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 (http://www.mamamia.com.au/news/anzac-day-brought-to-you-by-vb/) 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.”