The 26th January, Australia Day – the national day of “Oz-tralia” – also referred to as Invasion Day by a few – it commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove in 1788 usually with a bar-bie, lamingtons, vegi on toast and maybe some sparklers later as a special treat.
From a social media marketing perspective “nationalism” is much like any other tribalism – just scaled up from the local town footy team fans to state loyalties and special interest groups.
At its core it is the establishment of an artificial, political construct of collective cultural identity – OK too deep for a public holiday.
Interestingly Jan 26 also marks the anniversary of the Rum Rebellion in 1808, the only military coup in Australia’s short history starring English “mutiny on the bounty” bad guy William Bligh. Popular belief is that the autocratic Bligh was removed because he threatened the huge profits that were being made in spirits trading by the NSW Corps and established businessmen. Others say it was less do to with policy and more about Bligh’s attitude and disrespect of the new colonies established gentry.
“You can give me 50 lashes mate, but don’t touch my grog business or else”
Whatever the reasons one can ask how much of the past is reflected in the culture of today – who we are, what we do?
From a marketing perspective I’m always interested in “Australia” branding BUT whatever approach you take can get you into trouble for massive generalisations.
Beaches, native animals, sunshine, friendly people….
Marketing is about being different, remarkable and sustainable competitve advantage.
“I was so disappointed there were no kangaroos in the city” said one visitor – yeow!
I think we should have kangaroos at every international airport AND wombats – at Border Patrol!
Personally I didn’t mind “Australia” the movie but from an Australia global marketing campaign perspective it was a $100m dud.
Hmmm start a rumour that the Avatar rainforests were based on the Queensland Daintree (smiles)- should try and get a quote from James Cameron – wonder if he’s on Twitter?
Around the world today there are parties of Aussies and world travellers “chipped and branded” celebrating the Day.
It is the shared experience that matters most – whatever the event.
And remember in the technological, globally connected times of today – any news in flashed and shared instantly around the world.
New Years Eve fireworks on the Harbour Bridge across a glistening harbour – a couple of million people in the City – the images into billions of homes.
An Indian guy sadly murdered in Melbourne – “all Aussies are racists” cried a student to Indian TV!
That same night an Aussie was also stabbed nearby – crime happens.
There was 320K student visas granted in 2008-2009. The result Indian student visas dropped 46% threatening a $17B industry employing thousands of Australians. Politicians jumped.
Focus on the positive – worrying is like praying for the worst.
Happy Oz Day – may all your eskies be full, your beers icy cold and your footy/cricket team victorious.