To Fujitsu General’s ARBS gala dinner at the True Value Solar Centre near Melbourne Airport, home of the Essendon Bombers Football Club, where air con salesmen and dealers rubbed shoulders with some of Australia’s sporting elite.
UnderCurrent was amused by three moments of mirth at the dinner, which took place on the well-manicured astroturf inside The Hangar, the Bombers’ weatherpoof oval.
Fujitsu General managing director Toru Ishizuka showed some amusing self awareness when thanking his business partners for joining him at dinner. With Australia’s air conditioning industry converging on Melbourne for ARBS, there were myriad dinners, functions and other salubrious forms of hospitality on offer for visitors, so Ishizuka was no doubt gratified by the large number of guests that chose Fujitsu over the other brands.
“I would like to thank the attendees here for sparing their time to share this very special evening with us,” Ishizuka said. “I am very impressed by the number of people here. I don’t know whether you had the choice of going to a Daikin dinner or a Mitsubishi dinner but I am very grateful for your loyalty tonight.”
Cue much laughter from the crowd.
Between the entree and the main, Fujitsu hosted a Q&A with Essendon captain and 2012 Brownlow Medal winner Jobe Watson, which included the following exchange and interjection from the peanut gallery:
MC Chris Jewell: What’s the biggest stage for an AFL footballer: Anzac Day or a Grand Final?
Jobe Watson: I haven’t played in a Grand Final yet; I hope to one day.
Deputy MD Phil Perham: You better – it’s in the contract!
Controversy struck Fujitsu General when longstanding brand ambassador Mark Taylor took to the stage for a chat. In addition to saying how grateful he was that Fujitsu withdrew from TVs (“I no longer have to say ‘PlasmaVision'”), the former Australian cricket captain dropped a huge bombshell on the crowd: he can’t actually play the mandolin!
Taylor recounted how the creative team at Fujitsu’s agency, 303, brought him into the studio to discuss the latest idea. They had ‘Tubby’ juggle a cricket ball on his bat, and that was easy enough, but then they took it up another level, as he recounts:
This year, they said, ‘How well do you play a guitar?’
I said, ‘I don’t’.
So they said, ‘You’re no good at a mandolin either?’
I said, ‘Nuh’.
‘Well, this year, you’re playing a mandolin.’
I thought, ‘Shit, this’ll be good!’
But I’ve got to say, I’ve watched that ad knowing I didn’t play the bloody thing and, shit, I am good!
House = Down.