The Team Behind That Terrible Department Of Finance Video Have Made Another Shocker
"Is that a triple shot almond milk decaf chai latte with a touch of honey?"
Oh boy. Just when you thought you’d reached the absolute nadir in terms of awful government ads, we’ve gone and dug up another one that’s possibly even worse than yesterday’s effort from the Department of Finance.
Let me introduce you to ‘Graduate Life at Australia Post’, a five-minute video designed to make Australia Post look like a fun and appealing workplace for grads:
The video was produced by Together Creative, the same agency behind the Department of Finance graduate recruitment ad. I’m sad to say that the Australia Post effort is just… awful.
This is the opening still:
Like… what? Aside from the fact there’s more lens flare going on than a Michael Bay/JJ Abrams collab, why is she smiling like that? What is she looking at, Australia Post? No one looks like that at Australia Post.
The recruitment website features even more weird smiling people:
That’s the face you make when you’ve just seen pictures of Dev Patel hanging out with his new Australian girlfriend, Tilda Cobham-Hervey. It’s not the face you make when you’re thinking about the national postal service.
Anyway, back to the video. The concept is that we follow around Grace, a grad working at Australia Post, and get a glimpse of her life at the company. That sounds really nice and genuine, except for the fact that Grace is constantly peppered with questions by a disembodied voiceover. It’s a terrifyingly jarring experience because the voiceover guy, Tom, is supposed to be a kind of first-person narrator on the ground with Grace, but he’s obviously recorded his lines in a sound booth.
It’s all very confusing for Grace who is supposed to talk to Tom but because Tom isn’t real, she doesn’t really know where to look.
It turns out Grace works in corporate affairs and is currently doing a rotation in the community relations team, which she loves. We know this because she tells us she “loves it”. Let’s see what she gets up to during a typical day at work.
On her way into work Grace runs into a postie!
Only it’s not a postie, it’s just old mate Josh, the marketing graduate. He’s taking his bike to the bike cage downstairs. Australia Post has a bike cage is supposed to be the takeaway from this, I think.
Then Grace grabs a drink, which is great for her, except Tom the creepy voiceover jumps in with a “Caffeine, hey?”.
That’s literally all he says. The fact that no one else in the video has so far acknowledged Tom’s existence makes it even weirder. It’s like’s he’s a voice in Grace’s head who doesn’t actually exist in the real world. It’s dark.
Tom and Grace have some banter about where’s good to eat. Grace reckons it’s a Mexican place around the corner. That could be Taco Bill on Russell Street, just a two-minute walk from Australia Post’s Melbourne head office. How good is investigative journalism?
Next up we meet Aaron, another corporate affairs grad who is wearing a sweatband for some reason. But he’s also wearing a jacket? What’s the deal Aaron, are you hot or cold? Maybe that’s a normal thing people do when they exercise. I don’t exercise so I don’t really know.
But here’s where it gets interesting! Grace introduces Aaron to Tom! Tom is real! Except Tom refuses to communicate with Aaron. Maybe Tom is actually a figment of Grace’s imagination and everyone at the office just goes along with it because it’s an accepting work environment? That would be nice.
Let’s fast forward a bit because the video is stupidly long. There’s more lens flare, Grace talks about shoes, hands Tom a package, they run into a guy called Glyn and everyone continues to ignore Tom’s apparent existence.
Then we meet Hugh Stacy, who sounds like villain in a Jane Austen novel.
Hugh asks Grace if she’s drinking the “usual triple shot almond milk decaf chai latte with a touch of honey”. That’s… not a real drink. What’s with this production company forcing people in these videos to consume bizarre foods? First it was “paleo pear and banana bread” at the Department of Finance and now it’s “triple shot decaf chai”.
Even though this drink is completely made-up, Grace tells Hugh that it is, in fact, a triple shot almond milk decaf chai latte with a touch of honey.
“Everybody here seems so friendly,” says Tom. Which is weird considering no one bothers to talk to him or acknowledge his existence.
More lens flare, more people ignoring Tom, and then we get a glimpse of the infamous Australia Post breakout space where grads play pool all day.
Now we’re talking. The video could have just been “Hey welcome to Australia Post, we play pool during office hours” and it would have been way more effective.
Check this out though, Grace rocks up to the pool table, slams her stupid chai on the felt, picks up the eight ball and chucks it in the side pocket.
What the fuck, Grace? Your colleagues were having a cheeky morning game of pool and you just straight up ruined it. Plus you left your keep cup on the table on walked away? Where’s HR? By the way, let’s not forget Grace handed Tom a random package ages ago and he’s still being forced to carry it around. Rude.
Tom ends up meeting Sean, which probably kills my theory that he’s a figment of Grace’s imagination but it doesn’t explain why 90 percent of the staff refused to acknowledge him.
Sean makes a boring-ass speech about innovation and “modern commercial thinking”. How about you focus on getting the mail delivered on time, mate?
Moving right along… wait, what the hell is happening here:
These nerds are participating in some kind of “hack day” but no explanation is given for this bloke’s use of VR. Why is Australia Post blowing money on VR? Again, just get us the mail on time, folks!
Next we meet Karen, Grace’s partner in the buddy program. The buddy program is back! Looks like it was so wildly successful in the Department of Finance they rolled it out at Australia Post. Only this time the buddies don’t have to continually refer to each other as “buddies”, which is a relief.
Karen is hanging out in the “garden lounge”. Pool tables, VR and now garden lounges? This is getting absurdly opulent. And it’s all paid for by our taxes! Is this why people vote for the Liberal Party? I think I’m a conservative now.
At the end of the video Grace asks Tom to sum up Australia Post in four words.
“Agile, innovative, personalised and dynamic,” says Tom, which is absolute bullshit. Calm down, you aren’t Malcolm Turnbull. This is Australia Post, not Uber.
Then the video ends on this still of another smiling man:
The one thing I took away from this video is that no one at Australia Post seems to be involved in actually delivering post. Maybe that’s the problem? Perhaps instead of underpaying contractors, resulting in a low-quality experience for customers, you could pull back a bit on the “garden lounges”, “innovation” hype and ridiculous virtual reality program and… deliver the post.
Australia Post wouldn’t disclose how much they spent on the marketing campaign. But here’s the kicker: the video was voted Most Popular Graduate Recruitment Video by the Australian Association of Graduate Employers. The awards, believe it or not, are called the “AGRIAs”.
I can’t believe there’s a whole set of awards for these cringeworthy videos. What’s the bet the Department of Finance sweeps the AGRIAs this year?
Watch the equally bad Department of Finance video here.