"Marketing teams strive to show how their smarts and silver deliver Return on Investment (ROI). And with incessant pressure on budgets, reaching consumers with messages that resonate remains a priority. Some global brands are looking for efficiencies by centralising marketing teams and exploring the merits of wider Pacific campaigns - so how alike are we to our Aussie neighbours and what are the differences to watch out for?

Along with a passion for the sport, Australia and New Zealand share similar demographics in terms of age and gender. More Aussies live in their own home, 65% compared to 60% in New Zealand and more Australians live in cities (65% vs. 55%). When it comes to ethnicity, we see more divergence: seven-in-10 Kiwis describe themselves as New Zealanders or NZ European; compared to eight-in-10 Australians born in Australia or of European descent. New Zealanders are twice as likely to speak a language other than English (29% vs.14%), driven largely by our Asian, Pacific Island and Maori populations. Kiwi households are also bigger, nearly a quarter (23%) have five or more people in the household compared to 15% in Australia.

Regarding consumer confidence and our finances, New Zealanders are a little more optimistic. Nearly a third of Australians say they find it hard to make ends meet (31%), compared to nearly a quarter of Kiwis (24%). More New Zealanders find it easy to deal with money matters (46% vs. 36%) and we are also more likely to say it’s essential to plan for the future (71 % vs. 61%).

Our feeling of fiscal responsibility extends to bargain hunting; 73% of New Zealanders shop for specials and bargains while 55% of Australians say they tend to hold out for a sale.

Consumers in both nations are increasingly health aware, but still regularly indulge in fast food. In New Zealand, Fish and Chips are the fast favourite takeaway meal, which, in comparison, is ranked fourth in Australia. Aussie consumers choose McDonald's, followed by KFC and Hungry Jacks (Burger King) ahead of the classic Kiwi treat.

Both Aussies and Kiwis value our respective heritages, three-quarters of New Zealanders think it’s important to celebrate our indigenous culture, while 67% agree in Australia. But across the ditch consumers make more of an effort to buy Australian made (60%) compared to 50% of Kiwis who purchase equivalent products as often as possible.

While there’s some shared history and good-natured sporting passion between Australia and New Zealand, there are also some key differences in demographics, how we shop and our views. When it comes to putting consumers front and centre for new products, marketing messages and media planning, a one size fits all approach requires finesse.


In this environment, breadth of understanding of consumer attitudes, media consumption and their day to day behaviours is essential. Nielsen Consumer and Media Insights provide views of consumers you want to identify, understand and then reach. Meaning you don’t rely on too narrow a view of a customer. The data is gathered via an independently audited survey of 11,000 New Zealanders aged 10+. It uses the mixed methodology of face-to-face (75%) and online (25%) interviews, combined with a self-completion diary. The sample is then weighted to Statistics NZ population data for national representation."


Nielsen Consumer & Media View is a rolling survey of more than 20,000 Australians aged 14 and above. It captures their lifestyles, behaviours, passions and attitudes toward almost every aspect of their life. It’s great for helping advertisers understand the everyday Australian consumer that they want and need to communicate with. We also include media consumption data with the fusion of official TV, radio and digital audience ratings to get a rounded view of how brands can best target and reach their target audiences.

By Amanda Wisniewski, Director - Client Service, Nielsen