Mumbrella Question Time: are the days of the million dollar commercial over?

Melhuish: "You can shoot a million-dollar ad and it can be great value."

In the next in our series of the best of the Mumbrella360 conference, Enero’s Matthew Melhuish, AANA’s Inese Kingsmill, Google’s Nick Leeder and Aegis boss Harold Mitchell give Mumbrella editor Tim Burrowes their views on whether the days of the Australian million-dollar commercial are over.

The question followed a statement put out by the Australian Association of National Advertisers last month.

Then, AANA CEO Scott McClellan, said: “The days of the million dollar production as the accepted norm in our industry appear to be coming to an end. Advertisers are increasingly turning to innovative, lower cost production and distribution techniques to reach their target audience.”

The video highlights feature:

  • Harold Mitchell, executive chairman, Aegis Pacific
  • Nick Leeder, managing director, Google Australia
  • Inese Kingsmill, director of corporate marketing, Telstra and chair, AANA
  • Matthew Melhuish, CEO, Enero Group


  1. The Million $ Man
    1 Aug 12
    5:51 pm

  2. The reason $1m briefs aren’t on the table anymore is because there are so many ex-agency staff on the client side and they know how much they are getting ripped off!

  3. Richard Moss
    2 Aug 12
    9:00 am

  4. Did you hear Nick? “When you think about Australia, you think about pictures right?”

    What do you think about when you think about shopping? Do you know anyone who thinks in text? Shakespeare invented the phrase “In my minds eye” long before moving pictures or colour image printing.

    Smoking is a habit linked to many deaths every year, I remember the cinema ads (I even voiced and appeared in one) which were often better productions than the film or films that followed them. Today there is comparably no advertising what so ever for the suckers, yet they continue to sell.

    “Everyone is looking for value for money ” Yes, but “value for money” has the face of Janus, and it depends on where you stand on the buying – selling scale.

    I don’t understand what Inese was trying to tell us; the platforms are many and varied now, but the quality of work must never diminish and the quality of the media will only improve. So I would expect any cost cuts to be short lived at best.

    Radio and print have been with us for many many years, and the lowering of standards has shown itself in very poor quality and even slipshod work in some cases. Print and Radio are old platforms, but they still require excellence.

    Today as ever before, casting peanuts generally attracts monkeys, and the ship can still be lost for a ha’p’orth of tar.