Cruise line’s branded content piece was nothing more than an extended advert

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 11.00.06 AMLast night saw the airing of Royal Caribbean’s prime time branded content piece on Channel 7. Mumbrella’s Steve Jones says its lack of subtlety made it nothing more than an hour-long advert. 

However much money Royal Caribbean parted company with for its prime time exposure on Channel 7 last night, the cruise line must surely have been pleased with the end product.

Whether the 571,000 viewers who tuned in at 8pm to watch Tom, Rach and Rosso Go Cruising will have been quite so chuffed is another matter.

As a colleague remarked after sitting through the branded content extravaganza, he thought he’d tuned in to a US shopping channel.

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Why brands love April Fools pranks

David WallerOn April 1 David Waller looks at the plethora of April Fools Day pranks and asks do they work and what do they achieve? 

Are you sceptical about advertising messages? Well, today there is even more reason to question the ads that you see.

In the last few years April Fools’ Day has become a day that businesses have been releasing hoax advertising – so watch out! Read more »

The Matthew Effect: how fame and fortune are the key to loyalty

christopher ott

Why is it that agencies or brands with momentum seem to be more successful? Christopher Ott explains the Matthew Effect.

When an ad achieves success at one award show it generally goes on to receive more success at other shows. As though its fame feeds its future success, ad infinitum. There’s an unfair advantage, right? The same unfair advantage big brands enjoy over small ones.

It’s called the Mathew Effect – named after a verse in the Matthew Gospel, which goes: “For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance”. Read more »

You wouldn’t read about it: Adrian Bayley rape trials expose flaw in suppression orders

mark pearsonWith journalists being blamed for breaching suppression orders on some high profile trials Mark Pearson of Griffith University asks if the way the laws currently work are really suitable for the internet age.

It is somewhat alarming when a media law academic finds himself on the wrong side of a media law. But that is exactly what happened to me when I discovered the new edition of our textbook was in breach of a suppression order on the name of Adrian Bayley – the man who murdered Jill Meagher. Read more »

It took a year to realise media might not be for me

Marco del castillo

Newcomers can struggle to adjust to the fast-paced world of media agencies. Here Marco Del Castillo talks about the challenges he has faced in his first year at MEC.

I’m days away from rounding out my rookie season in this industry and it has been a heck of a ride. A naïve student in the field of psychology and marketing, I have found myself in the thick of a fast-paced world filled with interesting people, a ridiculous amount of jargon and litres of beer, wine and champagne to rival the downpour of the 2011 QLD floods. Read more »

Malaysia Airlines marketing chief Dean Dacko on the mission to get the brand flying again

Dean DackoDean Dacko is the head of marketing for Malaysia Airlines, a company that has experienced more upheaval in the last 12 months than perhaps any local brand in history.

In this expansive interview with Robin Hicks at the Festival of Media Asia, the Canadian talks about how the twin air disasters of MH370 and MH17 have changed the airline’s approach to communications, how these traumatic events affected him personally, and the plan to rebuild one of Malaysia’s most revered national brands.

Dean, you’ve been with Malaysia Airlines for just over two and half years. The last 12 months must have been particularly challenging? Read more »

Australia: Where the bloody hell were you?

Alex HayesAustralian businesses constantly bemoan the brain drain and loss of talent overseas, but Mumbrella editor Alex Hayes asks what are we doing about promoting the country as a destination for the best creative and digital minds in the world to come and live?

The town of Denton in Texas has 125,000 souls, two universities, and its main employer at the moment is truck builder Peterbilt. However, it is desperately trying to bolster the contribution of creative and digital types to its economy as it looks to the future.

I learned all of this whilst enjoying a coffee with the city’s mayor, as could any of the 32,000 plus digital and creative and digital entrepreneurs that passed the stall at SXSW Interactive’s trade show.

Inspired I went wondering the enormous trade hall for Australia’s version – but there wasn’t one to be found. Read more »

Turnbull’s media reforms might not go far enough for Murdoch’s liking

ben goldsmithIn this cross-posting from The Conversation Ben Goldsmith of the Queensland University of Technology looks at why Rupert Murdoch voiced his displeasure at planned media reforms despite standing to gain.

Earlier this month, reports suggested that Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull is preparing to take a media reform package to cabinet. The Weekend Australian called it a “surprise move” and reported that media executives were “shocked”. Read more »

Netflix, Stan and Presto battle for consumer dollars, but what’s the difference?

Miranda WardThe official arrival of Netflix in Australia today fires the starting gun on what could be one of the biggest marketing wars this year. Miranda Ward runs the ruler over the new local offering and how it measures up the its US counterpart, as well as local players Stan and Presto.

Australians have never had so many options as to how they consume content – but for people looking to dip their toes in the video streaming waters the options are many and dazzling with many shows carried by more than one service, and all having different exclusive content.

I’ve been using the US version of Netflix for the last month, while I’ve also experimented with Stan and Presto. But which will consumers choose?

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The telco ‘triple play’ wars and not subscription video services will reshape the media landscape


Last November Nic Christensen looked at how the new streaming services were just part of a larger war between the telcos. With today’s launch of Netflix locally we revisit the piece – and in a postscript look at how it has played out so far.

Brace yourself, a media winter is coming.

But it’s not the impending streaming war between Presto, Netflix and newly minted Stan that you’ve been hearing so much about that will redefine the Australian media landscape, but rather what sides the various media companies fall on. Read more »

The most interesting speakers at SXSW


With over 1,000 sessions at SXSW Interactive this year there was a lot of competition for attention. Here Douglas Nicol outlines the three speakers he got the most from at this year’s event. 

You get wonderfully judgmental about each presenter pretty quickly at SXSW, you sort of know if the speaker is going to be good within 10 minutes, and if they’re a dud you quickly switch to another concurrent session. But if you’ve done your homework you strike gold most days.

Here are 3 of the people who I found pretty damn interesting and inspiring: Read more »

Will Colvin – the George Costanza of Australian online journalism – should have quit, not dumped on his colleagues

Tim BurrowesFormer night editor Will Colvin has written an article for Sneaky magazine celebrating how little work he used to get away with on the News Corp-owned site. Mumbrella’s Tim Burrowes argues that by staying in the job, Colvin denied it to somebody else who needed it more.

It seems to be journo confession month. Read more »

What the passing of Malcolm Fraser really says about today’s politicians’ communications skills

Following the death of former prime minister Malcolm Fraser and comments that he under achieved while in government Burson-Marsteller CEO Christine Jones offers some pointers on how politicians could communicate more effectively in an effort to be remembered in a more positive light once out of office.Christine Jones

Like many people, I was saddened to hear the news that Malcolm Fraser passed away overnight. Since the news was announced a few hours ago, tributes have flowed in from all corners of our country and around the world. It’s a fitting acknowledgement of his service to Australia and Australians over many decades. Read more »

Data retention plan amended for journalists, but is it enough?


Data retention has been in the headlines in recent week but do the proposed amendments go far enough in protecting the media asks Angela Daly, Swinburne University of Technology and Adam Molnar, Deakin University in this cross post from The Conversation. 

The House of Representatives has finally passed the third tranche of national security legislation, concerning the mandatory retention of all Australians’ data when they use telecommunications services.

In the wake of concerns about how such data retention could impact upon the media, the government and ALP adopted amendments to the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Bill 2014.

These amendments entail that law enforcement agencies aside from ASIO wanting to access journalists’ data to discover their sources would first have to seek a warrant. Read more »

Are magazines frozen in time?

Christine McKinnonAmid ongoing reports of the death of print, Carat’s Christine McKinnon looks at some possible future revenue streams for magazine publishers. 

Two weeks ago I walked into a news agency to retrieve my subscriber copy of the News Corp Disney Frozen book and CD.

As I walked in something seemed out of place. The stationery was along the walls as it always had been; the middle aisle, however, was full of extracurricular study books for primary school students. I wandered over to the counter and asked nervously “where are your magazines?”

The owner smiled, and yes, with pity said: “we don’t sell magazines anymore…no one bought them – we had too many returns – we make more money out of text books.”

There was not a single magazine to be seen – not even a Woman’s Weekly or a Delicious. It was a Twilight Zone moment, a one way moment. There was no going back. “We don’t sell magazines anymore.”

It was over. Read more »

Digital Shift: Tomorrow’s Relationship and Ideals

unnamed-2Kristy Richards, and Daniel Bluzer-Fry present a synopsis of their talk at SXSW looking investigating what effects ‘game changing’ technologies may have on who we are and our relationships and ideals in the future.

Technology and the rapid pace of innovation is having a profound effect upon all of our lives. The positive draw of the benefits of tech is hugely enticing. Read more »

Grappling with human immortality

Roger-Box-photo-300x0-1Roger Box finds himself wrestling with existential questions after learning about mind clones.One of the reasons to come to SXSW is to get exposure to new ideas, and you hear the phrase “mind blown” a lot around here.

The session that did that for me was from Martine Rothblatt who gave a keynote talking about mind clones – the idea that humans can transcend software and potentially live forever.
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The politics of passion can help you change the world

andrew grinterAl Gore’s passion about averting climate change should give every creative food for thought, argues Andrew Grinter.

In all honesty, my interest in politics doesn’t go much further than bunging on Netflix’s House of Cards. But like a fourth-wall-breaking Spacey monologue, when Al Gore explained complicated, sometimes politically charged subject matter, he held my attention.

At this year’s SXSW interactive festival, he used his enviro-celebrity status from An Inconvenient Truth to talk about the costs of carbon pollution and the challenges it presents. Read more »

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