By Kate Watts
Is Australia the ‘dumb blonde’ of the world?
A Brit thinks so…
This ludicrious claim has been made by branding expert Simon Anholt. Anholt, who was in Sydney as a key-note speaker, branded Australia as attractive but shallow and unintelligent. And he wasn’t just conveying his opinion, this is how he thinks the world sees us!
Am I the only one who has a problem with this…who does this guy think he is!
Not only is this insulting to Australians, especially those with blonde hair, but it also makes him sound like a bit of a pompous wanka.
On Anholt’s personal blog he would say I’m just sounding like typical Australian, with tall poppy syndrome.
Even though he seems to be criticising at the moment, Anholt appears to have a deep love and fascination with Australia. Anholt says our glory days are the Sydney Olympics, our natural wonders, and he can’t stop talking about how good the Crocodile Dundee movies were for our national image.
Interestingly Anholt claims that our country’s international branding was “too close to crocodile Dundee for comfort” for the Australian public. I certainly agree with this. Imagine if “put a shrimp on the barbie” was never in the world’s vernacular.
But why is national identity and reputation so important? In what ways can it affect our tourism, education and immigration policies?
Anholt says the damage to Australia’s reputation in India is quite severe. And he has a point… only yesterday Melbourne’s Monash University announced it will have to cut about 300 jobs because of the lack of International enrolments for the following year. Obviously the change in our dollar has made a difference. But nothing like the attacks on Indian students earlier this year. Anholt says that because of Australia’s one-dimensional image, it means that events such as attacks on Indian students could do greater damage here than in countries with which people were more familiar.
”A well-rounded national reputation is an insurance policy against that kind of thing,” Anholt told The Age.
Maybe Australia could use Anholt’s brand of national identity and reputation training, to get us away from our one-dimensional and decorative image, to a more modern and useful persona.
So what do you think…are we the world’s ‘dumb blonde’?