Australia

Australia: Is this the worst recruitment ad ever?

Screenshot from the video The Game Changers Image copyright Australian Government
Image caption Exciting career path?

A recruitment video featuring stilted performances from real government employees has been widely panned as awkward and cringe-worthy in Australia.

The Game Changers ad is aimed at enticing young people to apply for the finance department's graduate scheme.

In one of the more mocked lines a woman says: "Hey guys, I'm just heading downstairs for my paleo pear and banana bread. Would you like to join me?"

To which another woman replies: "No thanks, it's a little bit fancy for me.

"I'm actually off to an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff network meeting."

Image copyright Australian Government
Image caption "This year's grads are real game-changers," says one person in the ad

A spokesman from the finance department told the ABC the three-minute video was intended to show the "variety of work, cultural and social experiences" graduates can expect when they join the department.

"I'm so stoked for our presentation to the executives this afternoon," a graduate says in the beginning.

Later on the deputy secretary says to a colleague: "Hey, this year's grads are real game-changers. I've heard some fantastic reports about their work."

The colleague responds: "They've certainly hit the ground running. Or actually, I should say sprinting."

'It gave me a neck spasm'

People watching the ad online were laughing, but not at that joke.

"If you can get through this whole video you're a stronger man than me," said one commenter on the Finance Department's Facebook page.

"Are you going to the young leaders network event tonight? Yeah wouldn't miss it, the last one was great! - Said no one ever," quipped another.

"Not sure what this is but it gave me a neck spasm," Bren Ditcham said.

One user on Reddit claimed "The Department of Finance's recruitment video is a dystopian nightmare". Although some thought that was "a bit harsh".

"Exactly how much time and taxpayer money did you invest in this absolute cringe?" asked James Herlihy.

The Australian Broadcasting Corp reported the finance department had a contract for A$37,400 ($28,600; £23,300) for "marketing services" over four years with the Sydney-based firm Creative Together which made the video.

This particular video cost A$4,000, the news agency said.

The firm also made a similar video for Australia Post. "A five-minute look into the life of a graduate... it's surprisingly more than you think", the ad claims.

On Thursday when applications opened for the graduate program, the jokes continued.

"You had me at "paleo pear and banana bread," said Kristian Emmanuel Balandinos.

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