Woolworths a flagship commercial supermarket has faced a lot of criticism after releasing an ad that incorporated the Anzac tradition in their branding, which follows the growing allegations of concern over “Woolworths attempt of capitalising on the anniversary of Australia’s national identity for its own commercial benefit” which, directly has the supermarket giant being exposed to avalanche of social media backlash. Emerging from the aftermath of the “controversial media release” numerous articles have depicted their distaste for the approach used by the corporate giants in advertising such referring to it as a “sentimental and insensitive topic”, Erky Bagshaw’s “Woolworths agency in hiding after disastrous Anzac advertising campaign” article draws on conceptual maters which has illustrated the public uproar on social media. Furthermore, Kara Billsborough’s article further elaborates the disgust for the inappropriate and trivialised use of the word ANZAC, whilst going into depth about the overall marketing techniques which were used by Woolworths in the formation of this “disrespectful ad”..
This essay will critically analyse the use of tying such a symbolic event in Australia’s history with the use of marketing techniques to promote the supermarket giant’s brand. Similarly, in depth analysis into empirical research will be conducted to depict and demonstrate a point of juxtaposition seen through the original author’s argument.
The controversial Woolworths campaign “Fresh in our Memories” with uploaded to social media on April 15th 2015. Woolworth’s was directed to be taken down their Anzac commemoration website after the “decision to link ‘Diggers’ with its fresh food people slogan” to promote their brand’s awareness as well as being recognised in Australian traditions. Woolworth’s businesses planning to align their advertising with Anzac Day received a negative response amongst everyday Australians. A loud voice apposing this disrespectful ad comes from, Senator Ronaldson, who told 702 ABC Sydney,
"It was not appropriate, they did not have permission and, under the Protection of Word Anzac Act, I've got to authorise the use of the word Anzac and I did not provide it for those who are looking for purely commercial benefit,"
Senator Ronaldson went on further to say “there are potential penalties for unauthorised use of the word Anzac, which can be $10,000 for an individual, $50,000 for a corporation or 12 months' imprisonment”. “Even in 1920 when this Act was put in place, the legislators of the day were determined to protect the word and put in what are very significant penalties. These strong words from the Senator clearly depicted the distaste which is being expressed through social media over such a heritage and iconic Australian tradition being implemented into a Woolworth’s campaign for the idealisation of promotion of their label.
The unethical intentions of this campaign sparked a furore across the country’s social media in-regrade to the malpractice of Woolworths implementation of Anzac heritage in a campaign ad, along with a website that was intended to commemorate the Diggers and bring people together to remember what the Anzacs have done for our country. The ad caused an extreme negative backlash seen without both Bagshaw and Billsborough’s articles, which clearly depicting the occurring criticism which was being voiced was the allegations against Woolworth’s within Billsborough article starting that; “Capitalised on the anniversary of Australia’s national identity for its own commercial benefits.”
Mr Ronaldson further distinguishes that there is no place for the Anzac world to be trivialised. He further goes on and says;
“This is a very, very special word for all Australians. It must be treated appropriately and we must never let it be used in an inappropriate sense that diminishes service and sacrifice over the last 100 years.”
However, Bagshaw opted to draw focus more on how the