Meat & Livestock Australia aren’t afraid of a little controversy, particularly when it comes to Australia Day.
You’ve no doubt heard that its latest ad starring Lee Lin Chin has attracted dozens of complaints and offended Australia’s vegan and vegetarian communities to no end, but that doesn’t mean we should all throw out our Australia Day marketing campaigns.
There is plenty of opportunity for savvy small business owners to get involved and leverage the holiday spirit, without causing too much controversy.
Here are four simple and easy Australia Day marketing tactics (which you can roll out in less than a week) to get your creative juices flowing:
Wear it with pride
McDonalds is a marketing powerhouse and has had some winning Australia Day campaigns over the years. One of our favourites was the ‘wear it with pride’ campaign designed to promote the return of the McOz burger with a slice of beetroot.
McDonalds encouraged Australians to wear their beetroot stains with pride but you can encourage them to wear Australia Day merchandise instead. Offer a discount or prize to anyone who comes into the store dressed up.
Run an online business? Even better! Encourage customers to post a #AUSDAY selfie to your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account to receive a discount code. Don’t forget to create your own hashtag to keep track of entries.
Run an online competition and ask entrants to share their favourite Australia Day memory for a chance to win a prize.
The prize? A survival pack stocked full of Australia Day essentials – sunscreen, merch, tomato sauce, a giant inflatable thong or a digital radio to listen to the Triple J Hottest 100 – throw in some vegemite and you’re good to go.
You can partner with another company to share the costs and if you want to extend the reach of the campaign pay to promote it on social media.
Be sure to capture email addresses as part of the entry process. These will come in handy down the track.
Join the celebration
Host an event in your shop, bar or workshop and invite staff, friends and customers to drop by. It doesn’t need to be large scale – just get in the spirit, have a sausage sizzle or give away a free beer (if you have a liquor license).
Send well wishes
Wishing your customers a happy Australia Day by email or snail-mail can go a long way. It also gives you the chance to promote relevant products or offers at the same time.
While Meat & Livestock Australia prefers to take the controversial route you really don’t need to be controversial to see great results and foster better relationships with your customers. The trick is to keep it simple and to have fun!
Interested in strengthening your branding and marketing tactics? Download our free guide to building a brand. It will help to define, design and promote your brand.
Originally published January 18 2016 , updated May 3 2017