Opinion | Features
- As huge changes blow through the Australian media agency landscape Nikki Retallick argues the smaller more collaborative companies will be the ones to thrive. It’s a great time to be in the Australian ad industry. The winds of change are blowing. With the recent launch of Department212 and the success of earlier start-ups such as Bohemia, there’s some real momentum towards the rise of the independent, performance-based media agency. The big agencies are starting to follow suit, having seen the ‘race to the bottom on price’ hit their bottom line. It’s all about delivering measurable value now and being able to move the dial on the clients’ business.
- Last night ANZ launched one of Australia's biggest branded content plays to date. Mumbrella's Tim Burrowes was at the launch. It took a few minutes too long last night for it to dawn on me why there was a jazz band in the corner of the room at ANZ's Melbourne conference suite. Blue Notes - gerrit? And what last night's event did make clear is that the opportunities of that developing subset of branded content, brand journalism, are beginning to dawn on local brands.
- Recently there was another report from the scientists of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) telling us that climate change (what used to be called global warming) is upon us and there are real changes happening now (I bet I’ve lost several readers already!) The scientists are urging us to heed their warning and change our behaviours, yet we ignoring them in droves. Even though information they are giving us is dire.
- The Daily Telegraph has delivered a great piece of old fashioned campaigning journalism, argues Mumbrella's Tim Burrowes Back when I worked in newspapers, I was taught that if a newspaper is going to embark on a campaign, it has to pass three tests.
- Following a series of special reports on piracy on Mumbrella this week Foxtel's Bruce Meagher explains why the company is airing Game of Thrones as it is. Much has been made in the past few days of the fact that fans of Game of Thrones are unable to acquire the series through services other than Foxtel until after the final episode airs. Unfortunately, there has also been much misinformation about how Foxtel is making Game of Thrones available to the public.
- This year's Mumbrella Awards are going to be tougher to enter than ever before. Which makes winning one worth even more. As the call for entries goes live, Tim Burrowes explains the changes for this year. Please don't hate me. I hear a common complaint about some industry awards, and I'm afraid it's mostly my fault.
- With the battle for early evening eyeballs increasingly important for commercial TV networks Amanda Meade looks at the numbers to see if the most popular newsreaders are the most watched. Despite dramatic changes to the media landscape in the past ten years, the traditional 6pm commercial news bulletin on free-to-air television remains a key building block in a network’s schedule - get it right and you can carry big audiences over to your primetime shows. Some bulletins have even expanded from 30 minutes to an hour in the main markets of Sydney and Melbourne.
- This week Adam Ferrier asks whether PR is starting to mean everything and nothing, and whether it is any different from traditional advertising. I've been thinking about the PR industry lately and where PR fits in the broader communications landscape. I've thought about it a lot, and worked with most models from integration under one roof to partner agencies, and a few things in-between.
- After a rare business class flight, Mumbrella's Tim Burrowes argues that brands may miss opportunities when staff treat customers according to their perceived value. So over the weekend, I finally got to make the metaphorical left turn getting onto a Qantas flight. And it was everything I could have wanted.
- This week in his Answers for Adam column Adam Ferrier asked whether agencies should imitate startups. Here Nic Hodges argues agencies need to focus on their ideas, but modernise processes. In his column this week Adam Ferrier asks "would your agency be doing better work if it put data, behavioural sciences, and technology up on pedestal along with creativity? Or is a single-minded focus on creativity still the answer?". Here's a secret - nobody at a startup is sitting around caring about acting more like an advertising agency.
- After Graham White's response to Joe Hildebrand's CommsCon speech generated some heated debate on the state of the PR industry, Rob Lowe argues 'PR agencies' are already dying out. PR agencies will cease to exist in the next ten years. Is that shocking enough for you? Well it’s true. Too many PR agencies are outdated, the traditional media landscape is shrinking, and with increasing numbers of advertising, social media and even SEO agencies getting in on the action, we need to smarten up.
- With Cannes Young Lions entries closing on Friday former winner Iggy Rodriguez has the reasons why you should pull an all nighter to finish your entry. Okay, sure it’s the last minute, but plenty of famous campaigns have been written right before a big meeting or on the night before a pitch. You’ve got a few days, so you’re laughing.
- This week Adam Ferrier asks whether ad agencies should be embracing startup culture more, or continuing to focus single-mindedly on creativity. “The thing I hate the most about advertising is that it attracts all the bright, creative and ambitious young people, leaving us mainly with the slow and self-obsessed to become our artists”. Banksy (apparently?!) The above quote is around ten years old and I wonder if it’s still relevant. I’m getting the sense that the new breed of creative folk who want to make a buck are not entering advertising – but rather being seduced by the technology fuelled ‘start-up’ culture. For example is it cooler to attend the Cannes Lions or tweet about the latest gadget unveiled at SXSW?
- It’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.
- While 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.
Louder than Words creates campaign for Sir Walter Lawns
A series of comic TV commercials for Sir Walter lawns have been created by production company Louder than Words.
In the ads an overweight man jogging down the street is dazzled by a lawn he passes and stops to enjoy the feel of the grass.
In the 30 second TVC he lays down on the grass and interrupted by the homeowner who stands over him and asks if he can help. The relaxing jogger replies: “This has got to be Sir Walter.” The ad closes with the tagline: “Sir Walter Buffalo lawn, Australia’s number one.”
There is also a 15 second version of the ad, as well as two more 15 second ads that show the passing jogger stop and remove his running shoe to feel the grass between his toes and lie down to take a photo of himself on the lawn.
“When the guys at Louder Than Words pitched the concept to us we knew it was a winner right away,” said Sir Walter managing director Gavin Rogers.
“We kept them on a pretty tight budget, but they did a sensational job and we’re delighted with the ads.”
He added: “Sir Walter is a premium lawn product, but as a brand we try not to take ourselves too seriously. These new ads continue that theme, with our hero character so overwhelmed by finding a Sir Walter lawn that he completely forgets himself.”
Rogers said TV has long been a part of Sir Walter Lawns sustained marketing strategy and sales have increased by 10 per cent over the past 12 months.
Production company Louder than Words was established in 2002 and is experienced in corporate, web and low-budget TVC work. It’s in-house staff of nine have been working on medium budget TVCs over last 18 months. Louder than Words also launched sister company Production Cafe last year.
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