Archive for September, 2019

Meme and Shame

Posted: September 22nd, 2019 | Posted in Uncategorized | No comments

Dear “AFL Memes” Social Media Managers

It saddens and disappoints me that a page with so many followers has chosen to go down the route of degrading women with what is nothing less than crude and juvenile humour.

Over the weekend you posted a meme about a female St George Dragons AFL player who did a mid-air split jump to spoil a marking attempt by Holroyd Parramatta.

The sad part is that the young woman you have chosen to degrade is in fact only 17 years old. The mind air splits that player Erin Wardrop (yes, she is a real human and has a name), achieves is nothing short of an incredible feat of athleticism. I have yet to see a male player perfect a move like this. However, you chose to turn this strength and determination into gutter smut for the infantile pleasure of what appears to be a growing audience for the footy codes of Australia. The comments made by some of the men on social media is stomach churning.


It’s unfortunate that the footy codes in Australia have gained the reputation of abusing alcohol, drugs and women. The AFL and NRL are currently in a state of brand crisis with this type of culture running rampant amongst some of the players and clearly from a fair few of the supporters. And it’s these types of posts that fuel the reputation further.

The disappointing part is that you had an opportunity to use this image for good. You had the perfect platform to highlight just how amazing the female AFL players are and, to throw down the gauntlet to male players challenging them to perform such a move. You had the chance to help redirect the AFL brand into a better light rather than cement the current perception.

But here’s the thing, “AFL Memes” Social Media Managers, there are so many good men who not only play the game but that support it too. These gentlemen don’t find humour in bad taste memes. They understand the difference between what is appropriate and what isn’t. These good men can recognise that the sexualisation of such an extraordinary achievement of athleticism is nauseating. I noticed that some of these good men were commenting on how inappropriate the post was, yet they got shot-down themselves.

The good men understand this as a major problem not just in the footy culture, but our Australian culture too. What if the next woman to be objectified was their mother, sister or daughter?

You should be looking to these gentlemen as a moral compass guide. Use their standards of how to treat women for a better code of conduct, and help improve and enhance the reputation of the brand for all footy codes.

“AFL Memes” Social Media Managers, I implore you to think of the influence you have over your audience. Before you post, please consider the young men and women who will see these memes and be mindful of the affects you can have on them, the type of behaviour you are endorsing and on the brand perception of the AFL.

You have an incredible opportunity to do good. Wit is one thing, smut is another. Be good humans. Stand up for those who are creating amazing things in this world. Prove to all of those watching, that footy fans and players are intelligent, mindful and respectful. Help change the brand of AFL. Help create a better world for our families to enjoy good, healthy and respectful sports. Help eliminate sexual objectification, not promote it. Raise the bar and be role models for others to follow.

Be kind. Be courteous. Be good.

The small lessons learnt from a 6 star brand experience

Posted: September 11th, 2019 | Posted in Uncategorized | No comments

It’s not often that you get to celebrate 20 years of marriage. So in true celebratory mode, my husband David and I, chose to spend a long weekend at the 6 star lodge in Wolgan Valley called One&Only. 

To say that we were blown away is an understatement! As a brand strategist I couldn’t help but marvel at the brand experience they created for us and felt that it was my duty to relay such attention to detail – as I do believe that each and everyone of us can learn from this 6 star business.

I must confess that my initial experience with the One&Only brand wasn’t earth shattering. The website, which was my initial point of contact, had me rather confused as I fumbled my way through trying to find out what was on the spa menu and what activities where on offer. This part left me a little frustrated and to be honest I gave up in the end.

However, I’m really nit-picking here as there really wasn’t much else to fault this brand on.

Prior to our getaway, I received an email reminding me of our visit. They redeemed themselves as attached to the email were about 8 pdf files that went through all their additional activities and how to book them.

The day before departure I received a phone call from One&Only to check if I had received everything and ask if I had any questions. I was able to immediately book in our day spa session, so I was happy. I was at this point informed that we would receive a complimentary lunch which we could enjoy on the day of our arrival or departure. We chose to do this on the day that we arrived.

The drive over the Blue Mountains from Sydney is beautiful and as we descended into the Wolgan Valley we could literally feel the stress fading away.

We were met at the gate where our bags were unpacked and tagged and popped into the 4 wheel drive that took us up to the lodge. We were greeted with hot towels and taken straight to enjoy a sumptuous lunch with delicious local Mudgee wines. Lunch overlooked the grounds dotted with kangaroos and wombats! I can only imagine how overseas guests would have felt being so close to Australian wildlife.

So here’s what I noticed.

Everyone that we came in contact with was incredibly well trained and knew all about the company, activities, history, wines and food. I just love that the brand supports local industry with food and wine sourced from the area. The products in the day spa are all from an Australian company called Sodashi and these products are also found in your villa. Another Australian brand that they support is R.M Williams. Staff (other than management) wore deep blue R.M Williams jeans with an R.M Williams belt. It all added to the distinctly Australian bush experience that they were creating. Now all I want is one of their belts!

The staff all greeted us by placing their right hand over the heart which made us feel acknowledged and special. 

When we checked in, we were personally escorted to our villa and given a tour to show us where everything was and how to work it. Our bags had already been delivered and were neatly stowed in the massive walk-in robe/dressing room. Apart from our own personal pool, fluffy white robes, a shower with a glass ceiling and a double sided fireplace, they focused on the small things too…

Every villa was provided with a sketch pad and pencils for those, like me, who love to dabble in drawing. There were books and magazines, the newspaper delivered daily, mountain bikes on our porch for exploring the property, a backpack to pop our complimentary sunscreen and drinks in when going on an outing and of course Australian organic tea and coffee.

The weekend was pure luxury but it was how they made us feel that ensured that our experience was an unforgettable one.

For example, on our second night, they ran out of the red wine that we had enjoyed the night before. As an apology for this (really not their fault, right?) I was offered a glass of French champagne instead of the Prosecco that I was quite happy to enjoy. The manager then ducked into the cellar and was able to find the very last bottle of that vintage that we loved. This bottle was kept on our table all night so that no-one else in the restaurant could drink it.

What impressed me most was not the big impressive offerings at the lodge (although they certainly were outstanding), but rather the attention to detail on the small seemingly insignificant things.

The sound of the wooden chimes (rather than metal) that we heard as we walked up to the day spa. The fact that staff remembered us and greeted us by name when we arrived for our meals. It doesn’t cost a cent to be polite, to smile and to make people feel welcome, yet so many businesses overlook this very simply offering.

It took 6 star service to remind me, that this is something that each and everyone of us could be doing in our business right now.

Designed by WRD © Debbie O'Connor 2022