The quintessential Aussie summer really is that perfect picture everyone has of it. We’ve even just enjoyed Australia Day – a day that usually means a few beers over a barbie, watching the cricket and waiting for the new Australia Day lamb ad to pop up on the telly. This year, Richie Benaud took the reins and it’s definitely worth a look. And nothing says Australia more than a day off. A long weekend to enjoy as much of summer as we can.
And it’s all happening in Melbourne. The Australian Open tennis has just finished, with big sponsors such as Kia, ANZ and Jacob’s Creek placing themselves on courts, nets, flags, hats and everywhere in-between. We’ve also got behind the Socceroos, who beat South Korea in the final of the Asian Cup, with Qantas there to accept the silverware with the players. The cricket has kept us company since December and there is no letting up, with the World Cup about to get under way, accompanied by strong KFC and Commonwealth Bank branding. We love our sport and brands love it too. It’s the best way to capture the hearts of Aussies over the summer as it’s the only thing we bother turning the telly on for.
Summer in Melbourne also means pop-up food stalls, live entertainment in zoos, parks and laneways, and even a new sporting and lifestyle festival dubbed the Royal Croquet Club in January. Who would have thought you would have queues to play croquet? There are outdoor cinemas showing old and new flicks on rooftops, on beaches and in botanic gardens. And they are all sponsored by clever brands such as Ben & Jerry’s, which complements the movie experience perfectly on a summer night.
Brands have finally started to realise that advertising isn't the only answer to building awareness
Of course, I don’t just stumble on these events while strolling the streets. And I rarely pay much attention to traditional advertising. The web and my social network are my research partners, proving great content can make me have greater FOMO than any ad campaign. And the experience of exploring and booking tickets to these events while mobile is so much better this year. Brands have finally started to realise that advertising isn’t the only answer to building awareness – investment in better experiences can be more effective. If people have that great experience, they will often share it.
The team loves the beer tap at the office, which gets a good workout over the summer. This year, we’ve been busy working on briefs for Uniqlo, Foxtel and David Jones. The days can go on until 9pm and there are loads of after-work activities, including a golf club, running club and burger club.
Yes, it’s all happening in Melbourne. No matter what your passion is, there’s so much to experience. But with brands investing more into creating amazing experiences, it is a pleasure to live in such a beautiful part of the world at this time of the year.
Konrad Spilva is the managing director at Isobar Melbourne