Building Chinese relations with kids TV

A new co-produced children’s TV show between the ABC and Chinese state TV may show where the future of co-production lies.

Filmed over six months across freezing winter and the heat of summer on a set the size of a football field, located outside the city of Zhou Zhou two hours south of Beijing Hoopla Doopla posed a number of challenges for the Australian and Chinese production teams working on it, not least the language barrier.

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Personality differences: Trolls and cyberstalkers aren’t the same

In this cross posting from The Conversation Troy McEwan looks at what motivates bad online behaviour, and the best ways to handle it.

The recent death of television personality Charlotte Dawson and the possible role that online abuse played in her struggles with depression shows how damaging this behaviour can be. Read more »

The challenges of reporting on Myanmar

In this interview with Mumbrella Asia editor Robin Hicks, Melbourne-born journalist Jessica Mudditt talks about the challenges of reporting on a country that is – in fits and starts – loosening its grip on press freedom after decades of oppression.

What’s the hardest thing about reporting on Myanmar?

For me, it’s the lack of data available. Previous military regimes appear to have had zero interest in obtaining information about the people of Myanmar (other than for intelligence purposes!). A census hasn’t been conducted in more than 30 years, so even something as straightforward as the total population of Myanmar is merely an estimate, and the estimates vary quite a lot from organisation to organisation. And because Myanmar was a closed country for so long, the research that would normally have been amassed by civil society groups such as INGOs simply didn’t exist until recently. Read more »

Charlotte Dawson: A media death but a normal illness

The death of Charlotte Dawson says a bit about the media spotlight but more about the realities of mental illness, argues Mumbrella’s Tim Burrowes.

It was a strange, sickening feeling this afternoon watching Charlotte Dawson on video. I hadn’t seen it since we published the interview just over a year ago.

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Howcroft: Beautiful athletes and lack of brand hoardings makes Olympics spectacular

Great casting and a lack of intrusive branding at the sports venues makes the Olympics more of a visual feast than other sports, argues Russel Howcroft.

Casting….it’s pretty important in the television game, which is why it was interesting to read a tweet by Virginia Trioli regarding how good looking Winter Olympians are. They do make for some very attractive television. Read more »

A sceptic’s week with Google Glass

With some tipping Google Glass to further evolve change our day-to-day experiences, creative technologist and Glass sceptic Tim Devine found some surprising results after a week with the device.

In a kind of tribute to Steve Mann, the father of wearable computing, and so that I might have at least something of an informed opinion on the subject, I wore Google Glass for a week — everywhere, all the time. For thirty years Mann has worn far less sophisticated versions, so I figured it couldn’t be that onerous, and if I was to give Mann and Glass proper shrift nothing less than full immersion would do. Read more »

The data is finally in. Newspapers aren’t going to get enough digital subscribers

Friday’s audit numbers are the strongest signal yet that paywalls will not make up for lost print revenues, argues Mumbrella’s Tim Burrowes.

We’ve been talking about it for five years, but there is now finally enough data on paywalls to call it. Digital subscriptions will not save the newspaper business model.

While this has been the view of the pessimists for some time, it feels that only now is enough evidence dribbling out to reveal what those inside the publishers must have been seeing for the last few months. Most likely, they are never going to get there; at best it’s going to be a long, hard road. Read more »

The rise of cringe marketing

Ads many perceive as cringeworthy may well be a very effective strategy to turn around a troubled brand says Scott Heron.

JC Penney is a large retailer that is up against the wall. Publishing weekly store closures and poor sales numbers, they typically are associated with news that makes you cringe. They need to shake things up, so now it seems their marketing strategy is designed to make you cringe too. Read more »

The Lego Movie builds the case for Australian know how

Two Aussie companies had a large hand in creating the new Lego movie,and in a piece that first appeared in The Conversation David Court of The Australian Film, Television and Radio School looks at what it shows about the local industry.

 The Lego Movie was released to a legion of fans in the US last Friday and massive box office success. So what do a Hollywood movie and a Danish toy company have to do with Australia? Well, quite a lot as it happens… Read more »

Howcroft: Russia missed a trick with ‘lame’ Sochi tagline

In his latest missive from Sochi Russel Howcroft wonders about the tagline for the Games, and whether Russia has missed an opportunity for a new brand identity.

Vorsprung durch technik. I know I can look up the translation on the Google machine but in the absence of doing this I assume the Audi endline means something like “We are German and we are awesome at technology, that’s why Audis rock”.

With this in mind, it seems such a pity that the Russians have opted for the endline Hot.Cool.Yours. for the Sochi Olympics. Three words, three full-stops. No spaces. Read more »

Online reviews: Do not fake it until you make it

While good online reviews can be a boon for businesses faking them can cost them more than just their reputation, Alison Eveleigh warns.

Online consumer reviews have changed the way in which we make purchasing decisions. A planned trip to new restaurant might be curtailed by a quick visit to Yelp or Urban Spoon. An entire holiday might be booked based only on Trip Advisor reviews. Understandably, brands and their marketing teams are concerned about online reputation. A recent Sensis Social Media Report 2013 suggests that 74% of social media users read online reviews before making a purchase.

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Why brands can do better journalism than publishers

With access to deeper customer insights brands are in a better position to tell compelling stories to customers than many publishers, argues Lauren Quaintance.
If you work in a marketing department just about anywhere you will have heard that brands are the new publishers. There’s no need to pay traditional media companies for eyeballs anymore, apparently. Brands can connect with potential customers by creating content themselves. Trouble is, very few marketers know much about how to create stuff that people actually want to read.

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Why charities need street fundraisers

Last week, Mumbrella’s Tim Burrowes argued that street fundraisers are doing major damage to their charity brands. In this guest post Amnesty International’s Adam Futeran argues that they are essential to the organisation.

In my ten years at Amnesty International Australia, I’ve heard it all: the good, the bad and the horrifically tragic.

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Howcroft: From Russia with big brands

In his first dispatch from Sochi Russel Howcroft reflects on how familiar brands make you feel at home, even at the top of a Russian mountain.

The objective of the Sochi Winter Olympics was made clear in the speech given by the President of the Sochi organising committee, Dmitry Chernyshenko, at the Opening Ceremony. These games are about brand Russia.

Yes, at the various facilities there is still landscaping going on. Our hotel was still being completed upon arrival, the plumbing is a little dodgy, there are no coat hangers in the cupboard and the lift shakes as you descend, but these little things are bound to happen when you are embarking on the total creation of an Olympic site over the course of a mere seven years.

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Have media rebates and kick-backs killed media neutral planning?

Stephen WrightAmid the ongoing industry debate about media rebates and transparency in media agencies, Stephen Wright asks is it still possible to have neutral media planning?

With the increasing choice of media channels available to marketers, there has been a growing necessity to obtain media-neutral advice on the most effective way to select and buy access to the media channels.

But there are changes happening, often beneath the surface that is making the concept of media neutrality increasingly more difficult to achieve. Read more »

How Russia could manage @sochiproblems

As thousands of journalists and competitors take to social media to vent their frustration at the Winter Olympics Games facilities Karalee Evans takes a tongue-in-cheek look at how Russia could manage the situation. 

Thanks to the number of socially-literate journalists, the problems of Sochi’s 2014 Winter Olympics are trending online and go beyond questionable figure skating routines. The Twitter account @sochiproblems rose to thousands of followers in minutes and is now tweeting to over 330,000 people. And you know it’s not going away when clone accounts pop up getting in on the action. Read more »

Twitter and Facebook – the importance of new and happy eyes

In a week where Twitter lost large chunks of its stock value and Facebook celebrated its tenth birthday Scott Heron looks at what we can expect in the future from the social networks.

The large social platforms of Twitter and Facebook were in the news this week for very different reasons. Twitter was in the doldrums losing a fifth of its stock price because it hadn’t grown its user base as much as expected. Facebook toasted its 10th anniversary, saw it’s stock rise 15 per cent in a day, and launched a product in the US called Paper. So, are we seeing a decline in Twitter and the rise of Facebook? Read more »

Is mummy blogs’ liberating power being subverted?

As bloggers are pushed in front of the public and advertisers more than ever University of Notre Dame Australia’s Camilla Nelson asks if commercialisation is weakening their impact in a piece which first appeared on The Conversation.

Making the personal political has long been a feminist project. But parenting blogs — known popularly, but often with a special sort of sexist sneer as “mummy blogs” — increasingly run the risk of making the personal commercial.

In America, popular blogs average 100,000 hits or more a day. Some bloggers reportedly make as much as US$1 million a year from sponsored posts and advertising. Read more »

 
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