The ANZAC spirit – Should brands be capitalising commercially?

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The Larrikin ANZAC beer by Mornington Peninsula Brewery

Should Australian and New Zealand brands be capitalising on the use of the iconic ANZAC spirit and ANZAC Day occasion to be promoting their brands?

A quick history lesson for those of you reading from overseas: “ANZAC Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders “who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations” and “the contribution and suffering of all those who have served”. Observed on 25 April each year, ANZAC Day was originally devised to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who served in the Gallipoli Campaign, their first engagement in the Great War (1914–1918).”* 

Back to the story – I know that the use of ANZAC for commercial purposes is not a new debate, however the other day I walked into Bondi Beach Cellars and spotted The Larrikin ANZAC Biscuit Beer by Mornington Peninsula Brewery sitting in the fridge.

Immediately I was torn, subscribers of my weekly Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet! entrepreneurship podcast and readers of the blog will know my passion for the ANZACs from my trip to Gallipoli, my family connection and diving into the history of what it means to me.

My immediate gut-instinct reaction, is to me it just feels a little cheap and wrong, to be attaching this Australian icon to a product, brand or campaign, without a lot of forethought and perhaps also creating a mechanic, whereby a proportion of revenue or profits from sales generated are redistributed back to charitable organisations such as the ANZAC Appeal. Even then I’m still not sure how comfortable I feel about it. I’ve also since discovered that brands and organisations also require permission from the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs to use the word ‘Anzac’ in a commercial context.

Now for context, I’m not across whether Mornington Peninsula Brewery have permission to use the ANZAC brand for commercial use, their intent, what this brew means to them and I also love that they’re educating people as to what ANZAC Day is. In fact, Mornington Peninsula Brewery are one of my favourite breweries in Australia, I love their beers very much and what they do for the Australian craft beer scene, which is no doubt exactly why this debate his risen in me right now.

As a massive craft beer fan and supporter of the Australian scene through my @craftbeerlovin’ Instagram account, I clearly bought the beer, I can attest to how delicious and sessionable it is and I’d also love to chat with Mornington Peninsula Brewery team at some point to get their perspective on the subject. I might even record it as part of a craft beer episode on the podcast.

In short, in this current digital age, where there is so much hate and vitriol online at the push of a button, without thought given to measured debate and listening to both sides of an argument, I’ve written this article as I’d love to spark discussion on this subject and hear what you, my friends, peers and colleagues have to say on the matter too.

As mentioned, I’m not entirely sure how comfortable how I feel about brands capitalising on the ANZAC Day brand and spirit, no matter who they are, as it is a date that holds a lot of history, connection and emotion for many Australian and New Zealanders.

So I ask you. Regardless of intent. How do you feel about brands capitalising on the ANZAC Day brand and spirit? Should they do it? And if so, how should they go about it?

By Dan Wilkinson (Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet!).
Digital Media Strategist & Content Producer.
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The Larrikin ANZAC beer by Mornington Peninsula Brewery

From Letterman to a career in comedy – the prolific Daniel Burt.

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TV writer and comedian Daniel Burt bringin' the gold.
TV writer and comedian Daniel Burt bringin’ the gold.

Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet podcast series

Interview #33 – Daniel Burt (Aussie comedian, actor & writer).  

Imagine being a writer on one of the world’s biggest TV shows!

Australian TV show writer, stand-up comedian, journalist and actor, Daniel Burt is prolific and determined. Determined to love what he does for a living. Back in 2005, Daniel put his money where his mouth is very early in his career when he took every cent he had and a chunk of change from his parents retirement fund to chase a job opening in the USA working as in intern in the writing department of the Late Show with David Letterman.

Success! Despite mistakenly opening up an alarmed fire door and evacuating the building on his first day in the job and walking into a door one of the first times he met David Letterman, Daniel Burt worked as an unpaid intern on Late Show with David Letterman for 6 months, gaining invaluable experience on a 5 nights a week comedy show with an audience of millions.

Since his return to Australia in 2006, Daniel has worked as a comedic writer on skitHOUSE, Good News Week, The Glass House and a range of other television shows including being one of the founding writers of Channel 10’s The Project TV.

Today Daniel Burt writes for Fairfax Newspapers in Sydney and Melbourne (Sydney Morning Herald, The Age), The Guardian (UK), has recently been asked to work as a full-time writer on comedian Charlie Pickering’s news comedy show, Weekly on ABCTV and has toured the world with his stand-up comedy to New York, Paris, the United Kingdom and of course Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

We cover a range of topics during our chat including his time with idol David Letterman, the impact that Letterman and Woody Allen have made on his career outlook, his earliest childhood memories, deep and meaningful conversations about ANZAC Day and what it means to Australians, the complexities of war and our respective journeys to Gallipoli, Villers-Bretonneux and Normandy. 

There’s so much gold in here… Game time!

Click here for magic in your ears 🙂    

Free Download #33 – Daniel Burt (Aussie comedian, actor & writer).

Android users – you’ll need to download the free Podcast Republic app then search Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet.

Hot & Delicious: Rocks The Planet is weekly podcast where we interview inspiring individuals and successful entrepreneurs from around the planet across a range of industries (incl. music, film/tv, fashion, travel, comedy and more) about what makes them tick as people and drives their hunger for success.

Connect with Daniel Burt on Twitter.

And make sure you check out the TV show he’s working on with Charlie PickeringThe Weekly‘ on ABC TV… Hilarious!

Hit us up on social media here:

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Dan Wilkinson works as a Manager, Marketing Strategy & Analysis – Social Media at SapientNitro Australia and is founder of music industry biz, Hot & Delicious Group.

The Aussie trek to Gallipoli – ANZAC Day 85th Anniversary Gallipoli trip & podcast.

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DOWNLOAD the PODCAST – #127 ANZAC Day – A trip to Gallipoli (Turkey) SOLOCAST. 

It’s 1am and I’m struggling for sleep, so I put the pen to page to release thoughts that have been burning a hole in my brain.. my journey to Turkey to experience ANZAC Day’s 85th anniversary on the Gelibolu (Gallipoli) Peninsula. This week I recorded a Bondi Beach Radio show and Hot & Delicious Rocks The Planet! podcast that I created around ANZAC Day, my trip to Turkey for the 85th anniversary of the dawn landing in Gallipoli and what April 25th means to me. Download it here.

On April 23rd my flight touched down in the beautiful city of Istanbul and we hit the road in the station wagon that was to be our home for the next few days. After a brief encounter with a Turkish policeman (clip-on koalas are great for avoiding speeding fines ;)), we arrived in Eceabat on the Gallipoli Peninsula, parked our “hotel” on a grassy lot across the road from Vegemite Bar and immersed ourselves in the local culture… ah, I mean drank copious amounts of 500ml Efes beer cans with other Aussies/Kiwis who’d made the trek to Turkey for ANZAC Day.

The next morning with dusty heads we headed off to the nearby ANZAC Cove and surrounding battlegrounds to learn about Australia’s first foray into war as a country in it’s own right. For the uninitiated, during World War 1 Allied forces were sent ashore at ANZAC Cove to capture the high-ground overlooking the Dardanelles, the strait of water connecting the Aegean and Black Seas. Securing the Gallipoli Peninsula would mean being able to protect Allied ships being sent to re-supply and support the Russians who were under heavy threat by advancing Turkish forces.

Map of Gallipoli

In the cold dark dawn of April 25th 1915, our Aussie diggers hit the beach below sheer cliffs which meant initially that less than a few hundred Turkish soldiers were required to hold their ground against thousands of ANZACs whilst the commander of the Ottoman forces, Mustafa Kemal, (later known as Atatürk, the founder of Turkey) mustered the Turkish 19th Division to contain the ANZAC troops.

If you’ve not had the privilege, the Gallipoli experience is one that is almost impossible to describe. After spending the day traveling around the various battle-zones, our crew headed down to ANZAC Cove at midnight along with thousands of other Australians, Turkish nationals and New Zealanders. Sitting there in the freezing cold night at the base of the cliffs at ANZAC Cove, I tried to imagine what it would have been like for the young Australian and New Zealand soldiers (many of them younger than 18) half a world away from their loved ones and home. Soaking up a mixture of emotions I recounted tales of World War 1 horror, acts of selfless bravery and thousands upon thousands of casualties on both sides. I was also struck by the tribute later made by Atatürk to those ANZACs who died in Gallipoli that is now inscribed on the Atatürk Memorial in Turakena Bay, Gallipoli:

“Heroes who shed their blood and lost their lives! You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours. You, the mothers, who sent their sons from far away countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.”

All these emotions and a moving pre-dawn service on the crowded foreshore left a lump in my throat and tear in my eye. It is for this reason that every ANZAC Day no matter where in the world I am, rain, hail or shine, I rise in the early hours to attend the ANZAC Day Dawn Service.

Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance has been my port of call in recent years and to this day whenever I stand in silence for the Ode of Remembrance and the bugle call of The Last Post, the memories, goosebumps, lump and chills return.

It’s just impossible to fathom the sacrifice of our ANZACs both past & present.. but this is what ANZAC Day means to me… This is what it means to be Australian..

“At the going down of the sun and in the morning.. We will remember them.. Lest We Forget”

DOWNLOAD the PODCAST – #127 ANZAC Day – A trip to Gallipoli (Turkey) SOLOCAST. 

ANZAC Day 2013

DOWNLOAD the PODCAST – #127 ANZAC Day – A trip to Gallipoli (Turkey) SOLOCAST. 

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2 weeks ago I saw a request on influencer app to create content for @DefenceCare, their 2017 ANZAC Appeal and I immediately jumped right on the opportunity. The funds raised by donations to the ANZAC Appeal go directly to Australian service men and women with physical injuries and mental illnesses.
Ever since my Turkey trip in 2001, I attend the ANZAC Day Dawn Service every year as I feel, regardless of your perspective on military service and war, that those past and present who have sacrificed their time and lives in the service of our country and way of life are to be championed, supported and adored.
I’m wearing my ANZAC Appeal badge all weekend and if you too would like to make a small, but positive impact on the life of another person today, then head on over to to buy a pin or make a one-off donation.
I’m also wearing my grandfather’s medals at the Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance ANZAC Day Dawn Service on Tuesday. I never knew him as he was tragically killed in an accident just 6 months after my parents got married in an accident 1968, but my dad tells me that I am a lot like my grandfather in appearance and personality, so finding his photo albums of his military service in the Middle East and Kokoda in World War II, seeing his service records and wearing his medals for the first time this year brings me closer to him and makes me happy.
Be selfless and make someone else’s day today. Head on over to

With thanks to:
Images by Victoria Bryce, Letisha Dall and Dan Wilkinson

DOWNLOAD the PODCAST – #127 ANZAC Day – A trip to Gallipoli (Turkey) SOLOCAST.