Opinion | Features
- In a new regular column Nic Hodges busts some of the jargon and mystery around ad tech, starting with the wearables phenomenon.
If you've spent any time on the internet recently, you could be forgiven for thinking Apple just invented the smartwatch.
Despite the fact they're actually more than a year late to the watch party, Apple have managed to put wearable technology front and centre in the mainstream.
So now that wearables have transitioned from science fiction to dinner party conversation, what exactly are they? And what do they mean for brands and agencies?
The term "wearables" has been appearing more and more over the last few years, mostly thanks to the development of hi-tech pedometers like Jawbone's UP, the Fitbit Flex, and the darling device of agency strategists worldwide, Nike's Fuel Band. According to Wired magazine, "wearable tech will be as big as the smartphone", and Deloitte estimates that 10 million wearable devices will ship this year.
Are wearables taking off?
It's tempting for brands and agencies to jump in and "wearify" every campaign, but wearable as a concept is still in its early days.
[caption id="attachment_254232" align="alignright" width="234"] Google Glass[/caption]
The Guardian recently wrote of the first generation of smartwatches flooding eBay; hundreds of devices abandoned in a way that was unheard of when smartphones or the iPod were first launched. It also seems unlikely that Google's Glass will ever make it on to the shelves of Dick Smith - the wearable camera- and-screen device is now more frequently used as the punchline of jokes than a vision of the future.
Wearables for health & fitness
[caption id="attachment_80062" align="alignright" width="234"] Nike + Fuelband[/caption]
On the fitness tracking front, the future looks a bit healthier. Although Nielsen reports that 15 percent of consumers are using some type of wearable technology, research firm Endeavour Partners says a third of people stopped using their wearable device within six months of purchase. Meanwhile, agency trend decks around the globe need to be updated to show that Nike actually ceased production of the Fuel Band in April 2014.
The most interesting applications of wearable tech for advertising so far have emerged from the health and fitness space. There are clear benefits for health providers in both keeping their customers healthy and having access to their data.
Oil and gas company BP (who provide health insurance to their US employees) was one of the first companies to venture in to this space; last year they offered all staff a free Fitbit in exchange for access to the wearer’s data. 14,000 employees took up the offer, an idea which has since been implemented by several other health providers.
It's easy to see how ad campaigns that use wearable data could quickly become creepy and unethical – evidenced by the fact that manufacturers are already thinking about what advertisers won't be allowed to do.
For one, the ability to beam a video or discount offer to a user's Apple Watch as they walk past a retail store simply won't exist. Apple are also taking preventative measures with their HealthKit app, instructing developers that they cannot sell any consumer health data to advertisers.
Even Google, a company that relies on advertising for over 90 per cent of its revenue, has explicitly banned advertising from Glass, and any data collected by Glass cannot be used for advertising elsewhere.
What about brands?
For brands, the initial success stories of wearables will be those that provide specific technology for specific experiences. Sydney-based tech company We:Ex has already prototyped some encouraging examples including the Alert Shirt for Foxtel, which allows wearers to "feel what the players feel" as they watch the footy; and Fundawear for Durex (you'll have to follow the link for an explanation on that one). However, with the pace of innovation in this space, the expensive hi-tech prototypes we're seeing today could likely be next year's free gift-with-purchase.
Retailers and brands with a physical presence should keep an eye on the role of wearables in payment and identity processes. While payment systems requiring a smartphone have struggled to gain traction, it may be that simply tapping your Apple Watch or Ringly at a register is a behaviour that does take off. The ability for wearable devices to also transmit identifying information is also going to be gold for CRM and loyalty programs.
When it comes to how brands should be using wearable technology, we need only look to Google Glass, whose aim is to be "there when you need it, gone when you don't". Advertisers would do well to understand and adopt that mantra.
Wearables are here to stay, and while it is still early days, it's safe to say that interrupting consumers with advertising messages will not win brands any fans.
But providing utility and function when and where people need it? That very likely will.
- Nic Hodges is the founder of creative technology consultancy Blonde3
- With consumers increasingly concerned about their personal data on social media Luke Heemsbergen of the University of Melbourne looks at new ad-free platform Ello, and what it will mean for the privacy debate in a cross-posting from The Conversation.
Ello is new social networking space on the web that is receiving a lot of attention of late – so much that it’s caused a few problems with the website out of action from time to time.
Ello’s new popularity is in part because it offers a different view to representing and monitoring our digital selves than Facebook. But Ello’s own privacy/public tradeoff is still evolving, and can teach us a lot about what privacy means online, and how contextual integrity, not just “personal integrity” matters.
Ello is a social networking platform that does not require people to use their real name when they sign up for an account (by invitation only at the moment). It protects users' patterns of use (their metadata) from Google. It does not sell any member information to third-parties such as advertisers. In fact, the free service promises to remain ad-free forever.
Instead, Ello offers an artistic and vaguely grown-up vibe (nudity is OK) with lots of white space, monospaced font, and is the hottest place to be on the web at the moment (if you still haven’t been invited, then ping me).
Created in January 2014, Ello exploded onto the social media scene in late September after some of Facebook’s LGTBQ community in San Francisco were forced into becoming vocal and eloquent opponents of Facebook’s real name policies.
The reasons for not wanting real name identities in social media are varied, but taken together, they rally against Mark Zuckerberg’s oft quoted claim that:
[…] having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity.But people who disagree with Zuckerberg’s vision for personal “radical transparency” in social life (online or off) are starting to look for alternative places to be social. The alternative to Facebook that Ello offers seems closer to the wild west of the internet’s past: it’s experimental, run by the community for the community, and openly fumbling as it goes along. The serious privacy concerns voiced by creatrixtiara a member of ello’s own community (who fled from Facebook) is one such fumble.
[…] there are specific elements of Ello’s privacy settings, deliberately designed, that make Ello actually way more unsafe than Facebook, Twitter, or other social media outlets and CMSes. And in our rush to embrace a Facebook replacement we need to be aware of what we are at risk for when using Ello.That original post – and creatrixtiara’s final post on Ello – generated plenty of interest with updates available here. In short, creatrixtiara calls out that there is currently no privacy in Ello! Everything posted is public. There are no controls to adjust who sees what and who contacts whom. As Ello’s documentation states (for now):
- Droga5 executive creative director and partner Ted Royer sat down with Miranda Ward at Spikes Asia to discuss his experience as president of the jury for film, print, outdoor and radio, the changing creative landscape in the region and plans for a Droga5 Asia office. After being the Jury president across the traditional categories, what do you make of the state of creativity in the region? I was a little bit nervous before coming out here because in past years I had heard some of my more cynical friends say that Asian advertising hadn't really moved on from a lot of the formulas of the past. I think that's bullshit. Some of the work here is fresh and bold and innovative and great. I will judge any Asian show, I love the thinking, the surprise, the care that's gone into the work, particularly from countries like China, India and Japan. When I was out here those three countries weren't doing the most creative things but now their markets and their audiences are catching up to and surpassing other markets around the world. The top work in the show is truly world class and either has won at Cannes or will win at Cannes. I am glad to say Asia is alive and thriving. How did the traditional jury work together? This was a wonderful jury. It was respectful and patient. I'm a big fan of everybody talking so we got opinions out of everybody. The judging was pretty close sometimes but it was pretty clear whenever something won it deserved to win. I didn't have to nudge them that much. They made intelligent decisions and decisions that they were proud of. Was there any particular country you were impressed by during the judging? Japan is doing phenomenal work, very different type of work. Japan is one of the great creative countries of the world right now. China has really come into its own, there was a whole bunch of Chinese work that was truly exceptional. I miss Thai humour, I saw a lot of Thai beautiful spots, very emotional spots. No one does emotion and humour like the Thais but I was hoping for more Thai humour because that used to be my favourite thing about Asian advertising. Thais do funny commercials better than anybody else in the world. There are some pieces from India that I found delightful and powerful. Two pieces come to mind, one was a Google spot and one was a Nike spot, that I think were done with a level of taste and craft that is fantastic. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHGDN9-oFJE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtxLmInvFcw I'm so happy that I'm incredibly jealous of a lot of this work. The highest praise you can get from a creative is jealousy and when I'd see a piece and say 'I'm fucking jealous' then I'd know it was great. In the entered work, were there any particular themes that were popular? We were joking that both Japan and China love to play pranks on their family members and surprise them in ways that make them cry. It seems like a lot of people don't talk very well, there were a lot of campaigns about people telling them they love them for the first time on film and capturing people by surprise to the point it started to seem mean almost. That made for some very moving and emotional work. I'd have to say a lot of the work was pretty diverse and beautiful. How does the region compare to the US? It's hard to compare an entire region with so many diverse regions to the US. Not having judged digital, America is digital crazy. Social media is an incredibly expressive form that's growing in front of our eyes. We created a whole social media lab inside Droga5 now to handle the volume of social that we're doing and they handle it well. I can't speak to how they're handling that in Asia. Only compared to the US in the categories that I judged, I think it's right up there to the US. The US is doing some great work, Asia is doing phenomenal work. I don't think there's a quality difference between the top pieces from both countries. What do you think are the challenges in the region? Hard to say, talking to my colleagues in China they have difficulty getting clients on board with more innovative thinking. I think Japan is ahead of the curve with so much stuff, they do wonderful work. These are huge markets, China and India are huge markets that in some places still feel like they're emerging. I feel great with the creatives on the ground there in those countries, if they keep doing what they're doing the industry is going to be better than its ever been. I worry about little Singapore, I hear things are tough here. It used to be the creative mecca of Asia, I don't know if that's the case anymore. And again, where's the Thai funny? Are they different to the challenges in the US? The US is pretty healthy right now, the economy is really healthy. The one thing I want to see more of in the US is more independent agencies really succeeding. I'd love to see more of a sense of community between the agencies. Over here, they all know each other, they all reach out to each other and work together, there's more of a sense of community and in Australia especially. They all go to the same pub as each other, they all know each other, and while they may slag each other off in the Campaign Brief blog, they still root for each other and they're still good mates. In America, things are pretty disjointed and I don't see agencies cheering for each other at all. If Wieden + Kennedy does well, the industry does well. If a new startup, my friend started an agency Preacher in Texas, if that does well, we all win because if they do great creative work and they build a company, it gets better, it gets bigger. If everything is held by three or four holding companies, how great is that for the industry? We like to say, 49 per cent was bought by William Morris, they're not in advertising, so them buying us and using our influence with them and vice versa that makes the industry bigger because we can tap into more resources then ever. If say WPP had bought us that would have made the industry smaller. If Publicis and Omnicom merged that just makes the industry smaller. I'm cheering for independent agencies and things that make the industry more robust and bigger and give us better voices and help us prove that advertising doesn't have to be just noise. It can really contribute to culture in better ways. Is it hard to attract and retain good talent? Not from other agencies and people who want ad jobs. I have lost two people to an app startup, so I do feel competition from tech companies because it's incredibly exciting to be in a tech startup and it's just as fast-moving and creative as advertising has ever been. So we need to prove we can be as fast-moving and creative as the most fast-moving tech company. Also right now freelance in America is incredibly robust, people can get paid directly from agencies more money than any agency could ever pay them. I understand why freelancers don't want to be tied down. It's a little hard and if its hard for Droga5 I can only imagine what its like for one of the big networks. As an industry we need to prove to young people why we're a good destination over a Google or an Apple because they are incredibly attractive companies. Part of that is what Droga5's trying to do, we're trying to prove we're one of the most creative companies in the world and if you could go anywhere you should still come to us. When looking for new talent, what are the skills you are after? I'll speak for creatives, we don't separate departments. Every creative should be able to work in everything. We don't look for a technical skill, we look for an understanding and a desire to work in every media and to come up with ideas that can work across every media. When I see an all print book I'm not going to hire that person, I want to see thinking that's so big it transcends boundaries. I always tell this story, I hired two guys from Sweden because the first idea in their book was so good, it was a business idea it was so good and the next one was almost as good so I closed the book and said lets talk about money. I didn't need to see a long-copy ad or some banners that they had done, I didn't need to see proof they can be in advertising, I need to see proof of powerful thinking that crosses borders. Who is doing work that inspires you? I always get inspired by Wieden + Kennedy, they are a fantastic agency. What are they, 30, 35 years old? A shining beacon of being great year after year, all due respect to Widen. Any particular campaigns you've been impressed by? They did an Old Spice campaign that was just 15-second ads that were like 70s songs and they were so fucking stupid, awesome and absurd. I said to one of my friends 'I feel like I was put on earth to make that campaign and someone did it before me'. I loved it so much, it was so absurd. What's underrated and unsung is the work that Ogilvy continue to do for IBM year after year. They do amazing work that seems to get ignored at awards shows. They got awarded for that moving the atoms around, which was lovely and beautiful and great. I think they're a strong workhorse who deserve more then they get. Are there any plans or ambitions for an office in Asia? Talk about it all the time, sure. We just want to get it right with the right partners. The typical cities come up, Shanghai, Mumbai. Yes, you'll probably see an Asian office from us in a couple of years. When we open offices, we first and foremost open it with partners that we love. We believe business will come if we get the right people on the ground with the right sense of mission that we have. London is doing really well, they're up to about 35 people and they're less than a year old. Sydney is still winning business and doing ok and New York just passed 300 people. We're growing super fast.
- TV networks need to stop treating viewers like second class citizens and deliver some basic services or risk slipping into obsurity, argues Alex Hayes. I joined the 21st Century on Sunday and bought my first flat screen TV. It's a 40-inch smart TV, with full HD of course, that's standard. Now all I need to find is something to watch on it. Since getting it I've noticed just how poor standard definition TV broadcasts are. I'll be honest, I never really thought HD would make a difference to my viewing experience, but it most definitely does. Before I would have had very little sympathy for someone like Josh Rowe who has been campaigning for years to get the AFL grand final broadcast in HD by Seven, but suddenly I see his point. Millions of Aussie homes have these shiny, sleek TVs capable of high quality pictures, and the biggest broadcaster in the land can't get its act together to make the most of the available tools. Of course, it's expensive to upgrade the equipment, and Seven has admitted it produces its AFL coverage for its primary channel in standard definition. And Nine is no better, telling us today it is not sure if it will broadcast the NRL grand final in HD next Saturday. After all, they've only had six months to think about it this season, and it's only one of Nine's highest rating programs of the year. Indeed when they retained the rights David Gyngell even promised in 2014 that the NRL would be broadcast in HD from this year. We're still waiting. More infuriatingly for fans, they still put a delay on their "live" broadcast matches, and cram them so full of ads they take more than two hours to air. In the days of social media, where armchair fans are sitting on the sofa with a smartphone in hand following live scores from mates at the game, the teams themselves, or just a news site with live updates, there is now a situation where they know a try has been scored minutes before it's shown on TV. Telstra is also piping highlights to its subscribers as they happen on their mobiles, so how is Nine offering fans the best possible viewing experience? Ironically in one shop I went into whilst looking for my TV there were special offers on some TVs marked as "Footy Finals specials". Why not buy an HD TV for those SD quality broadcasts? A 2011 Newspoll study found that 78 per cent of people looking to upgrade their TVs though HD picture quality was "very or extremely important". That's 78 per cent of people who have been left sorely disappointed for three years. An interesting piece popped up on TV Tonight earlier today looking at why primary channels aren't broadcast in HD, and it's a simple subsection of some regulation preventing it. That could be abolished at the stroke of a pen, and is another example of antiquated regulation of the media. Even so, there's nothing stopping Seven or Nine simulcasting the finals in HD on their multichannels except expense, and fears they might fragment their audience. For once they might want to look at rivals Ten, which has been broadcasting Family Feud across all its channels as a simulcast, with the same ads, and getting ratings provider OzTam to provide one number for the broadcast. Yes, even Family Feud is on an HD channel. Ten has at least dabbled with the Winter Olympics, simulcasting some events on its digital channel One. We'll wait and see if they repeat that experiment with the Big Bash cricket, or next year's V8 Supercars, its real marquee sports codes. Foxtel of course offers the choice to watch shows in HD, but having to pay an extra $10-a-month for the privilege after spending money upgrading my tele seems a bit of a rort. They will have an HD replay of the grand final on Fox Footy on Saturday evening, although for fans of one of the teams, that's not going to be an appealing prospect. I understand Seven, Nine and Fox Sports all need to maximise the revenues they get around these matches having forked out a $2bn between them for these rights. That means getting as many viewers to sit through as many sponsor messages and ads as they can. The problem is, the more ads they cram in, the more they risk testing viewers' patience. Suddenly the vaunted 'halo effect' of promoting their other shows during these large audience events, is under threat as people tune out, or find their good will for the broadcasters tested. More than that the free-to-air networks have been lobbying for changes to laws which would see them allowed to put more ads in prime time shows. Given a recent survey we did found around a third of major prime-time shows is ad breaks anyway, that's probably not the best way to pick up more viewers, and at best a band-aid on an increasingly deepening wound. Having any adverts on pay-TV is still a bone of contention for some subscribers. Our traditional TV broadcasters know they're locked in a fight to the death for viewers at the moment, as more people turn to video streaming through legitimate, and not so legitimate, means. Privately they acknowledge audiences aren't anywhere near where they were, with 700,000 viewers the new million. That's not going to get easier as internet-based upstarts like Netflix, Quickflix and Hulu pursue more content deals, more aggressively. If you think the media world is fragmented now, just wait to see how it looks in a couple of year's time, when all these services sit side-by-side on your connected TV. While these kind of services might have a lot of choice and offer content on demand, they're not streaming in HD and they certainly don't have live rights for premium sports, yet, so there could be a major point of difference immediately. And Aussie broadcasters are jumping on board with their own offerings, like Nine's Streamco partnership with Fairfax. So there's even more of a scramble for TV rights than there was, especially for the big US dramas, which have proved so appealing in recent years. And worryingly for our broadcasters even the shiny floor talent shows and reality fare aren't anywhere near as attractive to viewers as they once were, with numbers for shows like X Factor, Big Brother and Biggest Loser all down on last year. While we'd all love to see more high quality local drama, like the ABC's promising looking series The Code, I fear that's unlikely, with high production costs and limited runs making them harder to make a good return on. At least, hopefully, we'll see the end of staggering the broadcast of blockbuster international shows, although it's interesting to note Downton Abbey is back on in the UK, but shows no signs of returning yet on Seven. There are a lot of well documented threats for these broadcasters, but they've not made things easy for themselves by doing the basics a lot of their counterparts around the world have, and treating Aussie viewers like second class citizens too often. The next two months sees the annual upfront presentations where all the networks give their best sales pitches for their upcoming shows to media buyers, attempting to persuade them to spend more money with them. I hope this year, rather than concentrating solely on the content, they have a long, hard look at the user experience for the viewers. After all, happy viewers makes for happier advertisers. There might not be an obvious business case for it, but today people expect better service than ever before. It's time for our TV networks to step up to the plate and start delivering for the people who will make or break their fortunes. Alex Hayes is editor of Mumbrella.
- After recently giving up some time to mentor students Jaid Hulsbosch asks why the industry isn't doing more to help nurture future talent. A recent opportunity to reflect didn’t involve a spiritual retreat or a bucket list review or a winter mood rebalance at a luxe resort. It simply provided a time to reassess one of the edicts of good karma and a recommitment to ‘giving back’ to the industry for a purposeful corporate journey. Such an opportunity occurred earlier this year when I was invited to guest lecture the UTS postgraduate students (advertising and communication). An evening of robust discussion provided a sense of purpose and fulfilment that easily outweighed the investment. Dr Martin Williams, lecturer, corporate communications and advertising, UTS, commented at the end of the session that, like many institutions, he struggles to get industry professionals to lecture and mentor students at all levels. He continued, that it’s so important for the industry to invest in its future through this channel. It offers an insight to the industry and provides personal perspectives on career and the challenges of the industry to a new generation. Why are we neglecting our future industry? It can be difficult to commit as we have commitments that fill our days from the politics and pressure of work to family and leisure interests. There is not enough time to accept invitations from educators and be involved particularly for evening formats. After a long day at the office, it’s not a priority to give up an evening during the week and make a contribution. Sometimes it’s an overwhelming experience best left to others to speak publicly and avoided if at all possible. But it’s our culture of ‘busyness’ that protects us from engaging in projects that offer benefits to our own industry community. Remember when you were a student and a pivotal moment will more than likely be a contribution from a speaker or presentation that was an impactful moment on your future career. Could you inspire and shape a young person’s future? September 7 marked 12 months of Australia’s latest Federal government and when elected some critics warned of bad days ahead with a forecast of budget cuts and lack of investment. It could be true as Higher Education embarks on uncharted territory as government policies encourage privatization and reforms for a deregulated education market. This challenge is replicated at a state level with a loss of courses and of particular interest design teachings. Hornsby (NSW) TAFE Institute and its arts program students reportedly were moved from world-class facilities, and painting and graphic design courses cut. These decisions inevitably downgrade creative education and its ability to service another generation of innovative communicators. No matter the course, its location or academic grading; we need to reinvest to educational opportunities that provide real-life understanding for students as they embark on a their career. And further it opens a learning corridor between the student and the seasoned professional that provides a two-way opportunity of education. Who knows who will learn the most? The corporate karma connection could be your chance to be involved with the lecturing or mentoring of tomorrow’s superstar. But whatever it is, investing in your own professional community is responsible leadership and secures the future for your industry. Jaid Hulsbosch is director of design agency Hulsbosch.
- BBH China chief creative officer Johnny Tan sat down with Miranda Ward at Spikes Asia to discuss the need for creative nuance in China, the overuse of the word content, risk averse clients causing scam and how hard it is to find staff with talent. How can international or Australian brands flourish in China? I think from an advertising standpoint the most important thing is for brands to stay curious about this culture and be respectful about it. I've worked on many global brands where they're from the perspective of New York or London or even in this region, and far too often there are people who still talk about 'one size fits all', 'why can't we just re-cast in Asians but in the same spot?' Or 'oh yeah, this is a universal truth it will work everywhere'. No it isn't, the nuances are so different. Even within China itself, the different tier markets have very different cultures and even local brands have a hard time grasping that. So for an Australian or any international brands trying to come in here, it sounds cliché, but you need to have the right insights, and by insights I don't mean putting a few people in a room and asking what's up, it's really having your finger on the pulse of what's happening and being able to ask the right questions. The thing about China is that the truth lies in what they're not telling you versus what they are telling you, you really have to read between the lines and find out what that is and once you get that you can really connect with them. Just to give you an example, Johnny Walker came into this market nine or 10 years ago officially. There was no affinity with the 'Keep Walking' campaign, which was a campaign that worked everywhere around the world easily, but in China 'Keep Walking' meant nothing. They go 'what has keep walking, inspiration, achievement and success got to do with drinking?' They couldn't connect the two. So from an outside perspective it's so obvious, but they couldn't understand it. It's when we did that campaign and we explained to people in the right kind of narrative that success comes when your buddies help you achieve it and then they go 'oh, now we get it!' And then we started building that bridge, the first couple of years were terrible. We spent a lot of money, it was winning awards but no one was understanding it! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ckYM1GtFdI The conditions in China, they're not short of choices right now. Everything has a million choices for them right now, once upon a time you had two choices of athletic shoes, now two pairs come out every other week. You're talking about a very saturated market right now, it's not about managing the loyalty of your consumers, it's learning to manage the disloyalty. You know for a fact that they're going to pick other things, but what's going to make them come back to you? That's a very different perspective. For Australian agencies looking to open up in China, what would be the key thing to remember when looking at the market? There are so many choices right now. When I was in New York, there were certain agencies that go 'well I'm not going to be in New York, I might be in San Francisco or LA', but China, for some reason everybody wants to be there. You're talking about competition from all of Europe, all of Australia and New Zealand, all of the US, all converging in the same place. The question they should ask is all China needs right now is a new ad agency - what is your point of difference? There has to be a new model of an agency, what is the next model is a very critical question. Everyone assumes money grows on trees in China, it's big, there's opportunities. It is a huge market and there are lots of opportunities but the model of which you make money is very very different. You find yourself working on a car account that pays you the fraction of what you would get in Australia, so would you then be able to set up an agency and put in some top-gun creative directors, but you're making a fraction in terms of the revenue, how do you reconcile that? If you can't figure that out, don't start an agency in China. What is your take on the state of creativity in the region? There's a lot of work being done, words like digital and content are being overused. There are a lot of work being done in those areas. If you were to ask me right now name me two pieces of work out of China in the last year that is amazing, I don't think I can name that, which is shocking. There is a lot of work done, but a lot of average work. What you see in awards shows is not reality. I would like to see famous campaigns that win at Cannes that I have seen in the market. In Asia what could be done to better prevent scam? The failure to sell work is the first reason for people to resort to scam because it's an easy way out - 'why do I have to go there and learn about the client, the business and partner with them and build something when by agency wants me to win something, I'll go do that'. It's painful. To be honest, and no disrespect to clients, you find clients who are very risk adverse, they have a huge amount of pressure. At any given point of time clients presented with the safer route, ensuring yourself 15 per cent growth, versus taking a more brave route that you could get 80 per cent growth, would choose the safer route. That's the situation, that's the conditions. It takes time, if you really want to make a significant difference in this market, this industry, take the harder one. Get good work out that really effects culture. No one ever remembers the Grand Prix that never ran, they want enduring campaigns that continue to change peoples lives, there's so few of those now. There's so many talented people out there, which is why I think it's a crime. The first issue is the inability to sell and I think there are agencies now that are completely built around winning awards, staffing people just to win awards, that's not helping either. Worst of all, it's not helping a new generation of creatives coming through the business because they think that's the way to go. If we continue doing that we're going to get a lot of 'oh yeah, here's China winning another 23 Gold Lions that have never seen the light of day, what's the point?' I find that to be pretty tragic. If this keeps up then no one wants to be in award shows any more, we're seriously thinking about not doing them any more, what's the point? Apart from scam, what are the biggest challenges facing creatives? Having talent is actually the major issue for me right now. As a creative director, I'm having trouble finding guys who are bankable people, who understand the culture and can just do great ads, great work. They are few and far between. I find it difficult because of inflated salaries and guys who have risen through the ranks of creative directorships through scam, and I go 'do I really want to give you a $50m account when you've never done anything that's seen the light of day?' To be honest, it's not the agency saying it, it's the clients. They're going 'no, I'm sorry but I need my numbers, my KPIs met, I don't trust that guy'. That's a hard thing from a creative director's standpoint, finding the right people who can understand the culture. Since I've gotten to China I've been trying very hard to create the Chinese brand of advertising, what is that Chinese voice? I don't think we've actually cracked that yet, which is a shame. If you look at Thailand they have a very distinctive voice in advertising, likewise with Australia. There's a distinctive brand of communications, a certain humour, a certain scale and production value. I don't know how to describe that China brand of advertising, which is an issue. Challenges faced by creatives could be a number of things. They face very difficult clients, very difficult circumstances. You have huge brands in China, in Asia for that matter, who are spending huge amounts of money. Research has gone from a point where it's used prevalently to where it's used in a really stupid way, it's demoralising for a lot of creatives. It's killing the industry. Great marketers aren't making any decisions that are based on market experiences any more, it's all based on what 12 monkeys said in a room. That is one of the biggest problems. It's a cyclical problem because agencies then find it hard to hire people, they say 'Oh you have a Coca-Cola account, I'm not working on that, they research everything.' Also research has other problems, research drains a lot of resources in the wrong places. You're just burning out the creatives, that's why we have people dying from overwork. These are serious issues. People are doing all these revisions and when they're not creating they break down. It's a contagious problem in the industry. Clients haven't acknowledged that and not enough agencies have raised their hands and said we're not going to do business like that. I for one have my guys work really hard, we make it a point to strike that right balance. We are very careful about our choice of clients, we say 'look you have to behave a certain way and if you don't, then you're not our client'. We have to make those tough decisions. And again, this is a cyclical problem because than you have your mothership coming in and looking at you and saying 'China's a big market, you should be making a lot of money' and I have to say, no I can't work my guys anymore. It effects the quality of work, it effects the creatives who want to do great work. There is more talent in Asia then anywhere else in the world, they're just going down the wrong path. In terms of talent, what type of skills are you looking for? I'm looking for guys who are good creatives, who know how to make a good ad, period. You'd be surprised how many people come out of school and we're hiring them when they have these nice case studies and portfolios and we look at them and ask what's the idea? They don't know how to make ads, they know how to make great case studies but there's not an idea in it. So people who are extremely talented who know how to make ads, communicators, be an expert. The problem is specialisation is completely underrated and faded away, I like to think I'm an expert communicator and I like to think a kid coming out of school, graduating with a degree, says 'I'm in advertising, I need to communicate really well'. I don't find that's easy to find these days, I'm looking for people like that. I'm looking for people who want to change the world, I'm not looking for creatives who want to win awards.
The latest responsible drinking campaign from DrinkWise is a cleverly disguised beer ad, not a public health message, argues FARE's Michael Thorn.
The alcohol industry’s latest beer advertisement masquerading as a public health message was created, according to DrinkWise, ‘to promote a safer healthier drinking culture by keeping the event the focus, not the drinking’.
Perhaps something was lost in translation, although this seems unlikely with one of the country’s smartest ad agencies, Clemenger BBDO on the job. More likely, DrinkWise, an industry financed and controlled body, just couldn’t help themselves.
If the aim was to further reinforce the relationship between the AFL and beer, and to showcase the amber liquid on the AFL’s biggest day of the year, then the advertising creatives have done a terrific job. Credit where credit is due. There is an art to creating a faux public health ad that, far from damaging your bottom line, actually enhances it.
That’s a win for the alcohol industry, but a big loss for the rest of us.
So what is wrong with the DrinkWise advertisement?
The latest campaign:
Let’s return to DrinkWise’s stated intent – ‘to promote a safer healthier drinking culture by keeping the event the focus, not the drinking’.
DrinkWise could have chosen to make a more powerful ad; one less glamorous, and more direct. An opening shot of the sporting action, a pan to the crowds on their feet, and a cut away to the public toilets, a supporter passed out in a stall, covered in his own vomit.
Too heavy handed you say. It’s true, not all successful health campaigns rely on a sledgehammer to get their message across but there’s a big difference between subtle and deliberately vague.
In an interview with Mumbrella DrinkWise marketing manager Simon Strahan said DrinkWise worked with its contributors from the alcohol industry to create and communicate the new initiative.
The ad is in fact endorsed by Carton United Breweries. It’s not surprising then that a glass of beer features in every single frame.
The ad, which is also endorsed by the AFL, features digitally animated AFL players in full flight in the beer glass. Carlton United Breweries have clearly spared no expense on the production. Far from missing the action, the special effects are so good, you are left with the impression that the drinker has the best seat in the house.
For a campaign apparently about keeping the event in focus and not the drinking, the advertisement does a fine job of keeping the spotlight tightly focussed on both.
That’s what a top ad agency and an alcohol industry with deep pockets can achieve. It’s a great advertisement for beer, but it’s absolutely not a health promotion campaign, regardless of how DrinkWise want to spin it.
- Michael Thorn is CEO of the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE)
A hush falls over the boardroom as the CMO delivers his six-months-in-the-making strategy; a strategy, if rumours are to be believed, that will revolutionise the way business is done and, in one fell swoop, drag the company kicking and screaming into the modern marketing era.
“One word,” prefaces the CMO with the confidence of a preacher quoting from his book of choice. “That word, ladies and gentlemen… Video.”
Accompanied by a song of ‘Oohs and Ahs’, the CMO strides back to his seat, bloated with his own marketing brilliance and safe in the knowledge his assured delivery would yield no further questions.
But then a raised hand from the far end of the table. Hard to make out from so far down the pecking order but isn’t that Perkins from Accounts? Typical. No doubt this creatively crippled numbers nerd would want to know the cost – as if imagination be priced like a piece of bookmaking hardware. “Uh, what will the video achieve?” asked Perkins, surely preceding a knowing cacophony of laughter.
Silence. Heads turns toward the CMO.
A series of buzzwords sprint through the CMO’s mind – brand… community… content… millenials… innovation… bullshit…
And then from nowhere, like Sir Lancelot to the CMO’s Lady Guinevere, the CEO stands. “Well it’s obvious,” he starts. “This is about brand, community, content, millenials… this is innovation!”
Ecstatic applause as ticker tape falls from somewhere and a 50-piece brass band, previously unseen, begin playing Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance. Video was their new doctrine, the CMO their saviour.
You get the point.
Let me be clear, this is not about the ineffectiveness of video as a marketing delivery tool. On the contrary; done right, it can be very effective indeed. No, this is about the segregation of channels and platforms and methods from the universal marketing principles that are meant to guide them.
I read an article recently on the eConsultancy blog, normally a great source of information, which supposed that any decent content team needs a content marketer. That is, someone to push the content out and make sure that it reaches as many eyes as possible. Intuitively this makes sense, given that the ‘build it, they will come’ fallacy seems more archaic than ever, but considered further it seems that eConsultancy are actually suggesting hiring a marketer to market the marketing.
So it seems no longer do we have to promote, package, price, position and place our products in front of the right people, we also have to do the same for the platforms we’re using. How exhausting.
It seems to me that in a scramble to keep up with the latest marketing tools, we have taken our eyes off the prize; fear of missing out (or FOMO, as the innovative millennial community has branded it) and fear of being seen as ‘traditional’ has seen many of us veer further and further away from our real mission.
It is our job to make a customer do what we want them to do.
There, I said it. So explicitly put that it is sure to make some marketers wince, but it’s an unavoidable truth. It has always been, and will always be, our job to compel, to persuade, to convince… and without that we are pointless.
So before investing in a video production house and before hiring a full content editorial staff, ask yourself if you even have the staff capable of making an argument. Failing that, make sure you deliver your strategy when Perkins from Accounts isn’t in the room.
Adam Woods is the marketing director of Reed Exhibitions Australia
- Media agencies, be they independent or multinational, are often very focused on the size of their overall billings. Match Media founder John Preston argues that the industry's preoccupation with billings is unhelpful, particularly within the independent media agency space. There appears to be a fair amount of preoccupation at the moment around size... i.e. size of billings rather than the quality of work created. And, the size of billings seems to be a shout-out from some media independents. The only media independent that had the right to claim the scale argument was Mitchell Media. Under Harold’s rein he was all about size and I don’t mean that in a rude way. He was a viable contender on scale with the multinationals and that’s how he played to win. At that time the market thrived on scale and the smoke and mirrors of big buys best. But today’s market is very different. The relative size of independents and claims of who’s the biggest is old school thinking, which I think could hurt the credibility of the media independents as a whole. It’s a game the multinationals have to play, but why should independents fall into what the multinationals have to do in claiming scale and rankings to satisfy their global RECMA reports. Yet it seems we as independents are hooked on the same billings drug. Some time ago TMS were jockeying to be the biggest with $175m, and yes in the distant past Match too has claimed billings of $160m+. But we’ve moved on. I believe stating size is pointless in the independent media landscape. More recently Nunn Media claimed to be the biggest with $135m and just last week the agency updated this with claimed billings under management of $150m after a recent acquisition. What does the biggest independent mean? The biggest indie agency would be the equivalent to a small to mid-sized multinational and there would be a massive amount of daylight between the biggest independent and the biggest multinational. There are so many multinational agencies ahead of the largest independent. It’s a meaningless exercise. It’s like coming 11th in a race and expecting a gold medal. In today’s market not all clients buy into the size of an agency, they buy into the quality of service, the quality of thinking and the ability to deliver results. I’d far rather be measured on our clients’ success than on our own success. Furthermore, clients are looking beyond scale as a measure of success and are willing to put their business with media independents that deliver; they see us as a viable alternative to the multinationals. The very essence of being an independent in today’s market is to be nimble to adapt to the market and the client’s needs and not to harp on about size because it really doesn’t matter. You may be the biggest agency for a period of time and hang your hat on that as your agency mantra that biggest is best, but what happens when a bigger agency comes along, what do you stand for then? The second biggest? So for the old school independent media thinkers out there, stop craving to be the biggest and be the best. A far better platform than the billings race for competitiveness amongst independents would be in effectiveness, creativity and innovation. The litmus test is to take on the big guys (multinationals) and win, to enter awards and win, and to contribute to the industry by being progressive. I’d far rather be known as Australia’s leading independent than the biggest. John Preston is the founder & CEO of independent media agency Match Media
- Michael Lynch, boss of industry website Campaign Brief has questions to answer with agencies about his true position on scam, argues Mumbrella's Tim Burrowes. It can get a little boring when the trade press writes about itself, so my apologies if you find what follows a little tedious. Doubly so, if you feel we've been writing too much about the topic of scam. This morning I find myself the subject of some media coverage (if you count an item in the diary section of The Australian and a follow-up on Campaign Brief). You see, this week, a couple of our journalists will be covering the Spikes advertising and awards festival in Singapore. Mumbrella Asia's editor Robin Hicks has travelled from Hong Kong and our reporter Miranda Ward has made the trip from Sydney. Initially, after we applied for accreditation, we were told we were likely to be turned down. The event is jointly owned by Haymarket Media and the organisers of the Cannes Lions. You may recall that we raised some unanswered questions about certain awards entries at the Lions in France. In the end we decided we would no longer cover the French event until there are changes. Fair to say, the coverage has been among the most polarising in Mumbrella's history. In writing about the behaviour of certain agencies, we've lost some friends. Temporarily, I hope. But the one thing we've always tried to do is to present the facts as we see them to our readers, rather than to write for our mates. For our rivals, the annoyance of certain agencies with Mumbrella has been something of a bonus, particularly for Campaign Brief, which is read mainly be advertising agency creatives. From Campaign Brief's point of view, the angrier a creative agency might be with us, the more likely they're to be supporters of CB, I guess. So it would certainly suit Campaign Brief for some agencies to be unhappy with us. The website appears to have been trying to rally something of a boycott by the upset agencies. CB, for instance, reported that Leo Burnett had decided to boycott Mumbrella, something we were unaware of ourselves and that the agency's CEO Todd Sampson insists is not true. In the same article, Campaign Brief also claimed that trade body Newspaper Works was also involved in a boycott. Information which came as news to the organisation itself, with which Mumbrella is in regular contact. But, hey, who can blame CB - every title tries to use every argument to persuade an agency to place exclusives with them, don't they? But this is where things get a little murkier. You see, I think that Campaign Brief is trying to have its cake and eat it. [caption id="attachment_252699" align="alignright" width="234"] Lynch, pictured at the Cannes Lions[/caption] To demonstrate, I'm going to need to share some texts I received from Campaign Brief owner Michael Lynch. I've had them for a while, but I'm only able to put them in the public domain today. My view as a journo is that a conversation should be off the record - whether in person, on the phone, by email or text - if you've got a reasonable expectation as a journo that the other person thinks it is. And I've been having an ongoing conversation about scam with Lynch, via text message. Today he published some of that conversation. Which is fine by me. Clearly we're on the record then. Lynchy, it's fair to say, has been egging us on, while perhaps taking something of a different position publicly. Back in July, as our coverage of questionable entries into the Cannes Lions from Saatchi & Saatchi and DDB made ripples. Lynchy wanted us to push the boss of the Cannes Lions Terry Savage harder. He texted me: "Did you get Terry's email? I'm sure you won't accept that, pretty poor response. What we want is simply when and where the ads ran with proof. Both agencies have not provided that." I confirmed that we were asking further questions: "Yes - pushing him for more." Lynchy compared the organisation to the controversial global footballing body FIFA, predicting: "He won't give any more. It's like dealing with FIFA!" He then had further unsolicited advice: "Demand from the agencies a proof of the ads, simple as that. They obviously didn't run, the young team at Saatchi's must be shitting themselves..." Then all went quiet for a month or so. The Australian's media diary waded in, reporting that some agencies weren't talking to us. Lynch seemed to know the article was coming, texting me at 6.30am on the morning of publication asking for comment so he could write his follow-up piece. The comment thread that followed on Campaign Brief was highly negative about Mumbrella having gotten into the issue of scam. Anecdotally, a couple of people later told me they had posted supportive comments regarding our stance which had not appeared, although I'm sure they simply got lost in the CB spam filter. The week before last, the organisers of the Spikes told Mumbrella they were minded not to grant accreditation. But eventually - despite us warning that we would give no undertakings about not writing about the issue of scam - the organisers decided to accredit our journos. Once again, Lynch appeared to have the inside track. He texted me last week: "Tim, hear you are sending Miranda and Robin to Spikes. Need a comment on why the back-flip?" Being clear that I wanted to refer his request for an on the record comment to our editor Alex Hayes - who made the call on covering the Spikes - I texted Lynch: "It's not a backflip, we only ever talked about our position on the Cannes Lions. I understand the ownership structure of Spikes is different. Please go to Alex for comment." I then asked Alex not to respond to Lynch's messages. I'll be honest - it was a trap. I did this because I wanted Lynch to use what I'd said about the "backflip" in an article, so that it was clear our conversation was in his eyes on the record. This morning it happened. The Australian (whose owner News Corp is the local representative of the Cannes Lions and Spikes, by the way) made its third attack in recent weeks on our coverage of scam. I was "sanctimonious" and scam is merely like "concept cars showcased at the Frankfurt Motor Show." The newspaper wrongly suggested we had made "desperate pleas" to be allowed to attend Spikes. I won't speculate whether Lynch had a hand in this story appearing. [caption id="attachment_252715" align="alignright" width="234"] Lynch puts the conversation on the record[/caption] Shortly afterwards, Lynch used the article as a reason to publish another piece on Campaign Brief, and he published my note to him, although he'd deleted the line saying the comment wouldn't come from me. So he clearly sees our texts as on the record. Hence I feel able to share the above. You already know our position on scam. I wonder what Michael Lynch's is? If you see him around the Spikes, be sure to ask him for me. Tim Burrowes is content director of Mumbrella
- Australia's "fake, formulaic and contrived" creative work could learn a few things from the insight-driven cream of African advertising, argues Pat Baron. I’ve just had the privilege and pleasure of spending a week of 14-hour working days poring over the most creative and effective work created in Africa and the Middle East, as Jury Chairman at The Loeries, Africa’s largest brand communication awards. The contrasts with our work here in Australia – and the lessons for marketers and agencies alike – are profound. One of the great advantages of being invited to judge advertising awards shows is the inspiration overload you walk away with. And the Loeries, which are part of Leories Creative Week held in Cape Town, are a great barometer for world-class work. From what I’ve seen over my week of judging, agencies from Africa and the Middle East are creating envy-inducing work that is delivering phenomenal results for their clients. Interestingly, in the past six years three Cannes Grand Prix radio winners were from Africa and the Middle East. Advertising in Africa is incredibly diverse because campaigns here can range from selling luxury cars to helping save women from being raped, or finding ways to help children learn to read. Amid the stark social, economic and political contrasts evident in African countries, advertising here must be – and is – clever, brave, funny, strategic and innovative. It uses all forms of media and the quality of integrated thinking is, dare I say, higher than in most established markets. Some of the best campaigns we judged included “Radio Rescue, The Rescue Continues” from Geometry Global Dubai, offering help to foreign female labour being sexually abused. Another was an initiative for Nedbank, by Native VML, which took a group of young men from South Africa’s slums and trained them for one year to take on the Kaizer Chiefs Football Club in a soccer match. Radio Rescue: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cbh8xEflxE Nebank Ke Yona team search: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHELEOsBTdE The newcomers held their own against the professionals, and drew nil all, but the beauty of this campaign is that it demonstrated what big corporations can achieve when they work with the community. Some of those boys from the slums are now playing professional soccer. Tell me that wouldn’t make you view that bank in a different light. Another inspiring piece of work was a clever campaign from FCB South Africa for Coca-Cola in which water was sprayed from the top of a building at a time of day and a particular angle that it formed a rainbow. The campaign was commemorating 20 years since the end of apartheid in South Africa, with the term “A Rainbow For The Rainbow Nation” coined in 1984 by Archbishop Desmond Tutu to describe the cultural diversity of South Africa. Coca-Cola Rainbow Nation: Meeting like-minded individuals passionate about advertising is another benefit of attending global awards shows. In Cape Town, I was lucky enough to spend time with PJ Pereira, founder & chief creative officer of hotshop Pereira & O’Dell, and one of the global ad industry’s most sophisticated storytellers. [caption id="attachment_252658" align="alignright" width="234"] PJ Pereira and Pat Baron[/caption] We agreed there is no formula to doing great work. You have to tackle each business problem individually on its own merit and find a beautiful idea for each client challenge. As PJ says, anyone looking for a formula in advertising is looking in the wrong place. On my part, for my Chairman’s speech, I spoke to the audience about not sticking to formulas and building trust between client and agency. I truly believe when mutual trust exists, the work benefits more than either agency or client anticipate. The key, of course, is that the trust must be mutual. So not just the client trusting the agency, but the agency trusting its clients to make the work better. You are more likely to have honest conversations with your clients when your relationship is anchored in mutual trust – or put another way, your clients are more likely to discuss with you their real problems and challenges. And when you are both in that space, you are more likely to come up with an idea that hits the mark. The theme of the week has been diversity. And it’s our diversity and differences that make us who we are. The diversity and humanity in the work I’ve had the pleasure to judge here is what makes it so compelling. And this is both the lesson and the opportunity for Australian marketers and agencies. So much work in our own market here is fake, formulaic and contrived, for brands that frankly should know and could do much better. Where is the diversity and humanity that could make it so much more compelling? Where are the human truths driving it, or the business insights or problems the work is trying to address? Where is the mutual trust and collaboration between agency and client to create truly great work that works? Too many Australian campaigns are just advertising for advertising’s sake. Work created by agencies that don’t try, for clients and consumers who don’t care. If the kind of care and attention I saw at the Loeries was paid here to being more genuine and authentic in how we communicate our brand proposition and purpose, the rewards and return on creative investment for Australian clients would be immense. Pat Baron is ECD at McCann Melbourne
- With the AFL finals in full swing, Team Epic head of strategy Tony McKay looks at why some clubs are always in the news, irrespective of their performances, while others fade from the headlines.
Why are some AFL clubs always in the news, seemingly always relevant and contributing to the footy story, regardless of on-field performance week-to week? And yet other clubs seem to almost disappear as soon as the losses outnumber the wins?
Look at the Western Bulldogs and St Kilda in 2014. Poor performers, yes, but also largely anonymous. When did you last hear a spirited footy discussion about either club? What’s their brand story at the moment?
Compare that to Hawthorn, Richmond and even Melbourne, all have had lean periods over the last decade. Yet they have never been out of the news. At various times Jeff Kennett, Shane Crawford, Buddy Franklin, the late Jim Stynes, Paul Roos, Trent Cotchin, Jack Riewoldt and Dustin Martin, just to name a few, have all contributed to the footy dialogue whilst their teams have been struggling. Be it President, Coach or players, it happens too often to be coincidence.
So what makes a strong footy club brand; one that can be relevant and interesting throughout the performance cycle?
Just like consumer brands, a sporting club’s strength comes from a mix of tangible and intangible brand assets. On the tangible side, each club’s brand has a commercial value based on the exposure it generates.
In AFL, brand commercial value (not to be confused with revenue) comes from three main sources:
- media exposure
- merchandise value
- hospitality and events
- emotional capital; and
- With wearable tech set to burgeon Peita Pacey takes a look at the opportunities which are presenting themselves in the healthcare sector for brands. In the olden days, you know like 5 years ago, when people felt ill or just not quite ourselves they went to the doctors. Nowadays their usual first point of call is to contact Dr Google, who is most likely helpful enough to diagnose them with a rare form of incurable cancer at which they run screaming from our screens into the waiting room of an actual doctor who rolls their eyes and prescribes us with some R&R. Our human condition has people always seeking to find, to know, to understand, but if left unchecked well quite simply we can get a bit ahead of ourselves. I’m as curious as the next gadget freak about my sleeping and hydration patterns. Yeah, I do want to know when I need to get up and walk around from my desk. And if I could have a bracelet that simultaneously gave me lunchtime menu suggestions of what to eat based on my real time blood sugar and cholesterol stats, well I’d be placing a bid on Kickstarter for that piece of tech no questions asked! I can only imagine how the future of wearable tech is going to affect how I care for my body. But what happens when people don’t need to see a doctor anymore? What happens when they can self-diagnose? Better yet, what happens when one of the myriad of devices we use can monitor and detect what’s happening in our body and advise us of what medication we should take and how we can make lifestyle changes that promote a healthier body? What if a bracelet could tell me that a headache was coming, and prompt me to pop two Panadol quick smart to beat the pain? Or if it could tell me that there’s been an increase of flu in my local area, and my Vitamin C levels are looking a little depleted? With 25 per cent of respondents in the Royal Philips Electronic Consumer Attitudes Toward Healthcare Technology 2012 survey stating that they used websites or technology as often as they visit the doctor and a further 25 per cent use it instead of visiting the doctor, it got me thinking about the ethics of such things. It seems to me that the opportunity here is not just for tech companies, but also for pharmaceutical and healthcare companies. With a newly empowered consumer who is seeking more and more information, and who has already given permission for certain brands to have a role in their daily lives, combined with the trend towards holistic healthcare, should we not be looking at our communications plans differently in light of this? Our consumer is inviting us in for conversations about their health and wellbeing and we should be chatting right back, showing our expertise, providing them with genuine and relevant guidance, which ultimately celebrates our customers’ health. There’s a delicate balance between pushing the brand/sales agenda and providing genuine and useful information for this empowered consumer, but the brands that get it right will ultimately win at shelf. After all, our customer is looking to us to help get them back on their feet as quickly as possible, so they don’t miss a beat of the life that they want to live. Peita Pacey is a senior strategist for OMD
- After yesterday's announcement the ABC is wrapping At the Movies at the end of the year we give Credit Where its Due to one of the longest on-screen partnerships in Aussie TV, Margaret and David. As Margaret always acknowledged, they were like an old married couple, but without the sex. Quarrelling, bickering and occasionally agreeing. But it was all done with mutual respect and genuine affection. We refer, of course, to Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton, known by movie fans across Australia simply as Margaret and David. Surnames were rendered superfluous for two of TV's most respected and popular presenters. The pair announced this week that after 28 years of reviewing films, initially for SBS on The Movie Show and then the ABC for At The Movies, it was time to call it a day. And so the curtain will come down on one of TV's most enduring, and endearing partnerships, at the end of the current series on December 9. It is no exaggeration to suggest that Margaret and David have achieved cult status over the years, and their presence on our TV will be sorely missed, not only for their knowledgeable and considered opinions, and in Pomeranz's case for her sometimes emotional outpourings, but for the fact that, well, they always seem to have been there. After all, there is a whole generation which has grown up with the pair an ever-present on their screens. They are a somehow comforting, intelligent and well-informed presence in a general sea of reality TV nonsense. The duo got together in 1983 when Pomeranz was assigned to produce the introduction for Stratton's "Movie of the Week" and "Cinema Classics". Three years later, after what Stratton described in an article for The Australian as "disastrous" pilot programs, The Movie Show went to air. Not that they were instant friends. "At first we didn’t hit it off at all; she was pushy, I was set in my ways," Stratton said. "It was an oil and water situation. But gradually I came to appreciate her knowledge and her qualities, and we became friends." Such was the widespread affection for the pair that on the 25th anniversary of their TV shows two of Australia's best talents, Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush, sat in their seats and offered their versions of Margaret and David. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STEv-U_-R2Y Their departure leaves a gap in our TV schedule as there is no other show that delivers a weekly dose of film reviews on free-TV. That is a crying shame, not only for movie fans but for the struggling Australian film industry that Pomeranz and Stratton have championed, Wolf Creek 2 notwithstanding, a movie they both refused to review. Even more worrying is ABCs confirmation that nothing will replace At The Movies in 2015. It must be hoped this is only temporary and that one of the networks, if not the ABC, has the wit to grasp the opportunity to launch a new version of Margaret and David. Nothing can replace them, of course, but the show must go on. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moeK94Nru-o
- Ahead of a video hangout on Wednesday answering your legal questions Stephen von Muenster looks at how defamation law is evolving in social media. 140 defamatory characters posted in the Twitter-sphere could cost tens of thousands of dollars in damages, the New South Wales District Court has held. The case reignites the complexities of defamation law in a world where everyone is a publisher and information is disseminated across the globe at the click of a button. In the recently handed down court decision of Mickle v Farley, 20 year old Andrew Farley was sued by Ms Christine Mickle, a highly-regarded music teacher who taught at the same school. Mr Farley believed Ms Mickle was responsible for his father (the previous head teacher of music) leaving the school, and posted multiple allegations on both Twitter and Facebook. The comments were false, as his father had left the school in 2008 “in order to attend to personal issues.” The suggestion that she was responsible for the harm or ill-health of the father caused distress to Ms Mickle, who subsequently took a year of sick leave. The case itself is unremarkable in regards to the current state of defamation law in Australia except that it’s the first Twitter judgement. Judge Elkaim awarded $85,000 in compensatory damages. He commented: "When defamatory publications are made on social media it is common knowledge that they spread. They are spread easily by the simple manipulation of mobile phones and computers. Their evil lies in the grapevine effect that stems from the use of this type of communication.” Judge Elkaim additionally awarded $20,000 for aggravated damages for Mr Farley’s uncooperative behaviour. The case shows the accountability of social media users for their actions, even when Mr Farley only had a mere 60 Twitter followers and 50 Facebook friends. The Social Media Legal Landscape in Australia Whilst Andrew Farley’s case was the first Twitter judgement in Australia, it’s not the first to hit the courts. In 2012 music reviewer Joshua Meggitt sued Marieke Hardy and Twitter, but settled out of court. This otherwise unremarkable case demonstrated the law responding to technological change. Companies too must, of course, be careful as there is a history of liability for the failure to remove posts on their Facebook pages written by others. This is important, as the control and responsibility of the page rests on the company – even for content which it did not produce. Even Google couldn’t escape publisher liability when the search engine failed to remove defamatory search results after several requests from a Mr Trkulja, who was defamed and Google found to be liable in late 2012. Defamation Law in Australia and Beyond As defamation law us is usually more concerned about where content is downloaded, rather than uploaded, the internet has made the law more complex. As content can be viewed or downloaded anywhere, amateur and professional writers can now be exposed to defamation laws across the globe. In Australia, a person can sue for defamation in the state or territory where his reputation is established, even when the content was published overseas. This pick-and-choose system provides advantages for people who believe they’ve been defamed. By bringing an action in countries with stricter freedom of speech laws increase the chances the material will be held defamatory, whilst it’s lower in countries which strongly promote free speech. In reality, most potentially defamatory comments never eventuate into law suits because of the cost and time to do so, and many won’t be across multiple jurisdictions. Looking Forward Defamation has always been a topical issue, but as the law and evolves to meeting the challenges of the social media age, it has become more relevant to everyday people. There is a misconception that social media is treated differently from traditional forms of media. In reality, this isn’t entirely true, and whilst people may let their guard down with what they say on their Facebook page, it can have unintended ramifications. Judge Elkaim’s words should be a warning to those with a propensity for hot-headed tweeting, or perhaps even a careless fib. For the young Andrew Farley, he found himself owing more than $100,000 plus significant legal costs in circumstances where he was unlikely to have considered this a likely outcome at the time of his tweeting. Stephen von Muenster is a solicitor and owner of von Muenster solicitors and attorneys.
- In a new regular column Nic Hodges busts some of the jargon and mystery around ad tech, starting with the wearables phenomenon. If you've spent any time on the internet recently, you could be forgiven for thinking Apple just invented the smartwatch. Despite the fact they're actually more than a year late to the watch party, Apple have managed to put wearable technology front and centre in the mainstream. So now that wearables have transitioned from science fiction to dinner party conversation, what exactly are they? And what do they mean for brands and agencies? The term "wearables" has been appearing more and more over the last few years, mostly thanks to the development of hi-tech pedometers like Jawbone's UP, the Fitbit Flex, and the darling device of agency strategists worldwide, Nike's Fuel Band. According to Wired magazine, "wearable tech will be as big as the smartphone", and Deloitte estimates that 10 million wearable devices will ship this year. Are wearables taking off? It's tempting for brands and agencies to jump in and "wearify" every campaign, but wearable as a concept is still in its early days. [caption id="attachment_254232" align="alignright" width="234"] Google Glass[/caption] The Guardian recently wrote of the first generation of smartwatches flooding eBay; hundreds of devices abandoned in a way that was unheard of when smartphones or the iPod were first launched. It also seems unlikely that Google's Glass will ever make it on to the shelves of Dick Smith - the wearable camera- and-screen device is now more frequently used as the punchline of jokes than a vision of the future. Wearables for health & fitness [caption id="attachment_80062" align="alignright" width="234"] Nike + Fuelband[/caption] On the fitness tracking front, the future looks a bit healthier. Although Nielsen reports that 15 percent of consumers are using some type of wearable technology, research firm Endeavour Partners says a third of people stopped using their wearable device within six months of purchase. Meanwhile, agency trend decks around the globe need to be updated to show that Nike actually ceased production of the Fuel Band in April 2014. The most interesting applications of wearable tech for advertising so far have emerged from the health and fitness space. There are clear benefits for health providers in both keeping their customers healthy and having access to their data. Oil and gas company BP (who provide health insurance to their US employees) was one of the first companies to venture in to this space; last year they offered all staff a free Fitbit in exchange for access to the wearer’s data. 14,000 employees took up the offer, an idea which has since been implemented by several other health providers. Data creep It's easy to see how ad campaigns that use wearable data could quickly become creepy and unethical – evidenced by the fact that manufacturers are already thinking about what advertisers won't be allowed to do. For one, the ability to beam a video or discount offer to a user's Apple Watch as they walk past a retail store simply won't exist. Apple are also taking preventative measures with their HealthKit app, instructing developers that they cannot sell any consumer health data to advertisers. Even Google, a company that relies on advertising for over 90 per cent of its revenue, has explicitly banned advertising from Glass, and any data collected by Glass cannot be used for advertising elsewhere. What about brands? For brands, the initial success stories of wearables will be those that provide specific technology for specific experiences. Sydney-based tech company We:Ex has already prototyped some encouraging examples including the Alert Shirt for Foxtel, which allows wearers to "feel what the players feel" as they watch the footy; and Fundawear for Durex (you'll have to follow the link for an explanation on that one). However, with the pace of innovation in this space, the expensive hi-tech prototypes we're seeing today could likely be next year's free gift-with-purchase. Retailers and brands with a physical presence should keep an eye on the role of wearables in payment and identity processes. While payment systems requiring a smartphone have struggled to gain traction, it may be that simply tapping your Apple Watch or Ringly at a register is a behaviour that does take off. The ability for wearable devices to also transmit identifying information is also going to be gold for CRM and loyalty programs. The future When it comes to how brands should be using wearable technology, we need only look to Google Glass, whose aim is to be "there when you need it, gone when you don't". Advertisers would do well to understand and adopt that mantra. Wearables are here to stay, and while it is still early days, it's safe to say that interrupting consumers with advertising messages will not win brands any fans. But providing utility and function when and where people need it? That very likely will.
Phone: 1300 366 156
East Sydney, NSW, 2010 Australia
Tags: adgate, adsend, advertising, Advertising Campaign, Adverts, asset management, broadcast, broadcast delivery, broadcast workflow, Campaign Delivery, Campaign Management, captionflow, Captioning, commercials, delivery, digital, Digital Asset Management, Distribution, dubs, dubsat, Duplication, Edit Suite, HD, hd delivery, Interactive Digital Ads, iq chaser, iqpro, Media Asset Management, media booking, media delivery, mediafront, mediapro, mediapro extreme, online, online delivery, online video, out of home, outdoor, post production, preflight, Print, Quality Assurance, quality check, Quality Control, radio, Reels, Send, Send Ads, Solutions, Streamlining, substation, television, Transcoding, TV, TVC, Validation, Versioning, Workflow, Workflow Management Systems
Is this your listing? update it here
- Microsoft launches MSN homepage aggregating content from ‘1,000-plus’ publishers on
- IPTV space heats up as Dodo signs up to Fetch TV with $39.90 a month offering on
- Woolworths steps up ‘Cheap Cheap’ price-based messaging in new ad on
- Johnson and Johnson creates branded site to help young mums overcome sleepless nights on
- Why size doesn’t matter on
- Woolworths steps up ‘Cheap Cheap’ price-based messaging in new ad on
- CEOs to receive ‘Daughter Water’ as agency fights for gender pay equality on
- Woolworths steps up ‘Cheap Cheap’ price-based messaging in new ad on
- OMG is this a Bachelor spoiler? No
- Hamish and Andy to return to Today Network’s drive show?
- ABC in mind
- Farewell to the aliens
- Get your war supplies
- Double jeopardy
- Warning: In-flight conditions may be dry… and wet
- Guys, it’s not a sex tape
- 110 per cent democratic
- Publishing house finds novel way to turn bad news into positive PR
- Retail Digital Marketing Coordinator – Trade Secret
- Digital Marketing Coordinator
- Public Relations Internship
- PR Senior Account Manager B2B Tech!! Amazing International Agency! Huge Scope!
- PR Client Services Director – Fashion & Lifestyle
- PR Account Manager/ Senior Account Manager – Corporate & Consumer
- PR Account Manager – Tech, B2B & Consumer Lifestyle
- PR Account Manager – Property, Financial Services, Resources
- PR Account Director/Senior Account Director Luxury Lifestyle – Leadership Role!
- PR Account Manager or Senior Account Manager Lifestyle, FMCG & Entertainment!
- Quickflix boss tells Netflix to end 'back door' access for Aussies
With 78 comments
- CarsGuide overhauls website as it plots IPO
With 58 comments
- Social media influence is a fallacy
With 44 comments
- Tourism Australia rolls out Restaurant Australia campaign to key overseas markets
With 40 comments
- The Stormys: PRs salute their favourite journos
With 40 comments
- AFL fan site accuses Seven of 'blackflip' over broadcasting grand final in HD
With 39 comments
- Foxtel slashes prices and puts more premium content in basic package in bid to tackle threat of streaming rivals
With 35 comments
- NRMA Insurance introduces new positioning in first campaign from M&C Saatchi
With 34 comments
- Quickflix boss tells Netflix to end 'back door' access for Aussies
- The Coffee Club appoints Carat and GPY&R Brisbane after review
- MLC becomes partner for BBC First
- Samsung partners with young Aussie foundation to launch app program
- Jane King joins APN Outdoor as senior marketing manager
- Slingshot Sydney announces two new hires
- Video content creator Andy Lloyd wins two-month stint on Lord Howe Island
- Komli Media launches cross-channel CRM remarketing platform
- Outbrain promotes Adam Carroll to head of Amplify, Australia & NZ
- Deborah Levitt appointed station manager for ABC RN
- Havas Media launches world’s first ‘meta DSP’