The ANZAC marketing business 33



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It is 100 years of ANZAC Day this year and the crank is well and truly in the marketing machine. We’ve seen it coming at us from TV, with the Gallipoli series (which was rather unimpressive), to the festivals being promoted endlessly such as ANZAC Sleepout being waved at us all, hoping to commercialise the momentous event. There’s been events popping up in the media everywhere and commemorative things to buy to celebrate with, tied tenuously to the milestone. But are we doing this important moment in our national history the tasteful justice it deserves? I would debate we aren’t looking at the emotional significance to our nation of such an important event and that we should, bypassing the marketing rubbish we are seeing.

Out of all patriotic moments as a nation ANZAC Day has got to be our most moving in history, yet I worry that we are letting ourselves down by letting this event be anything but the authentic, non-commercial celebration of men in battle, fighting for freedom. When it becomes tickets to a rock-concert style bash, complete with branded swags and t-shirts to me it loses everything special is offering people.

Several of my friends have been lucky enough to win tickets in the ballot to the actual 100 year celebration in Turkey. Their immense appreciation for the event they are going to be able to participate in is palpable, and to me is what ANZAC is all about. Sure, they’ll spend an innocuous amount getting there to experience it… but it will be a once in a lifetime experience. Will lining the pockets of the ANZAC Sleepout co-ordinators feel as good when drunk 20-somethings jump over each other to the tune of anthemic Australian rock tunes blaring in the background?

I personally could think of little worse. Give me a beautiful, moving ANZAC service with as many of our veterans marching the streets as possible. Let the kids of veterans march in a “descendents” march, behind those who have fought – in respect for our forebears making this a tradition that can be carried on for centuries to come, without war, and let the multigenerational respect for wartime be properly felt. But please don’t turn ANZAC Day into a sickly over-commercialised moment that insults the incredible significance of the day, 100 years on.


What do you think? Tell us your thoughts below.

Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. I don’t know about the marketing… I guess it makes the younger generation aware. I think of the true stories I have seen on the wars, all wars, the lives lost and my grandfather. He didn’t die, he was a light horseman. I was unfortunate in not being able to spend a lot of time with him when I was growing up, but I loved him so much and was very proud of him. It is people like him that makes the fight to keep this country a country we are proud of all worthwhile….

    1 REPLY
    • I agree Fran I didn’t get to meet my grandfather who was gassed at the Somme and died as a result when my father was 12. How I would have loved to have known him

  2. I think perhaps this is a way of drawing in the young, but I agree, I don’t need any merchandise and will be very happy to be part of our village ceremony.

  3. I’ll sit down at 11 o’clock on Anzac Day and reflect.I will not take any notice of the commercialisation of this sombrero occasion.LEST WE FORGET!

    1 REPLY
    • Nice thought but the 11 o’clock is for armistice day on 11 Nov. ANZAC day time for reflection is sunrise about 5:30 am which about the time they landed on the beaches

  4. I could march on ANZAC Day but I don’t.. I have my grandads medals and my dads but I would not feel comfortable, they went to war, they were the ones who had the hardship and pain..not me. But I go to the ANZAC Day Service and watch the march because I do feel very proud of them. We should not have market this, their courage and valor should be marketing enough

  5. It’s an important day in history, this year it’s 100 years since our first men went. RIP all who passed.Also thanks to the people who still serve.

  6. As far as I can see, it is all money making. My Dad was at Gallipoli, he was nearly 52 when I was born. He was born on 17/5/1895 and enlisted on 17/8/1914. He wasn’t home much of my early life but he was my Dad and I have always respected his bravery in WW1. Loved him and very Proud. R.I.P. to all those brave people who served in WW1.

  7. I think we should remember every year but this year is 100 to celebrate the valour the love the heroism the loyalty to The flag , the comradeship, the death, the life, the sacrifices . there stories should be kept alive for they are not here to tell them… the war has never ended

  8. It’s up to us all to reject the commercialism and simply remember those brave men and women who did so much for us.

  9. As a former digger, I’ve ignored the commercialisation of this particular ANZAC Day. I don’t march, but I do attend the dawn service and usually at my local RSL. This ANZAC Day will be filled with a lot of emotion for myself as I remember my grandfather and father both in their uniforms. One in the Australian clobber of the time, the other in the allied uniform in Europe (ex polish soldier). Neither of them, or my other relatives who served, ever spoke about their time during the first or second world wars. Even when I joined in 1973, all they said was good on ya young fella. Apart from my Dad, (who turns 90 in May) have passed away, but are fondly remembered.

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