Australia’s class system of brands

tim burrowes landscapeAfter a rare business class flight, Mumbrella’s Tim Burrowes argues that brands may miss opportunities when staff treat customers according to their perceived value.

So over the weekend, I finally got to make the metaphorical left turn getting onto a Qantas flight. And it was everything I could have wanted. Read more »

Answering Adam: Agencies need ideas as their engine

This week in his Answers for Adam column Adam Ferrier asked whether agencies should imitate startups. Here Nic Hodges argues agencies need to focus on their ideas, but modernise processes.

In his column this week Adam Ferrier asks  “would your agency be doing better work if it put data, behavioural sciences, and technology up on pedestal along with creativity? Or is a single-minded focus on creativity still the answer?”.

Here’s a secret – nobody at a startup is sitting around caring about acting more like an advertising agency.

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PR agencies will not exist in a decade

After Graham White’s response to Joe Hildebrand’s CommsCon speech generated some heated debate on the state of the PR industry, Rob Lowe argues ‘PR agencies’ are already dying out.

PR agencies will cease to exist in the next ten years. Is that shocking enough for you? Well it’s true. Too many PR agencies are outdated, the traditional media landscape is shrinking, and with increasing numbers of advertising, social media and even SEO agencies getting in on the action, we need to smarten up. Read more »

Why you should pull an all-nighter to get to Cannes

With Cannes Young Lions entries closing on Friday former winner Iggy Rodriguez has the reasons why you should pull an all nighter to finish your entry.

Okay, sure it’s the last minute, but plenty of famous campaigns have been written right before a big meeting or on the night before a pitch. You’ve got a few days, so you’re laughing. Read more »

Answers for Adam: Is creativity still the answer for ad agencies?

This week Adam Ferrier asks whether ad agencies should be embracing startup culture more, or continuing to focus single-mindedly on creativity.

“The thing I hate the most about advertising is that it attracts all the bright, creative and ambitious young people, leaving us mainly with the slow and self-obsessed to become our artists”. Banksy (apparently?!)

adam-ferrier-2-copyThe above quote is around ten years old and I wonder if it’s still relevant. I’m getting the sense that the new breed of creative folk who want to make a buck are not entering advertising – but rather being seduced by the technology fuelled ‘start-up’ culture. For example is it cooler to attend the Cannes Lions or tweet about the latest gadget unveiled at SXSW? Read more »

Making the Mumbrella Awards matter – what you can tell us

Mumbrella Awards 2013 Tim Burrowes2It’s nearly time for the call for entries for the 2014 Mumbrella Awards. But before we publish this year’s categories and criteria, Mumbrella’s content director Tim Burrowes invites you to have a say…

I can still remember in excruciating detail the night we lost. Read more »

Is total re-branding the only means left to end Network Ten’s torment?

TenWhile the Ten Network’s ratings woes well documented Luke Devenish asks if their best way to turn it around is a brand overhaul.

We all find it difficult to get out of bed of a morning, but spare a thought for the powers-that-be at Network Ten, who must surely be belting the snooze button on a daily basis. Their annus horribilis is now nudging half a decade thanks to a waking nightmare that is two pronged in its torment. Read more »

PR isn’t about polishing turds

Shit! You Work in PR? Not that old chestnut again. Isn’t it time to move on and say something different?

Last Thursday in Sydney at the CommsCon Awards, the night to celebrate the best of the PR industry’s efforts over the previous 12 months, we were yet again subjected to the narrow view of the discipline. This time through the moderator on the night, journalist Joe Hildebrand. Read more »

Answers for Adam: Is pitching the right way to choose an agency?

With agencies spending tens of thousands of dollars on competitive pitch processes Adam Ferrier asks whether there is a better way for clients and agencies to partner. 

I was once asked (as the incumbent) to pitch for a piece of business. The client said to me “I really hope you win”, and said they would do what they could to assure us a positive path through the pitch process. We spent a vast amount of time and money on that pitch, and (in hindsight) predictably lost.
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Inside CommBank and the CAN campaign

CanIt is nearly two years since Toni Collette appeared on Australian televisions and read the minute-long Ode to CAN, signalling the repositioning of one of Australia’s oldest and largest institutions. Nic Christensen sat down with CMO Vittoria Shortt and her team to talk about the CAN campaign, how it has changed the bank and how much longer it can run. 

Could three simple letters: CAN redefine the perception of a bank in the minds of Australian consumers?

This was the question the Commonwealth Bank, as well as much of the marketing industry, was asking itself amid the post GFC climate of 2012 that had badly dented consumer confidence, particularly in the banking sector. CAN as an idea and campaign, was led by new creative agency M&C Saatchi who had won the prestigious account back from US-based agency Goodby Silverstein, but it was not without risks. Read more »

MediaCom’s global boss Stephen Allan on standing up to disrespectful clients, what worries him about the future of media, and work-life balance

allanStephen Allan oversees 5,800 people in 106 offices in 86 countries for WPP media agency MediaCom, which was named media agency network of the year at the Festival of Media Asia Awards on Tuesday night.

In an interview with Mumbrella’s Asia editor Robin Hicks in Singapore – Allan’s third visit to Asia this year – the Brit talks about what winning awards means to media agencies, standing up to unreasonable clients, and why the days of global bosses visiting Asia to give the locals “a patronising pat on the head” are over. Read more »

What we can learn from Barack Obama’s influencer marketing

President Obama’s use of YouTube to promote government policy highlights the key to shifting the perception of a brand – make it part of popular culture, Chi Lo argues. 

Chi Lo

In the last week we’ve seen Obama meet with influential creators in the YouTube space and even jump on a segment of the hilarious ‘Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis’.

To the average punter they appear like impressive but disparate entertainment pieces by the world’s most accessible President. But for those who dig deeper it’s apparent they are both centred on Obama’s Healthcare reforms and actually part of a carefully crafted brand campaign by one of the world’s best Social Strategists. Read more »

Answers for Adam: My guilty obsession with that bacon ad

This week Adam Ferrier asks whether a new ad for bacon will sizzle or burn.

I’ve got something to confess – I’ve become rather obsessed with an ad that was launched last week. The ad is for Primo Smallgoods, and shows a man surrounded by bacon as it falls from the sky – a parody from the 1999 film American Beauty.

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What does the future hold for Mitchell & Partners?

After the retirement of Harold Mitchell last year the Dentsu Aegis group has been shuffling its pack, moving some major clients into Carat away from its traditional powerhouse agency Mitchell & Partners. Nic Christensen sat down with the new management team at Mitchells to find out what the future is for an agency now a third of its former size.

Harold Mitchell was undoubtedly a dominant figure in Australian media buying, and while he may have retired last year, his shadow still looms large over the business empire he built over 40 years and what was known for much of its life as the Mitchell Communications Group. Read more »

PR’s PR problem – all substance and no image

tim burrowes landscapeThe Australian PR industry is thriving, but it has an image problem, argues Mumbrella’s Tim Burrowes

For the last few weeks, I’ve been mainly thinking about PR.

That’s because I’ve been putting together the program for this Thursday’s CommsCon conference, and running the awards that go alongside them.

And I’ve been pleasantly surprised – it’s been a more inspiring process than I’d anticipated. Read more »

Archaic cross-media ownership laws won’t save local content

michaelIn this cross posting from The Conversation, Michael de Percy of University of Canberra discusses media ownership laws and how changes might impact on local content.

Communication minister Malcolm Turnbull’s proposal for changes to cross-media ownership laws has reignited calls for the government to protect local content.

On the surface, it appears reasonable to expect government to regulate for the provision of local news coverage. Indeed, Nationals leader Warren Truss wants to ensure that “genuine localism” is maintained should there be any changes to cross-media ownership laws.

With Australia’s population concentrated in the larger metropolitan regions, “the bush” is rarely seen as a profitable market for commercial media operators, hence the assumption that government should intervene. But are traditional concerns about content versus carriage relevant in the NBN era?

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Clock is ticking for Malaysia Airlines in crisis management

hamish 2In this cross posting from The Conversation, Hamish McLean of Griffith University assesses the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 from a PR perspective.

For Malaysia Airlines, every hour counts as it deals with the loss of flight MH370 with 227 passengers and 12 crew on-board. The first 48 hours of a crisis are the most critical for an organisation as it aims to reassure people that it can deal with, and resolve, the crisis.

It is in this time period that people will decide whether or not to support the organisation in trouble. A failure to act decisively and with leadership can result in inflaming outrage and blame. For Malaysia Airlines, that time is now up. It is now entering a reputational minefield.

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Why hackers and marketers need each other more than ever

In a guest post from South by SouthWest Daniel Bluzer-Fry says as the world evolves marketers and hackers will need each other more than ever to stay relevant.

During The New Digital Age – a session at the SXSW interactive conference with Google’s Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen , director of Google Ideas – it was suggested most technical white-collar jobs will disappear in the near future thanks to the continual evolution of technology. The Googlers believe that it is creativity that will be key in giving people utility as labour, so even those who have historically been our most respected professionals appear at risk. For instance, if I were to ask you if you’d prefer a human surgeon or robot to do major surgery on you in ten years time … well, it’s hard not to think that the robot would be more accurate, reliable and expedient.

Read more »

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