Top 15 Mumbrella features of 2023

To celebrate 15 years of Mumbrella this December, we are counting down the top 15 most-read news pieces, opinions and features of 2023. 

Upfronts season coverage, adland’s work perks, Matildas craze and the death of marketing. Mumbrella covered a little bit of everything this year.

Here are Mumbrella’s most popular features of 2023:

15. Hatching an idea: VMLY&R’s Paul Nagy on FitChix campaign’s cracking success

VMLY&R’s ‘FitChix’ campaign has won just about every award, but what came first: The chicken, the egg, or the idea?

Chief creative officer Paul Nagy gave Mumbrella a behind-the-scenes look at the campaign.

14. Chris Howatson on capping growth at 200 staff, never selling, and advertising to a more inclusive Australia

Two years after launching, founder and CEO of Howatson+Company, Chris Howatson, spoke with Mumbrella about setting limits on the agency’s growth, why high performance doesn’t always mean lots of work, never being for sale, and retiring in his sixties.

13. ‘We’ve been there long before this tournament’: Nike on leading the charge in women’s sport

When the Matildas frenzy began to fade after the FIFA Women’s World Cup, Nike Pacific’s narrative and communications lead Abbey Wirth and marketing director Andy Keith spoke to Mumbrella, reflecting on the brand’s involvement during the global tournament, how to navigate in a crowded brand space, and their plans for the ‘next decade of her’.

12. Nick McKenzie on giving voice to the underprivileged, threats from neo-Nazis, and why journalism matters

Nick McKenzie is arguably Australia’s best investigative reporter. His investigations into political corruption has led to the resignation of state and federal MPs, he infiltrated Australia’s neo-Nazi movement, revealed a corruption scandal within Australia’s central bank, exposed organised crime in the country’s biggest casino, and revealed doping in elite sport.

He spoke to Mumbrella about why he does it.

11. ‘Big, bold, risk-taking’: Media buyers react to Paramount/Ten upfront

The first of the upfronts reactions on the list, media buyers from Carat, Spark Foundry, Avenue C, Magna, This is Flow and Kaimera shared their thoughts on Paramount and Network 10’s 2024 plans.

10. Nine’s upfront display was grand, and might ruffle some feathers: Media buyers

Right in front of Paramount was Nine’s upfront reaction. Nine announced a range of Olympics ad offerings and adtech innovations at the event, and media buyers shared what they thought of the pitch.

9. ‘My legs don’t work but my credit card does’: The huge demo marketers are ignoring

A near-death experience that left ad exec Lisa Cox disabled gave her a startling insight into how marketers totally ignore people with a disability – missing out on a huge demographic with big spending power.

She spoke to Mumbrella on how DE&I in the industry often overlooks disability, and provided advice on how we can better reflect the demographic – on everything from strategy development to creative execution.

8. Media buyers wary of VOZ Streaming’s limitations

Media buyers let out a collective sigh of relief over the announcement of VOZ Streaming, a platform touted to become the “unified BVOD trading solution”. But after the initial rush, now they’re not so sure.

Tom Macerola from Zenith, Paige Wheaton from Initiative, Nunn Media’s Lee Foster and Magna’s Lucy Formosa Morgan shared their concerns for the ecosystem, including the challenges its limitations will bring.

7. What to expect from media’s new (and old) disruptors

With the launch of Scire and Disrupt Radio this year, Mumbrella looked at the prospects of Australian media’s new kids on the block.

6. Seven upfront: Media buyers react

The thoughts everyone wanted to hear were from Seven’s flashy and glamourous upfront. Held at the ICC Sydney as part of SXSW Sydney, the network announced a number of huge new offerings.

Media buyers from Kaimera, PHD, Foundation and Avenue C told Mumbrella how they felt about the network’s shiny new set of wares.

5. The best work perks in adland: Part one

In August, indie agency WiredCo announced they would be offering paid parental leave to staff needing to look after their fuzzy, four-legged family members. Sparked by this, Mumbrella asked a number of agencies what perks they are offering their staff in order to keep them happy, healthy, and hired.

4. The best work perks in adland: Part two

Part one of the series proved so popular, we did a part two.

3. ‘Marketing is dead’: Kevin Roberts on the role of the marketer

Former global Saatchi & Saatchi boss, Kevin Roberts, is convinced marketing, and in particular the chief marketing officer role, is “dead” – and while companies including Coles and Seven have re-worked the title, they’re still missing the point.

He explained his argument to Mumbrella, saying “we’ve got to give consumers more than marketing bullshit”.

2. The next generation of news: Are young people turning away from traditional media?

As the gap between young people and the mainstream media widens, Mumbrella investigated why a new generation of audiences are increasingly looking elsewhere for their news fill.

1. ‘Optus didn’t just fail to control the narrative, they ignored it completely’: The outage aftermath

Topping the list… well, this shouldn’t surprise.

When Optus’ outage happened last month, it took the telecommunications giant half a day to acknowledge, and when they did, then CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin was curt and light on details. The government then launched a federal investigation into the matter.

Mumbrella spoke to crisis PR experts on how Optus could have better handled the catastrophe.


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