Category Archives: Industry News

What is this fuckery called retargeting?… Is it effective?

Remember when you were in the market for a fresh pair of kicks or a new top to impress that not so special someone on your recently memorable for all the wrong reasons tinder date? You jumped onto ASOS and when overwhelmed with the choices thought “Fuck it I’ll look later.”. No? Well, facebook sure seems to think you did. Next thing you know your sitting in class, at work, on the train and you stumble your way online only to see banner ads from ASOS for the exact category you were perusing. Creepy. But hey no harm no foul you shrug it off right? And that weekend you’re out shopping with friends and low and behold find that perfect pair of shoes, tie, whatever, no need to keep looking but that’s not what Facebook thinks…next thing you know all you see for the next few weeks are ads for shoes over and over again to the point of irrational anger. Or is it rational?

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This is just one example of how technology is influencing advertisement and is more commonly known as ‘Adtech’. The example above highlights one of the most notorious forms of Adtech called retargeting where it roughly works like this; a website uses cookie-based technology that uses javascript code to follow those who visit the page around the rest of the web. This is done so anonymously and is done so in a way that the ad will only target those who have visited the said website. The purpose of this, of course, is so that even though Bob didn’t make it all the way to the ‘check out’, maybe he got distracted or something came up, brands and websites can subtly remind Bob about the new ultra shiny garden hose reel and other similar categorical items and hey, maybe Bob will complete the purchase at a later time and think fondly about that website.

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But is this ethical? Is Bob only buying that hose reel because he kept seeing images of it everywhere he went and now only bought it based on one initial passing thought, turned action off of subliminal advertising? More and more consumers are becoming irritated and fed up with the constant feed of adverts in their lives opting for web browser extensions that block all ads and it even caused big companies like Apple to start building these types of ad blockers into their own web browsers which have then been used as part of a selling point of their products. Innovations in technology have brought about a lot of new and amazing streams in which the advertising industry can play with but is the industry just being lazy?

The term ‘brand engagement’ is thrown around a lot these days where big brands want consumers to ‘engage’ with them but tactics like retargeting has had the exact opposite effect where consumers are actively trying to disengage with brands and ads so they can have a moment of peace from the bombardment of products and services shoved down their eyeballs. If you rely heavily on retargeting your potential consumers for your products and or services are you even offering anything of worth? Perhaps its time to think more creatively and do something that has consumers wanting to engage with your website and or brand.

It’s Award-Winning Month at Macleay

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Video Production lecturer Cisco Corea speaking to students about his award winning MTV Adidas campaign.

I’m pleased to announce that our Video Production lecturer Cisco Corea has just won a best advertising campaign of the year / Branded Content at the ASTRA awards for the MTV Adidas campaign he produced and directed.

Our Sydney copywriting lecturer Cameron Horn is nominated for the 6th year in a row at the ACRA Radio Awards, and up against his ex-student Katrina Fowler for the second year running. Account Management graduate Kyra Brown is also nominated this year. Congratulations to all three.

Ian Thomson’s latest short film THE INVISIBLE EDGE was also an official selection in the London Independent Film Awards, pre-selected for the New Zealand Film Awards, and was a finalist in the Mindscape Film Festival in Los Angeles. The film will also be screened as part of The Big Anxiety Festival in Sydney.

The Advertising & Media faculty are pleased to be launching a new unit in GAMIFICATION in T3, developed and delivered by the award-winning advertising creative director and author, Simon Veksner.

It will also be the first roll-out of the AUDIO STORYTELLING unit with multi-ACRA-award winning radio copywriter Cameron Horn. This unit teaches student radio advertising script-writing, audio production using ProTools and the increasing popular art of podcasting.

In Melbourne we will be running a new elective in COPYWRITINGwith the local Melbourne Social Media personality Candy Hertz.

We are looking forward to welcoming Lizzie Mack on-board to deliver the new STORY & NARRATIVE unit as part of the Digital Media Diploma and Degree in T3. Lizzie is not only a seasoned social media marketing and film teacher, but also a talented jazz vocalist (https://twitter.com/macklizzie). The unit explores a vast array of storytelling techniques for digital media projects, from online video, to interactive games and digital marketing campaigns.

Digital Design lecturer Jason Gemenis has just launched his new digital agency PEPPERMINT. This not only offers students great industry focused learning at the coal-face of digital marketing, design and media, but Jason also offers internships for budding digital design specialists.

In addition, in November this year our CREATIVE PROCESS lecturer Julieann Brooker will be travelling to Bhutan with Dr Lindsay Oades, Director of the Centre for Positive Psychology, Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne, to study the measurement and embodiment of Gross National Happiness (GNH) in a combined program between GNH Bhutan and GNH Australia. 

Ian Thomson, Head of the Advertising & Digital Media Faculty

David Droga’s Emotional Rallying Cry to the Ad Industry at Cannes Lions Centres on Caring

“There goes my facade of being a rock.”

David Droga choked up several times during a heartfelt and surprisingly emotional speech at Cannes Lions last month—in the end, it was one of the highlights of the festival—as he accepted the Lion of St. Mark award for creative excellence across his storied career.

The Droga5 founder used the moment to look back at his brilliant career so far and to thank the people who’ve helped make it happen—a long list of work colleagues, of course, but also, most prominently, his mother and his wife.

He also had words for the advertising industry, which he initially cast as advice for his four children in attendance—about the single most important thing, in his view, that helps make a person, and a career, successful.

“Wanting something—wanting a career, or wanting to make something—doesn’t really mean much. It’s about finding something you care about. Because caring is the only thing that really matters,” he said.

Caring leads to everything else, Droga suggested.

“I would put down everything in my career to the fact that I cared—about what I do, who I work with, what I make,” he said. “Caring makes you want to work harder. People can’t pay you to care. People can’t teach you to care. But when you find something that you care about, you give it everything you’ve got. You never settle. And you are always pushing to learn and be better and support those around you. All I’ve tried to do in my career is care.”

He added: “That’s all we need to do. More agencies need to give a shit, work hard and try to make beautiful and impactful things.”

See the full speech video on YouTube.

3 great ads I had nothing to do with!

In the tradition of the popular Thinkbox series of shorts that explore some of the greatest TV advertisements in the company of leading Creatives ‘who know a thing or two about making them’, I’ve decided to put forward my own three choices of great advertisements that I had nothing to do with. Now, I’m no Chief Creative Officer of a huge agency, but I feel like I still know a good ad from a bad one. So here goes.

In the age of digital television recorders, advertisement skipping, product placement, overlay ads, Google and pretty much the internet in general, making a TVC stand out above the rest has become tough. Attention spans have shortened, and the point now is to make a TVC that instantly grabs attention and is genuinely engaging. I’ve selected three TVCs that have recently inspired me in my journey through studying advertising; brilliant commercials, old and new, that I admire. (Oh and by the way, if you’ve never heard of it, check out advert.ge on Facebook – absolutely brilliant page constantly posting great TVC’s from around the globe.)

Ad #1: It’s now or never.

As the rest of the world runs for their lives and civilization crumbles around them, the bar-goers enjoy their last moments together and make the most of theirs. The bartender pours shots of Cuervo, a man plays Elvis Presley’s “It’s Now or Never” on the jukebox and couples tango while destruction around them ensues, because as for these brave souls; ‘tomorrow is overrated’.

The coolness factor is stratospheric here. CP+B’s campaign, directed by Ringan Ledwidge, features stunning visuals and uses an end-of-days scenario in charming fashion as a metaphor for living in the moment. The Elvis ballad, which was the second best-selling single of his career, is conceptually perfect and cuts right through the mayhem. The end tagline, “Tomorrow Is Overrated,” is a fun way to highlight tequila’s reputation as a liquor that can lead to unparalleled nights of abandon – and a way to emphasize the primacy of now in times of uncertainty.

Ad #2: Only time.

Who would have thought that more than 85 million people would watch the Muscles from Brussels doing his signature split with two Volvo trucks moving in reverse on a highway, backed by Enya’s “Only Time”? Volvo knew.

Directed by Andreas Nilsson, Volvo filmed the short on a runway in Spain in one take after three days of rehearsals. The short was, at the time, the latest in a series of videos Volvo used to promote how easy it was, and is, to steer its new high-tech big rigs – others have featured a woman walking a tightrope between to moving trucks heading toward a tunnel and a hamster steering one up the edge of a cliff.

The series, and the Jean-Claude Van Damme video in particular, are an insanely clever way to get attention to a type of vehicle most consumers usually don’t care or even think about while proving to other brands that they can use short clips to generate a Super Bowl-sized audience for little money when upping the creativity level of their campaigns.

Ad #3: Satisfaction.

While they sleep, a man’s tongue crawls completely out of his mouth and embarks on a journey to a house party down the road, bringing back home a cold Tooheys Extra Dry.

Yes, another alcohol ad. But prove to me that this isn’t one of the greatest Australian ads ever. I distinctively remember always rushing to the TV whenever I could hear Benny Benassi’s “Satisfaction” playing. “The tongue beer ad is on!”, I would say. I was 12.

This Tooheys TVC, created by BMF in Sydney, drew dozens of complaints but ranks as one of the best television commercials in the world. The Advertising Standards Board rejected a deluge of complaints about the ad, while Tooheys claims it reinvigorated Australian beer advertising. The advertisement is deliberately distinctive to reflect the diverse and growing consumer appetite for the brand, with a particular focus on younger consumers. At the core of the ad, the tongue is a simple yet strategic device to highlight the importance of taste.

The overall theme of my three advertisements, it seems, is that they all effectively make use of one huge feature amongst the impact of the visuals; that of music. Each advertisement conveys a strong message, but through the added characteristic of music, and specifically popularised music, the ad becomes something else. It becomes engaging.

Rowan James Slade

The future is no longer digital. The present is.

‘Digital’ surrounds us – to the extent that it we no longer know what to describe as digital and what not. What is the difference? And when is it appropriate to describe technology as ‘digital’ ? Or telecommunications? Or marketing? Or the process of your toddler at home tapping on plastic piano keys? If living in; communicating for; and doing business with a digital world has become the norm, how do we best take advantage of the opportunity that digital media presents to us? 

But let’s take a step back, and look at the impact that digital media has had on our business, communications and personal worlds. Born from the dots and dashes codes of electrical telegraphy, then developed into the transistor and later the computer, binary code has allowed us to transmit and reproduce information quickly, over vast distances, and without deterioration of quality.

Since the development of the Internet, the transfer of data for all kinds of applications has had a huge influence on our commercial, social and personal activities. Research from the Computing Productivity Report (Brynjolfsson & Hitt) indicates that “digital technologies have significantly increased the productivity and performance of businesses”. On a personal level Yvonne Wong in her book ‘Sovereign Finance and the Poverty of Nationssuggests that “by enabling greater interconnectedness, easier communication, and the exposure of information that in the past could have more easily been suppressed, society demands a whole new level of freedom of speech”.

And as digital technology continues to expand into mobile telecommunications, interactive media and screen based communications, new entrepreneurial and employment opportunities have risen for those able to devise entrepreneurial concepts, generate content and leverage projects for digital media.

But when the whole area of digital media seems so broad, where do you start to get a handle on it all? The answer lies in the combination of: developing broad-reaching knowledge about information and communication technologies; learning to think outside of the box to generate ideas for digital media projects for digital applications that may not even exist yet; managing digital media projects in any one or more area of specialist technology – whether that be word, screen, mobile, interactive, marketing or data focused.

The digital analytics firm comScore recently reported that “time spent with digital media has grown exponentially, increasing 49 percent from 2013… and mobile consumption has increased by 90 percent over the last two years”.

“In the future, every business will need to have a person who can create digital content” claims Chantal Abouchar, Founder and CEO of Australia’s first Media Accelerator THE STUDIO as she took part in Macleay College’s series of industry advisory panel consultancies in order to develop the new Diploma and Bachelor of Digital Media courses.

Macleay College’s new Bachelor and Diploma courses in Digital Media combine conceptual development skills and strategic thinking with management and digital production skills in DIGITAL VIDEO, WRITING FOR DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS, INTERACTIVE DESIGN and DIGITAL MARKETING and an ability to adapt to changes in industry and technologies that are bound to come.

Ian Thomson is Head of the Advertising & Digital Media Faculty for Macleay College’s campuses in Sydney and Melbourne.

About Macleay College:

Macleay College offers highly regarded, industry focused education in Business, Journalism, Advertising and now Digital Media. These tertiary courses have an emphasis on multi-media qualifications and offer students a hands-on approach to fast-track their career. The Bachelor of Digital Media features specialisations in DIGITAL VIDEO, WRITING FOR DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS and DIGITAL MARKETING. Macleay College has campuses in Sydney and Melbourne. 

For more information, contact Macleay College on 1300 939 888.

 

Macleay College launches Digital Media degree

Building on its reputation of offering Australia’s most progressive multi-media journalism course; it’s focus on entrepreneurship in Marketing & Business; and featuring a dedicated degree in Advertising & Media, Macleay College is extending its selection of courses to Diploma and Bachelor qualifications in Digital Media.

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Industry advisory panel members (L to R) Ross Raeburn (UM), Felicity Coonan (Animal Logic), Ian Thomson (Macleay College), Chantal Abouchar (The Studio), Andrew Barnum (Peopleness) and Kim Chatterjee (UX Consultant) were some of the leading consultants involved in developing Macleay College's new courses in Digital Media.

It’s become a well-worn catch-cry that “the future is digital”, but reality is that we’re already immersed in a world where information, communications and data are propelled through the Internet as binary code. As geeky as this might sound, the wonderful reality of digital media is that this information is instantaneously re-translated for us at our point of retrieval (on our smart TVs, laptops, tablets and phones) as articles, stories, photos, films, music and games to inform, engage and entertain us.

Digital Media has become the currency of communication for generation NOW. And because it allows resources to be copied, transmitted and shared without loss of quality, its expansion into all areas of our personal, professional and creative lives is pre-destined.

In the future, every business will need to have a person who can create digital content claims Chantal Abouchar, Founder and CEO of Australia’s first Media Accelerator THE STUDIO as she took part in Macleay College’s series of high-ranking industry advisory panel consultancies in order to develop the new Diploma and Bachelor of Digital Media courses.

The future of media changing is so quickly. If you think about Occulus-Riff and the Drone technologies that are coming out, we need people who understand the potential of these emerging technologies and can coordinate creative and business opportunities around them” adds panel consultant, Fullbright Scholar and Master in Communications Science and International Affairs from Columbia University, Andrew Robinson.

The 2-year degree course in Digital Media features Macleay College’s commitment to industry focused education in innovation, enterprise and communications. The 3 trimester system allows the same volume of learning from a 3-year university degree to be delivered in two thirds of the time, keeping well in-trend with the career focus of the college and the fast moving nature of the digital media technologies. “Graduates will be well equipped to be adaptable and manage the fast change expected within the digital media industries” said consultant and panel member Dr Graham Salter.

An alternate entry pathway to the degree is a 1-year Diploma of Digital Media, which allows students without the ATAR qualification to articulate into the degree if they achieve a Credit average or higher. This accommodates students who are well suited to Digital Media, but don’t come from a more formal academic background.

Students identify one area of specialisation, such as DIGITAL PHOTO & VIDEO CREATION, WRITING FOR DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS or DIGITAL MARKETING or BUSINESS, but complement this with elective units to broaden their skill sets. Career paths are no longer linear, we need to be developing creative thinkers, strategists, problem solvers who can apply a concept to any form of media and are not limited by the media they have training in” added course designer and Macleay College Head of Faculty, Ian Thomson.

The course offers core units in CREATIVE THINKING, DIGITAL DESIGN, BEHAVIOURAL PSYCHOLOGY, CONTENT STRATEGY, STORY & NARRATIVE and RELEVANT DISRUPTION & GLOBAL ENGAGEMENT – just to name a few.

“When we employ graduates at Animal Logic, the people who have longevity and will be valuable are those who are curious, have a hunger for knowledge, an aptitude for design thinking, and who think ‘bigger’ about the world” mentioned Animal Logic Art Director Felicity Coonan at the course development panel. Hence the ‘big picture’ approach to the core units of study in the course, with enough specialisation and elective options to develop multiple skills sets, such as combining studies in VIDEO PRODUCTION with electives in DIGITAL MARKETING. “You as a student must be able to tell your story, in whatever medium, as a response to the brief – no matter whether this is gaming, writing, video” adds Design Education specialist Andrew Barnum.

Macleay College has a long history of working very closely with industry, and compulsory internships are an integral part of all courses. This ensures that graduates are industry-ready and useful in the workplace from day 1. Panel consultant and UX specialist Kim Chatterjee mentioned that “In the future we will need graduates who can solve problems no matter what their nature. Then as they gain more industry experience they can move into strategy roles. It was important that learning experiences pit students against professionals and companies.” “If graduates can enter the workplace with the knowledge of how to create relevant content, and also how to develop and work with tools that will make money and save the world, I would hire them” added Ross Raeburn, panel member and CEO at UM Australia.

Macleay College’s new Bachelor and Diploma courses in Digital Media combine conceptual development skills, strategic thinking, an understanding of relevant disruption, leadership and change management with digital production skills in DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY, VIDEO PRODUCTION, WRITING FOR DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS, DIGITAL MARKETING & DIGITAL BUSINESS. These skills provide a great foundation for their careers – and combine real world skills that are relevant now, with an ability to self-learn and adapt to changes in industry and technologies that are bound to come.

Ian Thomson is Head of the Advertising & Digital Media Faculty for Macleay College’s campuses in Sydney and Melbourne.

About Macleay College:

Macleay College offers highly regarded, industry focused education in Business, Journalism, Advertising and now Digital Media. These tertiary courses have an emphasis on multi-media qualifications and offer students a hands-on approach to fast-track their career. The Bachelor of Digital Media features specialisations in DIGITAL VIDEO, WRITING FOR DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS and DIGITAL MARKETING. Macleay College has campuses in Sydney and Melbourne.

For more information, contact Macleay College on 1300 939 888.

Media Contact: Laura Parker | Marketing Coordinator | lparker@macleay.edu.au | 02 8373 5135

Macleay Lecturer and Graduate Shine Bright at ACRA Awards #MadeatMacleay

The Australian Commercial Radio Awards (ACRA) are Aussie radio’s night of nights and the 2016 awards proved that Macleay’s lecturers and graduates can deliver.

Copy writing and Radio Lecturer Cameron Horn was most surprised to win his 5th ACRA in 5 years, when his campaign for Spot Go Cleaning Products picked up Regional Campaign of the Year.

“I really didn’t expect this,” says Cameron. “I just kept eating as they were announcing it. I actually dropped my cutlery when they announced it. I couldn’t believe it.”

Cameron says, the real surprise was in that about 8 clients had rejected the idea behind the Campaign. “Persistence really does pay off. I’ve had this idea in my mind since about 2010!”

The night wasn’t finished for Cameron though, as later, his campaign that he collaborated with Macleay graduate Katrina Fowler for client Carl’s Junior, won Best Regional Sales Promotion.

“I wrote these, Katrina and I voiced them, then our promotions team worked on them at Southern Cross Austereo. The results were astronomical for the client. They were running 700% above their projected targets after the promotion.”

Katrina was also a finalist in the Best Newcomer to Radio category. “Hey, I was just stoked to be a finalist – that’s top 5 in Australia! Awesome!” Katrina said after the event. This follows up Katrina’s nomination as a finalist last year in the Commercial writing category.

Listen to the Spot Go Campaign: