The saying “A trouble shared is a trouble halved” suggests that the antidote to worry and fear is having support and community around you. Australians call this “mateship,” and as a country prone to natural disasters, it’s a value held in high esteem. Every Australia Day (Jan. 26), Havaianas prompts communities to come together, eschewing the traditional approach of pushing one-way product messages.
As part of the Havaianas Thong Challenge (“thong” means “flip-flop” in Australia), thousands of Australians at beaches nationwide compete to create the longest line of airbeds (inflatables shaped like the sandals). This year, almost 7,000 people participated in five teams. The event is a fundraiser, and by donating the money raised to causes such as the Queensland Flood Relief appeal and local Surf Life Saving clubs, the Thong Challenge has created new levels of meaning for the brand, allowing people to experience and interact with it in a new and mutually beneficial way.
Given that Australia has survived devastating floods, fires and cyclones in just the last few months, creating much anxiety, brands could do well to take heed and find ways to provide equally meaningful brand experiences.
Photo Credit: havaianasthongchallenge.com.au