Halloween’s a weird one, both in concept and history. A holiday that reflects pagan sensibilities, of Welsh and Iris h origin, under the guise of a Christian holiday. Today it doesn’t have much to do with honouring saints or praying for the dead, and has instead taken on a face that more significantly reflects hallmarks of contemporary American culture. Spooks, scares and sweets all wrapped up in enormous orange marketing efforts. When and why then did it make its way down under? It doesn’t seem a very good fit.
There’s something decidedly Autumnal about Halloween. A celebration of harvest time and getting comfy against the coming cold. It’s wrapped up in oranges and auburns, with pumpkin’s flooding the streets (and every product imaginable https://www.eater.com/2017/9/26/16330438/pumpkin-spice-food-pop-tarts-kit-kats-milanos-jello). With it coming at a time when we here in Australia are breaking out the eskies and barbies again, there’s an understandable dissonance.
The Australian kick back against halloween is, however, perhaps more to do with its commercialisation and a particularly American form of commercialism at that. The holiday itself, as aforementioned, has little to actually do with Australian culture and has only taken its first stumbling steps into the Australian national consciousness in the last few years. Its popularity has grown particularly amongst younger generations, due to the influx of American media through the internet and television. Deakin Business School researcher and consumer behaviour expert Dr Paul Harrison (http://this.deakin.edu.au/society/should-we-really-be-celebrating-halloween-in-australia) has charted the close association between American big business and Halloween’s present day incarnation. America is responsible for producing a vast amount of the world’s sweets. Confectionary giants like Mars, Inc. hold a massive place in contemporary culture and have everything to gain from any and all foreign markets embracing a holiday devoted to the celebration of all that is sweet and sugary.
Harrison believes this is where disgruntled Australians should focus their aggravations, on the commercial side of things rather than the holiday itself. Harrison suggests that, as Australia has done with so many other cultural traditions in the past, the country should be open to the holiday. Halloween is not merely a product of America, but something celebrated the world over; by differing people in differing ways.
Business is at the heart of Halloween and is the biggest player in its expanding popularity. Perhaps the key to Australia coming to terms with Halloween is in acceptance and adaptation. It seems unlikely the practice is going away any time soon. It’s time to put that distinctive Aussie spin on an old, and already amorphous tradition. In both business and practice.
Here in Australia we’ve got a special need for sunglasses. Long summers characterised by surf, beaches and barbies are staples of the Australian way of life. We have some of the highest and most consistent temperatures on earth and we’ve also got a great big hole in the ozone layer above us. Sunglasses have become a very stylish necessity.
Designs and products are very often referred to as ‘classic and timeless’, in the case of sunglasses this is actually closer to the truth than most. The earliest recorded examples of sunglasses date back to the classical period. Everybody’s favourite matricidal pyromaniac, Nero, watched the gladiatorial battles of ancient Rome through a pair of polished lenses. Whilst across in China, judges used smoky quartz glasses to hide their expressions in court. These early adopters were certainly innovators, but this eyewear of old did little to protect against anything other than glare.
Sunglasses have cropped up in the centuries since. Yellow tinted lenses were prescribed in the 18th and 19th centuries to treat syphilis, due to the disease causing light sensitivity. The modern form and usage of sunglasses however, didn’t really hit its stride until movie stars started framing their faces in the early 20th century and they didn’t go truly mainstream until Sam Foster found a market for cheap, mass-produced lenses in the 1920s. Ray-Ban hit the scene in the early 30s, and once a Life magazine piece sang this new fashions praises in 1938, people began scooping them up in droves.
Styles and shapes have drifted in and out of fashion over the course of the 20th century, but a great many of the first forms have stood the test of time. The Wayfarer remains an immensely popular style and is virtually unchanged since its 1956 debut. Ray-ban has remained a front runner in the field, and many of their original designs have endured. The eyewear of JFK and Buddy Holly can be seen today on Beckham and Pitt.
With time has come affordability, and today you can scoop up a pair of sturdy and effective shades for an astoundingly low price. Design patents on these timeless styles have long since expired and the market for competitively priced sunglasses has never been stronger. What’s more, it’s still a great area for experimentation and putting a twist on an old classic, as our partners are doing today. When it comes to sunnies, you can’t really go wrong.
Winter is on the doorstep. Head protection from extreme weather is a necessity… for how many weeks of the year, all depends on where you live and how often you travel to cold climates.
From another perspective, head attire can have nothing to do with protection, but more to do with a personal identity, statement or association. Celebrities known for wearing a beanie in the summertime include: Robert Pattinson, Ashton Kutcher, Justin Bieber, David Beckham and Liam Hemsworth.
Here are some different ways you can wear a beanie, thanks to instyle.com.au:
- Take a casual approach – team up with a pair or sneakers
- Patterned beanie – Wear with block colour outfit
- Work the tones – Compile your outfit on different tones of the one colour
- Dress up your beanie – Wear with a tailored coat and Knee high boots
- Off-duty model – Match with leather jacket, skinny pants, and sneakers.
- Play with Texture – A fluffy beanie with a fluffy jacket.
- Stripes – Beanies with stripes.
What are some other interesting facts about beanies:
- There is a world record for the most beanies worn at once. One hundred beanies, by a man in New York, in 2016.
- It’s believed that the first beanie dated back to the 12th and 13th centuries.
- 1990s, the beanie increased in its attractiveness, becoming a favorite accessory for skaters and snowboarders
So we get that beanies have been around for a long time and are super popular, both in winter and summer. So how can you make a branded beanie work? There are lots of fun and cool things you can do with beanies: animal designs; full colour images, branding or messaging; ear warmers; visors; or even a pompom on top. It also comes down to your brand personality, message and the theme/event you are tapping into.
Lots of brands do caps and visors, so why not try something a little different. Beanies are a great way to tap into the millennial market; if you want to go for the grungy / anti-social movement; and also the adventure tourism market (involves exploration or travel to remote exotic areas) – a market which is expected to grow by 20% in the next 5 years.
Not just another…. Cap
Australia Day falls on a Friday in 2018. Making for a long weekend … just how we like it!
If you are looking for ideas to celebrate with your staff, clients, business partners, please get in touch with us before Christmas so we can get your order underway, so you don’t miss out.
What always works year on year:
- Game Sets
- Stubby Holders
- Pool Toys
Interestingly, the list doesn’t change much from year to year. The innovation comes through on the application…. adding a twist on an old idea works well!
- A5 Notebooks
- Sports Bottles – Plastic, Tritan, Stainless Steel, Aluminium and A5 Size
- Pencils & Pens – Ballpoint Pens always popular
- Takeaway Coffee Cups
- Fidget Spinners
- Drawstring Backpack
- Picnic Blankets
- Cooler Bags
- Tote Bags – Cotton always a winner
- Coffee Mugs
- Swivel USB Flash Drives
- Bluetooth Speakers