Beyond Mad Men, and more than DM, the next stage is customer engagement agencies

nick mercerMercerBell boss Nick Mercer went to New York in a bid to understand how the next generation of agencies are shaping themselves as customer engagement agencies, combining direct, digital, data, technology and consulting. As a result of what he learned, he now plans to change his own agency.

I’ve just returned from a New York study tour. We are on the cusp of major changes that will affect what agencies look like over the next few years. Read more »

The cold call

jason stidworthyIn this guest post, NRMA marketer Jason Stidworthy says people trying to sell him services based on using data to target customers aren’t doing it themselves. He reveals what happened when he answered the phone to a sales call.

Most vendor sales calls these days push the message of using our data to develop targeted customer communications. Why? Because customers will relate better to messages tailored to their specific needs.

As a marketer I’m completely sold on the idea of using data for more effective targeted communications and our marketing is moving in this direction. But I’ve come to question whether vendors actually practice what they preach. Read more »

Why I’m stepping down as Mumbrella editor to help grow our business

Tim Burrowes headshot

Mumbrella’s founding editor Tim Burrowes is stepping away from running the newsdesk. He explains why.

After nearly five years, today is my last day in the editor’s seat at Mumbrella.

I’m staying with the company, and I’ll still be writing for Mumbrella almost every day, but my role is changing quite a lot.

For the first time in something like 17 years, my job title will not include the word “editor” in the title. Which will take some getting used to. Read more »

One year on: The full list of Dumb Ways To Die awards

A year ago today, the world’s most awarded piece of advertising work of all time launched when McCann Melbourne’s Dumb Ways To Die, for Metro Trains, was released onto YouTube. It has since had more than 60m views.

Here’s everything it won: Read more »

The frontline of the internet

ACMAToday 65 Australians have been arrested accused of downloading child abuse material from a Canadian website. Nic Christensen recently met the Australian team responsible for auditing the most disturbing content on the internet, the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s content classification division.

Media watchdog the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) usually makes headlines for its stoushes with radio shock jocks such as Kyle Sandilands and Alan Jones. Read more »

A New Daily, new models and new hope: journalism’s silver lining

andrea carsonCan the new wave of online news startups and cross-platform collaboration prove the saviour for journalists asks Dr Andrea Carson in this cross-posting from The Conversation.

November is a month of two tales for the Australian media industry: one of hope, the other of despair.

The arrival on Wednesday of the online news site The New Daily, and reports that The Monthly’s publisher Morry Schwartz is set to launch a new Saturday newspaper, are the industry’s good news stories. In a boost for democracy, the new startups add diversity to Australia’s highly concentrated ownership of news media, and provide experienced journalists with full-time jobs.

Read more »

The horror at the heart of Australian cinema

laurenWhen it comes to the Australian film industry Lauren Carroll Harris argues, in this cross posting from The Conversation, we need a new distribution model designed for the 21st Century.

There’s more than one reason the new Australian film Patrick – released last month – is a horror story. Sure, it’s a fright flick, based on the 1978 orginal, in which a creepy coma patient uses telekinesis to wreak havoc while totally immobile. Read more »

Why media fragmentation is a cure for communications laziness

Simon RutherfordThe benefits of media fragmentation are beginning to outweigh the downsides, argues Simon Rutherford

It is surprising to hear media fragmentation is apparently still the number one concern for many clients. True, it’s now more expensive to reach your target audience through traditional media, or at least it’s more expensive to buy the same levels of reach that you may have historically. It’s also true you have to use a number of different channels to get a result these days and that it’s more time consuming joining these channels up.

However, there is a positive. Media fragmentation is forcing the media and marketing industry to think more about their customers. Read more »

Questions for Esther – switching careers: do I have to start from scratch?

 In a regular feature for EncoreEsther Clerehan answers agency and career questions.
Esther Clerehan

Hi Esther,

I’m a senior designer (motion graphics/TV/film) looking to switch sides into agency land – in a senior role there too. I have a lot of experience directing teams of designers, coming up with pitches, directing TVCs and creating motion graphics. I’ve won awards. I’ve also done AWARD School. But it seems that none of my experience counts with agency HR. Read more »

It’s time for Free TV and Pay TV to kiss and make up

John 1The lack of cooperation between Free TV and the Pay TV is hurting television as a medium, says Match Media’s John Preston

Free to air TV networks through their binding body Free TV Australia is on the precipice of losing traction amongst marketers and media agencies. Read more »

How to exploit emotions, the ‘Post-It notes of the mind’

Gary Wilkinson and Ashton BishopWhile emotions may be inescapable when it comes to decision making, marketers have the power to harness them say Ashton Bishop and Gary Wilkinson.

No matter how tough, detached and rational we believe we are, we still make emotional decisions and then make rational justifications. It’s not just buyology (the way we buy), it stems from biology (the way we’re built).  Read more »

Savage counsel: A crisis of career confidence

Chris SavageIn his monthly Encore column, STW’s Chris Savage answers your career and agency questions. 

Dear Chris,

I’m having a crisis of confidence. My job, and the marketing industry, just seem to be getting harder. I’m not sure if I have what it takes to be in this business anymore. Will this feeling pass or should I cut my losses and get out now? Read more »

Why I said no to The Daily Review

andrew staffordIn this guest post, journalist Andrew Stafford explains why he taken a stand against not being paid for his work

Nearly 20 years ago, my first piece of journalism was published. For a music fan, it was an auspicious beginning: I saw a young You Am I supporting rock behemoths the Beasts of Bourbon at the Mansfield Tavern, one of those great suburban beer barns that gave up on live music long ago. One band was at its peak; the other scaling theirs. My review appeared in a Brisbane street paper, and I was paid $35. Read more »

Making sense of paywall figures

merja myllylahtiFairfax’s AGM statement this week and today’s quarterly release of newspaper criculation numbers include digital data – but without enough detail to give a true picture, argues Merja Myllylahti, in a crossposting from The Conversation

Media companies are failing to deliver transparency about their digital subscriptions, as my recent study about paywalls found. Read more »

Four things Fairfax needs to do to succeed at content marketing

David PembrokeFollowing yesterday’s comments from Fairfax boss Greg Hywood that the company will be pushing into content marketing David Pembroke offers some advice

Could I be presumptive enough to offer Fairfax a very warm welcome to the Australian content marketing industry.

While there are a few of us who have been around a while, it is reassuring to have a giant walk into the room looking for a seat at the table. Read more »

The Crazy Ones – advertising agencies make great television

david-waller-1304385611In this crossposting from The Conversation, David Waller from University of Technology, Sydney, reflects on the advertising industry as a source of inspiration for Hollywood.

Move over Mad Men – there’s a new group of advertising executives hitting the small screen. The Crazy Ones, a TV series set in a Chicago advertising agency, is currently the top-ranked show in the new US television season and it’s screening now in Australia.

There are some heavy hitters involved too. The Crazy Ones stars former vampire slayer Sarah Michelle Gellar and comedian Robin Williams. It’s created, written and produced by David E. Kelly, the man behind legal dramas Ally McBeal and Boston Legal.

Read more »

Seeking Inspiration

Where do creatives find the stimulus for fresh ideas? In a feature that first appeared in EncoreMegan Reynolds looks for the source of inspiration.


Coming up with fresh ideas day after day is no easy task, particularly when you’re operating in an increasingly cluttered market where a unique voice is hard to find. For creatives working in the media, marketing and entertainment industries, constantly producing ideas requires an established set of skills and something else altogether: inspiration. It’s an elusive impulse experienced by some more than others. But is it something creatives can tap into more frequently if they put their minds to it? Read more »

TV advertising – a great secondary medium

steve collIf we can’t quit advertising on TV, we can at least start thinking of it as something to support ideas that live elsewhere, argues Steve Coll, ECD at Havas Worldwide Australia.

Given the dominance of all things online in our lives, it’s amazing how firmly wedded advertisers are to traditional TV as the lead medium for mass-market campaigns. Read more »

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