The most important 964 words I’ll write this month

mUmBRELLA_360You know that pressure you feel when you know that the next paragraphs you write may have more impact on your next two months than any other action? That’s how I’m feeling.

You see, the early bird discount closes this Friday for Mumbrella360. This is my big chance to persuade you to book now. The easy bit is the $500 discount. The challenge though is getting across why this isn’t just another conference.  

So why should you invest two days (June 7 & 8, thanks very much for asking) in joining us at the Hilton Hotel in Sydney? Hopefully, for exactly the same reasons you read Mumbrella. My intention for Mumbrella360 is to make this more a conversation than a presentation.

We’ll be having around 50 sessions, spread across four streams. There will be very few monologues, and even fewer PowerPoint presentations. Regardless of whether you work in an ad agency, media agency, digital, PR, media sales, content creation or in a marketing role, the aim is that there’s something that’s not just relevant, but stimulating for you.

Our speakers and debates will give you insights into where the big players in the industry are going, and thoughts you might be able to apply to doing your own job better.

Richard FreudensteinThat goes right from our keynote speaker, Richard Freudenstein. He’s the boss of both News Digital Media and The Australian. He also run the UK’s subscription TV powerhouse BSkyB and was at the table when Foxtel was created. With News Limited making no secret that it is pursuing a pay wall strategy, and this being his only planned public speech this year, it’s fair to expect some clues on what comes next.

Another thing we’ve already announced is our major piece of research into the performance of Australia’s top 25 ad agencies. If you want to hear the results first, you’ll have to be there. I suspect that this session alone will provide more than enough insight into how the likes of pitch consultants and headhunters look at agencies to justify the price of a ticket.

Then a session which I can’t wait to hear is the one titled Telling Lies to Idiots? In all the advertising conferences I’ve covered, I’ve never heard a proper discussion of marketing ethics. With the likes of unashamed publicity spruiker Max Markson, former priest and now agency boss Peter Biggs and former McDonald’s marketer and now AANA chairman Joe Talcott (pictured, right), we’ll get some facinating perspectives.

Another provocatively named session comes from former creative Adam Hunt. For some reason his proposal – entitled Why Is Advertising so Fucking Boring? – was one of the most popular in our reader vote on curated sessions.

We’ve also got an Oscar winner. In the years I’ve been in Australia, I’ve only once been at a movie where the paying audience stayed to applaud. It was The King’s Speech – and fair to say that its producer Emile Sherman knows a thing or two about connecting with audiences.

He’ll be on a panel curated by our sister title Encore, which is the magazine for the screen industry. Other bigwigs on the panel for Encore Question Time include Screen Australia boss Ruth Harley and president of the Screen Producers Association of Australia, Antony Ginnane.

There’s also plenty of individual stories to learn from. Take Happy Soldiers’ idea for Tontine – giving pillows best-by dates. It was one of the most imaginative ways to redefine a category I’ve ever come across.  It’s already picked up gold at the AWARD Awards and both best ad and best media campaign at the AdNews Awards. I’d be amazed – and disappointed – if it isn’t a big winner at Cannes too. They’ll be explaining how they did it.

Also on the programme is the story of how an agency account manager, a Google engineer and a lawyer put together one of the world’s great online retail success stories. Jodie Fox, formerly of the Campaign Palace and co-founder of Shoes of Prey, will tell her story.

And then there’s Masterchef. It’s a brand that has build success not just as a TV franchise, but also as a sponsorship vehicle, online destination, magazine product and live event. We’ll be hearing from various spokes of the Masterchef Wheel of Value including Fremantle Media Enterprises CEO Jon Penn.

Another discussion that’s overdue covers the question of why women still struggle to win senior roles in certain parts of the media and marketing industry. Curated by Mango Communications MD Simone Drewry, our panel includes ACP Magazines’ public face Deborah Thomas, Communications Council board member Lindsey Evans and GPY&R Brands CEO Russel Howcroft. They will also be joined by McDonald’s COO Helen Nash.

And there are a couple of what I reckon will be hugely significant media sessions. One will draw up – live – a brand new manifesto for the media industry. And in a double session, five of the most powerful media agency bosses in the country will be joined by the four most senior TV sales directors to discuss the coming move to electronic trading and the huge impact it will have on the whole media landscape.

Considering we’ll be running around 50 sessions, there’s plenty more that we’ve already announced that I don’t have room for here – and there’s a lot more to come too, including a couple of killer sessions on PR.

But I fear I’m starting to ramble. Which is a shame, because I really want you to come. Have I persuaded you? If so, why not click this link and take a look at the Mumbrella360 website? There’s more details and all the information you need to book. Remember, if you do it by Friday, you’ll save five hundred bucks.

No pressure.

Tim Burrowes

  • (This item was originally written as a note to subscribers to Mumbrella’s daily email)

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