- Geoffrey Rush speaking with Stephen Whitty from the New Jersey Star-Ledger (www.nj.com), September 09, 2012
Choosing Between “Aussie” and “Australian”
Earlier this month the New Jersey Star-Ledger published a great article that described Geoffrey Rush and other Australian actors as “Australia’s biggest export”. The article was spot on in identifying Australian performers as great earners of export dollars for Australia and also as brand ambassadors for Australia. Rush shared his views on how hard it was to define the Australian character which led me to think about the difference between being Australian and being “Aussie”. When Australian companies and entertainers ply their trade overseas they often do it in two different ways: some of them are "Aussie", and some of them are "Australian" overseas.
Fosters and Westfield Take Separate Paths to US Success
When the movie "Animal Kingdom" came to American cinemas Jackie Weaver was Aussie but when she starred in "Silver Linings Playbook" with Robert De Niro she was an Australian overseas. Similarly, Australian companies in America can also decide what character they want to adopt. Fosters is Aussie with its advertising portraying Australians as laid back people who are bit quirky but know how to have a good time. Fosters is a powerful brand in America and could not have been a success with out its over-the-top Aussie character. Westfield shopping centers is also a well known brand in the US but most of the millions of American shoppers who visit the Westfield malls have no idea that Westfield is an Australian company. Those shoppers love the convenience of having all their favourite stores in one place and Westfield works hard to continuously satisfy that need without a single "gday".
Give the People What They Want
Fosters and Westfield are successful because they both understand the unique needs and wants of their American customers. So, just as Geoffrey Rush or Jackie Weaver can assume whatever persona is required for their role, so can Australian companies. The trick is to determine what your audience wants to see.
For more insight on Australian companies in America follow me on Twitter @simonboylen