Opinion | Features
- Information is often weighed on the strength and volume of opinions shared on social media but with less than 20% of Australians having a Twitter account, Pete Wilson asks: do we have the weight all wrong? Opinions are a hot commodity these days. In the multi-platform, social media world facts are often disputed (or ignored) but opinions are always welcome. From everyone. But too often social media chatter is hailed as a true reflection of what people really think.
- 24 Hours With… spotlights the working day of some of the most interesting people in Mumbrella's world. Today we speak with Hal Crawford, editor-in-chief of ninemsn. Everything is the same as itself and different from every other thing. There is no typical day. EARLY MORNING: Today is my middle daughter's first day of school. She's going into kindergarten. I'm sitting downstairs in my suit, among the gardening tools, at the little desk I found on the street years ago.
- Twitter has been making headlines globally in the past few months amid a series of executive changes and stock market falls. Mumbrella's Nic Christensen talked to its Australian boss Karen Stocks about its local performance and future strategy in this market. "Twitter is now embedded in everything we do from an Australian cultural perspective," declares Karen Stocks, as we sit down. "There is no sporting event that doesn't have a Twitter integration, there are no TV shows that don't have it - it is just part of the Australian psyche now."
- In this guest post, user experience director Sam Court asks: is intent the only difference between 'good' and 'evil' design? Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would’ve at least heard of Netflix’s ‘Making a Murderer’ series. If you’re anything like me, you watched as your Facebook feed lit-up with reactions to the show and then, two days later, you began watching it, rabidly, yourself. Can a legal system that we assume has been well designed, in fact, be exploited by those with evil intentions?
- With Bauer Media closing titles and struggling to find relevance in the digital landscape, Mumbrella’s Miranda Ward looks at how things got to this point, and what a new CEO needs to do to fix the company's fortunes. Australia's largest magazine publisher, Bauer Media, will look back at 2015 as something of an annus horribilis. In the past 12 months it lost a CEO, the editor of its most high-profile publication, its sales director, and closed three major masthead magazines, while its digital strategy failed to get off the ground. The company’s issues boil down to three core problems - bad management, no coherent digital strategy and no real budget for content.
- In this guest post, strategy consultant for Carat, Catalina Burge, claims that emotional marketing is here and measurable, we're just waiting for the most effective way to measure it. I read with great interest Alex Vishney’s recent piece on the increasing emphasis on emotional marketing and the subsequent demotion of rationality as a driver of consumer behaviour.
- MORNINGS: The alarm goes off early, so I hit Snooze and enjoy an extra nine minutes' sleep before getting up and taking the dog for a run or going for a swim. I've learned over the years that I need to make time for exercise; it is the closest I'm ever likely to get to meditation. Post dog run, I consume as much news as I can across as many formats as possible before I leave the house: ABC News Breakfast; Instagram; SMH.com.au; and news.com.au, are my go-to sources.
- As Woolworths beds in its third new creative agency in five years Simon Canning looks at the correlation between the marketing flux and underperformance of the supermarket chain. Woolworths' decision to sack its third agency in five years signals a crisis point in the future of the retailer which, while it remains dominant by virtue of its scale, is struggling to maintain brand equity and public support. There is a curious correlation between Woolworths' market performance and its revolving door of agencies over the past five years.
- In this guest post, Rachael Lonergan, head of strategy at Foundation, discusses why introducing flex time for staff to undertake exercise and mental health is an investment in her company's future. Work/life balance. Some people don't believe in it and others think it's unrealistic in an 'always connected' world. Yet there are literally millions of articles online about how to achieve this elusive concept. We really want it, but we're not necessarily sure how to get it.
- In this guest post Adam Woods argues Aldi's much-derided recent social media campaign is actually a lesson in ignoring the irrelevant Twitter trolls.Aldi was recently criticised for this social media campaign which asked its followers to fill in the blank: "I became an Aldi lover when I tasted ______ for the first time".Marketers and social media ‘experts’ were tripping over themselves to scoff at a campaign that Geoffrey Stackhouse of Clarity Solutions called, "the online equivalent of writing 'kick me' on your (own) trousers". Very clever, Geoffrey.
- Australian TV may finally be ready to market itself with one voice. It's about time, argues Mumbrella's Tim Burrowes. Yesterday saw the news that the free TV industry and rivals in the subscription world look set to finally come together to promote the power of the medium. In the bitter world of the media, it’s a bit like Collingwood and Carlton supporters getting together in the pub for a friendly drink before the game.
- Former BBC journalist Clarence Mitchell helped keep the story of the disappearance of three-year-old British child Madeleine McCann in the media for eight years. In this Q&A he discusses the challenges of the case, his career as a journalist and the road to launching his own communications consultancy, Clarence Mitchell Communications. What was the most challenging part of being the spokesman for the McCann family? There were constant daily challenges. Hourly, in fact. And at times 24/7 - for the first couple of years. Not least having to correct, rebut or balance very rapidly the initial hostile coverage that the family faced, particularly in Portuguese media.
- After APN Outdoor signed a partnership deal with the Australian Olympic team, Mumbrella's Alex Hayes sat down with APN boss Richard Herring and AOC COE Fiona De Jong to ask them what is in it for both parties? While the new four-year deal between APN Outdoor and the Australian Olympic Committee might look, on paper, like a straight-forward media partnership, APN's boss Richard Herring claims it is "a coming of age" for the company.
- Modern technology allows marketers to know a lot about consumers, right down to their precise location. But how accurate is most of the technology? GroupM's Timothy Whitfield puts the technology to the test. Over the past few months I've been approached by many adtech vendors who are selling Hyperlocal Geo Targeting for mobile inventory. I've been suspicious of the sales people when they say things like: "We can target users with an ad for McDonald's whilst they are standing outside of KFC." This all sounded a bit too good to be true so I decided to look 'under the hood' and put them to the test.
- In this guest post Paul Sinkinson, vice president Analytic Partners, argues that good data demands better creativity to make it work. I've been reading more and more articles and posts about the death of creativity and many writers are naming data as the culprit. In the recent Mumbrella post 'Will 2016 be the year Australian creativity died?', marketers were divided into creativity-led marketers or data-led marketers. The data-led marketer is apparently led more by fear of failure, a mindset that translates into safer work.
Ewan McGregor cast in Australian film Son of a Gun
Trainspotting and Star Wars star Ewan McGregor has been cast in a new Australian thriller Son of a Gun, to be directed by first time feature film-maker Julius Avery.
The film is a heist thriller, written and directed by Avery, with McGregor set to play a master criminal, who takes on an apprentice.
Avery previously won the Jury Prize at Cannes International Film Festival and a Best Short Film award at the AFIs for his 2008 film Jerrycan.
Avery told Encore: “I’d always had Ewan up there in my top of the list and it just so happened, my agent in the US reps Ewan, and he put us together. Ewan read the script and connected with it and we had a good chat and felt he was right for the role.”
Avery also wrote Yardbird, directed by Good Oil’s Michael Spiccia, which screened at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
Tim White who produced Two Hands, Ned Kelly, and most recently Sleeping Beauty is producing the film with John Collee, writer of Master and Commander and Happy Feet, as script editor.
Avery said: “Tim knew John well, and he and I were first thinking of a script consultant and we both though John. I’d wanted to work with John on another project but he wasn’t available. But he’s been a very vital part of the development of Son of a Gun and been there for every draft. He’s been keeping me on track, he’s hands on and he is real mentor to me.
WA culture and arts minister John Day made the casting announcement: “This latest news that the star of Star Wars, Trainspotting and Moulin Rouge, Ewan McGregor will star in a locally-made film further shows that the WA film industry is making its international mark following on from the success of Red Dog and the anticipation surrounding Drift, starring Sam Worthington.
The film has received funding from Screen Australia.
McGregor shot episodes II and III of Star Wars as well as Moulin Rouge in Australia in the early 2000s.
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