Australians are rethinking their family life, reshaping their work aspirations, and heading into the great outdoors in droves postpandemic and brands need to step up to meet the Aussies of 2023, a new whitepaper report from The Media Store has found.
The full Rethinking Australia: Stepping Down or Stepping Out whitepaper report is available here.
The Media Store today released the findings of its new whitepaper report, Rethinking Australia: Stepping Down or Stepping Out, which explores how Australians have shifted culturally post-COVID-19 across their family, work, and social lives. The paper is focused on three core areas where significant change has occurred, and how brands need to diversify, to ensure their campaigns remain relevant to the Australia of today.
Rethinking Australia: Stepping Down or Stepping Out is the first of a series of whitepapers from The Media Store that reveals how brands should be rethinking Australians and unpacks this awakening exploring how culturally Australians are stepping down, or stepping out. It also looks at how specific brand categories can successfully engage with these new cultural dynamics.
The Media Store, chief strategy officer, Sam Cousins, said: “When Jacinda Arden stepped down from her role as Prime Minister of New Zealand, her reasons resonated with many everyday Australians. And she wasn’t alone; just recently we saw WA Premier Mark McGown cite exhaustion as his reason for stepping down. Ash Barty retired from tennis at age 26 at the peak of her career, Leigh Sales departed from ABC’s 7.30 Report and Carrie Bickmore stepped down from The Project.
Even Prince Harry has stepped down from Royal life. Elsewhere cricketer Beth Mooney stepped outside of her career to train to be a police officer. Jason Castagna left Richmond AFL club at the peak of his career aged 26 to become a tattoo artist. Cody Simpson decided to go back to professional swimming. “And whilst this is evident in public facing categories such as sport, politics and television, the more interesting shift is in the lives of everyday Australians.”
The report has uncovered three core areas of change among Australians: rethinking family dynamics, reshaping work aspiration and reimagining what freedom looks like. According to the report, many Australians have rethought their family dynamics post-pandemic, particularly their relationships and gender roles. The national divorce rate is at 10-year-high, with older single women emerging as a key audience for brands, while the birth rate is also declining, as many couples choose not to have children. Cousins said the report showed that ‘one-size-fits-all’ family advertising is a thing of the past.
“Marketers have to acknowledge the changing family dynamics occurring across our country, particularly the rise of single women over age 55, and the increase in couples opting not to have children or changing the way their family looks. These changes present opportunities for older singles, single parents, and couples without kids to feature in campaigns, and for brands to expand their product offering to target these groups,” she said. The report also showed the rise of a new phenomenon post-pandemic: the great realignment.
After the upheaval of the past few years, Australians are now taking time to reshape their future and their work life. Trends like work/life balance, quiet quitting, and self-learning are on the rise, while workplaces have had to prioritise staff wellness to retain and attract talent. “This period of great reinvention shows Australians’ aspirations for success have evolved and are now more anchored in new values and ways of thinking,” Cousins said. “For marketers, advertising now has to lean into this need for balance in all walks of life, with a focus on products and services that can help achieve this sought-after parity.”
Australians’ overarching view of freedom has also changed post-pandemic, the report found. Inter and intrastate migration continues and there has been a strong emergence of #vanlife, that is, people choosing to live behind the wheel for extended periods, along with growth in the tiny house movement, with people upping sticks and swapping city life for a tree change, and an increased need to get back to nature.
Cousins believes the rise of freedom connected to nature provides brands with an opportunity to collaborate and diversify to find new audiences. The changes we’re seeing across all different demographics is really telling of an Australia moving on from the past three years. The trends around shifting family dynamics, career and life aspirations along with the exploration of freedom transcend all generations, people are not defined by age anymore. As we strive to solve our clients’ business problems through the lens of media, we’re now looking at audiences differently based on how media is seamlessly integrated into these moments and their lives,” she said.
“Marketers need to lean heavily into this renewed concept of freedom being founded in nature and getting outdoors. It’s a fantastic opportunity to collaborate with brands that inspire freedom outside to really extend the offering. We’ve seen incredible collaborations between brands like Gucci and The North Face, who have used each other’s markets to create something really unique that speaks to customers where they are.”