Battle of the Media Semi-finals: Outdoor Advertising and Magazines win

BattleOutdoor advertising will go up against magazines in the final battle of the media tonight at 6pm’s Mumbrella360 finale after newspapers and cinema were knocked out of the game.

Val Morgan Cinema CEO Damian Keogh opened the debate by presenting the key points of cinema advertising – that it can relay a message in a creative and interactive way to a captive audience in a target group but APN Outdoor CEO Richard Herring said that without outdoor advertising people might not go to cinemas in the first place.

“How do you get people to come to the movies to create the audience to fall to the advertisers? You have got the trailers but it’s not enough so outdoor will be the primary medium to drive people to cinemas,” he said.

Herring compared the dimensions of the big screen, and bigger billboards. He said outdoor advertising is “ubiquitous”, multidimensional, has a wide reach, is on 24/7, uses digital technology to connect with consumers, and threw in some “bullshit” facts in between.

Judge Nick Baker, chief marketing officer at Tourism Australia, flashed Herring a “big yellow card for the use of bullshit”, but still praised the presentation along with judges Andrew Livingston, CEO of Initiative Australia, and Simon Rutherford, CEO at Slingshot Media. The voting clearly in favor of outdoor was called from the stage.

The Newspaper Works CEO Mark Hollands opened with powerful photographs of key moments in politics, sport, and international events, to dramatic classical music then closed with the statement: “Newspapers have been transformed, but the dedication to telling a good yarn is as strong as ever.”

“Being able to tell a good yarn of itself is not sufficient,” he said. “Circulations are falling but for newspapers our audiences are growing.”

With a rise in digital sales and a readership of 1.3million people in Sydney alone, Hollands put across a compelling case for newspapers. And he said, magazines within newspapers such as Good Weekend and Body and Soul have a dedicated readership of their own.

“The strength of newspaper reader engagement, the depth of content are too powerful to resist; that’s the X factor,” he said.

Judges praised his presentation of positive statistics, and how newspapers publish successful magazines as well.

But when Bauer Media Group’s director of sales Tony Kendall stepped up to the stage, he argued magazines are better for advertisers.

“The X Factor is women,” he said. “Women are the most important demographic for all marketers and corporations are finally realizing this.”

People also pay more for magazines so they keep them for longer and share them with friends, while newspapers are slung in the recycling bin. And they include more positive content than the daily news.

“Brands want positive associations and there isn’t much good news in the paper,” he said.

Kendall’s argument for advertisers impressed the judges although they said he could have gone stronger in the argument for digital.

Magazines won the round, meaning Kendall will enter the finals against Herring tonight.


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