The unintentional comedy in the 2012 membership videos.

With the 2012 regular season less than a month away, clubs are stepping up their efforts in order to get more members on board for the upcoming season.

Given how important membership is to fans and clubs alike, it seems appropriate that we should analyse the membership videos. Some promise success. Some promise excitement. Some promise the feeling of being a part of something bigger.

But do some clubs put more effort into their campaigns than others? Do some clubs come across as if they aren’t even trying? Does every single membership video contain unintentional comedy? Yes. The answer to all of those questions is yes.

Adelaide

This junior membership video from the Crows features acting prowess the likes of which you’ve rarely seen. I’m not joking. Tippett and Dangerfield should really consider acting as a post playing career. Watching this video is like watching the restaurant scene between De Niro and Pacino in Heat.

Unfortunately, many quality acting performances are undone by subpar special effects. Not in this film though. The transition between scenes is seamless.

And the rewards on offer? A lunchbox! Fake tattoos! SHOELACES!! Where do I sign?

Brisbane

Why is the guy walking his dog in the middle of the road? Is that something people do now? That seems unnecessarily dangerous.

In fact the main theme of Brisbane’s campaign seems to be one of neglect. Not only do we have the dog, but we have Jonathan Brown showing his trademark total disregard for his own safety and a ground steward simply allowing people to storm the field.

Carlton

The moment when Chris Judd reveals that he “is Carlton” seems entirely accurate.

Collingwood

There are so many things to love about this, not only the so-very-Collingwood “it’s us against them” theme. I like to imagine that when Buckley and co link arms and begin marching, a war horn sounds, and suddenly soldiers on horseback descend upon them Lord of the Rings style. An intense battle ensues, and the lead horseman removes his helmet to reveal himself as Tom Hawkins, striking down opponents with unexpected yet overpowering success.

Essendon

In a similar vein to Carlton, Essendon’s marketing department have made a concerted effort to ensure their best player is the face and voice of their membership drive.

Fremantle

That’s right; no one’s stronger when we stand united. Just ask Mark Harvey.

The only thing anyone can take away from this video is the knowledge that many Fremantle players train in what look like sports bras. I know all clubs use them, but it’s just so prevalent in this video. It’s almost as if they went out of their way to make sure they appeared numerous times.

Geelong

The Geelong membership video reads more like a threat to other clubs than a lure for new members. The hook seems to be “this is the only safe place”. Any club that uses the word ruthless gets bonus points in my marking scheme. Ruthless is word reserved exclusively for describing villainous tyrants and cold hearted killers. In a footballing sense, Geelong is certainly the latter.

You see, some clubs promise entertainment in their membership drives. Some others promise ferocious contest. At Geelong these are just assumed. The Cats go further. Not only do they promise victory, but they make assurances in regards to the manner in which it will be provided.

Geelong has come a long way from last year however, when the overwhelmingly repetitive theme throughout everything Geelong related was loyalty. It was almost as if they were taking a thinly veiled swipe at a former player.


Gold Coast

Before you watch this, how likely do you think it is that a surf board will appear?

Well I regret to inform you that there isn’t… oh no wait there it is.

This one also contains bonus footage, which means you get to watch surfer Mick Fanning talk about how much he enjoys football. I don’t wish to make assumptions, but the whole thing seems very similar to the footage you see in movies of people reading messages under duress.

Greater Western Sydney

Okay, so that technically isn’t the Giants’ membership video. Still accurate though.

Hawthorn

Hawthorn’s theme this year is ‘Always Hawthorn’. They’ve been inviting club greats and fans to explain why they will always be Hawthorn. This one involves Leigh Matthews.

Matthews explains his time with Hawthorn, saying he arrived as a boy, but left as an “adult man”. There is the shortest of pauses just before he says “adult man”, like he is considering what the proper answer is. I’ll cut to the chase; it’s the kind of thing someone who was not human, but was trying to disguise themselves as human, would say. I’ve heard people say they’ve left as an adult. I’ve heard people say they’ve left as a man. But adult man? Never.

So if Leigh Matthews isn’t human, what is he?

Sounds like Leigh Matthews to me.

Melbourne

Melbourne are running with a ‘Dob in a Demon’ theme, in which members nominate (trick?) other people into becoming Melbourne members. Knowingly coercing someone into becoming a Demons fan seems cruel and borderline criminal. Do they at least get a warning about what they are signing up for?

North Melbourne

So does Jack Ziebell train alone? Or do no other North Melbourne players train?

The only other observation I made from this video was the fact that North’s locker room isn’t as cool as the one at Fremantle.

Port Adelaide

Port Adelaide went with a very supporter orientated membership campaign. Unfortunately it seems many Collingwood supporters, and indeed a Collingwood mascot, managed to get in. This is the kind of thing that can happen when you don’t spend the required time editing.

*Que thousands of Port Adelaide Power/Port Adelaide Magpies fans being up in arms over what I just said.

**Hundreds. I meant hundreds.

Richmond

It’s telling that the 12 selling points Richmond give potential members revolve around either select fixtures or select individual players.

Using the round one “blockbuster” against Carlton seems a logical choice. After all, at that point in time, nothing has gone wrong yet for the Tigers. The key there is yet, and if the past three years are anything to go by, that will change approximately two hours after said blockbuster commences.

Point 12 is a good one as well. The powers that be at Richmond are careful to only promise a win at the MCG. It’s telling that the say MCG as well, as they wouldn’t want to risk promising a win anywhere else.

St Kilda

This is a good ad. However you can’t help but notice the line they are drawing is remarkably close to the encroaching water. Perhaps it is meant to symbolise how their chance at that long elusive premiership is dangerously close to washing away.

Sydney

Perhaps the most accurate of all membership videos, primarily because it contains several instances where the people of Sydney are not paying attention to the actual game itself.

(Also, it’s nice of the production company that so obviously did both the Sydney and Gold Coast videos to use THE EXACT SAME SONG in each video.)

West Coast

While not strictly a membership video, the closest thing the Eagles do have to a membership video is a video of a member giving away his membership.

Western Bulldogs

Do you think the West Coast Eagles were thinking of using a similar campaign? Seems they would have reasonable grounds to complain, you know, given Footscray is on the Eastern side of this country.

As an aside, I have a theory that the panning shot that starts at the 22 second mark can be used to make any collection of people look intimidating. Watch it again, but instead of the Western Bulldogs, picture your school’s chess team.

About Adam Ritchie

My name is Adam. I started watching football with two fellow parapsychologists in an abandoned firehouse. When we’re not watching footy, we’re running our own pest control business. What do you mean I stole that from Ghostbusters?

Comments

  1. I might go for the Crows junior membership. I need new shoelaces.

  2. Richard Naco says:

    This is a superb piece of work, & many thanks for having the vision & drive to present it. I also loved your commentary.

    One aspect I did admire was how often a certain hooped uniform appeared in other clubs’ vids. It made me think that they must be a bit of alright if every other mob seems to want to be seen in the light of their glory.

    BTW: I didn’t see Yvonne in the Saints’ seaside frolic – surely she was carrying a placard so that her mates here could pick her out?

    And where was Dani in the monochrome mob’s paranoia party? Surely they could have given her a box to stand on (pointless if she was stuck behind Figjam’s ego), or at least let her line up behind Wee Jarryd?

    ;)

  3. Adam Ritchie says:

    I fancy some shoelaces myself. Never before has the ‘ages 14 and under’ stipulation been more soul crushing.

    Cheers Richard!

  4. Brilliant work – kudos for putting it all together! And your comments were classic.

    I like how you very nearly said something completely nice about one of the ads, but then had to take a swipe at that team’s premiership window :-p Well done.

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