The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age launch new brand platform

The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age have revealed a major brand and subscriber campaign focused on their brand purpose – to promote independent thinking and open understanding.

The new campaign, which was created by creative agency BMF, will run across television, Broadcast Video on Demand, cinema, digital, social, outdoor and print.

It aims to highlight the broad, independent perspective provided by the respective titles’ journalist.

The ad campaign reads: “Dear closed minds, you’ve polarised, ostracised, you’ve started wars, racism, sexism. You really changed the world, so consider this a cease and desist. Ongoing closed mindedness will be met with extreme nuance, deep inquiry, difficult questions. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. Sincerely, The Sydney Morning Herald.”

It comes after a year of record subscriber uptake in 2020 for both The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age as readers turned to news amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kristen Turner, Nine’s head of consumer subscriptions, said: “2020 was a year of significant growth for our brands. In 2021, we need to assert our role in provoking the conversations Australia needs to progress, beyond the relentless news cycle. Both to create and retain tomorrow’s subscribers.

“Our new campaign draws on extensive customer insights and speaks to the incredible journalism we produce. It also speaks to the unique role The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age play within our political and social discourse.

“We believe the distinct and bold platform BMF has created will strengthen our position as Australia’s leading mastheads and continue to drive connection and growth for our brands.”

The campaign television commercial directed by Patrick Clair – winner of two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Main Title Design for his work on True Detective and The Man in the High Castle – takes aim at closed minds everywhere.

BMF chief creative officer, Christina Aventi said: “As Aussies we value being open as a culture, but our ability to understand differences has been fading due to filter bubbles and echo chambers. The Herald and The Age offer balance over bias, reporting from the centre, not a side to inspire debate over division.”

David Roberts, BMF creative director, added: “Every day, Sydney Morning Herald and Age journos pry open the truth and are unflinching in the face of threats. We hope this campaign does justice to their grit and resolve.”


Creative Agency: BMF

Chief Creative Officer: Alex Derwin

Creative Director: David Roberts

Art Director: Jack Robertson

Copywriter: Rob Boddington

Creatives: Emily Field and Kiah Nicholas

Head of Art & Design: Lincoln Grice

Designer: Mina Melis

Chief Strategy Officer: Christina Aventi

Planning Director: Sarah Hood

Chief Executive Officer: Stephen McArdle

General Manager: Paul Coles

Group Account Director: Anna Lawrenson

Head of TV: Jenny Lee-Archer

Agency Producer: Claire Seffrin

Director: Patrick Clair

Production Company: Sedona Productions

Executive Producer: Kim Wildenburg

Lead Design and Compositor: Eddy Herringson

Lead Animation and Compositor: Laura Heath

Music and Sound Design: Stare Crazy

Creative Services Director: Clare Yardley

Production Director: Karen Liddle

Integrated Producer: Simone Plaza

Digital Producer: Dani Kartika

Front-end Developer: King Tan

Finished Artist: Gabriel Mangulabnan

Photography: The Sydney Morning Herald & The Age


Client: Sydney Morning Herald & The Age | Nine

Head of Consumer Subscriptions: Kristen Turner

Head of Brand and Acquisition: Belle Tayler

Brand and Acquisition Manager: Leah McNeil

Brand and Acquisition Executive:  Diana Wilson

Internal Design Lead: Hannah Eldridge

Internal Copywriter: Andy Maher


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