Battle of Media: Rounds 1 & 2 Cinema and Outdoor Advertising win

The hotly-contested Mumbrella360 Battle of the Media kicked off this morning with ‘prostitution’ and ‘love’ both used as weapons in the contest for media supremacy.

The first and second rounds saw outdoor advertising defeat online, and cinema defeat direct mail as the mediums went head to head in the main auditorium of the Hilton Hotel.

Richard Herring, CEO of APN Outdoor and chairman of the Outdoor Media Association, was the first to present his case opening with a comparison between outdoor advertising and prostitution. 

He followed this with an tongue-in-cheek attack on online advertising, describing its main purpose as an “interruption” of people browsing the web.

His counterpart Samantha Yorke, the acting CEO of IAB Australia, spoke on behalf of online advertising and she spent the first portion of her debate explaining why a lawyer would represent online advertising. Even going so far as to wear a barrister’s wig on stage.

She explained define why online had the ‘X factor’ and said she hoped the “jury” would “feel” online advertising was the medium of “the future.”

York also said online advertising spend had overtaken print advertising and would overtake TV this year. Yorke also coopted the audience to stand if they used a mobile device or tablet. Unsurprisingly the vast majority of the audience of the crowded room stood and stayed that way.

Judges Chris Walton of Quantium, Jon Chadwick of Maxus, and Ben Wicks of  Kraft Foods’ chocolate division, presided over the debates commended the heavy use of multimedia and some solid mud-slinging.

All three judges said they enjoyed the tongue lashing Herring gave online as well as the reference to prostitution in the first two minutes of his speech. Wick said he wanted to hear more about the impact of outdoor, referencing Vivid Light. Chadwick said he would like to see Herring explore the medium’s challenge of people “glazing over” and not noticing outdoor.

Wicks said the argument was compelling but the medium “comes down to content.” Walton said he would have liked to see Yorke attack her opponent more while Chadwick said: “growth alone does not mean a medium has the X factor.”

In Round 2 Clemenger BBDO Melbourne’s Peter Biggs  went into bat for direct mail against reigning champ Damian Keogh of Val Morgan, representing cinema, and result was much closer.

Biggs opened saying humans would only retain a limited amount of information and advertisers had to make something stick. His argument was direct mail was something consumers held on to and therefore remembered.

He then showed a quick clip from the 1963 film Cleopatra. “Love affairs are started by having something directly delivered to you,” he said after the scene had ended. “There is a need for brands to stick by being engaging, compelling and unique.”

Biggs went on to differentiate direct mail from junk mail by focusing on engagement. “How many ads on the television do you keep? How many from the internet? Outdoor? The cinema?  I’m sure all of you, like me, keep these pieces of direct mail because they’re personal and relevant and because they mean something because somebody has cared,” he said.

Keogh opened strongly, promoting cinema by saying brands are built on the screen with the biggest screen being the cinema screen. He even used the trailer for The Hangover Part III as a recent example of the brand power behind cinema.

The Val Morgan CEO went on to say cinema was a powerful advertiser because it had a “captive audience” who didn’t have the opportunity to leave or skip.

Keogh also wasn’t afraid to attack his opponent, saying cinema was more “environmental”.

When the judges gave their notes, they all said Keogh was playing to his strengths. Walton said he would have like to see more examples of forward thinking instead of focussing on the past, something all contestants had been doing on the morning.

Cameron Boon 


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