TV Review: The Gruen Transfer

TV Review: Gruen Transfer 2011

The Gruen TransferRating:  M Distributor: ABC1 Release Date: Wednesdays, 9:00 PMFor those who may have missed the first three seasons, The Gruen Transfer is a series that explains the thinking (or lack of) behind the advertising campaigns Australians are exposed to each day. As host Wil Anderson puts it, it’s “A series about why we buy, and how […]

By Mark HadleyMonday 15 Aug 2011TV and StreamingReading Time: 2 minutes

The Gruen Transfer

Rating:  M
Distributor: ABC1
Release Date: Wednesdays, 9:00 PM

For those who may have missed the first three seasons, The Gruen Transfer is a series that explains the thinking (or lack of) behind the advertising campaigns Australians are exposed to each day. As host Wil Anderson puts it, it’s “A series about why we buy, and how we’re sold.”

Anderson is joined by a panel of CEOs and creative directors from the country’s leading ad agencies who weekly lift the lid on the methods producers use to ensure commitment to their product or message.

Each episode is built around a series of regular segments that comically consider various aspects of the advertising industry. The most prominent is The Pitch where two advertising agencies are invited to try and ‘sell the unsellable’. Episode one included campaigns to change the capital from Canberra to either Sydney or Melbourne, presented by leading agencies from both cities. The fourth series of The Gruen Transfer includes a new segment aiming to identify The Worst Product Of All Time! 2011 will also see a new spin-off series titled Gruen Planet that producers say, “…will look at the big stories of the week through the prism of spin, branding and image control.”

The Gruen Transfer is generally irreverent and frequently coarse, including language that wouldn’t be suitable for younger audiences – hence the 9:00 PM timeslot and M rating. It’s also no stranger to poking fun at religion. That said, the show continues to provide interesting insights into how Australians actually think, and the techniques agencies use to get their messages across. There’s a hackneyed expression in ministry circles about benefiting from secular practices. We’re encouraged to ‘plunder the Egyptians’ – take what’s valuable, but still head for the Promised Land. The Gruen Transfer is a case in point. It continues to provide food for thought to Christian communicators as we make every effort to market the unmarketable: Australians need God.