Woolworths: the Fresh fail.

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Have you logged into your Facebook or Twitter today? If you have, chances are you will have already seen this,

Woolworths the Anzac day fail


Shame.on.you. Woolworths.

As a wife of a current serving member of the ADF and a granddaughter of a past serving member, I have a conflict of interest to disclose.

But then, as a citizen of Australia and an individual who enjoys the freedoms that we, as Australians get to enjoy every single day, don’t we all have a conflict of interest to disclose…

Anyway, I digress.

So, what went wrong?

They only made one mistake, a mistake that if it hadn’t been over looked it would have stopped the campaign dead in its tracks.

They failed to do their research. Research is such an integral device as a PR professional.

“No matter what kind of PR activity you’re involved in, research will be at the core of it” [i]

You need to know your audience, sure, but more than that. You need to understand how your content relates to your audience, in this case- the Australian public.

“Content is the currency for building social relationships that can boost earned media.” [ii]

The content of this campaign is something every Australian is familiar with, and that most are somewhat invested in.

If you were the google the term “Use of the word Anzac” the first item, an Anzac centenary page, states:

“In 1921, Protection of Word ‘Anzac’ Regulations were put in place to protect the word ‘Anzac’ from inappropriate use. It is not permissible to use the word ‘Anzac’ in connection with any trade, business, private residence, boat, vehicle or charitable or other institution, or any building, without the authority of the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs.” [iii]

Secondly, their call to have people share their Anzac stories and images was just another example of how little research was conducted. I mean had none of the comms team even attended an Anzac Day ceremony?

Seriously guys, if we have learnt anything today it is that research is key.

“We can argue that as much as three quarters of the public relations process is based on research.”[iv]

Whilst taking it down and apologising immediately was the right course of action, it never should have gone out in the first place. (And sorry Woollies, ain’t no in buying that it wasn’t intentional promotion nonsense!)

So, what do you think of the Woolworths Anzac Day campaign?
[i] https://womeninpr.wordpress.com/2012/01/10/12-steps-to-a-successful-pr-campaign/

[ii] http://www.pria.com.au/priablog/integrating-digital-marketing-pr

[iii] http://www.anzaccentenary.gov.au/logo/word_anzac.htm

[iv] http://catalog.flatworldknowledge.com/bookhub/reader/5573?e=bowen_1.0-ch08


One thought on “Woolworths: the Fresh fail.

    jhumphreys14 said:
    April 15, 2015 at 11:51 am

    Great blog Cass! I agree, this was a poorly thought out campaign that clearly hasn’t been researched properly… I’m really surprised that Woollies would enter this space in the way they have. I think the thing that gets me it the use of the word ‘fresh’ way too market-y!


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