The Australian Consumer in 2021

Trends / Wellness
Vince Brophy
1082649302
Kate Rourke
Mar 19, 2021
The ongoing pandemic has kept our lives unpredictable. For Australia, regular changes to legislation and border restrictions mean having to adapt to life through COVID‑19. We know from our ongoing Visual GPS research that 99% of ANZ consumers believe there will be long‑term outcomes from the pandemic. So in a time of constant change, it is important to understand what visuals will resonate with shifting Australian consumers.
In Australia the priority most valued during this time is personal health and wellbeing, followed closely by the health and wellbeing of family.
Our wellness during this pandemic has been talked about a lot. Trying to understand the gravity of high rates of mortality and morbidity, loss of income, and sustained social isolation for billions of people has been impacting our wellbeing. In Australia, the priority most valued during this time is personal health and wellbeing, followed closely by the health and wellbeing of family.

Traditionally we have seen visuals of physical health being widely used. However, our research found that, uniquely to ANZ, people care more about their emotional health over their physical health, and the younger you are, the more likely you are finding it difficult to keep up with the pace of today’s world.

Vital for Australia is unwrapping what emotional and mental health looks like. Searches for mental health jumped from being in our top 20 searches in 2019 to top 10 in 2020 in Australia. What we found though, was a rise around searches of “support” and “kindness” instead of distress or depression. Across all ages, getting together with family friends (in person or virtually) as well as living by your principles are all high on the agenda.

More so than the younger generations, Gen X and Boomers cited being mindful and intentional in their choices, taking care of the garden and being active in their community as things they like to do regularly.

Gen Z and Millennials, however, are more likely to go on courses, participate in creative activities such as crafting or painting, or meditate in order to look after their emotional health.
Therefore, the visuals most likely to resonate are those showing everyday activities and choices that demonstrate kind and supportive care for themselves and others. In other words, content that gives a sense of optimism and hope.
Throughout 2020, we saw the impact of major social injustice. This has only intensified the importance of inclusive representation and further highlights the questions: Who are we representing? How are we doing it? And are we authentically inclusive of everyone?

In ANZ, 8 out of 10 people expect brands to be consistently committed to inclusivity and would like brands to do a better job of showing different lifestyles and cultures. Yet there is a mismatch, with only 4 in 10 stating that they are accurately represented in media or advertising imagery.  From our searches, we are seeing this reflected. Our customers in Australia are wanting to demonstrate the cultural richness Australia has. It has started to move from visually showing what is global to what is local, with increases around “Australia life”, “Australia made” and “Indigenous Australians” all trending.

When choosing visuals, move beyond tokenistic inclusion and towards intentionally using imagery that truly captures the lifestyles, cultures and different intersections of identity that represent the diversity of people in Australia.
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