Magic Valley launches cultivated lamb meatballs on the tail of MLA’s lamb ad

It’s Sam Kekovich season again (generally understood simply as summer = BBQs) and time for the much-anticipated epitome of Australian humour that forms the latest marketing effort in MLA’s twenty-year long “its un-Australian not to eat lamb” campaign.  
January 17, 2024 Op-ed
Magic Valley launches cultivated lamb meatballs on the tail of MLA’s lamb ad

It’s Sam Kekovich season again (generally understood simply as summer = BBQs) and time for the much-anticipated epitome of Australian humour that forms the latest marketing classic in MLA’s twenty-year-long “its un-Australian not to eat lamb” campaign.  

Brilliantly crafted by the creative geniuses at The Monkeys marketing agency, the latest lamb ad sees the once blokey, deadpan, mildly confronting ex-footballer Kekovich-of-old transmogrified into the culture-creating unifying force of reason bringing Australians together: no divisions are so great that generation gaps and ideological differences can’t be bridged around the BBQ and the magnetic allure of the aroma of a grilled lamb chop. 

With perfect timing, albeit somewhat serendipitous, Australian cultivated meat start-up Magic Valley, held a public tasting of its lamb meatballs this month, at a by-invitation-only event in Melbourne. The reach of this event might be orders of magnitude away from the multi-million dollar national television lamb campaign, but the ultimate impact could yet be far greater. 

With an innovative technology making use of (what are called) ‘induced pluripotent stem cells’, Magic Valley can create “real” lamb without any harm to any animal. Moreover, from a single source of IPSCs, limitless self-renewal is possible: that is, an endless and continued reproduction of the cells needed for the creation of large volumes of end product.  

The potential for a future of limitless meat production without the environmental impacts of further increases in traditional forms of animal farming might just become part of the zeitgeist  Kekovich is feeding from.  

How ironic that with just a fraction of the cost of this ad re-directed towards investment in a company like Magic Valley, Australians of all generations, beliefs and value positions could be truly united by an Australian product, “you too can have your lamb and eat it”. 

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