Rebel Wilson’s Pitch Perfect 2 tops box office knocking Avengers 2 to second spot

Pitch Perfect 2 has topped the box office on its opening weekend, taking in $9.419m on 427 screens as the huge year for cinema continues.

The film, which stars Australian actress and comedian Rebel Wilson, knocked Marvel sequel The Avengers: Age of Ultron into second place – it earned $3.473m on 584 screens to take total earnings to $34.026m.

Independent low-budget horror film Unfriended ended the weekend in third place, having taken $585,846 to lift its total to $2.177m.

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Huggies uses Mickey and Minnie Mouse to launch new product range in Disney tie-up

Disney has teamed up with Kimberley-Clark brand Huggies in a campaign to launch a new type of Nappy-Pants.

Created by Ogilvy Sydney, a 30 second TV ad called ‘keeping little groovers moving’ demonstrates the flexible-style nappies aimed at ‘active’ babies.

The commercial features Disney’s Mickey and Minnie Mouse, who were chosen following a social media survey which asked who would be best to feature on Nappy Pants.

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The price of three Daily Mail native ads: $50,000 and a guarantee of 30,000 views

Daily Mail Australia commercial editor Anne Shooter has revealed the online publication charges advertisers $50,000 for three sponsored stories with each “guaranteed” to attract 30,000 views.

She told Mumbrella during a hangout to discuss native advertising the publication can offer such guarantees because of the placement of the story and the quality of the content together with strong headline and images.

“That is why it is premium content…. people will click on the story,” Shooter said, adding that readers have no problem with clicking on content that is sponsored.

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Wotif chief marketer Michael Betteridge quits after leading department restructure

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 12.23.41 PMWotif marketing chief Michael Betteridge has left the company following its acquisition by Expedia and taken a new role with travel and leisure firm Amalgamated Holdings, Mumbrella can reveal.

Betteridge joined the online travel agency as marketing general manger for Wotif, Lastminute and in September 2013 after a four and half year spell with Virgin Australia.

He headed the agency’s marketing during a period of slow growth for the retailer as competition in the online travel space intensified.

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Campaign group launches petition to get Zoo Weekly pulled from sale in Coles and Woolies

Zoo WeeklyWoolworths and Coles are being urged to stop selling ailing lad’s mag Zoo Weekly with an online petition supporting the cause gaining more than 1,400 signatures.

A petition created by 23 year-old Laura Pintur from activist group Collective Shout, said the magazine creates a “diet of porn and violence” for men, and was in contradiction to the ‘family store’ image promoted by Woolworths and Coles.

The petition has more than 1,400 signatures.

The petition has more than 1,400 signatures.

“It’s time for you to stand up for the wellbeing of women and girls and against discrimination, harassment and violence… Please stop profiting from selling Zoo and remove it from your stores immediately,” the petition said. Read more »

Newspaperworks boss: Front page newspaper pointers ‘give you comfort about your purchase’

The boss of Australia’s newspaper industry body has questioned findings by Canadian broadsheet the Toronto Star trailing content inside the paper on the front page does not increase readership or sales.

In a video hangout on the sidelines of the INMA 2015 World Congress, Mark Hollands CEO of the Newspaper Works said the presentation was interesting but said “I was a bit bemused by this”.

“A lot of purchasing is habit – you know they are going to go to the paper and pick it – so to that extent I understand, however, I think those sky boxes are things that make you want to pick it up and give you a bit of comfort about your purchase.” Read more »

South China Morning Post says credible coverage key to becoming global media brand

Michael Chu speaking at the INMA World Congress 2015

Michael Chu speaking at the INMA World Congress 2015

The marketing boss of the South China Morning Post (SCMP) has talked about how the publisher shifted its local audience to a global one by emphasising its unique ability to cover the growth of China.

Speaking at the 2015 International News Media Association (INMA) World Congress in New York, Michael Chu spoke about how in a competitive landscape of 13 newspapers SCMP pursued a “blue ocean strategy” to become a global media brand.

“We had to ask ourselves was do you want to continue investing heavily in our local readership and local coverage but to compete against our local competitors – 13 of them,” said Chu. Read more »

News Corp marketing boss: ‘sales promotions are slowing print circulation declines’

Eales speaking at INMA 2015 World Congress in New York

Eales speaking at INMA 2015 World Congress in New York

News Corp Australia’s marketing and sales boss has said the company “threw the baby out with the bath water” when it abandoned sales promotions under previous CEO Kim Williams, claiming reintroducing them has helped slow sales declines.

Speaking at the International News Media Association (INMA) World Congress in New York today Damian Eales said he hoped by next year promotions, where consumers pay a small amount to receive a gift – such as a Disney or Mr Men storybook – would once again be a profit centre for the business.

Eales was also candid about the importance of print to the future of the publisher, telling a room full of global newspaper executives: “At News Corp we believe that the printed paper will always be a vital component of our cross platform news media offer. Read more »

Tour firm follows rebrand with focus on luxury in new TV ad from creative agency Bloke

Luxury travel, and the some of the world’s most ‘wonderful’ places, are the focus of a new campaign from tour operator Scenic following the company’s rebrand last month.

Created by creative agency Bloke, the 90 second TV ad shows a couple in a number of European settings during the day and at night, and closes with the phrase ‘wonders never cease’.

The marketing push is in line with the brand’s strategy to position itself as a luxury operator in a cluttered market.

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Updated: Southern Cross Austereo starts hunt for new CEO as Rhys Holleran quits



High profile media exec Rhys Holleran is quitting as CEO of TV and radio group Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) in July following a turbulent 18 months, it has been announced.

Chairman Peter Bush will fill in for Holleran in the role of executive chairman while the company hunts for a new chief executive with a “long term leadership commitment” to the company, but told Mumbrella it would not be looking outside Australia to fill the vacancy initially, but would look at executives outside of media companies.

SCA owns regional TV broadcasters and radio networks Hit and Triple M, and has been at the centre of continuing speculation about a takeover from Nine Entertainment Co.

In a statement to the ASX this morning Bush thanked Holleran for his 18 years of service leading the company, adding: “Media is an ever changing and challenging sector, requiring a further long term leadership commitment. Rhys and the board have come to the view that a change of leadership now is appropriate for both parties.”

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The Age rises at expense of Yahoo7 sites as closes gap on

The Age moved up two places to become the sixth most popular news site in April as the BBC dropped out of the top 10 to be replaced by the Herald Sun.

The Fairfax masthead leapfrogged both The Guardian and Yahoo7 news websites which themselves swapped places with the UK publication now ahead of Yahoo7.

April unique audiences. (March position in brackets)

  1. (1) – 3,906,000
  2. (2) – 3,889,000
  3. (3) ABC news sites – 3,007,000
  4. (5) ninemsn news sites – 2,745,000
  5. (4) Daily Mail Australia – 2,524,000
  6. (8) The Age – 2,280,000
  7. (7) Guardian – 2,079,000
  8. (6) Yahoo!7 news sites – 2,012,000
  9. (10) Daily Telegraph – 1,994,000
  10. (9) Herald Sun – 1,911,000

Source – Nielsen Online ratings

It was also a disappointing month for academic publisher The Conversation which saw more than a third of its audience vanish. The decline, of almost 200,000 to 335,000, comes a day ahead of the Federal budget where Government is expected to announce it will pull funding from the publication.

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Toronto Star scrapped digital paywall as it was ‘expensive’ and had a ‘high churn’ rate

Julie Murtha speaking at the INMA World Congress in New York

Julie Murtha speaking at the INMA World Congress in New York

Executives from the Toronto Star have admitted paywalls did not work for them and said promoting stories inside the newspaper is a waste of time, arguing the space can better be used for editorial or advertising.

Addressing the International News Media Association (INMA) World Congress in New York today, Julie Murtha, director of audience and innovation at one of Canada’s biggest daily broadsheet newspapers, the Toronto Star, said their experience led them to question whether stories promoted on the front page increased print readership or sales.

“We recently measured the value of front page editorial promotion”, Murtha told the room. “The results actually surprised us – sky boxes and pointers do not affect readership, if a reader reads a section, they probably read the story whether it was promoted on the front page or not. Read more »

Newspapers need to stop being disrupted and start disrupting warns Polish media exec


Grzegorz Piechota speaking at INMA World Congress in New York

Newspapers have spent years being disrupted and must “be disrupters ourselves” and claw back advertising dollars from other media if they are to survive, a Polish newspaper boss has warned.

The head of editorial development for Poland’s biggest paper Gazeta Wyborczaone told an audience of leading newspaper bosses they needed to harness channels like YouTube and target ad dollars which go to mediums like TV

Grzegorz Piechota told International News Media Association (INMA) World Congress in New York they had used the success of Polish Youtuber Sylwester Wardega, whose video Spider Dog drew more than 140m views and whose channel has 3m subscribers, as a model for its own lifestyle channel.

“His 3m subscribers – it compares with the 3m viewers Polish Dancing with the Stars show, or the 3.1m Polish show of Polish Farmer is looking for a wife… the biggest difference between his audience and the TV show is just the demographic,” said Piechota. Read more »

House Rules tops Reno Rumble but Masterchef tops the million mark in reality TV war

Seven’s got a reality boost last night as House Rules lifted above rival Reno Rumble on Nine, but neither challenger could match Ten’s cooking juggernaut Masterchef according to OzTam overnight metro ratings.

The first room reveal for House Rules grabbed 931,000 viewers for a two hour special between 7pm to 9pm, well up on its previous outings since launching last Tuesday.  Reno Rumble could only manage 823,000, down on its debut, between 7pm-8pm.

Masterchef was the only non-news show to score above the million mark to hold strong with 1.146m from 7.3opm to 9pm, while Shark Tank at 9pm (656,000) and a double episode of new Modern Family (479,000 and 667,000) helped the channel beat Nine in total audience share.

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Morning update: Networks nervy over ad spend, Google says most video ads aren’t seen

The New York Times: Networks fret as ad dollars flow to digital media

Beginning Monday, television networks will roll out the red carpet for marketers during the annual bazaar known as the upfronts, trying to lure them into committing tens of billions of ad dollars for the coming TV season.

If things go well, the networks will sell as much as 75 percent of their advertising time in the negotiations that follow a week of flashy presentations and star-studded parties.

But behind that lavish veneer, the mood at some television networks is nervous and the sales pitch urgent.

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Canberra Airport turns down Campaign for Australian Aid ads as overly political

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 4.22.33 PMCanberra Airport has refused to run ads from the Campaign for Australian Aid highlighting funding cuts expected in the federal budget.

The organisation has already placed full page adverts in the Mosman Daily, the local paper of treasurer Joe Hockey, as part of its Interrupt Joe campaign and wanted to buy space at the airport ahead of Tuesday’s budget.

The Campaign claimed Hockey has refused to respond to 11,000 emails asking him to reconsider the cuts. The airport ads were to have carried the wording: “Hi again Joe. Checked your emails yet?”

Canberra Airport said it has a ban on any form of political advertising.

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Christchurch tourism uses Instagram images in new digital push to showcase region

New Zealand tourism officials have turned to bloggers and instagramers in a digital campaign designed to entice Australians to cross the Tasman and spend a winter weekend in Christchurch and Canterbury.

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 2.56.49 PM

The South Island region has launched a month-long ‘Can Do in Canterbury’ campaign using imagery from social sites.

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Cadbury to begin social conversation around bizarre flavours amid Vegemite launch

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 12.56.22 PMCadbury is hoping to kick start a nationwide conversation on bizarre flavour combinations as it prepares to launch a social campaign surrounding the roll out of its new chocolate bar – dairy milk with Vegemite.

And the campaign, called Choc Plus What, already appears to be working with offering odds on the next combo to be launched – and when Cadbury’s will withdraw the vegemite creation.

The social marketing push will aim to “challenge the perceptions and behaviours of customers”, associate director of marketing Paul Chatfield said.

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