The SMH’s readers (are wrong) editor

We are now about five months into the reign of Australia’s first readers’ editor. And I don’t think it is working.

It struck me at the time of Judy Prisk’s appointment to the Sydney Morning Herald that the fact that her boss was editor-in-chief Peter Fray was not going to be ideal if she was going to be the independent voice of the reader.   Read more »

The emperor’s new fragrance: Old Spice’s campaign failure

In this guest post, Cathie McGinn slays a sacred cow of 21st century marketing – the highly awarded Old Spice campaign.

One of the biggest myths of recent times (by which I mean a story of great heroism and triumph we’d all like to believe but deep down know to be untrue) is the Old Spice social media campaign. It’s been much lauded and awarded as an example of outstanding content, a creative and collaborative way of connecting with consumers and driving a record increase in sales.

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How reliable are radio ratings?

In this guest posting, Jason ‘Jabba’ Davis wonders how accurate radio ratings can be, since the data is collated from handwritten diaries.

So, the radio ratings season gets underway tomorrow. After a well-earned break, Australia’s commercial radio stations will renew their obsession with figures to see how many of us are listening. Are they winning or losing the ratings war?

The much feared radio survey is the only way to measure the success or failure of a station’s playlist, talent, promotions or even good old Black Thunder crosses. With six-figure salaries riding on the make-or-break nature of ratings, just how accurate are Australia’s radio survey results? Read more »

Knocking the summer television model of old

This year’s non-ratings period could signal the dawning of a new era. Steve Molk considers the It’s a Knockout model.

Normally the minute the ratings period ends, viewers switch off the television in droves. There’s usually naught on they’ve not already seen, or some extremely poor sitcom from the US. But this year, Ten have been trying a different approach as they revive a retro favourite. Welcome back It’s A Knockout.

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One-eyed Willy’s rich stuff: brands as movie heroes

I have just spent an entire day on a plane. I can’t sleep on flights, even after heavy sedation. So I watched seven films, back to back. Most of the new ones were truly awful and I couldn’t finish them. So I watched an old favourite, The Goonies. I have probably watched this film more than 200 times since I was a kid. But this time, with work in the back of my mind, one thing stuck out – how much brands were the stars of the film. Read more »

The gospel of participation is making brands forget about mass reach

Simon LawsonIn this guest post, Simon Lawson argues that brands are becoming obsessed with getting consumers to participate, rather than remembering to deliver mass exposure.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but a lot of brands are wasting significant amounts of time and money on ineffective marketing. Large sums are being put behind tactics which end up being too small to have much chance of influencing total brand preference.   Read more »

For proof the Press Council is a toothless tiger, see the bottom of page 104 of the Tele

Today, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph had an excellent opportunity to show off just how well voluntary press regulation works.

The newspaper published an adjudication from the Australian Press Council.

The APC found that the Tele had given the National Broadband Network an entirely unjustified kicking in three different stories. The complaint was upheld in all three cases.

There are only two interpretations to be drawn from the finding, Read more »

The audience is right

Hal CrawfordIn this guest post, ninemsn’s Hal Crawford argues that online sites should respect readers’ choice in the news they consume

One thing I find surprising, after a decade in online news and a few years in print, is that the longer I remain a journalist the more my respect for the readers grows. Increasingly the correct attitude to adopt towards the audience seems to be one of respect rather than arrogance.   Read more »

How we pulled off the Banksy heist

Maura megan banksyIn this guest post, Megan Aney and Maura Tuohy explain how their social media skills helped them gain the inside information they needed to win the challenge to Steal Banksy‘s art work No Ball Games.

A Sunday night business trip turned into espionage when we scoped out The Art Series Hotels campaign to ‘Steal a Banksy’.

Before we had even arrived at The Blackman we were tweeting @stealbanksy for clues on the painting’s hidden location.

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Niche versus mass market: big just isn’t better at the cinema

Chris Murray laments the demise of independent cinemas and the rise of generic shopping centre multiplexes with their get ‘em in, bang ‘em out culture.

Punters visit the cinema for an exciting communal experience, not the ease of parking.
As the multiplex struggles to keep the candy bar traffic flowing, automated cogs pump out digital images and the passionate few who strive to make their independent exhibition houses a cultural beacon (The Ritz, The Astor, Chauvel and so on) face impending doom. It’s an education problem, to be honest. Read more »

It starts with an insight

On very rare occasions, just three times in my career so far, I get to sit in a different chair and experience what it’s like to be an agency client.

Those few moments have had a big impact on how I understand advertising, and the respect I have for planners, whether from a media or creative background.   Read more »

C is for content, no matter how many platforms it touches

In today’s always-on media landscape, content created for one platform doesn’t stand a chance, argues MindShare strategist Cathie McGinn. 

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin. Unlike storytellers of old, I estimate I’ve got about two more seconds to keep your attention. If I lose it now, it’s gone for good. That’s a high stakes play. Read more »

Can Adelaide become a creative hub?

In this guest post, Jeremy Ervine argues why Adelaide can become a world-class creative hub like San Francisco, New York or Paris.

If you were asked to pick the most ‘creative’ cities in the world, where would you name? San Francisco? New York? Paris? Maybe Sydney? Chances are you wouldn’t pick the mid-west American town of Omaha, Nebraska. Omaha has always been a bit of a tired town. Its livelihood has been centred on business, with fur trading, stockyards and railroads.  For decades young people have picked up left in search of bigger, more ‘creative’ cities. It’s a story that’s close to home.

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For & Against: Can a gig on community television lead to bigger and better things?

FOR: Jess Harris, co-creator, writer and star of ABC2’s comedy series Twentysomething

Josh Schmidt (Twentysomething co-creator) and I wanted to get into the industry but we didn’t really know the gap between having an idea and making it a job. We knew about community station Channel 31 because our friend, Ryan Shelton, had done a show on 31 called Radio Karate. We decided to make a series about being in your twenties, struggling and not really knowing what you’re doing with your life.

It took us about two years to finish the six episodes and we didn’t get in contact with Channel 31 until the very end. We called them up and said, “we’ve got six episodes here of a show we would love to air on your channel”. We had to pay an airing fee so we got RMITV, RMIT University’s media production group, to help us out by sponsoring the show. Read more »

Why home label brands are good news

In this guest post, Tim Riches reckons that the rise of supermarket home label brands may not be such bad news for established brands after all.

Retailers will always need strong, established mainstream brands to drive sales. The key to survival for manufacturers is to look at the market from the retailer’s point of view. Brand managers must show retailers how their brand can grow a category. Retailers don’t care how your brand might take market share from a competitor’s brand. They are only interested in growing sales volume in each product category.

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Content versus distribution: who is actually going to invest?

With investors more interested in platforms and broadcasters happy recycling existing content, Ben Shepherd asks what the future holds for the production of online video. 

Currently, on online forum Quora, there is a relatively simple question that despite over 300 views has not generated one single answer.

What venture capitalists or angel investors are interested in investing in quality content companies focused on media/internet? Read more »

Agency gifts: the good, the bad and goldfish

In this anonymous guest post, a media agency has some advice for media owners on the sort of gifts they like – and do not like – to receive.

I came into work on Sunday to discover the result of a media owner’s promo gift gone wrong – a dead gold fish.

On the side of the bowl containing said dead fish was written: ‘Be the big fish in a small pond and come test the water’. Not a good look for Advantage SA, which is trying to promote South Australia as an attractive place to advertise.

We get a deluge of gifts this time of year, although not all smell quite as bad. As agency folk, we are forever grateful for the generosity of media owners. But here are some helpful tips on what we see as the good, the bad and the useless corporate gifts.

Read more »

Show’s over: what’s next for the big names of breakfast radio?

From the unsociable hours to the fame, glory and great pay, Jason ‘Jabba’ Davis looks at faces of breakfast radio past and present and asks, where are they now?

So is there life after breakfast radio? The answer for most showbiz identities would appear to be yes.

Andrew Denton and Amanda Keller have gone on to long and successful careers, as has Wil Anderson. Wil’s peers, including Dave Hughes, Meshel Laurie, Mick Molloy, Tony Martin and Adam Spencer, have also successfully juggled early morning starts with stand up and television. Read more »

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