It is ok for VB to “sponsor” ANZAC day?

vb anzac

Victoria Bitter has their annual “Raise A Glass” campaign running.

They have released couple of ads this year, the main one being a former General of the Australian Defence Forces telling Australia there is “no excuses” not to go to the dawn service, and to “raise a glass” in respect.

It’s pretty clever what they’ve done on their website too. You can put in your postcode and it automatically tells you all the closest dawn services.

You can register for a wakeup call, share stories of loved ones who served/are serving and can donate money to legacy.

But some people are OUTRAGED. “Bea” from the Australian blog site Mummamia ( is certainly not happy about this. She thinks it’s completely disrespectful and not what ANZAC day is about.

“I’ve got a few ideas of what you can do with your glass of beer.” She says, directing this comment at the retired general. (Anyone else bewildered by the irony of this comment?)

And I love a good ethical debate, so I’ll delve in.

The reality is that a beer company is using an iconic Australian day of remembrance to promote it’s product, so there was always going to be some fuss, but in my opinion, it was done tastefully, respectfully, and for a very good cause.

So I’m on board, and this is why;

– After the dawn service it’s tradition for many men to go to the local RSL and drink beers – so it’s relevant.

– After I saw all this, I suggested to a few friends that we go. We’re all 20 years old and have never once been to the dawn service – so this campaign is generating awareness in our younger generation.

– Victoria Bitter has donated almost five million dollars to Legacy through this campaign.

And when it comes down to it, the whole campaign started because of a discovered photo depicting group of WWII soldiers making the VB symbol with empty beer bottles (above). They tracked down a man from the photo “Dougie” (see video below) to ask him of his experience.

Now, this man risked his life for our country. He went to war, he watched his mates die. He is one of the people we respect on this occasion.
He obviously has no problem with starring in this campaign.

In fact, if the guys liked VB enough to take that photo, I’m sure they would be pretty stoked to get this much recognition from the company.

So I say; good on you VB.

Brilliant, innovative campaign and some great communication techniques.

I’m proud to be Australian today; and I’m going to “Raise A Glass.”


5 thoughts on “It is ok for VB to “sponsor” ANZAC day?

  1. I like your ideas… and I can see both sides of the story. My grandfather was a war veteran however, and from the time he came home in 1946 him and his fellow veterans headed to the RSL in the wee hours of the morning to drink, went to the service, and continued to drink for the rest of the day. Though I was too young to remember it, my Dad has told me many stories of the role drinking with fellow veterans played in Gramps’ life… and I feel that if that was the way our veterans chose to deal with the war, then continuing such a tradition is probably a good thing – and like you said, the way VB went about it has been excellent and really great. What I feel causes conflict though is the way some people disregard those memories I just spoke of in favour of another day off from work to get drunk with their mates… which unfortunately does happen. As long as a respectful and aware attitude is promoted, I think it’s actually a really good day and ingrained in the Australian tradition. Hence why the dawn service is such an integral part of the day and I really applaud VB for encouraging it! Enjoy your drink today – and some 2up!

  2. I agree with you here Mel, I think it was really tasteful and, rather then advertising, to me it felt more like a way to give back to the community thats given alot to them…. and I know of course someone somewhere is getting pats on the back for bringing in the dough, but like you said I think its got the potential to reach out to the younger genrration very effectively and remind them of their history

  3. To be honest, I feel that the words written here by you are put a hell of a lot better than “Bea” from the Mummamia blog site! I do understand that some people would be annoyed with the fact that VB would be enjoying some sort of profits from being linked to a day so significant in Australian’s lives. But the way that she argues against the pressure put on people to get up early for the dawn service is quite strange for somebody who thinks she is so pationate about the history of our military men and women. I’m not saying everyone has to attend the services either, but I certainly don’t understand why it’s a bad thing to encourage people to do so.

    Personally, I love the ads – particularly the second one with the personal story behind it. It makes the little hairs stand up on the back of my neck, just trying to imagine what it would have been like for these couragous people.

    I haven’t raced out to buy a slab of VB, but I did get my two kids (6months & 2yrs) up and get to a service this morning!

  4. I’m glad you all agree! It makes me frustrated when people get “outraged” seemingly just for the sake of it. Things like this is what’s turning us into this politically correct “baa baa rainbow sheep” society. Ethics absolutely need to be considered by organisations, and there is a line – but in my opinon, VB is still pretty far from it in this case.

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