Mumbrella360 recap – Coles CMO Simon McDowell: ‘Don’t be fooled by the sizzle on the sausage’

m360In the first instalment of a series to run in the coming days, we recap the highlights from Coles Group’s chief marketing officer Simon McDowell’s appearance at Mumbrella360 last month.

On stage with Mumbrella’s Tim Burrowes, McDowell discussed:

  • The story behind Coles’ promotion with One Direction;
  • Being a brave brand;
  • Turning the brand around – “Everybody’s come for exactly the same reason which is to try and build the most famous brand in Australia – retail or otherwise. That’s the mantra”.
  • Why you don’t need to take yourself seriously,  to take what you do seriously;
  • The annoying and shouty “Jenny the new girl” and how she is part of the strategy to get Aussies to associate “new” with Coles;
  • Coles’ brand ambassador Curtis Stone’s role in the store’s freshness messages;
  • Whether MasterChef drove Coles’ success or Coles gave MasterChef the leg up;
  • The strategy behind Status Quo and why bringing prices down isn’t a joke.

To see all five parts of the video interview now, download this week’s Encore.

Encore issue 22This story first appeared in the weekly edition of Encore available for iPad and Android tablets. Visit for a preview of the app or click below to download.


  1. Macman2
    12 Jul 13
    1:51 pm

  2. Every time the shouty Coles ads come on, I turn them off.

    What works for our family is the 16c a litre and a bigger range than our local “other brand” supermarket.

  3. Chris Gulland
    12 Jul 13
    9:26 pm

  4. great interview , thanks

  5. Bentos
    13 Jul 13
    10:28 am

  6. I might be in the minority, but I avoid shopping at Coles because of their advertising. You can shove your big red quote I’m sick of hearing about it. I don’t care how fresh you claim your seafood is, every time I’ve been to Coles your seafood is so old it would scare a cat. And Curtis, good for him making some money, but he was way better in surfing the menu.