Australia Ditches Its Controversial International Branding After Accusations It Looked Like The Covid Virus
Australia has its second new logo in under two years after earlier attempts to market the country overseas backfired.
Australia first sought to rebrand itself internationally back in 2018 to promote the country as a trusted exporter of premium-quality goods and services, a quality provider of education, a competitive investment destination, and a great place to visit.
The National Brand Advisory Council recommended to Government that Australia's branding not be centred on kangaroos, as this would 'simply reinforce what people already know about us' and make it difficult to shift perceptions of the country.
It also contended that adopting a single and agreed-upon visual depiction of a kangaroo would be difficult.
The new trading brand was finally unveiled in mid-2020 and was purportedly an 'abstract wattle'.
Others, however, saw less flower, and more Covid-19, and the new branding and imagery copped immediate backlash.
Now, two years into the pandemic, the branding has changed once more.
And this time, you'll notice, the kangaroo is there - front and centre.
Elements of the original 'abstract wattle' remain in other branding assets, however there are far fewer parallels with the now infamous image of the Covid-19 virus.
Brand Australia said this imagining of the wattle, Australia's national flower, 'glows' and is painted with an Indigenous dot technique.
"Blooming of the wattle denotes that the bush has come alive with growth," it said.
"The glow is cropped and used sparingly on images."
As with last time the new national branding was released, there is confusion around the status of the iconic 'Australian Made' kangaroo and logo, which is attached to products made locally.
The Australian Made logo has been attached to Australian goods in export markets for almost 40 years.
During the 2020 confusion, Australian Made's Glenn Cooper noted the marketing device remains essential to the strategies of Aussie exporters taking their goods abroad.
"There is no need to make a change in this space," he said.
This time around, Australian Made campaign chief executive, Ben Lazzaro, issued a similar statement, saying its version of the green and gold kangaroo is here to stay.
He noted there would be work to do to avoid confusion of the two marketing initiatives and their symbols.
""It's important that the new Nation Brand is accompanied by effective and clear communications to help educate users around permitted use of the brand," he said.
"This must be paired with the appropriate governance and policing measures, to ensure it is used as intended and to detect and address misuse.
"These measures are paramount to ensure the Nation Brand is able to comfortably co-exist with other brands and initiatives in the export space, without causing confusion."