A huge billboard faces me as I crawl down Punt Road Melbourne, its wild purple and yellow-daubed sports fan (male) leering over the northbound traffic. Its message: 'Sport is a Religion, so pray for Yamaha Stadium Sound' Canny advertising, hooking into aussie culture, selecting an aussie take on religion/ sport (fun, serious, primitive, fanatic, central). Next, there's the Next fashion ad, with its larger than life-sized photograph of a gorgeously dressed young female eying off the pope's long white robe, comparing outfits. Fashion as religion, or better than, really, is the inference-she looks mildly amused, and he looks a little nonplussed. And then there are the many Qantas advertisments for 'Spirit of. Australia' featuring Aboriginal figures, with backdrops of Dlum and the red desert. As cultural tour businesses know, there's money to be made in taking urban, nonIndigenous tourists to visit their 'spiritual other', the Aboriginal.1 Or there's the multicultural, children's version of the ad, with all the little global travellers of the future featured in wonderful locations. Spirit of Australia.
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