Western traditions tend to get a bit screwed up when reinterpreted and repurposed Down Under. Take, for example, this year’s Christmas commercial from the big Aussie underwear label Bonds.
The energetic one-minute take on the holiday chestnut “12 Days of Christmas” finds some novel ways to promote Bond’s skivvies, even if some pieces don’t quite work.
For starters, there’s the vocals by Jack Ladder, a Nick Cave soundalike gifted with an end-of-the-world baritone that is better suited to funeral wakes than holiday albums. Imagine Tom Waits doing “Rudolph” and you’ll get the picture.
And what’s going on with those “8 maids a-milking”? Or the “4 calling birds” in their cycling gear?
Still, Aussies will have lots of fun debating their favorite pieces in this slick production, especially since Bonds has sliced it up into a dozen 10-second clips that will bombard the airwaves for the next month.
But the most incongruous moment in the ad comes at the end, with supermodel Rachel Taylor sitting in a tree eating fruit from a can. Anyone can tell that’s not a partridge in a pear tree; it’s a peach in a gum tree.