With Mother's day fast-approaching, Carat Sydney Strategy Director, Katie Rockliff, discusses the enormous potential for marketers to tap into our growing love of special occasions or 'macro moments'.

Moment marketing. It’s hot on the lips of Marketers this days – and with just cause. FINALLY we’re deploying data to get to the people behind the pixels, understanding their needs states in broad terms as well as in the detail of their day to day.

Macro marketing and micro marketing offers the perfect brand response to a consumer’s mindset at either big calendar occasions like the Superbowl, Easter and my best friend’s wedding, through to the granularity of women’s predilection for internet retail therapy and/or chocolate with their afternoon tea break. 

The younger sibling ‘micro’, has received a heady hit of press-time lately, and quite over-shadowed our macro moment mindfulness. This is too bad, since I’m not convinced marketers have yet nailed our technique.

‘Macro moments’ – calendar occasions that tap into cultural sentiment and are cause for communal celebration – are unquestionably bigger than ever before. Here’s just a few of our big ones for 2016:


2,094,350 voted in Triple J’s Hottest 100; 90,000 attended the Domain Gardens Federation show; 25,000 turned out for the two-tonne firework extravaganza on the harbor (let’s face it, NYE has made monsters of us). Thousands more hit Bondi, Freshwater beach and many other iconic locations for live music, sun, surf, sausage sizzle, camel rides, and the requisite thong throwing. Talk about engagement!


Almost half of Aussies currently rank Mother’s Day as our most significant special day of the year. New research on shopping habits tells us this will translate to an estimated $1.36 billion spent on gifts, online deals, cards and flowers for Mum’s special day. According to data analysis group, IBISWorld, per capita spending for Mother's Day is expected to rise 3.4 per cent from last year to $60. Again – we’re kinda ‘all-in’.

Now let’s throw in a religious holiday for good measure, shall we?


Touted as the ‘New hassle-free Christmas’, Easter is gaining traction as the four day family holiday without the hassle of finding the perfect present. Mums love it; kids love it; we just can’t seem to get enough of turning these four days into a ‘festival’. How-to content on YouTube typically skyrockets in the lead up, with 500K+ video hits on decorating eggs and creating egg hunts from (over) zealous party planners. (3)  

So what’s it all about; why the increased fanfare?

The cynic in me considers the impact of our increasing obsession with social currency. There is likely a much simpler explanation though. Christmas, Valentine’s, Hanukah, et al – there’s a common truth that binds these occasions together. Simply put, they make us happier. 

Irrespective of the meaning behind each one, they all offer a pause in our hectic annual calendars. The twelve month rat-race is punctuated and made more manageable. On these days, time (seemingly) stands still - and we’re permitted to truly be present. To celebrate, be grateful and memory make.

Behavioral Psychologist Daniel Kahneman seems to support this theory. Kahneman’s work proves our unconscious cares about how we spend our time. It actively curates our memories – fading and eventually deleting the obsolete or neutral memories (those with little feeling attached) and retaining only memories of those experiences that really drew us in.

So if we make more of a deal of a moment – and it’s a happy experience – our associations with that occasion are positive ones.

As a brand you helped enable that occasion or played a valuable role in it, you’re going to own a share of that love.

So in a nutshell; macro moments – why marketers should care:


    Brands are engaging seriously with communal moments because of the fixed calendar opportunities – a known timescale – they provide for cultural traction and connecting with audiences en masse.

    Consumers are increasingly searching for brands with meaning – the evolution from logos to values. Finding a fit between the values your brand holds and the values of a macro-moment needn’t be difficult, however it does take a degree of finesse to not feel forced and inauthentic. Think Cardstore’s 2014’ #worldstoughestjob Mother’s Day campaign, Innocent’s 2012 Love-Labels campaign and MLA’s “Commence Operation Boomerang” Campaign.

    Macro moments provide emotional short-cuts and an opportunity for brands to forge a meaningful role in the lives of their customers; moments to connect, impress, or simply make them smile.

It’s points two and three that have been underplayed by brand understanding. Marketers should lift their sights beyond isolated activities and look to play the long game instead.

The advent of micro moment marketing is an opportunity to use macro moments to set the broader brand narrative. Set the over-arching theme of the brand-customer relationship across the year, for your micro moment marketing to leverage when positioning product.

That’s a win-win for everyone. Aiding and enabling celebration; ensuring customers and marketers both get their happy on. I’m thinking that’s worth an emoji. Or three.

^Back to Top