Advertising Week APAC 2023: Day two recap

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Mediaweek’s on the ground coverage of day two of Advertising Week

Day one of Advertising Week APAC saw a continuation of interesting, informative, inspiring and thought-provoking sessions from some of the industry’s brightest minds.

Media, agency and adverting industry folk returned to Sydney’s Luna Park on Sydney Harbour on Wednesday, and once again, the Mediaweek team was on the ground at a number of sessions throughout the day.


See Also: Advertising Week APAC 2023: Day one recap

Here is the recap of the sessions from day two below: 

Boldly Go: William Shatner on Technology, Innovation and Our Planet

The keynote of the conference, and the session that created a huge amount of buzz on the ground at Luna Park, actor William Shatner joined Advertising Week in the form of a hologram. 

Hosted by Catherine Bowe, Client Council & Industry Trade Lead at Meta APAC, there were some minor technical difficulties in getting the hologram to work – but when Shatner appeared and asked the crowd “can you hear me?”, the crowd burst out in applause. 

william shatner adweek

William Shatner via hologram

Discussing the latest around technology, innovation, and our planet, Shatner told the crowd about tech that can send your DNA into space (and turn it into a crystal), tackling the idea of immortality that he says “has been around since the dawining of the idea that when you die, you’re dead.”

Speaking about the hologram that he appeared in, Shatner acknowledged the parallels with Star Trek, saying that “This is the beginning of the beaming in that we wrote about, taking place 400 years from now”.

Real Relationships, Real Results – Driving Brand Growth & Sales

Despite being 13 weeks into his new role as Snapchat ANZ’s new managing director, Tony Keusgen shared his reflections so far on the role and his learnings of the platform.

Keusgen was later joined by Mecca’s head of digital marketing, Hannah Fillis, and David Griffiths, head of marketing at ANZ Uber.

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Tony Keusgen

The trio discussed how the platform provides a sense of belonging and joy and how the Snap environment, which is built on real relationships, holds the power to drive real influence, loyalty and sales for brands. They also discussed how Snap has helped both Mecca and Uber grow their brand’s reach

During the later stages of the chat, Keusgen asked if Uber and Mecca had collaborated on delivering products together i.e. Uber delivering make up and skin care products to Mecca customers. The idea sparked interested in the crowd and with Griffiths and Fillis quipped: “we should talk”. Could this conversation be the start of a new and interested partnership between the beauty company and delivery/transportation service?

David Griffiths, Hannah Fillis and Tony Keusgen

Starpower: The Importance of Connecting with an Audience

Mediaweek editor and GM Trent Thomas lead a panel discussion that explored the modern shapes and forms of star power in the Australian media industry.

Thomas was joined on stage by 2Day FM Breakfast host Erin Molan, Smallzy’s Surgery host Kent ‘Smallzy’ Small, and the hosts of Paramount’s new series Location, Location, LocationMitch Edwards and Mark McKie.

The panel discussed their own career journeys, their own unique ways of connecting with audiences, examined what Starpower looks like in 2023 and the important role one’s audience plays in building a successful and influential brand.

They also did a deep dive into how they each built their own audience bases while discussing the importance of authenticity, the use of both linear and online platforms and personal branding.

Trent Thomas, Erin Molan, Kent ‘Smallzy’ Small, with Mitch Edwards and Mark McKie

I Knew Advertising Would Change. But I Need Help Predicting What’s Next

Edwina Bartholomew, journalist and TV presenter, and Russel Howcroft, co-host 3AW Breakfast, Gruen panellist, author and Sayers Group partner, sat down to discuss the transformation of the advertising landscape in Australia over the last three decades.

Over the last three decades, the advertising landscape in Australia has transformed – in a way that could’ve been predicted. What will happen over the next three decades is much more of a conundrum.

Bartholomew rounded out the wide-ranging discussion asking for Howcroft’s prediction for the industry in the coming decades. He said: “What I hope is that there is a revolution in writing and the writer gets back to the top of the advertising pile.”

Edwina Bartholomew and Russel Howcroft

Supercharge Your Brand with the Power of Music – Unleash the Potential of Artist Collaborations

Discover how collaborating with music artists can revolutionise your brand. Join us for an exclusive session with Jordi Davieson, front-man of San Cisco, and

Michael Szumowski, head of APAC at Big Sync, was joined by Jordi Davieson, musician and front-man of San Cisco, to examine a collaboration between music artists can revolutionise a brand, the key to captivating an audience and insights from engaging artists.

Speaking on the relationship between San Cisco’s latest collaboration, a cover of Nina Simone’s Feeling Good for Australian Bank U Bank, Davieson noted the importance of receiving feedback from the client and maintaining their musical integrity.

Davieson noted that having Szumowski and Big Sync Music as a conduit between the brand and the client helped keep a steady direction and the brief and what was expected from both parties.

“From the beginning, when you agree to do something like that, it’s pretty clear what’s going to happen and what to expect. And you probably shouldn’t jump into it if you’re unsure about that stuff,” he said.

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Michael Szumowski and Jordi Davieson

Streaming TV’s New Era

Ruth Mortimer, global president Advertising Week, sat down with Juliette Stead, SVP, head of JAPAC, Magnite, to examine the new era of streaming TV and the changing way audiences watch television content.

When asked by Mortimer to share her views on the big trends in the future of the JAPAC region, Stead noted that there is a rise in a range of different types of consumption.

“In Australia, I’d say probably 60% to 70% of all streaming is coming from the connected TVs, and the remainder coming from mobile desktop and tablet-based consumption. Some of the other markets across Asia, across Japan, are still very much mobile-led people, even when it comes to full length content – it’s just a pocket size TV, essentially,” she said.

Stead added that ad supported content is leading the way as people are trying to simplify ever increasing subscription costs in favour of something that’s manageable, palatable, and more accessible.

“We’re just seeing a positive story around consumption trends growing and essentially becoming a new version of TV. This is just the new TV, there’s no turning around. It’s all moving in that direction. Australia, in particular, live sport is hugely popular and we’re going to see more and more of that continue,” she added.

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Ruth Mortimer and Juliette Stead

Why the Industry is Turning to TV Data for Better Outcomes

Led by Gai Le Roy, CEO of IAB Australia, this session began by asking the panellists what their favourite show is at the moment.

Fiona Roberts (Managing Director, ANZ, MiQ) – The Ultimatum
Yasmin Sanders (Managing Director, Australia, Samba TV) – The Bear
Andrew Gilbert (Director, Platforms AUSEA, Yahoo) – Paddington Bear / Silo
Dan O’Brien (Managing Director & Partner, Frontier Australia) – Ted Lasso
– Gai Le Roy – Alone

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Gai Le Roy, Yasmin Sanders, Dan O’Brien, Fiona Roberts, Andrew Gilbert

The session then dove into what TV data means for advertisers, and what AI will mean for TV data.

Ultimately, collaboration and progress are the two pillars that will see the success of the TV data industry into the future.

The Unfiltered Self: Marketing’s New Duality

News Corp’s Director of the Growth Intelligence Centre, Dan Krigstein, took to the stage in this session to tell the audience all about the way that people filter themselves. Presenting research completed alongside TRA, he highlighted that safety now trumps investment at a ratio of 60:40 in the decisions that we make. 

Joined by a panel made up of Josh Faulks (CEO, AANA), Terri Hall (Managing Partner, TRA Sydney), and Dr Amanda Gordon (Psychologist, Media Personality, Presenter and Author), the session delved into what it means to exist in the world with a filter over who you really are, how that filter can impact connection with others, and what that impacted connection means for brands.

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Dr Amanda Gordon, Terri Hall, Josh Faulks, Dan Krigstein

It’s not just people who can be filtered either, with the panel discussion how brands that have a filter up will struggle to connect authentically with customers.

At the Coalface of Marketing Innovation: Aussie Brands Taking on the World

Danielle Rigg-Smith, Industry Lead at TikTok ANZ sat down with two Canva representatives – Elliot Struck (Creative Director) and Rebekah Cooke (Global Brand Media Lead) – to discuss what needs to be considered when you’re working with a global brand like Canva.

ad week tiktok

Danielle Rigg-Smith, Elliot Struck, Rebekah Cooke

Cooke made the point that the days of getting good results in a single metric, patting yourself on the back, and heading to the pub are behind us, with brands now measuring success in multiple ways. There’s traditional media tracking, brand studies, and for Canva, in house modelling is a major focus.

The session wrapped up with Rigg-Smith asking the pain what’s on their TikTok For You page, with Struck saying his page was full of chefs like Gordon Ramsay, and Cooke telling the crowd that hers was currently full of women’s world cup content.

WTF is Personal Leadership and Why Should I Care?

Sherilyn Shackell, Founder & Global CEO of The Marketing Academy began her session by saying that she’d been told to wear a jumper due to the fact that it’s the middle of winter, but laughed that “this is not jumper weather when you’re from Britain!”

Sherilyn ShackellFounder & Global CEO The Marketing Academy

Sherilyn Shackell

Telling the crowd that marketing and advertising is “the most influential industry on the planet”, Shackell said that “we are our own worst enemies when it comes to stepping into the greatness that we have available to us.”

Highlighting the power of our attitudes and how we can make the best of situations outside of our control, Shackell inspired the crowd to make the most of the on life that we have.

Will & Woody: How to Put the Rad in Radio

ARN’s KIIS national Drive duo Will McMahon and Woody Whitelaw joined Brooke Boney to discuss what it takes to make good radio, and why brands should jump on board.

will and woody ad week

Will and Woody with Brooke Boney

One of the highlighted examples the pair brought up was an Indiana Jones themed escape room, promoting the Indiana Jones, The Dial of Destiny film.

Despite being in there for a week, and straight off the back of Woody’s time in the I’m A Celebrity jungle, the pair spoke about how natural it became to mention the brand in that scenario.

Overall, the trio concluded that radio advertising can be so much more than a 30 second on-air spot, and creativity with advertising can make for some very fun radio.

Why Native Content Will Be A Leading Ad Channel & How Every Brand Can Use It

Luke Spano, Managing Director of Avid Collective opened the session by introducing the premise that consumers don’t like advertising, and put forward that the brands who are putting positive consumer experiences forward are the brands that are breaking through.

Joined by a panel of Georgia Faure (Head of Strategy, Avid Collective), and Michael Tramonte (Client Partner, Mindshare Australia), the trio discussed how content can be used to drive strong results for brands through real-life case studies and examples. Exploring what has previously stopped content from scaling, they highlighted why now is the moment that can’t be missed for brands who want to get on board with Native Content.

Why Native Content Will Be A Leading Ad Channel & How Every Brand Can Use It

Georgia Faure, Michael Tramonte, Luke Spano

Combatting Scam with Cross-Industry Collaboration


First Nations First – Celebrating Indigenous Talent: Adam Briggs with Poppy Reid

Yorta Yorta man, rapper, one half of AB Original, author and label-founder Adam Briggs sat down with Editor-in-Chief of Rolling Stone, Poppy Reid, to discuss diversity and representation in arts, entertainment, and advertising.

Briggs opened up about how he had largely stopped doing panels in the entertainment scene due to the fact that he’d gotten frustrated with the fact that Indigenous art and artists was largely put together in its own session, rather than being integrated into the larger event.

When it comes to people learning about Indigenous culture in Australia, Briggs said that “I’d rather have someone make mistakes and learn than deal with a know it all.”

He also spoke about the time he was a guest editor for GQ, saying that “if I’m going to be guest editor, it’s time to make some editorial decisions.”

briggs poppy reid

Adam Briggs and Poppy Reid

Combatting Scam with Cross-Industry Collaboration

Scams in Australia is a $4 billion problem that grows annually at 100%. Sandy Cameron, CEO of Quantium Telstra, and James Roberts, general manager group fraud management services of Commonwealth Bank, took to the stage to discuss how cross-industry collaboration can combat scamming in Australia.

Cameron and Roberts explore how cross-industry collaboration across banks, telcos and digital platforms can address this issue effectively.

Sandy Cameron and James Roberts

James Roberts, Sandy Cameron

This comes after CBA and Telstra signed an agreement earlier this year to work together to combat scams and have jointly built a Scam Indicator API, which has shown promising results in the design phase.

Cameron said: “The main takeaway is this becomes everyone’s problem unless we all address it, and I think it does have a real impact on brands.

“As we get into the generative AI discussion, I think for most Australians they care what they’ve always cared about: Am I safe? Am I secure? Can I engage with my brand online? Many of the things going on here are going to be relevant to the economy,” he added. 

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