The Very Real Shire Of Bland Releases Delightfully Boring Tourism Video
A very real shire by the name of Bland has released a delightfully un-spicy video asking Australians to send it some flavour.
Bland, a rural shire about 600km away from both Sydney and Melbourne, leans in heavily into its namesake in this new video, which is equal parts deadpan and charming.
It opens with the Bland Shire Council's General Manager, Ray Smith, speaking to the camera and explaining the shire's unusual predicament.
"We're kind of like folk. We're generous, we're kind-hearted, we love a cold beer and a good yarn. But we're missing one thing that you people have and that's that extra flavour."
The video -- which feels a bit like if the sitcom Parks and Recreation was made by the same people who do the Rivers ads -- then cuts to the people from the shire.
"I promised the boys if we won the flag I'd cook them up a batch of Singaporean chilli crabs," says one bloke in a footy jersey, turning snags on the barbie.
"But that'd involve me driving 280 kilometres to Canberra, so... tough sh*t, fellas."
The ad culminates in Ray's very real email address (we checked) flashing up in fluoro green, asking viewers to send in their recipes and "help bring flavour to Bland".
In case you can't read that: Ray's email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ray told ten daily that the offer is extremely serious, and it could be the start of something beautiful -- maybe even an annual food festival.
"Anything that could attract some more visitors, particularly during this drought, would be great for the town and the local economy," he said.
"It's a pretty resilient town, the farmers are responding well, but I've spoken to a few farmers who tell me it's the first time in a generation where they won't have a harvest."
Bland is part of a League of Extraordinary Communities, joining forces with the towns of Dull in Scotland (population: 80) and Boring in the United States (population: 539).
"We like to say we might be bland but we're far from Boring," Ray said.
He's visited the town of Dull ("the highlight was probably the cemetery, where we were given a history of everybody who was buried there"), and has plans to visit the town of Boring in the next few years.
Representatives of Boring and Dull have yet to make the pilgrimage out to Bland, but who knows -- they might be ready to bring the flavour.
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Lead photo: Bland Shire Council