‘Branding Bernie’: How Bernard Tomic Got His Mojo Back (Part One)

The Public Apology is proud to present its latest mini-series, ‘Branding Bernie’: How Bernard Tomic Got His Mojo Back. Here, we look at the forgotten man of tennis, Bernard Tomic, and his desperate bid to recapture the hearts and minds of the Australian tennis public…

PART ONE: MEET AND GREET

Bernard Tomic sat in the waiting room, slumped languidly across two chairs, nervously biting his finger nails in anticipation. It was a habit he’d tried many times to shake, but old habits die hard, and if he was being honest, chewed fingernails were the least of his concerns. There were much more pressing matters at hand – more insidious habits that needed shaking – and that’s exactly what had brought him here, at 9:00am on a Tuesday morning, in the hope of starting afresh.

For years, he’d relished in the role of tennis bad boy, but out of nowhere, a new market entrant had emerged, in the form of Nick Kyrgios. Kyrgios was the new enfant terrible of Australian tennis – attracting headlines and polarising opinions for his bolshie behaviour; a colourful, flamboyant symbol of modernity. To top it all off, Kyrgios was actually good. He was winning games of tennis – important ones, too – something that Bernard certainly wasn’t doing. Both on and off the court, Kyrgios was getting eyeballs; sparking conversation…

Something had to change.

“Mr Tomic, we’re ready. Follow me, please,” a young assistant purred, shaking Bernard from his meandering thoughts. He complied with her directive, taking care to admire her ample posterior as they scaled the flight of stairs.

Old habits die hard, don’t they Bernie? Old habits die hard…

Just as soon as he’d made his way up the stairs, Bernard heard his name.

“Bernard! Delighted you could make it. Welcome to Deep Visioning!”

He looked up. A well-dressed man, late-30s, perhaps early-40s, was extending him a broad smile and a handshake, his glistening white teeth and Hawaiian spray tan prompting Bernard to blink twice. He was flanked by a slim young woman in her mid-20s – actually, maybe late-20s, Bernard swiftly assessed – and a short, bald man with a close-clipped beard and a faintly smug smile.

Alan Jacobs was head of brand strategy at Deep Visioning – the most well-regarded branding agency in all of Sydney. Jacobs and the crew at Deep Visioning were responsible for some of the highest profile rebrands in both the corporate and FMCG space. Their strength was in story-telling: creating compelling brand propositions for ailing companies, enabling them to forge a powerful bond with their target market.

In recent times, Jacobs had turned the company’s attention to celebrities – “they’re brands, too!” he’d say – and encountered immediate success. In 2009, Deep Visioning won a prestigious industry award for rebranding  former Channel V and Australian Idol presenter, Andrew G, as Osher Günsberg, a committed vegan and host of Channel Seven’s hit show, The Bachelor. 

Following the Günsberg success, Deep Visioning had become the unofficial go-to branding agency for celebrities. But Deep Visioning had never taken on a client like Tomic, a prickly, controversial sports star, whose brand would require a complete overhaul. If the Australian public was ever to fall back in love with Bernard Tomic – just as they had with Andre G/Osher Günsberg – sweeping changes would be necessary. 

“Nice to meet you, Alan,” Bernard sheepishly answered, offering a limp, attitude-soaked handshake that, in itself, said everything.

“This is Ally, our account manager, and Brian, our head creative director. We’re really looking forward to working with you on this, Bernard. Let’s just head into our meeting room and get started, shall we?”

Bernard took a gulp of air, stuffed his hands into his pockets, and sauntered into the room.

Fuck me. I guess I’m actually going through with this.

By Dave Edwards

NEXT: Branding Bernie (Part Two)

Shane Warne: The Steep Decline Of Australia’s Greatest Leg-Spinner

Shane Warne is the greatest leg-spinner the world has ever seen.

It’s a testament to just how good he was at cricket that his on-field performances were able to overshadow his astonishing moments of depravity away from it.

Very early on, Australia signed a social contract with Warne: we agreed to forgive (and in some cases celebrate) all his off-field mistakes on the basis that he continue to spin Australia to victory.

We always viewed Shane Warne through the prism of his on-field achievements. It enabled us to overlook his many, many indiscretions. From match fixing to diuretics to serial philandering, we found a way to excuse all his sins.

He was the rogue sales manager who’d charge prostitutes to the company credit card, but was always forgiven because he smashed all his targets.

Now that he’s retired, we just see him for who he truly is: a pretty shameless, disgusting man with very carnal desires. Without the prism of cricket through which to view him, we just see a middle-aged man who thinks he’s 23.

Warne’s on- and off-field dichotomy has always been critical to our understanding of him. An artist with the ball in hand; a sex fiend with his dick in hand. He was the Picasso of cricket.

But like Picasso, we needed him to be good at painting cricket in order to excuse his shortcomings.

This year we’ve cringed more than ever before over Warney. The recent news that he commissioned this painting should not come as a surprise. Really, he’s not doing anything he wouldn’t have done in years gone by.

In fact, his behaviour overtime has been remarkably consistent. After all, we had a social contract in place. He knew that, and so did we.

Only difference now is that he isn’t spinning us to victory. In fact, it’s coming on a decade since he last played test cricket for Australia. It’s been years since he’s been relevant on the cricket field.

And that’s why it’s getting harder and harder to take this shit.

By Dave Edwards

This Fifth Ashes Test Is Going To Feel Weird

The fifth test of this Ashes series commences later this week. Just thought we’d remind you, since you’ve probably moved on with your life by now.

Unfortunately, it will mean nothing in the context of this series, since England has already claimed the Ashes in commanding fashion.

We got dicked in England. It has been utterly humiliating. We were bowled out for a giggle-inducing 60. Our captain announced his retirement mid-series. Several players may never pull on a baggy green again.

So what incentive is there to even tune in?

Trust me, you don’t want to miss this. The full gamut of emotions will be on display throughout the match. Anything could happen. This could be the best test ever – or the most embarrassing drubbing of all time.

Here are some things that are almost certain to happen:

  • Sky Sports will air an emotional montage of Michael Clarke’s career at the top of coverage
  • Michael Clarke will receive a faux-earnest round of applause upon heading to the crease for the last time
  • Clarke will look at the sky and acknowledge his wife as he leaves the field for the last time
  • Cameras will pan towards his dutiful wife as she stands to applaud her husband, a solitary tear trickling down her magnificently chiseled face
  • The Australians will go really fucking hard at everything and it will likely cost us the game
  • Dave Warner will display very few leadership qualities
  • Steve Smith will cry openly
  • Michael Clarke will not cry
  • Shaun Marsh will not play
  • Shaun Marsh might play
  • Peter Siddle will take 4/84 off 26 and leave us wondering ‘what if?’
  • Peter Siddle will cry
  • Chris Rogers will be disciplined and measured in everything that he does and he will be sorely missed
  • Chris Rogers will not cry
  • Shane Watson will hit 180 not out and baffle us all for eternity
  • Darren Lehmann will stand there in silent repose, arms crossed, regardless of what happens.

Just watch it.

By Dave Edwards