode of the season, when M&C Saatchi Sydney and Y&R Wellington were given the task of advertising a united New Zealand and Australia.