To read this content please select one of the options below:

New Zealand’s ANZAC nurses: marketizing the great war for a 21st-century fit

Jayne Krisjanous (Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand)
Christine Hallett (University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, UK)

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing

ISSN: 1755-750X

Article publication date: 8 September 2021

Issue publication date: 26 January 2022




The aim of this paper is to demonstrate how a historical event packaged as an iconic heritage cultural brand can be marketized and modified over time to ensure brand longevity and continued emotional commitment and loyalty through the leverage of stories and associations more closely aligned with modern-day audiences. The authors do this through examining the marketization of the New Zealand World War 1 (WWI) nurse to today’s audiences. The periods of study are WWI (1914–1918) and then the modern day. The New Zealand Army Nursing Service (NZANS) during WWI has previously had little attention as a key actor in the Australia and New Zealand Army Corp (ANZAC), Today ANZAC is held as pivotal in the birth of New Zealand’s perception of nationhood and as an iconic heritage cultural brand. The history and legend of the ANZAC plays an important role in New Zealand culture and is fundamental to the “Anzac Spirit”, a signifier of what it means to be a New Zealander.


A historical case study method is used. The primary source of data is 1914–1918, and includes contemporaneous articles, and personal writings: diaries, letters and published memoirs. More contemporary works form the basis for discussion of marketization as it relates to the NZANS. The article first presents conceptual framing, then the development of the Anzac brand and the history of the NZANS and its role in WWI before turning to discussion on the marketization of this nursing service to today’s audiences and as part of the ANZAC/Anzac brand.


Today the story of the WWI NZANS nurse, previously seldom heard, has been co-opted and is becoming increasingly merged as an integral part of the Anzac story. The history of the NZANS during WWI has a great deal of agency today as part of that story, serving many functions within it and providing a valuable lever for marketization.


To date, there is a scarcity of marketing analysis that examines the marketization of history. By focusing on New Zealand WWI nursing as a contributor to the Anzac story, the authors contribute to the understanding of how marketers package and contemporize history for appeal to audiences through both sustaining and reworking cultural branding.



Krisjanous, J. and Hallett, C. (2022), "New Zealand’s ANZAC nurses: marketizing the great war for a 21st-century fit", Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, Vol. 14 No. 1, pp. 24-47.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles