Optus pitches direct marketing putting M&C Saatchi group on alert

yesoptus_LogoOptus has put its direct marketing account up for pitch, Mumbrella understands.

A number of agencies, including incumbent M&C Saatchi which is understood to have its Lida unit vying for the account, are understood to be interested in it.

Lida, which is part of the M&C Saatchi group, opened in Australia in June, with M&C folding its existing digital, data and direct business, Mark, into the new company. Read more »

Optus Clever Buoy wins gold at Sharks

Optus Clever Buoy has picked up two gold for M&C Saatchi at the Kinsale Sharks global awards.

The announcement:

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Optus rescues Josh Thomas from dull party before putting him in a shark cage in new ads

Optus has unveiled two new spots in its campaign fronted by comedian Josh Tomas, promoting the telco’s offer to switch customer’s credit and its pre-paid plans charges.

Created by M&C Saatchi, the spot promoting Optus’ offer of credit for customers when they switch across to the telco sees Thomas at a boring party asking if “you’re in a place that’s holding you back?”, before a helicopter dramatically “rescues” two party goers and drops them at a more exciting event.

The second ad which promotes its pre-paid plans which charge customers for the days they use their phone sees Thomas speaking directly to camera from a shark cage.

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Former Optus CMO Michael Smith: ‘Our marketing was effective and efficient dribble’

Mike Smith talking at the APPIES in Singapore

Michael Smith talking at the APPIES in Singapore

The former CMO of Optus has said the telco’s marketing was “effective and efficient dribble” some years ago, and the brand is now attempting to reconnect with consumers through storytelling.

Michael Smith, who left Sydney for Singapore to move into the chief commercial officer role at Optus’ parent company SingTel almost two years ago, told the audience at the APPIES event in Singapore on Saturday that while Optus’ price-led marketing had been effective, it had pushed Australians away from the brand.

“Around the year 2010, we got into effective and efficient dribble. Of all of our advertising, it was the most effective. But it did nothing for the brand. Our messaging went through the floor,” Smith said.

“We played this sort of advertising through the night and day, and it drove results. We knew exactly how many calls and clicks we generated and we thought, wow, this is awesome,” he said.

A slide Smith presented showed the decline of Optus’ marketing budget from 2000 to 2013, and the decreasing use of traditional media in its communications. Ad spend on Optus has fallen from $120 million in 2000 to $80 million in 2013. Read more »

Josh Thomas returns in third Optus ad from inside a tablet

Optus has rolled out its third ad from comedian Josh Thomas who became the new face of the telco brand three weeks ago.

The ‘Yes’ brand campaign which introduced Thomas as brand ambassador launched earlier this month and was followed by a spot promoting the telco’s ‘Epic’ sim the following week.

In the new M&C Saatchi ad, Thomas appears via a commuter’s Samsung tablet device to promote Optus’ option to share mobile data across multiple devices.

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Optus quickly launches next Josh Thomas ad

Optus has unveiled the next instalment in the ‘More Yes’ campaign featuring comedian Josh Thomas with an ad promoting the company’s new ‘Epic’ sim card.

The commercial, set to Lionel Richie’s hit ‘Endless Love’, shows a man in love with his phone and treating it to various romantic gestures. The campaign has been created by M&C Saatchi.

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Optus CMO on plans to digitise the beach, and why they’re moving away from sponsorships

Nathan rosenbergDuring a talk at Cannes Lions Optus chief marketing officer Nathan Rosenberg said the brand wants to digitise the beach, with the Clever Buoy project the first part of that.

Afterwards he spoke to Alex Hayes about the plans for the brand, creating a technology incubator, why they are moving away from sponsorship, and the brand as a “wingman” for customers. Read more »

Optus CMO: Clever Buoy is a brand evolution not an ad campaign

(l-r) Roberta MacDonald (Google), Ben Cooper (M&C), Hamish Jolly (SAWS), Nathan Rsenberg (Optus), Justin Graham (M&C)

(l-r) Roberta MacDonald (Google), Ben Cooper (M&C), Hamish Jolly (SAWS), Nathan Rsenberg (Optus), Justin Graham (M&C)

The Clever Buoy shark detector project has made people “proud to work” for Optus again and is the first step towards the company’s move towards more technology solutions to help people, according to its chief marketing officer.

At a Google Lightning Talk on the project, devised by M&C Saatchi, the telco and Google, chief marketing officer Nathan Rosenberg said they were pulling back from traditional sponsorships and investing more in incubating technical ideas.

Talking about Clever Buoy he said: “This is not an ad campaign, it’s about taking our brand into another place and saying every client should think about what they can do in terms of making things happen, and that’s why work like this will change the world.”

Later he added: “Regardless of whether or not there are media impressions we did it to make the beaches safer. Shark detection in Australia is still done by the eye.

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Optus recruits Josh Thomas to promote More Yes positioning

Optus has recruited comedian Josh Thomas to promote its “live more yes” positioning as it seeks to amplify its ‘Yes’ branding through new price offerings and services.

Created by M&C Saatchi, the new campaign features Thomas – best known for his former role on Ten’s Talkin ‘Bout Your Generation and in ABC’s Please Like Me  – exploring how much Optus would say yes to, including gigantic kittens, a helicopter shot and A-ha’s 80s hit Take On Me.

Optus head of brand Nathan Rosenberg said: “Yes has always been our ethos and now we’re amping it up because life’s better when there’s more of it.

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Optus continue to target Telstra despite court ruling

Optus has continued to target Telstra’s coverage with a new ad comparing the percentage of the Australian population Optus’ mobile network reaches to Telstra’s coverage, despite losing a court case over a similar attack ad last month.

Telstra claimed Optus’ campaign misrepresented the network coverage and the ads misled customers into believing Optus and Telstra’s mobile networks covered 98.5 per cent and 99.3 per cent of the Australian landmass respectively.

The new ad, created by M&C Saatchi, has carefully altered the wording, and removed the use of an outline of Australia, to reflect the coverage of the Australian population rather than the Australian landmass.

An Optus spokesperson told Mumbrella: “We want to be as clear as possible. We felt we were clear last time but there was question around was the voiceover clear or was it clear in terms of the graphic. We clearly state that on our website, we clearly talk to population coverage and that’s a measure we’ve been communicating for a number of months now.”

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M&C Saatchi appoint Chiquita King to manage Optus account

M&C Saatchi has appointed Chiquita King to group head to manage the Optus account.

The announcement:

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Victorian Supreme Court rules with Telstra that Optus misled public with ads

Optus misled Australians over the strength of its mobile network in a series on TV and online ad campaigns, the Victorian Supreme Court has ruled this afternoon.

The telco was taken to court by rival Telstra earlier this month after running a series of ads around bill shock which features a map of Australia with figures for Telstra and Optus in it.

(Ad courtesy of Ebiquity) 

Telstra claimed Optus’ campaign misrepresented the network coverage and the ads misled customers into believing Optus and Telstra’s mobile networks covered 98.5 per cent and 99.3 per cent of the Australian landmass respectively.

However Optus claimed it stated in the ad’s voiceover and fine print that the figures represented population and not geographic coverage.

Justice Elliot ruled against Optus and in favour of Tesltra, saying that any ordinary or reasonable person would have believed it to mean geographic coverage.

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Optus updates ad targeting Telstra after it limits excess fees

Optus has altered its anti-bill shock campaign targeting Telstra after the rival telco became the last of the big three phone companies to limit the amount many of its customers pay for mobile phone calls.

The move ends the era in which customers could be hit by bills worth thousands of dollars for exceeding their monthly call allowance, which had been the target of Optus’ original campaign highlighting how while the two providers’ networks were quite similar, the costs involved were not.

The new ad is effectively the same, however Optus has updated the figures to reflect the current market. The older version of the ad featured a bar chart that claimed Telstra customers could end up paying up to $454.40 on a $60 plan if the customer exceeded their monthly allowance.

The new commercial:

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Former Optus marketer Michael Smith given global advertising remit with SingTel



Optus’ former head of marketing Michael Smith has been handed an extended remit to oversee global advertising at parent company SingTel, Mumbrella understands.

The head of global advertising at  the telco Grant Watts has left the company as part of a shake-up of the digital marketing department, after just 16-months in the role which he was given when SingTel  acquired mobile marketing firm Amobee.

Australian Watts was Amobee’s SVP and managing director at the time of the acquisition in September 2012. Also leaving SingTel are Lydia Ng and Leya Teo from the digital marketing team and Lovey Chin, who was brand director, Mumbrella understands. Read more »

Optus promote ‘My Plan’ with Halloween-themed campaign

In the lead up to Halloween, Optus has been running a Halloween-themed campaign promoting its ‘My Plan’ mobile plans.

The campaign, managed by M&C Saatchi, Fuel Communications and Starcom, ran across radio, print, social media and online with a supporting PR campaign.

Short videos are being shared across Twitter and Facebook with the description “WARNING! Just like bill shock and spooky excess fees, this video will scare you!”

The videos are also running today only on YouTube, Boom seeding network and mobile Facebook paid ads.

Nathan Rosenberg, head of brand at Optus said: “Optus believes no one should receive a scary bill so Halloween is the perfect time to warn consumers to watch out and make sure the others don’t trick you with spooky excess fees.”

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Optus closes mobile TV app due to lack of demand

Optus messageOptus has told customers that it will shut down its mobile TV app from October 28 due to a lack of customer demand.

A spokeswoman for Optus confirmed the closure and said the decision was taken because of a lack of customers signing up for the product. “On 28 October 2013, Optus will be shutting down the Optus Mobile TV app for commercial reasons,” the spokeswoman told Mumbrella’s sister title Encore. Read more »

Fresh-faced Optus says Yes to My Plan in new campaign

An extensive campaign for Optus My Plan has been launched by M&C Saatchi in Sydney following last month’s overhaul of the brand.

The new logo, new look and new mascot unveiled in the ‘Declaration of Yes’ rebrand by M&C Saatchi’s brand consultancy Re, are the substance of the new multi-channel campaign for Optus My Plan, which claims to be the first mobile plan designed to help customers minimise excess fees.

In a 30 second TV commercial the new ‘helpful and endearing’ yellow Optus character explains the Optus My Plan changes in charges for customers who use extra data or calls, ‘flexing’, charging in minutes rather than dollar values, and providing unlimited standard national SMS and MMS every month.

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Fuel Communications wins Optus consumer and small to medium business accounts

Public relations agency Fuel Communications has won the account for Optus’s consumer and small to medium business accounts.

The announcement:

Leading independent, award winning PR agency, Fuel Communications has kicked-off 2013 with strong growth following its appointment as Optus’ consumer and SMB public relations agency and the addition of four new consultants to its team.

After a competitive pitch process, Fuel is now working with the Optus Corporate Affairs team to develop a consumer PR strategy that supports key business initiatives, with a focus on consumer lifestyle, national, metro and regional media. Fuel will also work across Optus’ sponsorship properties and major integrated campaigns.

A separate competitive pitch for Optus’ SMB portfolio was won by Fuel last week and will see Fuel roll out a 12 month program to position Optus SMB as a trusted advisor to small businesses.

Fuel is not new to the Optus business, having handled its regional communications program since 2011. In addition to a number of corporate projects, Fuel helped Optus launch its 4G network in September 2012. The “The Optus Fast Four” campaign brought together four of the world’s fastest record holders to build consumer awareness of the new network offering.

Managing Director of Fuel Communications, Mandy Galmes said, “Our strategy is to grow the business with clients who value our strong insight, creative thinking and no nonsense approach. And, importantly, we want to partner with brands that provide innovative and challenging work for our team.

“The Optus win is extremely exciting. As one of Australia’s leading brands, there is an enormous amount of scope for PR campaigns that centre on brand engagement. We look forward to working with Optus as it transforms into a customer centric business and challenges the traditional perception of telcos in this market,” Galmes said.

The Optus win caps off a strong new business streak for Fuel with several wins in both the consumer and B2B spaces. Most recently it won the Mi9 account which sees it supporting the company’s 80+ sites such as ninemsn, Nine News, Wide World of Sports, The FIX, The Australian Women’s Weekly, Grazia and Woman’s Day – to name a few.

To support its growth, Fuel has recruited four new consultants this year and is currently on the lookout for an ambitious, tenacious Account Manager with strong media relations experience as well as digital capabilities.

Source: Fuel Communications press release

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