A few years ago, the Speights Ale company in New Zealand made a series of "Southern Man" television advertisements. Where many beer commercials employed stereotypical images of sexy women as an attention grabber, these adverts more exemplified the laconic humour of the Antipodean male. However, it turns out it is hard to completely eliminate the female component in a beer ad. This is how one of them, called "City Girl" plays out. The description below is my own, but the dialogue is taken from the Speights commercial.


The scene is a golden sunset on the tussock plains of a sheep station in New Zealand's High Country. A small camp fire flickers. The elder of two solitary sheep musterers (call him Grizz) catches a can of Speights thrown to him by the younger one (lets say Buck). Buck takes a second beer from the icy stream and cracks it open for himself. They settle back in silence. These are Southerners. Men of few words.

In the failing light, Grizz catches the youngster sneaking a look at a dog eared photo from the pocket of his Driza-Bone. Its of a pretty blonde in a white dress.

Grizz (Gently accusingly):
You been seeing a city girl?

Buck (Pensive):
Yep. Wants me to go up to Auckland with her

Grizz Shudders. South Islanders have trouble even uttering the name of that North Island city such is their contempt for the big smoke:
Whats the attraction up there then?

A place on the harbour. 500SL Mercedes. 80 foot yacht. Then the really hard one. Her old man's got a box at Eden Park.

Grizz's eyes dart up just perceptibly. A hospitality suite at a premier rugby venue. A difficult thing to turn down.

A pause.

Buck (troubled):
She doesn't drink Speights, but.

Now a very long pause. Old Grizz is clearly torn. This is a tough one. Eventually he offers the best advice he can manage in this clearly difficult situation:
She's a hard road finding the PERFECT woman, boy.

Buck muses:
I reckon.




Buck makes eye contact with the old man and for the first time there is just a hint of humour:
No hurry, hey?

Flicker of relief in the old man's eyes. Very quietly he breathes out, as if offering up a prayer of thanks:
Goodonya mate.


With acknowledgement to Speights (Pride of the South)

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