2015 Annual: The top 10 guest posts

annual2015 (1)Mumbrella has had some great contributions from the industry this year, from Mamamia denouncing clickbait to an honest take on the first 100 days switching from ad agency to PR, and a defence of why Ellie Laing deserves her job at SBS. Here are the 10 most read op-eds of 2015.

Mamamia has said goodbye to clickbait. It is dead

Kate SpiesMamamia says it has quit clickbait. In this guest post Mamamia Women’s Network’s Kate Spies explains why.

2015 is the year that clickbait died. We as a network are embracing it, RIP and good riddance. And, we have seen our engagement metrics bolstered because of this strategic shift, on our site and on social. In fact, we have the sixth most engaging Facebook page in Australia.

The move away from clickbait is an evolution and it is one that we will continue to work on. Our readers have asked us for that, and customer advocacy underpins everything that we do. It is our reason for being, and we will never underestimate the value of that two-way communication in shaping our digital offering.

Just because I’m a white young woman doesn’t mean I don’t deserve my job at SBS

Ellie LaingIn this opinion piece SBS journalist Ellie Laing hits back at a report in The Australian suggesting she and colleagues were hired because they were attractive.

I’m a 32 year old married woman who like so many, endures a daily struggle with frizzy hair and the occasional breakout.

So when a compliment suggesting I might be, in some way, “attractive” comes my way, I’ll take it.

With delight.

Filmmakers rejoice as Tropfest drops dead

David TaylorWhile films fans bemoan the sudden cancellation of Australia’s biggest short film festival Tropfest Michael Taylor says filmmakers will not miss it. 

There’s a perception that artistic institutions are inherently ‘good’ places. They’re ethical, liberal, open-minded and strong proponents of free speech. While the banks, mining companies and law firms are ripping people off, the film and music festivals are balancing the scales by contributing to our rich culture, supporting free speech and providing an outlet for artists to express themselves.

That’s the perception.

The demise of Tropfest came as a shock to most local filmmakers in Australia. Despite this feeling of surprise, across most bars in Melbourne’s inner north, I would suspect that the words ‘good riddance’ were shared among writers and directors over a few pints of ‘2 Birds’. This is because most filmmakers in Australia don’t take Tropfest seriously.

Gen Y want mentors, not ping pong

Rachael LonerganThe media agency world is notorious for its high churn rate. Foundation’s Rachael Lonerganlooks at what Gen Y employees at her business want and argues it’s not the added frills that many agencies try to offer. 

I work for a boutique media agency where around 75 per cent of employees are under the age of 30.

We don’t have the space or to be frank, the budgets, to provide our staff with the workplace playgrounds ubiquitous in the larger agencies, who seem to have everything on offer from sleep pods, to ping pong and foosball tables, in house baristas and bars that are fancier than the wine bar down the street.

We do offer a fully stocked kitchen (for breakfasts and healthy snacks), a well-used Nespresso machine and a mini-fridge stocked with a few beers, cider and wine. But on the toys and distractions front, we cannot compete with the majors.

Why no-one watched your branded video



The majority of brand funded videos only draw a handful of viewers. Jamie Crick argues marketers are failing to take a very basic principle into account when drawing up their plans. 

Asked to name two marketing growth areas, many would pick online video and content marketing.

Both ultimately owe their ascent to the bandwidth improvements that are shifting consumer demand away from scheduled programming – and they’re coming together as never before now that the SVOD market has reached a level of maturity in Australia.

This is not new news, but whereas five years ago the typical branded video brief was to ‘make something viral’, thankfully now there’s generally an understanding that content marketing (including video), should have a longer-term view than just one-off (hopeful) hits.

Don’t blame Netflix for the audience shift to streaming, blame the TV Networks

Nathan CookIt’s not the streaming services stealing viewers from free-to-air, it’s the TV network’s abandonment of natural half hour scheduling which is luring audiences away and creating a new 9pm online “primetime”argues Maxus’s Nathan Cook. 

Free-to-air networks need to stop blaming Netflix. It’s not the streaming platform’s fault consumers are making the switch.

A lot of the disloyalty among viewers has been caused by TV network arrogance in the way they treat viewers.

Local programming that runs over, US programming that doesn’t air day-in-date. Living in the global community, how can we expect people’s curiosity won’t get the better of them, driving viewers to seek content elsewhere?

100 days in PR: Carl Ratcliff reflects on the differences between PR and ad agencies

carl ratcliffHaving spent his career at creative agencies Carl Ratcliff moved from Naked Communications to lead One Green Bean earlier this year. Here he takes stock of his first 100 days in the CEO role and reflects on the differences between an ad agency and a PR agency.

There’s a whole host of prose out there about your first 100 days.

In terms of taking stock. And sizing your wares. What to change, what to fix, what to leave exactly as it is.

‘Do nothing’, a previous boss has said to me.

‘Do everything’, another.

The media needs to stop condoning the booing and bullying of Adam Goodes

adam-ferrierMedia commentators not condemning the booing of AFL star Adam Goodes are effectively condoning bullying argues Adam Ferrier.

I have always admired Adam Goodes. Dual Brownlow medallist, premiership player, Australian of the Year, continued good work for indigenous people. He certainly deserves respect. Don’t know if I like him or not though, never met the guy.

However, Alan Jones commented on the issue recently and said the reason Goodes is getting booed is just that, ‘Because they just don’t like the fellow’.

What a damaging thing to say, and surely it’s not as simple as that?

Digital advertising. Where did it all go wrong?

eaon pritchard red jelly planner stragetyEaon Pritchard argues the current obsession with adtech and data-driven advertising doesn’t help brands, publishers or consumers, and is actually doing more harm than good.

By 1971 Manchester United’s Irish star George Best’s hectic off-field celebrity lifestyle had began to take its toll on his effectiveness on the pitch.

Arguably the most talented footballer of his (or just about any) generation George had lost interest in the game, developing a reputation for general unreliability and missing both training sessions and matches.

This erratic behaviour was connected to Best’s developing problem with alcoholism. He eventually parted company with United (and football) during the 1973/4 season, at the end of which Manchester United were relegated.

What if the #YourTaxis ‘fiasco’ is actually good social media, not bad?

Simon VeksnerIn this guest post, Simon Veksner argues the widely panned #YourTaxis campaign was actually far from the social media fail of the year. called it “the social media fail of the year.” It was featured on Gruen, Buzzfeed, in The Australian, The Guardian… and of course it trended on Twitter.

In case you haven’t heard, theVictorian Taxi Association’s request for people to share their taxi stories attracted a shitstorm of tweets such as “It smelled like a wookiee’s armpit” “I was preached at about how Somali immigrants are destroying Australia for 25 minutes” and “Driver fell asleep on freeway and almost wiped out car in next lane because he’d pulled an all-nighter.”


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