Sustainable competitive advantage: the fallacy

The speed of change in business means the notion of businesses having a sustainable competitive advantage is no longer a reality argues Dan Monheit

Sustainable competitive advantage. What a beautiful, romantic, delusional idea. An idea that somehow still gets plenty of airplay.

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Content marketing predictions: Why I’ve ditched my crystal ball

cameron upshallLast year Cameron Upshall made a series of bold predictions on how the content marketing world in Australia would develop in 2014. Here he bemoans the lack of change.

Australian brands had a fair old crack at content marketing in 2014. But unfortunately the market didn’t mature as fast as I thought it would in 12 months. This means the content marketing milestones I predicted we would reach by now are still a fair way off.

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Why #tay4hottest100 is good for Triple J

Matt SaraceniThe campaign to get a Taylor Swift song into the Triple J Hottest 100 has created a lot of column inches in recent days. Matt Saraceni argues the controversy is good for the station and how it should capitalise on #tay4hottest100 come Australia Day. 

If Taylor Swift places Number one in the Triple J Hottest 100 — I will eat a hat.

Any hat you care to name I will consume it. There is absolutely no way that will happen. I’d bet a nudie run on it. In fact I am.

However, “Shake it Off” appearing in the countdown will be one of the best things to happen to Triple J and its audiences and everybody should be hoping it happens. Let me explain….

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A first look at Stan

alexYesterday streaming service Stan invited some members of the public to have a first look at the new platform. Mumbrella editor Alex Hayes looks at what it has to offer.

Of all the streaming services being talked about at the moment (and yes there are a lot – Presto, Netflix, Quickflix etc.) the one that’s most intrigued me is the joint offering from Nine Entertainment and Fairfax Media – Stan.

So when I got the invite to have a preview of it which went out to the public yesterday, I leapt at it. However, my initial impressions were not good. Read more »

Suffering from a talent crisis? Get off your backside and grow your own

david ponce de leonThe industry constantly bemoans a lack of skilled new employees. In this opinion piece David Ponce de Leon argues they need to do more to help nurture the talent.

The skills shortage issue continues to be a challenge for different sectors of the communications industry and at the dawn of a new year the topic seems to be heating up again.

Everybody is talking about how hard is to find the right talent or the right skills for their own particular business needs. It’s almost as if a good old whine about the skills shortage ‘crisis’ has become the norm. Read more »

Never tell anyone outside the agency what you’re thinking

eaon pritchard red jelly planner stragetyIt might not be the mafia, but agencies require a cone of silence about their internal workings to the outside world argues Eaon Pritchard.

At the beginning of ‘The Godfather’, Santino ‘Sonny’ Corleone is in a clandestine meeting with Virgil ‘The Turk’ Sollozzo in which they discuss a potential partnership in Sollozzo’s nascent heroin business. Read more »

Virtual Reality: changing games or game changer?

tyler greerVirtual reality technology is becoming a hot property. Here Tyler Greerasks whether it will really have a reach beyond video games.

One day back in the early 90s I switched off the Sega Mega Drive and got myself along to an exhibition touting itself as the new frontier in gaming: virtual reality. Strapped in to a cumbersome, heavy piece of machinery I played Dactyl Nightmare, a dreadful Cubist nightmare which left me disoriented, ill, and disappointed for the state of the machine-human relationship.

Not fast enough could I return to Sonic the Hedgehog and my new-found appreciation for the human-couch relationship. Read more »

Social influencers and the law – where does it stand on disclosure?

Stephen von Muenster After Australia Post was found to be paying for social media endorsements which were not disclosed and with more brands looking to social media influencers in their campaigns, Stephen von Muenster looks at where the law currently stands on the issue. 

It is evident from a casual gaze through social pages or comms industry commentary that brands are turning to ‘social influencers’ to promote their products through online social channels with the intent of influencing consumer purchasing decisions in favour of their products. Read more »

The ten ideas from CES I wish I’d had

Jonathan Pease

With over 3,600 exhibitors and hundreds of speakers there were a lot of new ideas and inventions at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas this year. Here Jonathan Pease distills them to the ten he’s most jealous of.

B BOOTH – They call themselves ‘The Talent Discovery Company’ and the concept is simple. Imagine a casting booth where anyone can audition for anything they like – modelling, acting, reality TV, singing, etc. Read more »

It’s just social media management, right?

venessa paechWhile many people don’t know the difference between a social media manager and community managers Venessa Paech argues defining which one you need for a role is vital for success. 

I’ve led social media and community management for companies, hired, and worked with many social media managers and community managers.

Let’s be honest – the two roles are often confused. The number of blog posts trying to explain the difference should be a tip-off. Read more »

Credit where it’s due: MLA’s lamb campaigns

credit where its due logoAs the MLA unveils its latest Australia Day lamb ad we give Credit Where It’s Due to the legacy of clever campaigns which have come before it. 

Selling lamb is not the most glamorous of briefs for any marketer or agency, but somehow every year Meat and Livestock Australia’s Australia Day campaign captures the public’s attention. Read more »

How can you charge your mobile campaigns?

lisa boraWhile mobile is taking an increasingly large chunk of consumers’ time marketers are slow to divert their ad spend. Google’s Lisa Bora looks at how it can be used effectively to make compelling campaigns.

Does size matter? When it comes to screens, Australian advertisers seem to think so, devoting just 8 per cent of total ad spend in Australia to mobile, despite them taking up a third of total daily media consumption.

Will this change in 2015? Many Aussie advertisers say that they recognise the importance of mobile but are uncertain how to proceed. Read more »

Charlie Hebdo offends – and we must defend its right to do so

bill-durodie-28483-3494In this cross-posting from The Conversation Bill Durodie of the University of Bath argues in the wake of the attack on Charlie Hebdo offices by gunmen society and the media have a duty to overcome the censorious culture which has seeped into Western societies.

The motive behind the tragic shootings at the headquarters of satirical weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris has not yet been confirmed but it seems clear that there is a link between the publication’s stance on controversial content and the decision by several masked gunmen to launch such a murderous attack against the staff.

The perpetrators of the attack, in which 12 were killed and several more critically wounded, must be apprehended – but, more broadly, we also need to reaffirm the importance of absolute freedom of expression in an open society – regardless of how offensive it might be to some and, on occasion, how puerile it may become. The solution to bad ideas – as the enlightenment philosopher John Stuart Mill noted – is not censorship but more speech with which to counter them. Read more »

What now for Ikon?

Alex Hayes headshot 2014From an agency revered by its rivals Ikon has fallen to become one fighting for its very existence. Mumbrella editor Alex Hayes looks at what caused this fall, and what the agency can do to build from here.

News of the resignation of James Greet as CEO of Ikon Communications has come as a surprise to many in the industry. Retaining the Commonwealth Bank account made it appear the once-revered agency had started to emerge from what had been a very deep trough.

But scratch under the surface and it’s clear Ikon is still an agency dealing with a lot of issues.

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Why cash and copyright are bad news for creativity

copyright symbolIn this cross-posting from The Conversation Dan Hunter of Swinburne University of Technology explains why current copyright laws are actually a hinderance to creativity.

Imagine you were asked to write a law that encouraged creativity. What would it look like? Whatever your answer, it’s pretty clear that it wouldn’t look like copyright.

Which is weird, right? Because copyright is supposed to be the law that spurs creativity. The problem, it turns out, is that the central features of copyright are directly opposed to the things that support creativity. Read more »

Think 2014 was disruptive? You ain’t seen nothing yet

alexAs we come to the end of the year Mumbrella editor Alex Hayes looks back at some of the big themes from 2014, and how they will affect the industry in 2015.

It’s been just over a year since I took over from Tim in the hot seat looking after the day to day business of the Mumbrella website.

It’s been a steep learning curve. But then it feels like everyone in the industry has been on a similar learning trajectory too. Read more »

A Mumbrella Christmas wrap of 2014’s best (and worst) festive ads

Are you struggling to feel festive? Then look no further as Mumbrella’s creative reporter Miranda Ward wraps up of how brands around the world have been promoting themselves this holiday season to inject a bit of cheer ahead of Christmas Day.

1. While it was hard to go past John Lewis’ effort this year, the favourite Christmas ad, in the Mumbrella office at least, was this one from Mulberry. It plays with the competitive nature of gift giving within families, with each family member attempting to one-up each other with its gifts with one lucky member receiving a puppy that waves and a unicorn, with both gifts being outrated by Grandma’s efforts. Read more »

Is the ad industry much of an industry at all?


For all the talk about collaboration, the advertising industry spends a lot time throwing stones at competitive rivals and the industry as a whole. As we approach 2015, Cummins&Partner’s Adam Ferrier argues it is time for the industry to work together toward some common outcomes. 

Bloomberg Business Week has just done something that no agency ever has – they published a list of the work from their rivals that had made them jealous – and all the other great stories other publications had written that they wish they had.

Why hasn’t this article been written by an agency in Australia? Read more »

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