2015 Annual: The year that was – October

annual2015 (1)2015 was another year of major change and transformation in the media and marketing world. Mumbrella’s Nic Christensen and Miranda Ward provide a month-by-month recap of the most read and biggest stories that affected the industry.

Westpac kickstarted October with its not-at-all scripted exchange with Airbnb on Twitter.westpac airbnb twitter 10

Social media users quickly called out the brands’ lack of authenticity and no one was surprised when the two brands unveiled its marketing arrangement days later which involved Westpac giving away 50 $250 Airbnb vouchers, while using the promotion to spruik its home loan packages.

On the ad campaigns front, Bonds grabbed men by the “proverbials” by creating a pair of talking testicles in a novel approach to the marketing of men’s underwear. Instead of focusing directly on the benefits of its underwear, Bonds illustrated the life and ‘thoughts’ of a pair of balls forced to live in an ill-fitting pair of undies.

In a win for adland, Network Ten’s executive general manager Russel Howcroft managed to outrate his own talent with the ABC’s Gruen beating Ten’s The Bachelorette with an audience of 926,000 metropolitan viewers on the evening of October 7.

wil anderson todd sampson russel howcroft

Andre AgassiSean Cummins revealed former tennis superstars Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf were the latest partners in his global independent ad network Cummins & Partners. The married former world number ones took 15 per cent stake in Cummins & Partners North America, which currently consists of an office in New York and Toronto, but will also include an office in London which Cummins said would be opening in the next six months.

N2N Communications head of social Jamie Verco ignited a debate when he said the PR person “is the smartest person in the room” when it comes to collaborating with other agencies to solve a client’s problem.

“We’re the smartest people in the room. In the last decade the average ATAR [Australian Tertiary Admission Rank] score for a person that we employ would be north of 95,” he said.

“When we’re sitting in a cross-agency room we’ve got some pretty smart people that can contribute to the conversation. The other thing is we have good rates. We have the intelligence, the creativity and we bring strong solutions to those problems.”

Woolworths killed off its much-maligned ‘Cheap Cheap’ tagline in favour of a new positioning ‘Always at Woolworths’. While ‘Cheap Cheap’ had been similar to Coles’ ‘Down Down’ strategy, so was ‘Always at Woolworths’ akin to Coles strategy to highlight its ‘Everyday’ low prices.

October saw The Bachelorette – the TV show that kept on giving – garner more headlines when The Daily Mail Australia managed to upset fans, and Channel Ten, by posting a photo of Bachelorette Sam with her new man, ruining the show’s finale episode. Ten won a court injunction against the publisher who had to pull down the spoiler story. Despite the spoiler, the finale pulled in 1.52m metro viewers.

Daily Mail

October also saw Woolworths upset its loyalty customers when it rebranded its Everyday Rewards offering and ended its Qantas points arrangement.


Nine Entertainment Co unveiled its overhaul of its corporate brand, as well as announcing a slew of new services, channels and a programmatic play at its 2016 upfront event. The event saw the channel announce its move to simulcast its main channel in definition, its new lifestyle multichannel NineLife, a live streaming strategy named NineNow, a focus on more Australian content and a move towards a data strategy leading to automated TV buying.

October finished with more Sam Frost related news with the Hit Network jumping on the love for the former Bachelorette and naming her Rove McManus’ breakfast show partner for Sydney radio station 2Day Hit 104.1.

McManus and Frost: On-air from Monday.


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