With belief in the resurrection of Christ being so central to Christianity, Easter (falling on April 16 this year), and its lead-up, is a very meaningful time for Christians all around the world, with many attending church services even if they wouldn’t ordinarily do so. For the close to two thirds of Australia’s population identifying as Christian (according to Census, 2011) Easter also tends to bring to mind images of hot cross buns, chocolate eggs, baby animals, Easter egg hunts, and – of course – the Easter bunny.
But in the melting pot of Australia, cultural differences abound among various multicultural audiences celebrating Easter. The Greek Orthodox faith – for one – has some particularly noteworthy traditions around Easter.
Lunar New Year is one of the busiest times for MultiConnexions (MCX), as there is often a flurry of work as our clients seek to target audiences of Chinese and other Asian backgrounds during a time when they are very receptive to positive messages.
The 2017 Lunar New Year was one of the most memorable for me, as I was heavily involved with the research and implementation of activations and events for our clients, Medibank and Telstra. It was also memorable as recently I had started to embrace Chinese culture more, starting to learn Mandarin at University of Sydney, as well as trying more Chinese cuisine (hotpot being a new favourite).
Chinese New Year… Lunar New Year… Spring Festival… Whatever name you prefer to use, it’s the most significant festival celebrated by the Chinese diaspora across the world, and by communities with a strong Chinese relationship. It marks the first day of a new year on the lunar calendar, when these communities welcome another year with festivities that are steeped in cultural heritage.
Lunar New Year (commonly called Chinese New Year) is one of the oldest and most important traditions in Asian culture. On the 28th of January, 2017 celebrations will come to a crescendo as we enter the ostentatious ‘Year of The Rooster’. This is tenth sign of the Chinese zodiac, and the rooster is generally said to be loyal, sociable and friendly (albeit, a little bossy). While celebrations go on for several weeks, the Lunar New Year period is typically a time when Chinese and other East Asian families come together with their family and friends to honour traditions, to enjoy each other’s company and to hope for a bright future.
Diwali (or Deepavali) is one of the biggest festivals celebrated by South Asians all over the world. It holds great spiritual significance and is the celebration of good trumping evil where fireworks and lanterns are lit, colourful glad-rags are worn, and delicious traditional sweets are exchanged over a period of 4 days.
And as the festivities are wrapping up (this year it ran from October 30 to November 3), it is the perfect time to reflect on whether or not this festival was a missed opportunity for Australian brands and marketers.
Australia’s multicultural environment is no secret, and marketers cannot afford to ignore the spending power of ‘new audience’ Diasporas.
This Festive Season, connect with ‘new audience’ Diasporas and tap into their enormous marketing potential by tying in with cultural festivities.
Since launching in July, 2016, Confluence Festival of India, the most significant showcase of Indian art and culture ever in Australia, has drawn huge crowds and unprecedented levels of interest in the Australian community and among Indian Diaspora.
In his festival message, Mr. Navdeep Suri, the High Commissioner of India in Australia described the festival as, “Some of the finest elements from the rich tapestry of Indian culture and civilisation for our friends in Australia.”
Multicultural audience events are intrinsic to the life of every migrant in Australia, along with their children and their children’s children. Whether you speak a language other than English, were born overseas or have ancestral roots in another country – the link to culture is one that continues to thrive (no matter how long you’ve lived in Australia). Using cultural insights to effectively engage with these audiences, at the grass-root level, can be the difference between simply reaching them, versus giving them a reason to believe in your brand or product.
No doubt, in the past year you’ve heard at least one person make the grand statement “We’re living in a digital world now!” As far as we can see, they’re not wrong.
In our daily work here at MCX we have certainly observed and experienced the shift in behaviour of multicultural audiences from physical to digital. Chinese Smartphone owners are spending over 3 hours a day online via their mobile device. Chinese social media platform of choice WeChat has over 697 million users in China and over 1.5 million in Australia. In India, the forecasted mobile phone internet user penetration in 2018 is over 44%, and Facebook is simply a way of life – all day, every day.
Chinese and South Asian audiences in Australia reflect the behaviour of their counterparts in their country of origin. Many of them are now migrating to Australia and further driving this rapid digital growth in the local market. So, if these audiences are living in a virtual world ruled mostly by their mobile device of choice, does the need for Experiential Marketing still exist?
“Thank God for my mum” these words echo in my head while I’m watching her make my bed… With a newborn in my arms and less than six hour sleep, I am finishing my lunch. A chicken soup loaded with vegetables accompanied with beetroot and kale juice with compliments of Mrs Juric “my mum”.
She has been by my side ever since I have come home from hospital, cleaning, cooking, doing the laundry and grocery shopping. I know how lucky I am to have her by my side and appreciate every single thing she does.