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.

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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 »

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