Brandzac Day! Commercialising Anzac Day

Fresh in our Memories: Woolworths

Woolworths’ fail

I struggle with the commercialisation of Christmas and Easter, and now marketers are cashing in on Anzac Day. While Woolworths’ recent failed “Fresh in our memories” marketing campaign has received most attention and outrage they are far from the only culprits.

VB promotes beer through its “Raise your glass” campaign and encourage a drinking culture amongst veterans.

The National Rugby League will “Commemorate the Anzac centenary” with  a “10-hour marathon” of rugby (Sydney Morning Herald). The NRL calls the Anzac round a “celebration of the sacrifices made by soldiers from Australia and New Zealand”. And you can even buy a special commemorative Anzac Round Jersey.

Travel companies promote tours that “pay tribute to heroes at Gallipoli and Anzac Cove” with pilgrimages to Gallipoli having become almost a rite of passage for many young Australians (McDonald, 2010).

And then there is all the Anzac day memorabilia available from a wide range of shops.Anzac Day memorabilia from TargetMany of the campaigns link themselves with charity: VB donates $1 million to Legacy and the Returned Soldiers League; $20 (of the $160 price) from the sale of the Panther’s rugby Jersey will be donated to charity. But it’s still marketing and it’s still part of the continual search to increase our consumption.

Kudos to whoever thought up the term Brandzac Day!

If you liked this post please follow my blog (top right-hand corner of the blog), and you might like to look at:

  1. Our addiction to growth
  2. Good Friday – another commercial opportunity?
  3. A more sustainable Christmas?
  4. 10 ways to reduce your consumption
  5. The widening gap between rich and poor – Time to even it up.
  6. The life you can save by donating


McDonald, M. (2010). “Lest We Forget”: The Politics of Memory and Australian Military Intervention1. International Political Sociology, 4(3), 287-302. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-5687.2010.00106.x

About Graeme Stuart

Lecturer (Family Action Centre, Newcastle Uni), blogger (Sustaining Community), Alternatives to Violence Project facilitator, environmentalist, father. Passionate about families, community development, peace, sustainability.
This entry was posted in Environmental sustainability, Social change and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Brandzac Day! Commercialising Anzac Day

  1. dave2718 says:

    I’m torn over ANZAC, its meaning and how to recognise it. The whole sales and branding seems to be wrong, but if you’re giving money (even what are relatively small amounts) to the RSL then it seems to be OK with many. I am comfortable with the many events and displays that seem to be run by libraries and similar. I’m almost indifferent to the sport, although the associated hubris is distasteful. I don’t think you should be stopped from any activity but the concious coupling of your chosen event to ANZAC is where the problem starts.
    I worry more about how different parts of our community are meant to react: indigenous australians (doubly denied, with both service and resistance to invasion ignored); Turkish-Australians (Galipolli is, afterall a signficant step towards creating modern Turkey). Does honouring the war dead extend to opponents? to wars we weren’t involved in? To large number of civilians – disproportionately women and children – who have died in modern wars?
    I don’t really know the answer but I suspect the right way is without corporations, without too much government – a coming together as individuals in quiet rememberance. A sort of national quaker service where each brings their own thoughts and prayers, in silence but together.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes I also find the whole Anzac legend and the way we “celebrate” Anzac day difficult. I actually working on a post for next week looking at some of the issues you raised. In it I’ll be mentioning the reaction the Governor of Tasmania received to a great speech he gave on Anzac day questioning some aspects of Anzac day. Amongst other things he was “accused” of being a Quaker!

      Liked by 1 person

I'd love to hear what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.