Otago, Invercargill, and Stewart Island Feature

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The Southern Man

The laconic "Southern Man" has a special niche in the Kiwi mind—the typical specimen lives in the country, has a trusty dog by his side, is a rabid rugby fan, and adheres to a rugged lifestyle of farmwork, fixing the ute (pickup truck), and hitting the bars for pool and beer. Speight's beer has gotten a lot of mileage from this icon, using it for a successful Southern Man ad campaign, complete with a Southern Man theme song. ("Cuz here we just know/what makes a Southern boy tick/and it ain't margaritas/with some fruit on a stick … "). But this stereotype is rooted in reality. There are plenty of good, hardy blokes in Otago and Southland who dress in shorts and Swannies (Swanndri woolen bush shirts), drink Speight's beer, and work on farms. Before long some visitors may develop similar traits. If you find yourself saying things like "She's a hard road" and "She'll be right" when the going gets tough, then the process is well under way. To help the Southern Man find the right lady there is an annual Perfect Woman competition, with challenges such as digging in a fence post, backing a trailer loaded with hay, fitting snow chains, tipping a 242-pound ram, and opening a bottle of Speight's without a bottle opener. As the ad says, "It's a hard road to find the perfect woman."

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