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The Department of Finance's Hella Awkward Ad

Australian Department of Finance’s Hella Awkward Ad

While many have been caught up in the cinema awards season, the Australian Department of Finance have been busy creating a cinematic masterpiece that rivals the passion, drive and storytelling of Moonlight, La La Land and Lion combined.

The Department created an advertisement said to be directed at “attracting and selecting strong, highly capable and diverse graduate cohort”. However, unless strong, highly capable and diverse students enjoy rigid conversation with humourless white people and nation wide embarrassment on government funded ads, then I think The Department of Finance may have missed the mark.

Before I go further into the train wreck, do yourself a favour and watch it.

Filled with ‘small-talk’ gems such as:

“Hey guys, I’m just heading downstairs for my paleo pear and banana bread. Would you like to join me?” – Um, hells yes I would.
“No thanks that sounds a little bit fancy for me, I’m actually off to an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Network Meeting.” – Could you not just say ‘meeting’?
“Heeyyyy Buddy. Sorry I’ve got to do that every time, because we’re in the buddy program” – What to do when you can’t remember someone’s name.

And they say people in Government and Finance don’t know how to have fun.

The Department of Finance's Hella Awkward Ad
Is this real life? Am I dreaming? Did Jenna really get that promotion? We need answers and we need them now.

In the first 30 seconds, we go from paleo pears, to an “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Network Meeting” to the modernisation of programs to a freaking network dinner.

What in the world is a paleo pear?!?! What differentiates it from a normal pear? Is it quinoa in the shape of a pear? Is it a pear sprouted from the loins of Pete Evans himself? Are they grown from paleo trees? Are they serving said pears at the network dinner Clare loves so much? Was it just innuendo for something else that can be eaten?

You CANNOT just leave us hanging with this Clare. WE NEED ANSWERS.

The Department of Finance's Hella Awkward Ad
A paleo pear.

The ad can easily be summed up as a dumpster fire of obscurity. It’s how I imagine the North Korean government would try to recruit Westerners. Or an alien race trying to appear human and relatable to the interests of young graduate Australians.

This ad seems like it should achieve it’s purpose: the music is bubbly, the tone of the characters’ voices are uplifting, but it’s not right at all. In fact, it’s wrong, very wrong, egregiously wrong.

Didn’t anyone feel stupid while making this?!?!!? Not one single person on the set thought “hey, is it just me or is this awkward as fuck?” Which poor production company just ended their career to assist the Australian Department of Finance? All the ‘stars’ of the ad were probably caught up in their imminent stardom that they neglected to analyse the completely ludicrous words that were dribbling out of their mouths.

Donald Trump, sitting in his golden penthouse apartment, with his imported wife, thirsty toupée and mismanaged presidency; seems more relatable than this pack of cyborgs.

The Department of Finance's Hella Awkward Ad
“Hope nobody notices me reading my lines off this iPad, lol”

Later in the ad, Teena discusses a promotion of Jenna with Dane, RIGHT IN FRONT OF Dane’s other graduate/lackey/game changer. Doesn’t Teena understand this will cause resentment, jealousy and hostility to poor Jenna? Does she not know anything? God Teena, you’re so stupid.

Sitting across from Jenna in an isolated office room, Dane turns his head to her and says “Hey Jenna”. Even though they’ve ALREADY BEEN SITTING THERE FOR AGES WITH BOTH THEIR LAPTOPS OPEN. What is this nonsense. People don’t behave like this. This is NOT okay.

The Department of Finance's Hella Awkward Ad
Didn’t see you there.

As crazy as it is, this needs to become a show. I want to know more. The Australian rendition of The Office. I want the back story to Clare’s struggle with her paleo pears, the dissolution of the buddy system, the villainisation of Jenna when she receives her promotion and the juicy lesbian love affairs between the senior staff and their ‘game changers’.

By far the realest character of all is unarmed senior woman (let’s just call her Bertha) with glasses, who smartly denies Clare’s suspicious ‘paleo pear’ and gets startled when walking between two ‘buddies’.

The Department of Finance's Hella Awkward Ad

Upon some intensive research, the same production company produced a similar graduate program video for Australia Post.

So the Department of Finance, must have seen this company’s previous work and thought “yep, these are our guys”.

On a positive note, watching the Australia Post ad makes the Finance one seem a masterpiece in comparison. The fact that two government organisations have employed this atrocious company is horrifying. Is this an emerging trend in recruitment programs? Is this only the beginning? Does that mean people are actually enticed by this tomfoolery? These are dark times my friends.

Young people don’t actually want explicit acknowledgement of their good work. We want to be able to complain about not getting what we believe we’re entitled to. And work would be so boring without the catty, jealous and divisive drama that pervades any workplace.

Get your priorities straight Finance Department.


By Josh Hauville



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