Advertising and marketing world: It’s time to fix ourselves

Jon HollowayIn an open letter Jon Holloway sets out a manifesto for the changes he thinks the advertising and marketing community need to make to save  itself.  

It’s time for change, radical and evolutionary change.

No point us all talking about it, constant rhetoric and then back to the day jobs to do things they way they have all been done.

Working in the advertising and marketing world is one of the best jobs any person can have, we play with ideas all day and get paid to do it. We are all on the hook to get this amazing industry back on track, because in all honesty, we are in serious trouble. Read more »

New ad is nice, but Qantas needs a lot more than advertising to save itself

Paul Nelson Colour shotIn a guest post for Mumbrella BrandMatters managing director Paul Nelson looks at Qantas’ new TV campaign, arguing while it is a beautiful piece of advertising it is not enough to overcome the brand challenges of the past three years. 

On Sunday night Qantas launched its new TV campaign across all the major Australian TV networks.

The TV-led campaign is an attempt to get Australians to reconnect emotionally with the embattled brand. It is unquestionably a beautiful piece of advertising. But from a brand strategy perspective, it isn’t enough to overcome the brand’s challenges of the past three years and increase flagging revenue. Read more »

When brands sound yellow

anthea varigosIn a guest post for Mumbrella, composer and music branding specialist Anthea Varigos analyses the musical content of Australia’s TV commercials from throughout 2014.

It’s obvious once you notice. Ads have their own musical colour palette.

As I begin this project, the screen is soon awash with beauty products, insurance and cars. Before long I start to hear similarities in the instrumental pallets and genre choices for various product segments.

There is “pink” sounding music to capture your attention if you are a girl. This frequently has an upbeat dance vibe and a rather stereo-typical chimes/bells sound because girls love pretty things. Olay Regenerist is a perfect example. Read more »

Helloworld CMO: Creating a brand from scratch is like an iceberg

Kim PortrateEarlier this year a group of well-known high street travel agents rebranded under the Helloworld banner. Steve Jones sat down with marketing boss Kim Portrate to discuss the challenges of rebranding a legacy business, why creating a brand from scratch is like an iceberg, and how the job is never done.

It’s no secret that high street travel agents are under pressure from their low-cost online counterparts. Add that to the fact the sector has been dominated  by retail giant Flight Centre and you start to get the scale of the challenge facing the new Helloworld brand. Read more »

The problem for media agencies looking to recruit graduates? They don’t know you exist

Jacob Hkeik

Media offers some of the most interesting career opportunities to graduates, but most of them don’t know they exist, argues MGrad graduate Jacob Hkeik.

Last year I barely knew how media agencies worked. While they can be big and complex beasts I am not sure the industry is doing enough to explain themselves to potential graduate recruits. And that’s before you add in the intricacies of each specialisation. Read more »

How much influence do bloggers have over their readers?

Lorraine Murphy

There has been some debate about the impact influencers have on their followers in recent weeks. Here Lorraine Murphy shares the results of a survey of more than 12,500 blog readers about issues including sponsored content, which devices they use, and would they want to meet their favourite blogger? 

Google Analytics tell us a lot in terms of online activity for the blogs we represent. But they fall far short of telling us about the attitudes and habits of their communities. We wanted to get more of an understanding of who these readers were, why they read, how they feel about brands on their favourite blogs, and where they shop. Read more »

Is it creepy that Facebook knows who I talked to on Friday night?

tim burrowes landscapeFacebook appeared to track who Mumbrella’s Tim Burrowes spoke to at an industry event, via the phone in his pocket.

So on Friday I was at the Andrew Olle lecture in Sydney.

It was a great night, mainly thanks to Kate McClymont’s wonderfully inspiring speech on life as an investigative reporter.

It was also an evening that my phone stayed in my tux all night. No Facebook check-in and I didn’t even tweet.

But something odd happened that next morning. Like a character in a movie with too much exposition-through-dialogue, I actually said the words “What the fuck?”, aloud. Read more »

Why the new APEX mobile exchange matters for the future of publishers

Nic Christensen

It’s been a long road to today’s announcement of the APEX mobile ad exchange by Fairfax and Nine Entertainment Co, but it is the first step for premium publishers in wresting back control of their own ad prices from the likes of Google, argues Nic Christensen.

We often talk about how the traditional ad-funded media business model is broken in the digital age, print dollars being traded for the digital dimes and all that.

What we don’t do is talk about what can be done in digital to raise or maintain that cost per thousand impressions (CPM), drive the sale of unsold online ad inventory and ensure that premium content providers (aka. the publishers who are investing in journalism and bringing together the audiences) can actually pay their bills or even, heaven forbid, make a profit. Read more »

Presto chango? Could free-to-air tie up help Foxtel counter Netflix?

Alex Hayes headshot 2014Celebrities and VIPs turned up in force for Foxtel’s upfronts last night, but while Chris Hemsworth and The Real Housewives of Melbourne were the star turns, it was a few of the other attendees who turned heads, writes Alex Hayes.

Lachlan Murdoch, Tim Worner and Hamish McLennan walked into a room. That’s not the start of a joke, it happened last night at the Foxtel upfronts, which has triggered speculation the Presto streaming service could be about to get seriously beefed up.

While there wasn’t much surprising in Foxtel’s announcements last night, it was more a case of what you could read between the lines and what was not talked about, Presto. Read more »

Brand purpose and why you should never trust a hippy

eaon pritchard red jelly planner stragetyWhile there are a number of articles claiming a cause-and-effect relationship between a brand’s ability to serve a higher purpose and its financial performance Eaon Pritchard asks if this really proof that the most successful brands are built on an ideal of improving lives?

The rhetoric of the ‘brand with purpose’ goes along these lines. It’s much harder to run a mission-driven company than it is to run one that is simply devoted to making a profit.

This is possibly why there was a sense of disappointment from Benjamin Harrison in his article, in which he laments the inability of many companies who adopt a purpose-driven position to actually deliver on that promise. Read more »

Seven looks to 2020, but quiet on more immediate issues

Alex Hayes headshot 2014Yesterday and today Seven West Media has been unveiling its plans for 2015 to media buyers and journalists. However amongst the glitz and glamour questions around regenerating formats, fast-tracking, streaming and HD broadcasts remain unanswered, writes Alex Hayes.

Seven West Media’s upfronts always take some beating, if there’s one thing the company knows how to do it’s put on a show. Today the sell was all about the ‘Destination 20/20′, keeping the network at number one for the next five years. And while there was plenty of good stuff, it struck me none of the executives addressed some of the major issues facing all TV networks in the next couple of years.

Read more »

Three uncomfortable truths about brand purpose

Benjamin HarrisonBrand purpose has been one of the buzz marketing phrases of 2014 with experts urging companies to stand for something more than profits. Here Benjamin Harrison argues very few brands can pull it off.

If only measured in articles, books, agencies and events espousing brand purpose – the idea driving brands through an understanding of ‘why we exist beyond making money’ or the ‘noble end’, then 2014 has been its peak year to date.

It’s also the year that Chipotle – the famously purpose-led fast food chain – reported explosive 19.8 per cent same-store sales growth in the US. By comparison, McDonald’s – a one-time stakeholder of the brand – posted a 3.3 per cent drop in the same period. Read more »

Credit Where It’s Due: John Grono


At last week’s MFA Awards John Grono became the latest inductee into the MFA Hall of Fame. We give Credit Where It’s Due to one of Australia’s leading audience measurement experts.

“If you’re looking for a research answer go to Grono. If you’re looking for a short answer, go somewhere else.” There are very few people who could talk at length, with passion and expertise about a topic like audience measurement as John Grono.

Read more »

Why the ABC does not apologise for marketing its content

Leisa Bacon Today’s edition of The Australian newspaper sees the News Corp title criticise public broadcaster for purchasing keyword search engine terms in an effort to drive consumers to its news websites. In this opinion piece Leisa Bacon, director of audience and marketing at the ABC argues that its digital advertising is no different to its other marketing efforts. 

All media outlets market their content. Billboards, newspaper advertising, back-of-bus signage, publicity and promotions on TV and radio stations are marketing tactics all of us as audience members are exposed to daily. The digital space is no different.

Read more »

Q&A with Goodby Silverstein & Partner’s co-founder Jeff Goodby


Jeff Goodby sat down with Miranda Ward on the sidelines of the Reset conference in Sydney this week to talk about whether Goodby Silverstein & Partners should have opened an office in Sydney when it won the Commonwealth Bank account in 2007, what he makes of the state of creativity locally and how if he were starting an agency today it would specialise in social media amplification. Read more »

Spurr vs New Matilda case pits privacy against public interest

Barry Spurr new matildaIn this cross-posting fromThe Conversation University of Canberra’s Bruce Baer Arnold examines the issues at stake as Barry Spurr takes on New Matilda over the publication of emails.

Don’t be distracted by theatrics about political correctness, the boundaries of bad humour and professorial impropriety. The real excitement in the “Spurr Affair” has been occurring in the Federal Court. It is excitement about the shape of privacy in Australian law and about legal recognition of “public interest”. That interest is a compelling “right to know” as a basis of the liberal democratic state, rather than just public curiosity. Read more »

Responding to Goodby: Deeper client knowledge gives better results

Kate SmitherEarlier this week advertising legend Jeff Goodby told a conference agencies should ‘unlearn’ everything they know about clients. Here Kate Smither argues deeper business knowledge displayed by agencies creates better marketing results.

If advertising agencies are not bringing new thinking to their clients then they are really not doing their job and the industry will die. In fact the industry should die. Read more »

How the newspapers paid tribute to Gough Whitlam

Headline writers, cartoonists and journalists all had very different ways of handling the tributes to former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam in yesterday’s papers. Industry body The Newspaper Works has gathered them here.

Read more »

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