Opinion | Features
- With publishers struggling to monetise digital and marketers unable to achieve cut through John McLean argues it's time to ditch banner ads and get collaborating. In a medium infatuated and necessitated by innovation, display advertising has been criminally bereft of it since it’s inception 20 years ago. The first banner ad appeared in Wired Magazine in 1994* and little has changed since around 2000 when rich media placements became more common due to better connection speeds.
- With Buzzfeed pushing to be recognised as a news site Ciaran Norris looks at why it matters for new online media outlets to be seen as serious. Every morning on its News Breakfast show the ABC runs through the major stories on the front pages of the day’s newspapers, covering everything from the Sydney Morning Herald to The Age, the Daily Telegraph to The Mercury. But it has also, for some time, included the homepage of the Australian version of The Guardian which differs from the rest of the organisations included because it has no printed version.
- In this cross-posting from The Conversation Michael Cowling asks whether the recent controversy over the Facebook Messenger app shows people have reached the limit of what information they're willing to give away to companies. The recent furore about the Facebook Messenger app has unearthed an interesting question: how far are we willing to allow our privacy to be pushed for our social connections? In the case of the Facebook Messenger app, the answer appears to be: “Not as far as Facebook thinks.” For those who are not yet on Facebook (yes, there are some), the social media giant has been asking all users who want to continue sending messages to their Facebook friends on their mobile devices to download a Facebook Messenger app. Facebook is preparing to stop the chat feature on its main Facebook app.
- Instant messaging is the new digital battle ground. Daniel Young looks at what impact this battle might have for the traditional social networks. The social media landscape is changing, again, and the new players are demanding brands shift their mindset - from being human to getting personal.
- In the wake of the decision by retailer Woolworths to retain Carat as its media agency, Mumbrella's Nic Christensen asks if the much-maligned pitch for the $240m account is a case study in how clients should not treat their agencies. It's funny how history has a habit of repeating itself, but you'd like to think the marketing world would occasionally learn a trick or two. Some of the decisions in the process which led to the decision by Woolworths to keep its mammoth media account at Carat certainly make you wonder what goes through the minds of some clients when they pitch.
- In this cross-posting from The Conversation science astronomer Michael J. I. Brown shares his experiences in debating with and challenging online trolls. I often like to discuss science online and I’m also rather partial to topics that promote lively discussion, such as climate change, crime statistics and (perhaps surprisingly) the big bang. This inevitably brings out the trolls. “Don’t feed the trolls” is sound advice, but I’ve ignored it on occasion – including on The Conversation and Twitter – and I’ve been rewarded. Not that I’ve changed the minds of any trolls, nor have I expected to.
- Using big data to look at past trends is not the best way to work out what your customers want, argues Peter Swan of the UNSW Australia Business School in this cross-posting from The Conversation. A passer-by happens upon a drunk searching for a lost wallet under a streetlight. With nothing in plain sight, the passer-by asks “Where did you drop your wallet?”. “Over there,” gestures the drunk across the street, “but I’m looking here because this is where the light is.”
- This has been a bad week for the newspaper industry, says Mumbrella's Tim Burrowes As far as Australian newspapers go, this has been a most disillusioning week. I love 'em - but jeez, they make it hard.
- After the tragic news of Robin Williams' death after a struggle with depression Oli Shawyer shares the story of his battle with the black dog, and how talking about it helped him beat it. The news of Robin Williams rocked me to my core yesterday. I didn’t know the man personally but there is something so profoundly tragic about a comedian, someone whose job it is to make us laugh every day, suffering so intensely. To be fair, it’s a testament to how fucked up depression really is – that it can somewhat delude a man beloved by so many people, into deciding that he is better off dead.
- In this cross-posting from The Conversation Nicholas Sheppard of Victoria University explores what measures have so far been tried, and failed, to stop copyright infringement and piracy. There’s been a bit of talk recently about getting internet service providers (ISPs) involved in the enforcement of copyright law. The federal Attorney-General and Minister for Communications recently released an Online Copyright Infringement Discussion Paper in the belief that "even where an ISP does not have a direct power to prevent a person from doing a particular infringing act, there still may be reasonable steps that can be taken by the ISP to discourage or reduce online copyright infringement". Exactly what might be “reasonable steps” and how they might be funded are among the subjects up for discussion. Critics fear that it means turning ISPs into copyright police.
- In this guest post, Darren Woolley wonders which role in an agency – creative, media, digital, planning or account management – is the most valuable to the client. In benchmarking the cost of an ad agency’s staff, you generally find that the rate a client pays is commensurate with the experience or seniority of the resource. But the question of value goes beyond just cost to determining the return on the investment. So in considering the value we need to balance the cost of the resource against how much they contribute to the ROI.
- Yesterday satirist John Oliver launched a blistering attack on native advertising describing it as "repurposed bovine waste". In this guest post, content marketing specialist Richard Parker calls bullshit on Oliver's argument. I’m usually a big fan of John Oliver. What’s not to like? The lefty credentials? The anti-Fox news stance? The fact that he’s from Birmingham? But his latest piece vilifying native advertising leaves me a bit cold.
- In recent days 'tapegate' has consumed much of the Victorian political news cycle. In this cross posting from The Conversation academic Mark Pearson looks at legalities around journalists recording sources. It is a sad day when senior political figures steal a journalist’s recording device and destroy its contents, as we have been told happened at this year’s Victorian Labor Party conference. But it is an even sadder day when we hear a major newspaper – The Age – justifying a senior reporter secretly recording their conversations with sources.
- With controversy over the criteria of entry for some Cannes Lions categories Phil Johnston argues the Creative Effectiveness category is the most rigorous 'effie' in the world. Don’t worry. I’m not entering the debate on whether some Lion winners are scam. There are enough voices on that. And my starting point isn’t even creativity. Because let’s not forget that creativity is just a means to an end. What is that end? Meeting our clients’ objectives, whatever they may be. That’s what I’m here to do.
- Mumbrella will no longer attend the Cannes Lions. Mumbrella's Tim Burrowes argues that the scam in Cannes has become too much... I love everything about the Cannes Lions experience. So I'm sad that I'm probably never going to get to do it again.
Top of the Lake to screen at Sundance Film Festival
An Australian production will be the first TV series to screen in its entirety at the Sundance Film Festival.
Top of the Lake is a six by one-hour drama co-directed by The Piano’s Jane Campion and Garth Davis, director of Toohey’s Nocturnal Migration ad.
The series will screen in the festival’s Premieres program.
The series is co-written by Campion and Gerard Lee and produced by Philippa Campbell and executive produced by See-Saw Films’ Emile Sherman and Iain Canning, producers of The King’s Speech and Shame.
Sherman said: “It’s such a thrill to be showing Top of the Lake, See-Saw Films’ first foray into television. It is testament to the pioneering spirit of the Sundance Film Festival that they have invited us as well as a demonstration of the fact that there is no longer a divide between film and television. We are incredibly proud to have worked with the brilliant Jane Campion on Top of the Lake and look forward to sharing her vision with audiences in Utah.”
The series is produced in association with Screen Australia, Screen NSW and Fulcrum Media for BBC Two, UKTV and the Sundance Channel.
The production, filmed in Queenstown, New Zealand stars Elisabeth Moss, Holly Hunter, David Wenham and Peter Mullan and follows a detective investigating the disappearance of a 12 year old pregnant girl, who is also the daughter of a local drug lord.
Screening alongside Top of the Lake is Australian-French co-production, Two Mothers, starring Australians Naomi Watts, Ben Mendelsohn, Xavier Samuel and James Frecheville, directed by Anne Fontaine and adapted from a Doris Lessing novel. The film is produced by Hopscotch Features’ Andrew Mason as well as Ciné-@, Mon Voisin Productions, Guamont and France 2 Cinema.
Sundance takes place from January 17-27. Top of the Lake will screen in Australia on UKTV in March 2013.
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