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23 October, 2023

More Australian Brands Winning with Stubby Holders

Stubby holders, those uniquely Australian foam or neoprene sleeves that keep your drink cool and your hand warm, are more than just a practical accessory. They are a canvas for branding and advertising that offers a high degree of visibility at social gatherings, barbecues, and sporting events. In this article, we'll explore how several Australian companies have successfully harnessed the promotional power of stubby holders.


Qantas Logo

As Australia's flagship airline, Qantas has a reputation for delivering quintessential Aussie experiences. The airline deployed a strategic marketing campaign centred around stubby holders to further amplify this image. These weren't just ordinary drink holders; they were meticulously designed to feature Australia's most iconic landscapes, from the Sydney Opera House to the Outback and the Great Barrier Reef. Complementing these stunning visuals was the recognisable Qantas kangaroo logo, positioned subtly but unmistakably beside the landscapes.

They were not simply handed out indiscriminately but were strategically distributed at regional airports frequented by tourists and at popular tourist destinations across Australia. The goal was two-fold: target tourists who would likely keep these as souvenirs and aim for locals who would appreciate the item's utility and intrinsic 'Australianness'.

Tactical Elements 
- Local Flair: The use of iconic Australian imagery served as a continuous, subtle reminder of the brand’s deeply Australian roots.

- Strategic Distribution: By choosing locations frequented by their target audience—both locals and tourists—Qantas maximised the visibility and uptake of these promotional items.

The campaign was more successful than just distributing a useful item—it was about imbuing that item with a sense of place and emotional connection.

- For Tourists: They became instant collectibles, mementos of their Australian adventure. Every time they used it back home, they would recall the stunning landscapes and the airline that had been a part of their journey, making them more likely to choose Qantas again for future travel.

- For Locals: They were not just another piece of swag but a practical item that fits well in any Australian household. Its daily or weekly use among locals meant that Qantas remained top-of-mind whenever air travel was considered.

- Brand Perception: By associating itself with iconic Australian landscapes and offering a high-quality, useful item, Qantas was able to reinforce its position as the quintessential Australian airline. This campaign bolstered the brand's image as a transport service and curator of the authentic Australian experience.

By embracing the stubby holder in a uniquely Australian context, Qantas successfully cemented its brand as a part of the Australian travel industry and Australia itself.

Bunnings Warehouse

Bunnings Stubby Holder

Bunnings Warehouse, a brand synonymous with home improvement and gardening in Australia, chose to localise its promotional strategy by aligning with something as authentically Aussie as the brand itself—sausage sizzles. These community events, often organised by Bunnings, are staples across Australia and embody the spirit of mateship and neighbourliness. What better setting then, to introduce Bunnings-branded stubby holders?

They were designed to incorporate the brand's distinct green and red colour scheme, offering a subtle yet unmistakable reminder of the Bunnings brand. Rather than make these available for purchase, these were given away at the sausage sizzles across various Bunnings Warehouse locations, making them accessible and appealing to a broad cross-section of the Australian population.

Tactical Elements 
- Localised Engagement: By distributing them at sausage sizzles, Bunnings tapped into a local tradition, ensuring high engagement from community members.

- Visual Identity: The use of the brand's green and red colours ensured they were instantly recognisable, even without the presence of the brand name or logo.

- Utility and Context: They are highly functional items frequently used in casual, relaxed settings, much like Bunnings itself, which is often the go-to for home improvement and casual DIY projects.

- Community Presence: With the sausage sizzles often organised for charitable causes, the addition of free Bunnings stubby holders elevated the community-minded reputation of the brand.

- For Everyday Australians: As they are often brought out during barbecues, family gatherings, and other domestic settings, Bunnings successfully weaved its brand into the fabric of everyday Australian life.

- Brand Affinity: The free giveaway at a community event, combined with the brand's colours, fostered a sense of belonging and affinity toward Bunnings, positioning it as more than just a retail store—it became a part of the community’s domestic landscape.

- Emotional Connection: Given the emotional value that many Australians attach to their home and community, associating Bunnings with these warm and homely feelings leverages a strong emotional hook, making consumers more likely to think of Bunnings when considering their next home improvement project.

By incorporating its brand and tying this to a local tradition as cherished as the sausage sizzle, Bunnings Warehouse successfully achieved more than brand exposure—it crafted an emotional and communal experience that is intrinsically tied to what it means to be Australian.


Atlassian Logo

Atlassian, a leading collaboration software provider, understands the tech industry's pulse. Recognising that their target audience values functionality and community, they cleverly used logo stubby holders as promotional items. They were designed to resonate with the tech-savvy community. Distributed at technology-focused events like conferences, meetups, and hackathons, Atlassian aimed for a deep cultural connection rather than just brand exposure.

Tactical Elements 
- Event-Specific Distribution: By choosing tech-centric events for distribution, Atlassian ensured they reached an audience who would understand and appreciate the value of their products and services.

- Design Language: Often featuring playful or tech-related designs, such as snippets of code or in-jokes known within the tech community, they appealed to the sensibilities of the attendees.

- Utility with Irony: A stubby holder is a decidedly non-tech item, offering a humorous juxtaposition to the high-tech themes of the events where they were distributed. This irony was not lost on the audience, and it added a layer of memorability to the campaign.

- Targeted Engagement: By focusing on tech-specific events for distribution, they effectively honed in on their core user base, leading to meaningful engagement rather than just wide reach.

- Cutting Through the Noise: Tech events often present attendees with overwhelming information and branding. A practical yet amusing item like a tech-themed stubby holder helped Atlassian stand out from the crowd.

- Memorability Factor: Given the deluge of swag items like pens, notebooks, and tote bags at tech events, this product was not only unique but also more likely to be remembered and used.

- Community Building: They served as a conversation starter, enabling attendees to connect with each other over the shared recognition of the Atlassian brand and the tech-related humour, thereby reinforcing the company's positioning as a community-focused, culturally aware brand.

- Indirect Brand Advocacy: Attendees who took them home or to their offices indirectly became brand advocates, as the items served as talking points that went beyond the duration of the events themselves.

By marrying them with the tech industry's cultural nuances, Atlassian significantly impacted highly crowded and competitive venues. In doing so, they not only increased their brand visibility but did it in a way that deeply resonated with their target audience, creating a lasting impression that goes beyond mere recognition.


Limited Edition Vegemite Stubby Holders

Vegemite is more than just a spread; it's an Australian icon. Aware of its status as a household staple and cultural symbol, Vegemite launched a limited-edition campaign centred around stubby holders. They were designed to mimic the recognisable Vegemite jar's trademark deep yellow and red colours. Launched as part of an Australia Day campaign, they were made available with limited edition jars of Vegemite, amplifying their desirability.

Tactical Elements 
- Limited-Time Offer: They were part of an Australia Day special, adding urgency and exclusivity to the offer.

- Iconic Design: Featuring the look and colour scheme of the well-known Vegemite jar, they struck an immediate chord with Australians, evoking nostalgia and patriotic sentiment.

- Strategic Placement: By packaging them with special jars of Vegemite, the company ensured that loyal customers would be the first to obtain these keepsakes.

- Cultural Timing: Launching this during Australia Day, a day of national pride and celebration, was a masterstroke, aligning perfectly with the brand's intrinsic Australian identity.

- Cultural Resonance: The choice of Australia Day for the campaign underscored Vegemite's place in Australian heritage, adding depth to its already entrenched cultural relevance.

- Media Buzz: Given its iconic status and the national importance of Australia Day, the campaign was ripe for media coverage. It attracted the attention of various news outlets and social media, amplifying its reach and impact.

- Consumer Engagement: The limited-time nature of the offer spurred customer interest, leading to higher online and in-store engagement.

- Nostalgia and Practicality: They served a dual purpose. They were not just practical drink holders but also a slice of nostalgia, strengthening emotional ties with the brand.

- Multi-generational Appeal: While older generations found them nostalgic, younger Australians found them to be a trendy, practical accessory—thus hitting a broad demographic.

Vegemite reinforced its standing as an unmissable part of the Australian cultural fabric by aligning a universally recognised product with a culturally significant event. The stubby holders served as both a practical tool and a sentimental keepsake, solidifying Vegemite's legacy while promoting customer engagement and media attention.

Surf Life Saving Australia

Surf Life Saving Australia Logo

Surf Life Saving Australia, an organisation dedicated to promoting water safety and life-saving efforts, sought a multi-pronged approach to both fundraising and awareness-raising. They turned to stubby holders as an inventive yet practical channel for their campaign. They were designed to resonate emotionally, featuring captivating images of life-saving activities, lifeguards in action, and the Australian coastline. They were available at various events like surf competitions, charity walks, and even through Surf Life Saving Australia's website.

Tactical Elements 
- Emotive Imagery: The stubby holders employed compelling visuals of life-saving operations and Australia's beautiful coastlines, evoking both admiration for the organisation's work and a love for the ocean they protect.

- Multi-Channel Availability: Offering them at events and online provided multiple touchpoints for potential donors and supporters.

- Functional Utility: As functional items that people would use regularly, they serve as ongoing reminders of the organisation's mission.

- Educational Aspect: Some included life-saving tips or statistics about water safety, adding an educational component to the functional item.

- Fundraising: While the primary goal was fundraising, they achieved more than just financial gains. They became a self-sustaining promotional tool, their sales furthering the organisation's life-saving initiatives.

- Increased Awareness: By featuring images and facts that directly relate to their mission, they become a topic of conversation whenever they are used, extending awareness organically through social and family gatherings.

- Community Engagement: The campaign fostered a sense of community among donors and supporters. It wasn't just about making a donation; it was about being part of a movement that values Australia's aquatic lifestyle and is committed to keeping it safe.

- Ongoing Advocacy: Every use of them is a subtle reminder of their purpose and needs, effectively converting one-time donors or supporters into long-term advocates.

- Educational Impact: For those that included life-saving tips or facts, the campaign added value by contributing to public education around water safety.

By incorporating elements that spoke directly to their mission and the community they serve, Surf Life Saving Australia turned a simple, functional item into a powerful tool for awareness and fundraising. In this case, the stubby holders were not just merchandise but ambassadors carrying a meaningful message, increasing public engagement and fostering a long-lasting relationship between the organisation and its supporters.

Whether it's reinforcing a brand's cultural significance like Vegemite or raising funds and awareness for a worthy cause like Surf Life Saving Australia, the strategic use of stubby holders continues to offer diverse and impactful branding opportunities for Australian companies. The examples listed here underline just how versatile and potent this seemingly simple item can be when integrated thoughtfully into a wider marketing strategy.

The Stubby Holders Team