Macleay lecturer Cameron Horn recently invited the current advertising students to visit the Southern Cross Austereo offices (where 2DayFM and Triple M are broadcast from) at World Square. We had the privilege of having general manager Jeremy Simpson as our very friendly tour guide. Jeremy gave us a top down summary of Southern Cross Austereo, which gave us an idea of how large the media company is – from the popular commercial broadcast stations 2Day and Triple M, to more niche digital stations such as Buddha. They are also part of joint ventures in television with Channel 10.
The office vibe was fun and casual as we wandered through the decorated and light-filed open plan work station area on the 2DayFM level. Our first stop? The air lock – where within glass walled studios, presenters go live to air or pre-record segments. While learning about the goings on of the air lock, guess who walks in? We were surprised by a visit from Merrick Watts and Jules Lund, co-anchors on the Morning Drive segment, who came to say hello and give us some great advice. Merrick stressed (does Merrick Watts stress?) how valuable a relationship between a personality and an advertiser’s product or service can be if it is one the presenter loves or likes to use. He went on, listeners know their presenters and can instantly pick up on any dislike or insincerity conveyed in an ad.
We then descended to the Triple M floor which had a distinctly different atmosphere – a bit serious, subdued – appropriate considering the different targets of the two different stations. This level included a TV studio where Matty & Andrew Johns’ digital footy segments have been filmed as well as live gigs for VIP listeners by artists such as Pink, these videos are then posted to the website and digital platforms. This helps to bring a visual element to radio and connect with listeners. Although small the studio is versatile including a considerable lighting rig and several different sets for different segments – an interview lounge, green screen, presenter’s chair, Triple M’s Dr Dan background and footy paraphernalia.
At the end of the tour we got to listen in on a voice-over session with popular voice actor Cymone Rose who we recognised as the ‘Please leave a message’ voice on most people’s voicemail service. It was really cool to see how the copywriter, sound engineer and voice actor worked together to record voice for an ad, it also demonstrated that a team that is cohesive can produce material in a short amount of time (and make it look very easy!). Graham, the sound engineer, explained a bit about editing after recording a voice session, composing jingles and rewriting music to suit a brief.
Being able to visit one of the most popular radio stations in the country and catch glimpse of it’s internal workings was a great experience. It has definitely given me a better understanding of how parts of the (very broad) advertising industry fit together.
Amanda Florence, Advertising Student