An inside look at the Marriage Alliance Iceberg ad pitch
We strapped a camera to a fly on the wall in that meeting, you won't believe the results.
Steven Smythe, Advertising Executive: Pleased to meet you Mr and Mrs Crandall (pictured above, presumably), I’m Steven. I hear you’re interested in hiring our firm to create an ad campaign for your political group Marriage Alliance. By your name I assume we’re creating an ad pushing for marriage equality?
Linda Crandall, Marriage Alliance: Heavens no, Steven, we’re trying to PROTECT the sacred institution of marriage.
Jim Crandall, Marriage Alliance: We’re very concerned about the sacred institution of marriage, Steven.
Steven: …I see. So, what exactly are your concerns? What are you trying to say in this campaign?
Linda: Well you just don’t know, do you?
Steven: You just don’t know what?
Jim: What could happen! If the gays had their way and changed marriage for everybody else!
Linda: It’s a slippery slope, Steven.
Steven: How do you figure?
Jim: I don’t want to have to marry another man.
Steven: I don’t think anyone is going to force you to do that, Mr Crandall.
Jim: They’d be CHANGING THE DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE Steven! Who knows what we might be forced to do.
Linda: What about the children, Steven?
Steven: What about them?
Linda: Well, what if I have to explain to my son why Sally S in his class has two mothers?
Steven: Assuming he brings that up with you.
Linda: He will, Steven, he’s at that inquisitive age.
Steven: I see. And how old is your son?
Linda: He’s only 18, bless him. What if he gets ideas?
Jim: Not to mention sexual education in schools, Steven. What if the children are taught how to have homosexual intercourse?
Steven: And why would they teach that?
Jim: It’s sex education, Steven.
Linda: What if my son learns how to have homosexual intercourse in class and decides he wants to try that for himself Steven?
Steven: …Your 18-year-old son?
Linda: No Steven, my other son.
Steven: How old is he?
Linda: Just 17, bless him. It’s a very impressionable time.
Steven: Right. Ok so lets talk about your ad campaign.
Jim: Well Steven, we’d like an advertisement for the television. And a homepage on the World Wide Web.
Steven: Ok, so what’s the concept behind this advertisement Mr and Mrs Crandall?
Linda: We have many ideas, Steven. We’d like it in the style of a white board drawing. I’ve seen many educational videos online that look like that and we’re trying to educate people here, isn’t that right Jim?
Jim: People deserve to know, Steven.
Steven: What do people deserve to know exactly?
Jim: Haven’t you been listening Steven? About our concerns of course!
Steven: No Mr Crandall, I have been listening but you haven’t really given any concrete examples of what you’re hoping to prevent.
Jim: Well you just don’t know what might happen Steven. It’s like an iceberg, you can’t see what’s underneath the water. Just like in the titanic.
Linda: Ooh, that’s a good bit of symbolism, Steven! We should use that. We'll include the ship and everything.
Steven: Yes sure, seems very potent.
Jim: In the ad we have three main points. Education. Children. Rights.
Steven: Care to elaborate on those points?
Jim: Not really, Steven.
Steven: Of course, sorry, it was a silly question.
Linda: Not your first, Steven.
Steven: Moving on, you mentioned rights, you’re talking about losing rights, gaining rights, what exactly?
Jim: You just don’t know what could happen to our rights Steven.
Linda: It could have unintended consequences.
Steven: But you don’t think the Federal Parliament would consider things such as the impact these decisions might make well in advance?
Linda: Well they didn’t in America, did they Steven?
Steven: You’re referring to the recent legalisation of same sex marriage in America, yes?
Jim: We all saw how that turned out.
Steven: Did we? It seems to be working out fine for them so far.
Linda: But what about discrimination, Steven?
Steven: What about it?
Jim: What about our RIGHT to discriminate, Steven.
Steven: Well Mr Crandall, according to the Australian Human Rights commission website you haven’t had the right to discriminate against someone due to their sexual orientation since August 1st 2013. I don’t think allowing gay marriage would change that.
Jim: You see! It’s already starting!
Linda: We’ve got to get this video out there A-S-A-P, Steven.
Steven: Right, well after careful consideration, this is not a campaign our firm can endorse, and frankly the damage it could do to our reputation to be associated with this is not-
Linda: What about the important role of a mother, Steven?
Jim: How would you feel if your mother never existed, Steven?
Linda: Steven, I’m sure your mother would be rather upset if she never existed. I’m sure you would be too. Steven.
Steven: What? What are you talking about?
Linda: When the presence of a mother becomes optional within families, what effect will this have?
Steven: Well, ignoring the hundreds of thousands of single parent families doing fine in Australia, what effect do YOU think it will have?
Jim: You just don’t know, do you Steven?
Steven: Anyway, thank you for coming in, I’m sorry we couldn’t be of more help to you.
Jim: Nothing makes sense to me. Please explain what will happen if same sex marriage law is passed by parliament?
Steven: LGBT couples will be allowed to marry. You won’t be forced to marry another man, nor you a woman, Mrs Crandall. Children will be fine, have two loving parents, and-
Linda: It’s clear you don’t share our vision, Steven. I’m sorry, but we are going to complete this ad campaign ourselves. I took an art class in high school and had a sensible sexual health education; so if anything, we’re over-qualified.
Steven: As I have said previously, I have already decided against-
Jim: It’s too late Steven, we need someone who is going to ask the hard-hitting questions. We just don’t know what will happen, do we? And we certainly don’t want to wait around to find out. Let’s go Linda.
Steven: Good luck with that, Mr and Mrs Crandall. (Actual photo of Steven below)
In all serious, screw Foxtel and Channel 9 and anyone else who has agreed to air/print these ads further pushing Australia's already ass-backwards stance on marriage equality. Nice work Foxtel on now pulling them (we guess), although Tony Abbott's recent stance on the matter means you kinda had to pull them anyway. Foxtel was quick to point out they are known supporters of marriage equality, but also freedom of speech (if you've got the $$$ for it), so... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯