Spin Me Right Round Baby

Press release time!

Gruen returns for 2017 with its 99th episode

Friday, August 11, 2017 — THIS IS A PRESS RELEASE TO SELL GRUEN…

There will be grandiose language, hastily gathered quotes and just enough information to sound enticing without actually giving anything away.

Yes, the show that unpicks the dark arts of advertising, branding and spin is back for its 9th season and 99th episode.

We are drowning in more marketing than ever. People are now brands, while brands pretend to be people, emailing you on your birthday and trying to seduce you to ‘join the conversation’. We’re living in a world where the US President is the biggest brand of all, celebrities are “influencers”, influencers are celebrities and words like “influencer” have lost all meaning.

Whether you’re spooling through Gumtree for a second-hand fridge, skipping through a podcast selling you a mattress, or checking the weather on the BOM website – you can’t avoid advertising. It’s as ageless as the airbrushed actor spruiking expensive face gunk. The only anti-venom is understanding how it all works.

Enter host Wil Anderson, Russel Howcroft, Todd Sampson and a trusty team of advertising experts, including veteran panellist Dee Madigan and some brand-new faces. The weekly topical series will drive through new marketing terrain – Amazon in Australia, the NBN and any PR disasters unlucky enough to erupt during the course of the season. Gruen will celebrate the good, the bad and the ugly. Plus, The Pitch returns with a whole new slate of impossible briefs and top agencies to battle it out in the Gruen ring.

Join us as we sneak ads onto the ABC and call bullshit on brands pretending they’re just like us.

Wednesday 13 September, 8.30pm.

Here’s an idea: how about a show that calls bullshit on millionaire ad executives pretending they’re just like us? Because that’s pretty much the only thing that comes to mind every time this disgustingly blatant advertisement for the advertising industry rolls around.

We’re kinda used to press releases being a bullshit ramshackle house of lies, but this kind of crap shack takes things to a whole new level (a second story, if you will). Okay, so how is watching a show that’s nothing more than a squad of millionaires sitting around a table watching commercials and going “mmm, good job” in any way an “anti-venom” for advertising? Does anyone living today believe Gruen explains how advertising works at a level beyond “damn, we’re good”? This is a show that puts on air advertising executives – not people outside the industry who just might have a opinion on advertising that isn’t “fuck we’re great” – and gets them to comment on each others work. What the fuck?

Movie reviews aren’t written by other film-makers. TV critics are, generally speaking, not people who make a living from making television. Football commentators and columnists may have played the game once but they’re usually not current players. So what makes advertising so special that only people currently making millions out of working in advertising get to go on Gruen to talk about how great they are oh wait we just answered our own question and that answer is “fuck off Gruen“.

The real question about who Gruen is made for and why is answered by asking: why isn’t the solution to a problem on this show ever simply “less advertising”?


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  • simbo says:

    I know you hate Gruen and everything it stands for, but, really, “who is Gruen Made for”? THe answer is clearly “one of the ABC’s largest audiences”. A quick google of “Gruen Ratings” revealed last year it managed to beat Offspring and the Bachelor to be the highest rating show of it’s night.

    Yes, it’s morally dubious. Yes, it’s smug as hell. But you can’t honestly argue this doesn’t have an audience.

  • 13 schoolyards says:

    Televised executions would probably rate pretty well too. But the idea that just because you can make money from acting like a shit doesn’t mean you should act like a shit runs pretty much directly against the Gruen approach to life.

  • Yep says:

    Gee, I can’t wait to hear the Gruen panel’s masturbatory take on how obvious the whole Trump phenomenon was. The press release even lays that track with its whole, the US President ‘is the biggest brand’ line.

    Because if there is one thing that this show has perfected, it is smugly Monday-Night-quarterbacking ad campaigns and social movements, pretending that the zeitgeist is a programmable, predictable entity that can be surfed like a wave.

    Then again, I guess that’s a fairly fitting representation of the advertising industry. When you spend the majority of your time ripping off someone else’s idea (a scene from a popular movie; a gimmick from YouTube; an earworm song), re-skinning it slightly and shoving a brand in the mix, you probably do have to convince yourself that you’ve done something right when it works. Otherwise you’d be a bit of a fraud. You’d have to convince yourself that advertising is a religion and you are its giddy disciple (like Russel Howcroft), or drape yourself in t-shirts with tweaked logos and catchphrases to prove how ironically disaffected you are about the whole thing (like Todd Sampson). Or you could just be Wil Anderson, and continue not giving a shit about the quality of the product you’re producing at all.

    Yeah. That would work.