Marketers fail to ride the Australia Day wave

You can learn a lot from what people say, do and share. We wanted to understand more about what it means to be Australian by analysing social buzz data* around Australia Day. We found that the four key things that stoked the passions of Aussies on Australia Day were; our beautiful landscape, the all-important barbie, our love of beer and our simple food icons.

Australia Day Chart

Life’s a beach

Reading like a tourist board’s dream, our landscape makes up the lion’s share of Australia Day mentions, with more than 40% of the total buzz over the period.

Of this, 4 in 5 of us mentioned (or more accurately, mainly tweeted) about that one feature of our landscape known as quintessentially Aussie the world over – the beach.  Naturally Australia’s, if not the world’s, most famous beach, was the most mentioned.  Other features of our landscape were dwarfed in comparison – only one in six, of the more romantic minded amongst us, talking about our sunsets for example.


Aussies celebrate with a beer

When Aussie’s celebrate Australia Day a beer is the natural choice, with no other drink even registering in social mentions. While our right to drink is probably held even more closely than our American cousins’ right to bear arms, the discussion isn’t dominated by any one brand. Beer in any form is enough to slake the Aussie thirst. No single beer brand featuring in more than 0.5% of the 17,500 mentions. Aussie humour is really at its best when looking through the lens of the beer category, underlining how spot on our beer campaigns have been in hitting the mark of how the amber nectar sits within our national psyche.

social2 Beach, Beer, barbie but no brands

Overall what’s interesting is how relatively little brand action we see across buzz itself. While Vegemite is an iconic Aussie brand, mentions of it occurred irrespective of any actual activity from the brand itself, and our national day remains one where other brands really don’t play in too hard. Maybe our national day should be just that, a national day and not a branded day.

However, it seems that while buying Australian continues to remain an important claim for any Aussie brand to talk about in dialogue with consumers, they themselves don’t want to or don’t currently see any one brand in particular as owning that space when it comes to Australia Day itself.  Understanding more about the conversations that are taking place gives us better insight into when, how and where it is appropriate to engage Australians with brands.


*Source: Radian 6

Carl Mclean is Director of Insights at OMD.

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