James Packer spends big on star-studded ads promoting his Crown Casinos

James Packer has spent big on one of the most ambitious pieces of branded content from an Australian company with an ad to promote his casinos in Manila and Macau, with  Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio reportedly pocketing more than $15m each to appear in the spot.

The ad for Crown Casinos, rumoured to have cost more than $70m to make, was filmed on location inside the City of Dreams casino in the Philippines and directed by Martin Scorsese, who also appears in the spot and has worked on eight films with De Niro and five with DiCaprio.

Two separate trailers have been released, one with Scorsese welcoming them to Macau, and the other to Manila. However, they have been removed from YouTube owing to a ‘copyright infringement’ claim from Crown Films.

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Presto launches with pricing beginning at $9.99 a month

presto foxtel and sevenFoxtel and Network Seven’s streaming joint venture Presto has announced a tiered pricing structure beginning at $9.99 for access to either movies or TV.

For bundled access to TV and movies it will cost $14.99 a month.

The pricing news follows on from rival streaming platform Stan, a joint venture between Nine and Fairfax, announcing it would be priced at $10 a month for full access to its content library which includes both TV shows and movies.

Netflix, which is rumoured to be launching on March 31, is understood to be pricing itself at $9.99 for its standard definition service.

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Facebook tests Facebook at Work platform

Facebook at WorkFacebook has launched it’s beta test phase for Facebook at Work, an app which allows businesses to effectively create their own private social network giving employees the ability to connect and collaborate using Facebook tools.

The app is visible in iOS and Android App Stores but is accessible to pilot partners only at this stage.

Facebook at Work offers the same look and feel as Facebook and offers the same tools, however it has been created to be used within a company meaning employees’ Facebook at Work information is secure, confidential and separate from their personal Facebook profile as the information shared is only accessible to people in the company. Read more »

Nine’s Fast4 Tennis audience crumbles as Seven wins night

Nadal tennisNine’s second outing of its Big Bash style tennis Fast4 Tennis saw its audience crumble, with only 399,425 metro viewers tuning in to see Rafael Nadal take on a string of opponents including Australian player Mark Philippoussis after 713,000 metro viewers tuned in on Monday night to see Roger Federer play Lleyton Hewitt.

According to preliminary overnight metro numbers from OzTam the 7.30pm timeslot, which saw Fast4 Tennis take on the Big Bash on Ten, was won by Seven’s SCU: Serious Crash Unit which drew a metro audience of 678,000 helping Seven win the night with an audience share of 18.8 per cent ahead of Nine’s share of 14.6 per cent.

The decline in the Fast4 audience helped Ten secure second place with an audience share of 16.9 per cent after 671,000 metro viewer tuned in for the first innings of the Big Bash match, from 7.30pm to 9.30pm, which saw the Sydney Sixers take on the Adelaide Strikers.

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Airbnb signs as major partner for Sydney Mardi Gras and changes logo

airbnb mardi gras beloAirbnb has signed on as a major sponsor of this year’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, in a strategic alliance to encourage visitors to the city for the festival to book their stay with the site.

The social economy pioneer has also altered its logo, or belo, for the event, converting it to the rainbow colours of the LGBTQI flag for the event. Last year ANZ bank had huge success when it converted eight ATMs in the city into GAYTMs, gaining brand recognition and winning a host of creative awards in the process.

Australian Country Manager Sam McDonagh said: “LGBTQI people around the world have been early adopters of Airbnb, hosting and travelling with pride, so we’re thrilled to support a community that has always embraced us.  Read more »

Morning Update: Thai Life Insurance ad follows boy garbage collector

AdWeek: The Boy Garbage Collector in This Thai Ad Will Sweep Up the Pieces of Your Shattered Heart

If you’ve arrived at this ad without having seen Ogilvy’s previous work for Thai Life Insurance, take a minute or two to get familiar—here and here. Oh, and grab some tissues first, you old softie.

OK, now that we’re up to speed, here’s the latest spot from the wizards of weeping, the sultans of sobbing, the ballers of bawling.

In the perfect short-film-style vignette, we follow the life of our unlikely hero, Pornchai Sukyod: a husky schoolboy with unusual superhero aspirations. Despite its three-and-a-half-minute run time, it’s a flawlessly shot and edited spot that presents a concise, poignant narrative—with a reveal that feels nothing at all like an insurance commercial.

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Pitch doctor Darren Woolley elected chair of Australian Marketing Institute



Trinity T3 managing director Darren Woolley has been elected chairman of the Australian Marketing Institute.

The former creative director of JWT Melbourne and pitch doctor replaces former government marketer Graham Wright after just over a year in the role. The move comes five months after former president Lee Tonitto was appointment CEO of the marketers body.

Woolley said in a statement: “I am honoured to be elected chair and look forward to an exciting period ahead as we embark on an ambitious strategy to increase membership and continue our work in building the profile of the marketing profession.

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Ex-PRIA president Terri-Helen Gaynor made Burson-Marsteller APAC CEO



Terri-Helen Gaynor, the former president of the Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA), has been named the new Asia Pacific president and CEO of communications firm Burson-Marsteller.

Corporate communications expert Gaynor, who has run her own PR firm Reputation for the last 12 years, is taking over from  Patrick Ford who has been chair of the region since October 2012, and who will continue as worldwide vice chair and chief client officer for the agency.

The new role is based in Hong Kong.

She chose not to stand for re-election as president of PRIA last February amid unrest in the executive, which saw a new committee elected to run the body under academic Mike Watson.

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Clinique celebrates positive beginnings in new social media campaign

Beauty brand Clinique has kicked off a social media campaign #StartBetter with the aim of engaging with consumers.

Launched by media agency OMD, the campaign begins with a video that asks the question “When was the last time…you did something for the first time?” It is designed to let consumers celebrate the idea that everyone deserves to start better.

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Anti-palm oil ad targets Doritos Crash the Super Bowl campaign

Consumer group movement SumOfUs is targeting the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl competition with a new ad calling out the brand, and its parent company PepsiCo, for using palm oil.

The spot features a couple falling in love and marrying based on a shared love for Doritos. But when the couple travels to see where “it all began”, they find a rainforest destroyed to make way for palm oil plantations.

SumofUs campaigns director Kaytee Riek said: ““Rainforests across Southeast Asia are destroyed every day to make way for massive palm oil plantations. Read more »

Woolworths unveils ad promoting sponsorship of tennis ballkids

Woolworths has kicked off a new campaign promoting its sponorship of the ballkids at a number of Australian tennis events as part of its partnership with Tennis Australia.

The TV ad, created by Leo Burnett Sydney, features a number of the ballkids, dressed in Woolworths branded green outfits, throwing and running to pick up pieces of fruit.

The supermarket will sponsor the ballkids at The Australian Open, the Australian Open Series, the Pro Tour and the ballkid training program and will work with Tennis Australia to enhance the program with the aim to increase registrations. Read more »

Ad watchdog rules AMI ad too sexual for radio

AMIThe ad watchdog has ruled against a radio ad for the Advanced Medical Institute (AMI) after ruling its sexualised content was not appropriate for the medium and did not treat the issue of sex with sensitivity to the relevant audience.

The ad in question featured a voiceover which said: “AMI’s revolutionary oral strips will help you give her the longest lasting, most passionate, show-stopping sex she has ever had. Get on the phone to hear her moan, moan, moan. Call AMI now…wrap up your premature problems in time for Christmas, 1800 40 40 50.”

Complaints against the radio spot argued it was explicit and offensive and inappropriate for radio arguing it exposed children and teenagers to “lewd content and gives them false expectations of what sex is supposed to be like” while another said “the highly sexual content of the ad” was “disturbing”. Read more »

Speculation WPP is eyeing takeover of STW Communications after increasing stake

stw logoThe world’s biggest advertising group WPP has increased its stake in Australian-based marketing holding group STW Communications, sparking speculation of a potential takeover.

In December WPP subsidiary Cavendish Square Holdings, STW’s biggest shareholder, increased its stake in the company to 22.4 per cent, despite the stock losing 40 per cent of its value in 2014.

Trading website The Motley Fool has put STW on its “list of potential takeover targets of 2015″ alongside Network Ten, as the share price for STW it a three year low of 89c on Friday. As of midday it is trading at 89.5c, giving the company a market capitalisation of $364m. Read more »

Tennis star Serena Williams controls ‘what bounces around here’ in new Berlei ad

Pacific Brands has launched the third iteration of its Berlei bounce campaign using tennis star Serena Williams talking about the need for supportive bras.

Created by Host Sydney and Parlour, the ad is fronted by multi grand slammer winner Williams, who talks about ladies needing to control bounce, ending with the tennis star saying “Now I control what bounces around here”.

Kellie Warwick, Pacific Brands senior marketing manager, said: “Serena Willams knows a thing or two about mastering bounce and we’re thrilled to have her as part of our new campaign. BerleiSports Bras are the only sports bras on the market that have been tested at the Australian Institute of Sport and can reduce bounce by up to 60 per cent – we know the product is superior, as does Serena.”

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Shelly Horton to lead Mamamia TV which will launch in quarter one

Shelly HortonFormer editor-at-large for the Sun Herald’s entertainment section Shelly Horton has been announced as the host and producer of Mamamia TV which is set to launch early this year.

Horton, who was one of the launch presenters on Seven Network’s internet TV play Healthy Me TV, will be responsible for expanding on The Mamamia Women’s Network’s (MWN) BY producing original short form video.

She will create “snackable” TV style content for the web in the form of mini-series covering a variety of topics from news and current affairs to fashion, parenting and entertainment.

When asked on an official launch date MWN editor in chief Jamila Rizvi told Mumbrella: “It will be coming soon, I imagine we’ll probably be launching first quarter this year. We’re still just staffing up Shelly and giving her the scope to build her own team.

“It’s going to be a really exciting initiative. We’ve found that online our audience are telling us they are enjoying original video content from Mamamia whether or not its native video content or editorial led. We want to scale up and give them more of it.”

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Cricket Australia launches Apple TV channel and eyes possible subscription model



Cricket Australia (CA) has launched into the world of internet TV with a new channel, but has chosen the Apple TV platform over the Freeview Plus offering launched last year by the free to air networks for today’s launch.

The new channel will feature a mixture of interviews, tutorials and highlights, with some content for the new free offering being created by Nine Network, which airs Australia’s international matches.

Ben Amarfio, CA’s executive director of media, communications and marketing, told Mumbrella it had not ruled out becoming available on other platforms like Freeview Plus in the future, adding it was also possible it could move to a subscription model for the channel.

“When you look at a lot of American sports they have a subscription model and it’s very successful,” Amarfio said. “We have our own subscription model with our app, and we increased to price of that this summer to $29.99, but we are still 20 per cent up on revenues from last year. Read more »

Lynx tells men to ‘make the most of your hair’ as it repositions as ‘total grooming suite’

Lynx has followed up a series of ads promoting its styling and shampoo range with a new campaign which aims to inspire men to experiment with the new Lynx hair products and “make the most of your hair”.

Created by BBH London and Biscuit Filmworks, the ad sees a young man sitting on his couch flipping through content on his TV with him placed inside different shows showcasing the various looks the products can achieve while a voiceover tells men to make the most of the hair they have, while it is still there.

Running from January 18, the campaign is airing across the five metro capital cities on free to air and pay TV as well as online. Read more »

AAMI creates social newsroom to promote #DriverDuels competition

AAMI safe driver appAAMI is running a social media campaign to support the leave of its free ‘Safe Driver App’, aiming to tap into Australia’s competitive driving nature by asking people to compete over their AAMI Safe Driver App for the chance to win $100,000.

The campaign #DriverDuels, which was developed by AAMI social agency of record Edge, centres around a dedicated campaign newsroom which manages social channels, an influencer program, real-time audience engagement, content creation and amplification, and a dedicated microsite.

Edge managing partner and strategy director Richard Parker said: “We knew that the key to this campaign was to distribute content across multiple digital channels, putting owned and earned media first, and using paid media to amplify – and that meant leveraging every asset at our disposal. But at the heart of the campaign is the app user, and the simple insight that we all love to compete.”

It leverages the insurer’s characters Neil and Gaz, who front the Safe Driver App TV campaign created by Ogilvy, as well as celebrities and influencers.

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