Diwali – A missed opportunity for marketers?

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.

While some businesses have taken solid steps towards embracing the potential of Diwali as a fantastic vehicle for targeting a growing multicultural audience, there are still a great number of businesses missing out on harnessing the potential of the South Asian Diaspora in Australia.

For example, Diwali is a time when many South Asians replace old goods with new ones, and are receptive and open to new opportunities. It is a perfect time for marketers to target the South Asian audience, as there is enormous potential for brands to engage with a highly captive, affluent audience that can be reached via targeted marketing activities.

Indeed, relationship marketing is crucial for the South Asian community, and a brand that embraces the culture and supports such an ancient celebration always creates a positive brand association recognised by its audience.

This year, Telstra, MultiConnexions client and provider of Australia’s fastest mobile network, embraced Diwali with fantastic impact for both the business and community. It was a chance to spotlight a special offer targeted toward the South Asian community in Australia. Telstra tapped into Desi Australians’ need for cultural entertainment and to stay connected with family during Diwali with fantastic deals and a culturally tailored brand activation at Diwali Festivals around the country.

A small sample of fantastic Diwali Cultural celebrations happening around town that are not-to-be-missed include the Hindu Council of Australia’s Deepavali Festival of Lights, the Fairwater – Diwali Mela – Festival of Lights, Celebrate India – Victorian Festival of Diwali (Diwali at Fed Square) and the GOIFY Brisbane Diwali  Mela among many others across Australia. These events are often attended by tens of thousands of people.

Detailed, strategic and creative marketing plans should be considered for the future, instead of just simple token gestures. Perhaps businesses can use these events as an introduction to a new multicultural market, in an effort to develop a loyal and powerful relationship.

Missed out on the multicultural marketing potential of Diwali? Never fear! Other cultural events on the horizon include:

  • Lunar New Year – 28th January 2017 (15 day festival, highly important to Chinese and other Asian communities)
  • Holi – February 2017 (a Hindu spring festival in India and Nepal, also known as the festival of colours or the festival of sharing love)

Check out our previous blog with useful tips for engaging with multicultural audiences over festival periods.

This blog was written by Costa Rorris, who loves all things multicultural, and is a MultiConnexions marketing intern.

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