DDB Australia
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Carl Ratcliff on 'Middle Australia'

Carl Ratcliff: ‘Middle Australia is fictitious and failing marketers’

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8 July 2019 | mumbrella

Many businesses believe their brand’s fortune lies in 'middle Australia'. However, DDB Sydney’s Carl Ratcliff argues that the idea of the ‘middle’ is fictitious and failing, costing marketers an opportunity to win an emotional advantage in the mainstream.

It doesn’t always think so, but Australia is a country with a very specific dichotomy given its unique inheritance and context.

For marketers, dichotomies are a nuisance. They have no mean, no average. They are, or they aren’t. And marketing has a preference for averages – the middle. Indeed, many businesses believe that that’s where their brand’s fortune lies: in middle Australia – a fictitious microcosm. 

Middle Australia legitimises creative pragmatism over commercial creativity. Lobbing a generic narrative into the middle of the masses, in the hope it will ‘work’, is how I often perceive mainstream marketing. The idea that awareness and consideration will grow from the middle, out, may sound logical, but really isn’t.

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