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.

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Eight surprises in the new Sydney radio ratings

Today’s radio results signal a once in a generation shift, argues Mumbrella’s Tim Burrowes.   

Zoinks. This may be the most dramatic radio survey ever released.

Here are the things I noticed first. (Forgive me for focusing on Sydney, where the changes have been the biggest.)

1. In Monday to Sunday share, Southern Cross Austereo’s 2DayFM has plummeted from number one FM station to bottom commercial station on either FM or AM. That is, I’m just about certain, unprecedented. It’s even below Fairfax Media’s struggling talk station 2UE. 2DayFM’s audience halved from 8.4% to 4%. Read more »

Answers for Adam: Should marketers follow Kyle Sandilands’ lead?

With  people more likely to notice the negative Adam Ferrier asks should marketers dial up the negative for more sales? 

If you have an ugly feature on your face – guess what other people notice. In fact they notice it even more than you think – sorry. In fact, it’s normally how we remember other people ‘You know Bob – the guy with the big hairy nose’.

We pay attention to his big hairy nose for the same reason we notice negative, alarmist headlines in the news. Or why advertising often uses scares and shock tactics. Or why 74per cent of the available words we can use to describe someone’s personality are negative. Read more »

The media consolidation is coming – and the deals have probably already been done

tim burrowes landscapeThe coming wave of media consolidation could push Ten into the arms of News Corp, Seven into bed with Fairfax Media and Nine with WIN, predicts Mumbrella’s Tim Burrowes

A long while back, I had lunch with the father of an English Premier League footballer. He confided that his son would be replacing my club’s top striker.

None of this had appeared in the transfer-obsessed tabloid sports pages. And nor did it for several months. But the transfer eventually unfolded in exactly the way he told me it would.

It was eye-opening to realise just how far in advance top level deals are stitched up. Read more »

Banning booze ads will just make marketers more creative

As the calls for stricter regulation of alcohol advertising to protect children heat up Mike O’Rourke argues changes to advertising will do nothing without changing behaviour at home.

Hi, my name is Mike O’Rourke and I ask my kids to pass me beers. I drink alcoholic beverages at home, and yes, I have also been guilty of asking my kids to go to the fridge for me. And when we have guests I angst about what wine we’ll serve as much what food we’ll eat. And the rhetorical discussions with my son over whether I should get 2 bags of ice or just the one (the answer’s always two).

Like most Australian families, alcohol plays a large part in my home life. Read more »

Why stupid is normal – when smart people make dumb choices

Gary Wilkinson and Ashton BishopAshton Bishop and Gary Wilkinson argue how the actions of former BP chief Tony Hayward during the Gulf of Mexico oil crisis should be a wake up call to stressed marketers and those that work with them.

In 2010 after over 455 million litres of oil had already poured into the Gulf off the Louisiana coast and millions of litres more continued to escape every day, Tony Hayward, the CEO of oil giant BP, and the public face of the environmental disaster, decided to take part in an exclusive yacht race off the Isle of Wight. There was outrage. Social media, already heavily critical of BP’s poor response to the catastrophe, got worse. Read more »

What is the most effective method for charity fundraising?

Recent pieces on Mumbrella around charity street fundraisers have stirred debate about the pros and cons of the practice. Here Angela Brooks looks at what the statistics show is the best way of fundraising. 

Following Mumbrella’s recent stories on the pro’s and con’s of ‘chuggers’, I thought it may be of value to reveal what the statistics show is the best fundraising strategy for charities and how to secure more out of the Australian hip pocket. The results will surprise many. Read more »

Answering Adam: Why advertising spin does harm consumers

In response to Adam Ferrier’s article on whether advertising spin is actually OK, TV luminary Nick Murray argues it is not.

As Adam Ferrier correctly points out in his wonderfully provocative article the ABC’s consumer affairs show The Checkout takes aim at brands which charge more for products marketed by preying on desires and fears in nearly every episode. I make TV shows including The Checkout, so I thought I’d give a non marketer’s perspective.

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Analysis: Where has it gone wrong for Ten?


After starting the year with improved ratings and an air of optimism audience shares have declined severely for Network Ten. Megan Reynolds spoke to industry insiders to find out where it went wrong.

Secrets and Lies was one of the most anticipated dramas of the year, which has already been picked up by production companies in the US and UK, launched to 403,000 metro viewers on Channel Ten last night. While those numbers may be disappointing for executives in the Pyrmont offices, they are higher than it has been getting for established reality show The Biggest Loser and the revived So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD).

In the week after the Winter Olympics Ten’s total network audience share dropped from 18.8 per cent, to 14.4 per cent. This included the main channel’s worst-ever rating night, where it took just 6.4 per cent of the audience.

Read more »

Answers for Adam: Is advertising spin actually good?

In his regular column Adam Ferrier poses a question to the industry. Today he asks is advertising spin as bad as it is made out to be?

Advertising is bad right? We coerce people into buying stuff they don’t need. Further, as TV show The Checkout points out (most weeks) we sometimes just put a descriptive word like ‘Baby’, or ‘Premium’ on a certain product, and then charge more for exactly the same thing. For example, all shampoos are basically made of the same stuff – so why are some priced at $3.00 a bottle whilst ‘Premium Salon Quality’ alternatives (at product parity) cost $30 (or more)? Read more »

Mumbrella360 – how you can be involved

tim burrowes landscapeThe industry is once again being asked to get involved in this year’s Mumbrella360. Mumbrella’s Tim Burrowes explains how

This is the fourth time we’ve done this. It’s the moment to fire the starting pistol on Mumbrella360.

In the next few days we’ll be announcing at least one big new thing for Mumbrella360. But the most important thing remains the same – once again we’re inviting the industry to join us in curating the conference. You’re reading that invitation right now. Read more »

Why the new DrinkWise campaign is a fail

A new campaign by DrinkWise aimed at encouraging people to drink responsibly actually does the opposite, argues Joel Egan.

Clemenger BBDO Melbourne’s new campaign, ‘Drinking – do it properly’, is stylish, cool and well executed which ticks all the boxes for them. But I can’t help thinking that DrinkWise could be left picking up the pieces. Read more »

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