Luisa Dalli (lead image) is a senior strategist at Havas Media Group. In this guest post, Dalli says Australia didn’t merely elect the Albanese government but it also shone a bright light on where we are and what we want as a nation…
It’s been two months since Australia’s federal election, yet the underling feeling of change is still fresh in my mind. See, the census can tell us what we are, but the election can tell us who we are as a society. Let me set the scene. It’s late on a Saturday evening, I’m anxiously refreshing my social feed and all media networks are predicting a change in the federal government – one might say, an absolute rager of a night.
This is my fifth time voting in Australia’s federal election, and the first time conceding to the fact that Australian politics is somewhat a hobby of mine [promise I’m actually fun]. See, I view the Australian Federal Election as one colossal piece of quantitative research that can help us understand what matters most to Australians.
Okay, back to that rager of a Saturday night.
I have just witnessed a significant shift in Australia’s cultural outlook. Anthony Albanese has retained the Sydney Inner West seat of Grayndler, whilst also claiming victory, set to be the 31st Prime Minister of Australia. We are opening a new chapter for our nation.
Why should we care as marketers? Not only do we finally have some media avails back, but there are a few cultural shifts we should pay attention to.
Australians want diversity. When Julia Gillard was elected as our first female prime minister, it was the first time I felt political representation, and I’m glad to say it wasn’t the last. As someone with a Mediterranean surname, I’m proud to witness our first prime minister without an Anglo-Celtic surname. It doesn’t stop there; we have a record number of women in parliament. A record number of Indigenous politicians. In fact, we have the most diverse parliament in Australia’s history. Government has a long way to go in representing the diversity of the nation, but it demonstrates that we are increasingly wanting diversity of thought.
Australians want climate action. We’ve seen dramatic swings towards independents that have put climate at the forefront of their agenda as well as the Greens recording their best ever election result. It has taken floods, fires and a pandemic – all in the last three years – but Australia has finally spoken and is now demanding action on climate change.
Australians want affordability. The cost of living was a pivotal concern for voters in this election. We’re paying more with less money in the household budget, and despite property booms, secure and safe housing remains out of reach for many. Data from YouGov suggests that less than half of the adult population consider themselves to be financially secure¹. Australians want a looser wallet, which ultimately, benefits brands.
So here we are, a new chapter of our nation where all generations agree on the importance for equal opportunity. The people have spoken, and they want a greener, more inclusive, more affordable Australia. Yet only 36 per cent of people are satisfied with brand’s efforts to make the world a better place³ and only sometimes does a client brief require engaging with multicultural audiences. All the while 857,900 Australians now work two jobs just to keep up with the cost-of-living crisis.
Aussies have been asking for diversity, climate action and affordability; this election result should be a huge strategic opportunity for brands. Some 66 per cent of consumers want a more meaningful experience with brands and we have the answers. Go beyond the functional attributes. Go beyond Anglo-Celtic talent. Show people how your brand is demonstrably building a better Australia.
The clues are there. We just need to take advantage of them.