Tuesday July 2, 2024

Snap Inc. - Ajit Mohan
'We're not social media': Ajit Mohan on Snap as an alternative platform and the growing APAC region

By Alisha Buaya

“As a company, we’ve been rather coy for the longest time about calling out why we are different.”

“We’re not social media. The community that uses Snap understands it quite well and how we are different,” Ajit Mohan, president of APAC of Snap, Inc., told Mediaweek.

“Even in the context of massive competition, we have a community that is 800 million strong and still growing,” he noted of its global users.

In Australia, Snapchat reports over 8 million active monthly users, reaching 80% of 13 to 24-year-olds and 75% of 13 to 34-year-olds.

Despite the existence of well-established platforms such as Meta’s Facebook and Instagram and the emergence of TikTok, Mohan noted that Snapchat continues to grow.

“We continue to have massive momentum because we are not social media and provide a clear alternative. But when it comes to the competition for attention and innovation, that’s been intense over the last 12 years, and I think that will continue to be the case.”

Snap at Cannes: ‘We are being vocal about it’

Mohan spoke to Mediaweek from the Cannes Lion Festival in France, where Snapchat took over La Malmaison and wrapped it in yellow as part of its Less Social Media. More Snapchat. campaign and its pivot to performance ads from brand ads.

The key messaging from the activation showcases the campaign, which will be launched later in Australia, and its difference from other platforms.

As a company, we’ve been rather coy for the longest time about calling out why we are different, even though the community that uses us understood it, and that’s one of the big things that has changed this year.

“That’s one of the objectives that we have at Cannes, to communicate more overtly the differentiation of our platform and how different we are from social media, including that our app opens to a camera, it’s visual and fun, it doesn’t open to a news feed, it is fundamentally different by design, and it’s emphasised privacy and safety right from the start.”

In terms of its pivot to performance, Mohan said that the last 18 months have seen a new set of leaders and product engineering, where most of the energy has been spent.

“I think marketers and brands, like the rest of the world, are looking for an alternative social media. I think they’re happy that finally, we are being vocal about it,” he added.

Building positive experiences through the ‘Less Social Media. More Snapchat’ campaign

Snap’s Less Social Media. More Snapchat. campaign was launched earlier this year in the US with a TV spot during the 66th Annual Grammy Awards and a series of out-of-home placements along popular roadways in key US cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Chicago.

Mohan shared that the new brand platform resonated with many, particularly with parents and communities. He also noted that people want to leverage technology to build positive experiences on the platform, to connect, have fun, be entertained, and be informed.

He added that many clients have resonated with the campaign, particularly marketers who want the utility of what social media has delivered but leverage platforms that can provide that utility that is “good for the world.”

Mohan said the campaign will continue to be developed and expanded in the year ahead. “It goes back to being willing to show the contrast more so than we have been. I think we’ll continue to do that, and we’ll continue to do that around the world,” he added.

While Snapchat’s demographic ranges from 13 to 34-year-olds, it is primarily appreciated by many Gen Z audiences, with 90% of its community being more than 17 years old, according to Mohan.

We are younger than other platforms, and we are the home of Gen Z. But we are also older than people sometimes assume us to be. The bulk of our community is about 25 years old as well.”

But regardless of age bracket, Mohan highlighted privacy and safety as central to its “visual and fun proposition.”

Turning value into ‘improved financial performance’

While economic headwinds continue to cause chaos for some, Snap’s financial results for Q1 2024 indicate positive results. Revenue was $1,195 million, compared to $989 million last year, up 21% year over year. Daily active users increased 10% year over year to 422 million.

CEO Evan Spiegel said at the time: “The value we provide our community and advertising partners has translated into improved financial performance.

“Our large, growing, and hard-to-reach community, brand-safe environment, and full-funnel advertising solutions have made us an increasingly important partner for businesses of all sizes.”

Mohan said that from an APAC perspective, though relatively new, the region also had positive results in revenue and community growth. Snap’s presence in the region – comprised of Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, and India, including a hub in Singapore – has seen a 40% growth over recent months.

He highlighted last year’s appointment of Tony Keusgen as managing director and the continued investment in engineering and operations on the business front as part of this growth. Mohan said that unlike 20 years ago, when innovation was more centred in the West, it now comes from places such as Japan, China, India, and Australia.

‘We have an alternative to offer to the world’

Mohan projected a positive outlook for Snap in the APAC region. He noted that the last 15 months have seen hard work on establishing a solid foundation, knowing where to place bets, thinking through investments in growing a community and working with creators in localising the product.

He added that Snap will have announcements and innovations to share at its Partner Summit in Los Angeles in September.

Mohan reiterated that Snap has an important role in today’s social media context and communities worldwide.

The onus is on us to prove we are the alternative and to provide clarity on the alternative to the stakeholders. Whether those stakeholders are the communities we serve, a relatively young population of creators we work with or the advertisers who use our platforms.

“We have an alternative to offer to the world, and we need to make sure that the world is aware of the alternative to social media.”

Top image: Ajit Mohan

ad spend
Outdoor media up 1.6% as regional TV and radio stay flat: Guideline SMI

By Alisha Buaya

Calendar year-to-date results show the market is back just 2.1%.

Outdoor media is the only major media to report growth according to Guideline SMI’s results for May, with total bookings up 1.6%.

The findings noted that the market continues to stabilise, with total ad spend back 5.3% year-on-year and with the market delivering its strongest level of forward pacings this year.

Jane Ractliffe, Guideline SMI APAC managing director, said forward bookings data indicates more of the market may soon turn back to growth as confirmed future bookings are now at the highest level seen this year.
“The latest ad spend extracted from the payment systems of our agency partners shows that 90.5% of last year’s June ad spend has already been confirmed (excluding Digital) with a week of trading still to come, and that’s the highest level of forward pacings a month out that we’ve seen this year,” she said.

“Already we can see regional TV and regional radio are reporting flat ad spend in June, and cinema bookings are up 11% year-on-year so there are definitely strong signs of market improvement.”

Ractliffe said the higher demand in regional TV and radio continues this year’s ongoing trend of building demand within regional media, with regional radio ad spend up 9.7% and regional press bookings up 29% in May.

“We’ve noticed throughout 2024 growing demand for regional media with regional press being the star performer with double digit growth so far this year, while regional radio ad spend is up 0.1% over the same time,’’ she said.

“In the linear TV world the decline in ad spend is the lowest in regional TV with the total back 6.2% so far this year.”

Overall, the Guideline SMI report noted that radio did well in May with total bookings back just 0.7% and cinema also staying largely steady with its ad spend dipping just 0.5%. While Digital ad spend is back 2.3% in May the Streaming sector has grown 9.7% (mostly due to growth at SBS on Demand and YouTube) and bookings to Social Sites are up 3.2%.

Among the key product categories, the growth drivers in May were government (+13% YOY), retail, (+5.7%), and Automotive Brand (+6.7%).

But the market has so far failed to gain the usual end-of-financial-year kick from the Insurance category with its ad spend back 6.6%, while communications ad spend is back 20%.

Calendar year-to-date results show the market is back just 2.1% with both the digital (+4.2%) and outdoor (+3.9%) outperforming. As the financial year-end draws near, the total market is back just 1.8% from last year’s record total with by far the largest growth being recorded by outdoor (+10.3%).

See also: April ad spend back 5.6%, but news grows 1.8%

Top image: Jane Ratcliffe

BMF wins Endeavour Group creative pitch
BMF wins Endeavour Group creative pitch

By Amy Shapiro

BMF takes over BWS as of July 1 and Dan Murphy’s from October. M&C Saatchi and Thinkerbell are the incumbents.

Endeavour Group has appointed BMF as its lead creative agency, working across its portfolio of brands including Dan Murphy’s and BWS.

It was announced the drinks and hospitality business was pitching the creative account for its key brands in May after a closed EOI process took place involving both current and potential agencies, in search of a single, leading creative agency.

The incumbent for BWS is M&C Saatchi, which held the account since its appointment in 2021, while Thinkerbell managed the Dan Murphy’s account. Thinkerbell declined to participate in the pitch.

BMF will take over the BWS creative account from 1 July 2024, and Dan Murphy’s from October 2024.

Endeavour Group CMO Jo Rose said the appointment of BMF was a significant milestone for Endeavour.

“We made the decision to move to a single creative partner to help us lift the role and influence of creativity in our organisation,” she said.

“BMF is known for their ability to activate creative work in an increasingly digital and data-led environment, and this is something we are incredibly excited to see them enhance across our brands. Having one partner will help us be more purposeful in the way we grow our brands, by ensuring they are playing distinct but complementary roles in serving the full spectrum of our customer needs.

“In addition, this new model will allow us to maintain the strength of our brands in their own right, bolstered by their leading loyalty propositions, while providing clear and easy connections between them in addition to better propositions and shared experiences.”

Rose gave a “heartfelt thank you” to M&C and Thinkerbell.

“M&C Saatchi has been a key agency partner of BWS since 2016, and in that time has worked on several important brand platforms, including most recently the launch of Refreshingly BWS.”

Similarly, she continued, “Thinkerbell has worked with Dan Murphy’s since 2019, completely repositioning the brand and culminating in the recent launch of the new Dan Murphy’s platform, Nobody Beats. Both agencies have made an enormous contribution to our business and laid the foundations for our future.”

“BMF demonstrated unwavering commitment to and care for everything that makes our brands great; flawless in their strategic precision and progressive in their creative thinking,” added Endeavour Group’s GM marketing – creative, Katie Dally, who led the EOI and RFP process.

“They struck the perfect balance between art and science, pushing commercial creativity boundaries, making them the right partner for us to drive future growth.

“We are so looking forward to partnering with them as we continue to nurture and breathe new meaning into the much-loved Aussie brands we are fortunate enough to be the custodians of.”

Commenting on the win, BMF CEO Stephen McArdle said: “From our first meeting with the Endeavour team we were excited about their creative ambition, marketing smarts, positivity and general all-round loveliness.

“Those feelings have only compounded over the pitch process. A pitch process that clearly signalled they are a values-driven business. It was thorough, clear, fair and fun. We worked on real briefs with real investment in money, time and energy from the Endeavour team. It should be the pitch model for any client looking to start a relationship the way they want it to be long-term.

“The obvious bonus to all of this is brands that are part of Australia’s cultural landscape. Iconic and trusted. We hope to honour their heritage and, in partnership with our new clients, take them even further. We can’t wait to get stuck in.”

In May, Thinkerbell launched its first work for Dan Murphy’s since December 2022, evolving its existing brand platform, Nobody Beats Dan Murphy’s. With BMF’s recent win, it remains to be seen if this will be Thinkerbell’s final work for the brand.

See also: Thinkerbell revamps Dan Murphy’s brand platform with first work since 2022

Endeavour Group pitches creative for key brands

mel withnall jen goggin sca
SCA's head of news and information, LiSTNR's head of factual and drama exit the business

By Jasper Baumann

The departures come after chief marketing officer at SCA, Nikki Clarkson was confirmed to be exiting last week.

Melanie Withnall, SCA’s head of news and information, and Jennifer Goggin, LiSTNR’s head of factual and drama have left the broadcaster

Goggin oversaw the documentary department and the LiSTNR produced The Children in the Pictures podcast series, which won gold in the ‘narrative/documentary podcasts’ category at the 2023 New York Festivals Radio Awards.

Prior to joining SCA in 2018, Goggin was a radio, podcast and audio series producer at BBC Her radio and audio features work has been broadcast by BBC, ABC and Ireland’s national broadcaster RTE.

Withnall joined SCA in 2021 as head of news and information, coming from the ABC. It was confirmed on Monday that she will return to the ABC. She finishes at SCA on 2 August.

Withnall led the overall broadcast and on-demand news function at SCA, while also expanding SCA’s news, information and current affairs output on LiSTNR, Hit and Triple M networks. 

SCA chief content officer, Dave Cameron said Withnall “has made a huge impact in growing our news-led spoken word content output and finding new audiences to consume our premium content”.

“Melanie is highly respected and valued not only by her direct team but right across our business,” he said.

“Melanie goes with our best wishes and blessing for career growth, and we’re excited to watch her continued leadership and impact roll out at the ABC.”

The departures come after chief marketing officer at SCA, Nikki Clarkson was confirmed to be exiting last week.

Clarkson’s departure was confirmed by CEO John Kelly, who said she had “made an extraordinary contribution to SCA over her highly successful career journey.”

“She is a fiercely passionate leader, a highly respected member of the SLT and an exceptional strategic and creative marketer who has played a pivotal role in building our brands to be highly recognisable and loved in Australian households,” Kelly added.

Clarkson said of her time with the broadcaster, “It has been a privilege to lead the marketing of mighty brands such as Triple M and The Fox and to see the team transform in the way it has to build LiSTNR from scratch to the success it is today, is inspiring.”

There has been no confirmation about whether or not Clarkson’s exit was part of a round of redundancies.

De facto head of corporate communications, Rochelle Burbury has also confirmed that she resigned the SCA account at the start of June. She will finish up at the end of July.

See also: SCA chooses ‘not to pursue’ ACM’s acquisition proposal

Seven appointments: New heads of network sport, AFL, horse racing, cricket, and sport digital

By Jasper Baumann

Chris Jones elevated to the new role of director, network sport, effective immediately.

Seven West Media has appointed Chris Jones to the new role of director, network sport, effective immediately.

Jones was previously executive producer of Seven’s cricket coverage. Over the past 20 years, he has worked on AFL, cricket, summer and winter Olympics, US Masters, Australian Open tennis, Australian Open golf and more. In his new role, he will report to Seven’s chief content officer, Brook Hall.

In further appointments, Seven’s AFL executive producer, Gary O’Keeffe, has been elevated to the new role of head of AFL and sport innovation; horse racing executive producer Andrew Hore-Lacy has been named head of horse racing; motor sport executive producer Kirsty Bradmore becomes head of sport digital; and cricket and horse racing producer Joel Starcevic has been appointed head of cricket.

Hall said: “Sport is part of Seven’s DNA and a key reason why we are the most-watched television and digital network. We have a long and proud history of bringing the best local and international sport to all Australians for free. That continues today, with the AFL, the AFLW, the Brownlow Medal, Test cricket, the BBL, the WBBL, horse racing, Supercars, surfing, the NFL, golf, netball, hockey and much, much more.

“Chris has been an integral part of our sport team for many years, producing some amazing moments and iconic content. I can’t think of anyone better to lead our sport coverage.”

Jones joined Seven in 2000 as a junior reporter. After stints at Nine and Thrive PR, he returned to Seven as a senior sport producer in 2009. He was appointed an executive producer in 2018.

In his new role, Jones will lead a team that includes O’Keeffe; Hore-Lacy; Bradmore; Starcevic; executive producer, motor sport, Angela Rampal; head of sport production, Greg Smith; and head of sport production management, Lisa Peach.

Jones said: “We have assembled a trusted and energetic leadership team who love their sport and will continue to innovate.

“I feel privileged to have worked with and learnt from some of the best in the business and now alongside our entire 7Sport team, I can’t wait to evolve our coverage.

“We are on the eve of an exciting new era here at Seven with the addition of digital rights for both footy and cricket. This means every single Australian will have access to live and free coverage via 7plus and broadcast. Can’t wait to get stuck in.”

Jones’ appointment comes after Lucio Riberio announced his departure from Seven West Media, taking a voluntary redundancy for his role as director of digital marketing and innovation in a series of large-scale redundancies. Georgie Nichols, Seven’s national sales director, has also resigned from her post at the network. Nichols will remain to help with a handover before officially leaving in August.

Last week, Seven announced it would make up to 150 job redundancies, after cost-cutting measures were flagged in February by then-CFO Jeff Howard and former CEO James Warburton.

Howard assumed the role of CEO at Seven after Warburton’s departure on April 18.

Before the redundancies made on Tuesday, Seven lost three of its senior executives: chief revenue officer, Kurt Burnette, chief marketing officer, Melissa Hopkins, and head of sport and managing director of Seven Melbourne, Lewis Martin

Seven confirmed these departures alongside a number of new appointments and a new operating model that will see SWM operate under three divisions: Television, Digital, and Western Australia.

See also: Seven West Media: New divisions and leadership roles in wake of redundancies

Top image: Chris Jones

cosmopolitan australia
Cosmopolitan Australia unveils new leadership and relaunch date

By Jasper Baumann

Tessa Ogle appointed editor-in-chief while Zoe Davis becomes commercial director.

Cosmopolitan magazine will return to the Australian market on 12 August under the leadership of publisher Katarina Kroslakova and her publishing house, KK Press, in collaboration with Hearst Magazines International. 

Leading the charge as editor-in-chief is Tessa Ogle, whose career has spanned several notable publications, including The Age newspaper and The Conversation. Ogle moved from news to fashion and beauty, launching Harper’s BAZAAR and Esquire online as digital director.

After consulting and writing for various luxury and women’s titles, including KK Press publication T Magazine (NYTimes Style Magazine) Australia, she moved to the role of digital managing editor at marie claire and ELLE, and supported the relaunch of ELLE magazine.

“A talented editor with a proven track record working on leading media brands for women, Tessa is well suited to lead Cosmopolitan’s return to Australia across all platforms,” said Kim St. Clair Bodden, senior vice president of editorial and brand director of Hearst Magazines International.

“We are excited to see how she and her team build upon Cosmo’s legacy of inspiring young women with delightful features and fresh insight that serves their daily lives.”

On her appointment, Ogle said, “I am proud to lead an incredible team in the relaunch of the iconic Cosmopolitan Australia, a title so meaningful across generations as the ultimate source for the latest in style, beauty, entertainment, relationships, sex, and more.

“I am particularly excited to bring in a new and diverse range of voices and expert contributors from all over Australia to ensure that Cosmo is a reflection of the vibrant and diverse community we serve, as we deliver thought-provoking and insightful journalism true to the joy and spirit at the heart of this much-loved brand.”

Joining Ogle as commercial director is Zoe Davis, who will lead Cosmopolitan’s commercial endeavours.

Reflecting on her new role, Davis, who began her career with an internship at Cosmopolitan said, “In March 2006, I moved my kitten-heeled, pencil-skirted, 20-something self from Hobart to Sydney after securing a dream internship with young women’s lifestyle giant, Cosmo.

“Nearly two decades later, I am thrilled to continue that dream by joining Cosmopolitan Australia as Commercial Director. A heartfelt thanks to Katarina Kroslakova for the opportunity to lead such a talented commercial team, representing an adored media brand. I’m truly excited about this new era of Cosmo and look forward to working alongside our brand partners to create dynamic cross-platform campaigns.”

Kroslakova, who will also be taking on the role of editor-at-large for Cosmopolitan Australia, added: “Under Tessa and Zoe’s expert leadership, Cosmopolitan Australia is shaping up to be an absolute powerhouse of talent. Both the editorial and commercial teams are making this launch truly incredible.

“We have already engaged some of Australia’s most diverse voices and influential commercial partners for the launch issue, proving why Cosmopolitan remains as essential and vibrant today as it was under Helen Gurley Brown’s pioneering vision in 1965. The overwhelmingly positive response to the announce that Cosmo is coming back has been immense and I’m so excited for everyone in Australia to read the first issue when it hits the stands on August 12th.”

Emily Cook - Mediaweek Next Of The Best
'Intimacy and connection': Emily Cook on what makes dentsu Queensland's culture stand out

By Alisha Buaya

Plus: Cook reveals the A-list Aussie celebrity she beat in Year 12 Drama.

Emily Cook, general manager of dentsu Queensland, spoke to Mediaweek about the measures she and her team have taken to ensure their agency offers the best culture it can for its people.

Cook was rewarded for her efforts at Mediaweek’s Next of The Best awards as the winner of the Culture category.

Mediaweek caught up with Cook after the win to get her thoughts on how agency leaders can improve their culture offering, the A-list celebrity she bested in Year 12 drama and what the industry can expect from her next.

The awards have been judged by an all-star line-up, what does it mean to you to be recognised by this group?

It’s incredibly powerful.

I’ve worked across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane markets and have connected with a lot of people I fiercely admire across the industry. To see this line-up, made up of people I admire and knowing they took time to judge Next of the Best Talent is truly humbling and a credit to our industry that this powerhouse group are continuing to support the next generation of talent.

What makes dentsu Queensland’s culture stand out?

Where do I start… To be honest it has been a journey, but I think for us, we have spent a lot of time deeply connecting as a team. Doing this by driving intimacy and vulnerability is something that deeply resonated with me when I was selected to be part of the 2022 Marketing Academy cohort. Since then, I’ve been empowered to work in partnership with Chris Ernst, managing director of dentsu Queensland, to really run and own unlocking this with our entire team of over 70 in Brisbane.

This intimacy and connection has built psychological safety and connection with each other first and foremost. We have galvanised our crew behind a clear vision and made sure it was accountable for all to truly understand and play a part in. Accountability is delivered in clear expectations via goal-planning packs uniquely designed for our dentsu Queensland team and ensuring that everyone was set up for success to deliver on this.

We have crafted a one-of-a-kind development program called Origami, that leans into our Japanese heritage and takes the idea of taking a flat, one-dimensional piece of paper and sculpting it. Each fold has supported our growth journey for each of our people underpinned by vulnerability and transparency.

The bi-product of a deeply engaged culture grounded with a clear agency vision focused on the growth of everyone within our organisation has truly seen an incredible impact on the work as well as the deeply connected partnerships we have with our clients and media partners. Not only this, but it has had a significant impact in our crew’s work in giving back to society.

What advice do you have for agency leaders looking to improve culture?

Build intimacy and connection first and foremost. Words will never be able to articulate how incredibly moving this can be, investing time in doing this properly and seeing the impact it has on everyone within your team. You now feel the energy and connection when you walk into the building at 549 Queen Street. I would say this is one of your key investments as a leader, spending time connecting with your team, and truly understanding what has shaped your crew to be the people they are.

Leaders need to show up with vulnerability and honesty, humanising these conversations to maximise the impact and create the space to do this. I’ve personally shared openly about my sobriety, navigating IVF, and general life with the support of a psychologist to humanise and empower honest conversations.

With the work we have done at dentsu Queensland, I now work with our clients and media partners to support them in connecting and engaging their teams. It has been powerful to see across the industry that humanising connection and building team charters aligned to agreed-upon values and rituals has helped each of these partners connect intrinsically and supported them to run at commercial goals collectively.

In addition to driving an impactful culture at dentsu Queensland, what fun fact would you like the industry to know about you?

We have spent time connecting our dentsu Queensland crew behind the power of the intersection of creativity and intelligence, recently holding an event at the Brisbane Powerhouse for our senior client partners and team as a truly immersive experience. We asked each of our partners to submit an image that talked to their ‘most creative self’ that supported a guided creative self-exploration I took everyone on over dinner… yes, it was a powerful night!

My most creative self-image was me in my year 8 high-school drama class, which saw me fall in love with performing and theatre, writing, directing, and starring in many productions over the years with my girl gang. In the girl gang was Margot Robbie, and my fun fact is that I did beat her to come #1 in drama in year 12.

Being Next of The Best – what can the industry expect next from you?

Not slowing down! Continuing to support the industry with open and vulnerable conversations and doing this not just at dentsu Queensland, but supporting media and client partners to build and connect their teams to ensure that we are retaining the potent talent we have.  

Cheekily, I’ll always prioritise this for Queensland first and foremost as I do think there is a wonderful cohort of talent in this market, and this is the state where there is so much momentum just read Brisbane Economic Development Agency (BEDA’s) state of the City of report on why Brisbane is the most exciting city to be part of.

Top image: Emily Cook

news corp the growth distillery
The new rules of travel influence: What marketers need to know

Travel for Australians in 2024 is less about getting away from life, but getting more from life.

By James Taylor, head of research – The Growth Distillery, and Liza Williams, head of growth intelligence – The Growth Distillery.

For over six months, The Growth Distillery, Ogilvy and Kantar have been working hard to understand how influence, that most powerful but least understood social force, works in modern society. Titled, The Influence Codes, we’ve managed to uncover wide-ranging and very applicable insights for marketing and communications, but now we’ve turned our attention to figuring out how it works in the nation’s favourite pastime and right of passage… the world (literally!) of travel.

We live in an era where traditional notions of influence are rapidly changing. Historically, travel marketing relied heavily on top-down authority. Travel agents, guidebooks, and authoritative TV shows were the trusted sources that shaped our holiday decisions. However, in today’s information-saturated world, this model is no longer effective. 

According to our Influence Codes Travel report, travel for Australians in 2024 is less about getting away from life, but getting more from life, in fact we found that 7 in 10 are seeking experiences that give them more of ‘what they love’ when they travel.  To help travellers achieve this we’ve identified two fundamental drivers of influence: affinity and authenticity… but what are we actually talking about here?

Authenticity, in this context, means providing genuine, relatable experiences that resonate with a traveller’s personal values and interests. Meanwhile, affinity refers to the emotional connection and trust that travellers feel towards a brand or influencer.  This shift in mindset is profound and signals a significant opportunity for travel brands to stand out. 

That said, consumer perceptions of the way travel brands market leaves much to be desired. A striking 39% of consumers find travel brands too generic, highlighting the need for more personalised and tailored options. Additionally, 45% of travellers feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of choices available, underscoring the necessity for clear, trustworthy guidance.

To illustrate these insights, let’s consider the journey of two fictional travellers, Emily and Jack.

Growth distillery travel

Emily’s Quest for Authenticity

Emily is a young professional who has always dreamed of exploring Japan. In the past, she might have turned to traditional guidebooks or travel agents for advice. Today, Emily’s approach is different. She follows a travel influencer on Instagram who shares her passion for Japanese culture and cuisine. This influencer posts authentic experiences, from hidden ramen shops in Tokyo to serene tea ceremonies in Kyoto.

For Emily, these posts resonate deeply because they align with her interests and provide a sense of authenticity that generic travel ads cannot match. When it comes time to book her trip, Emily is more likely to trust recommendations from this influencer, who embodies the authenticity and affinity that our research highlights as key drivers of influence. 

Jack’s Need for Tailored Guidance

Jack, on the other hand, is a family man planning a holiday for his wife and two children. Faced with the overwhelming number of destinations and activities available, Jack feels stressed about making the right choices. He wants a holiday that caters to his family’s varied interests, from his wife’s love of wine tasting to his children’s enthusiasm for adventure sports.

Travel brands that understand this dynamic can offer personalised itineraries and clear, reliable guidance to help Jack make informed decisions. For instance, a travel agency could provide an online platform where Jack can input his family’s preferences and receive tailored recommendations that balance relaxation with adventure. Highlighting experiences, such as a vineyard tour with childcare services or a family-friendly adventure park, would address Jack’s need for tailored guidance and ease his decision-making process.

Picture Jack navigating a user-friendly travel site that asks, “Do your kids need to burn off energy while you sample fine wines? We’ve got the perfect itinerary for you!” 

The Travel Marketer’s Playbook

The data is clear: authenticity and affinity are now the superpowers of influence in the travel sector. Marketers who understand and harness these elements can significantly enhance their impact. As I see it, our role as marketers is evolving from simply helping people get away from life to helping them get more from life. 

This means moving away from generic marketing messages and instead focusing on creating authentic connections with our audiences.  One of the most compelling insights from our report is the importance of personalised travel experiences. 

As Liza Williams, our Head of Growth Intelligence at The Growth Distillery, aptly puts it: “our research underscores the transformative power of personalised travel experiences. By fostering authentic connections, brands can significantly enhance their influence and drive meaningful engagement with their customers.”

In the post-pandemic world, where cost-of-living pressures are mounting, the importance of authenticity and reliability has never been greater. Consumers are not just looking for destinations; they seek experiences that align with their values and aspirations.

Travel marketers who can effectively communicate these experiences will not only capture attention but also build lasting trust and loyalty.

The path to influencing today’s travellers is clear. Embrace authenticity, build affinity, and provide the personalised experiences that modern consumers crave. The Growth Distillery’s latest insights offer a playbook for navigating this new landscape, ensuring that travel brands remain relevant and resonant in an increasingly competitive market.

To delve deeper into these findings and understand how you can apply them to your marketing strategies, download The Influence Codes: Travel from The Growth Distillery website.

See also: Growth Distillery: Travel marketing ‘evolving’ as Aussies seek more personalised experiences

Top image: James Taylor and Liza Williams

TV Half Year Report: Seven on top while 10 Play achieves its biggest year

By Jasper Baumann

7plus sees a 39% increase in minutes watched, 10 Play live stream viewing is up 61%.

The Seven Network reports being Australia’s most-watched television and digital network in the first half of 2024, while Network 10’s 10 Play reports its biggest year ever, up 37% year-on-year.

Nine will release its half-year report on August 28.

Across the first six months of the year, Seven had a total TV commercial share of 40.9% in all people, compared to Nine Network’s 39.1% share and Network Ten’s 20%.

Seven has increased its share among all people, 25 to 54s and grocery shoppers. Seven was #1 among grocery shoppers with a 41.3% share.

7plus’ BVOD share jumped from 33.8% in the first half of 2023 to 36.2% this year, with a 39% increase in minutes watched.

Seven West Media managing director and chief executive officer, Jeff Howard, said: “Seven leads the field as the most-watched TV and digital network in Australia, capturing more viewers than anyone else.

“With the most-watched news, breakfast show, winter sport, game show and lifestyle program, plus a strong slate of entertainment content, we’ve shown consistent scheduling and consistent leadership across the first six months of 2024. We were #1 in 15 of the first 26 weeks of the year and the home of the most popular programs.

“7plus continues to go from strength to strength, thanks to the great content on Seven, the popular shows from our NBCUniversal partnership, and its ever-growing library of exclusive content. It will get even stronger later this year when we add AFL and cricket to the 7plus platform for the first time,” he said.

Group managing director, Seven Television, Angus Ross, said: “Seven’s success in the first half once again demonstrates our ability to reach and engage with many Australians with the news, sport and entertainment content they want, on whatever screen they are using.

“Our content ‘spine’ shows – Sunrise, The Morning Show, The Chase Australia, 7NEWS, Home and Away and Better Homes and Gardens – remain #1 in their timeslots. The AFL stands tall as Australia’s favourite winter sport, while our 7.30pm entertainment shows including Australian Idol, Farmer Wants A Wife and The 1% Club are extremely strong brands.”

Network 10 reached over 22.6 million Australians in the first half of 2024, with 10’s comedies seeing year-on-year growth for Have You Been Paying Attention? up 4%, The Cheap Seats up 7%, and Taskmaster Australia up 9%.

10 Play has also achieved its biggest year yet and is up 37% on 2023. Network 10 states 10 Play reaches over 2.5 million Australians every single month, and monthly reach has grown 30% on 2023. Live stream viewing is up 61% on 2023, with record live stream audiences across entertainment, news and sport.

I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, Australian Survivor and MasterChef Australia achieved their biggest audiences on 10 Play. 10’s Deal Or No Deal has also lifted 10’s 6 pm timeslot by 26%.

The CommBank Matildas attracted the biggest audience for a Football match ever on 10, in their second friendly game with China PR. Together, the Subway Socceroos and CommBank Matildas matches have reached 9.48 million Australians in their 2023/24 season and achieved their biggest-ever digital audiences.

Daniel Monaghan, SVP content and programming, Paramount Australia, said: “As the home of Australia’s favourite comedies we’re so happy to see them thrive. 10’s comedies are growing their audiences year on year, winning their timeslots, are the most watched entertainment programs and resonate with younger audiences. It is clear audiences want to sit down and laugh together, from Robert and Julia to Mel and Tim, or any of our weekly shows hosted by someone called Tom, we take immense pride in the success of our comedy and entertainment lineup.

“The first half of 2024 was filled with must-watch moments including the magic of the Matildas, Feras Basal being named sole survivor, Skye Wheatley being crowned Queen Of The Jungle, just to name a few. And there is so much more to come. The second half of 2024 kicks off with the crowning of a new MasterChef, an adrenaline-fueled premiere of Hunted: The Million Dollar Heist, more laughs from Thank God You’re Here, a fast tracked third season of Taskmaster and hilarious pranks from The Inspired Unemployed [Impractical] Jokers.”

Rod Prosser, chief sales officer, Paramount Australia, said: “This year, we’ve seen exceptional results for Australia’s favourite free-to-air shows and sporting events on 10, with some shows growing their audiences year-on-year. Our Total TV advertising opportunities are unmatched, with our premium, brand-safe content on linear and BVOD platforms consistently engaging younger, more active viewers than our competitors.

“10 Play is having its best year ever, significantly boosting total viewing. We’re leveraging this digital audience with cutting-edge digital ad products, including dynamic video capabilities that deliver personalised experiences at scale, interactive and immersive ad experiences, and performance-driven solutions that meet the market’s need for effective campaigns.”

Fallout show amazon
Amazon Prime Video launches ad tier in Australian market

By Tess Connery

Paul Kent: The launch “brings even more competition within the streaming TV landscape.”

Amazon Prime Video launches its ad tier in Australia today, with Australians being shown ads on the streamer unless they upgrade to the tier without advertising. In Australia, the upgrade will cost users an extra $2.99 per month. 

According to Paul Kent, managing director and co-founder of Deep Media, the launch of advertising on Prime Video “is a smart decision given that 30% of subscriber households shopped on Amazon within the last month.” 

“By combining Prime Video’s premium content with Amazon’s powerful first-party targeting and ad tech capabilities, brands can now achieve significant reach and engagement. 

“In addition, where this could become particularly disruptive is by being able to tie back to e-commerce/retail metrics in a traditionally hard to track area like Streaming TV, which for so long has mostly been used similar to TV with basic awareness and reach goals,” Kent added.

Amazon prime Paul Kent Deep Media

Paul Kent

Amazon announced the launch of its ad-tier in November last year, with plans to launch in the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Canada in January, with Australia, France, Italy, Spain and Mexico to follow later in the year.

At the time, Amazon said the aim was “to have meaningfully fewer ads than linear TV and other streaming TV providers while simultaneously offering advertisers reach, frequency, and opportunities to tailor messages.”

This strategy of fewer ads won’t be a hurdle for advertisers, however, with Kent saying it will work for both brands and consumers. 

“Amazon approaches every decision working backwards from the customer and appears to be going for a less is more approach with regards to the volume of ads. A positive side-effect of this ‘customer obsession’ will be to provide advertisers with cut-through, via strict frequency capping and monitoring of repetitive ads.”

With 81% of watch time happening on CTV, for Kent, the launch “brings even more competition within the streaming TV landscape where Amazon already has an enviable position.”

“As an Amazon Ads verified partner, we explain to many of our clients that the strength of first party data – from the car you drive to telco you use – that Amazon has, takes them well beyond e-commerce. Overlaying this data with the Prime Video opportunity opens up the business to an even broader range of advertisers.”

See also: Amazon Prime Video faces class action lawsuit over introduction of ad tier

TrinityP3 - Lydia Feely and Darren Woolley
TrinityP3 opens 2024 State of the Pitch survey

By Alisha Buaya

The survey is open from now until 31 December.

TrinityP3 has opened its 2024 State of the Pitch survey, asking agencies to participate and share their experiences.

The pitch consultancy’s inaugural State of the Pitch report surveyed agencies about their views on 77 pitches of varying sizes over six months, representing approximately half of the pitches run across Australia for the period. 

The new survey is open from now until 31 December, and agencies are being asked to share their feedback regularly.

Darren Woolley, CEO of TrinityP3, said he hoped to continue growing the pool of responses in the report’s second year.

“We were so thrilled with participation in the inaugural The State of Pitch, with feedback on more than 75 pitches with a broad range of values from $50,000 to $10m. The report gave the industry a clear lens on the state of new business for agencies and how marketers are handling the pitching process. 

“Now that ‘The State of Pitch’ is firmly established, I would love to broaden the pool of agency feedback and hopefully get more agencies giving us their anonymous feedback on what’s working and what isn’t when pitching.”

Lydia Feely, general manager of TrinityP3, added that this year’s report provided valuable feedback for marketers and agencies alike. 

“We had so much good feedback from marketers and agencies alike about this year’s report,” she said.

“It’s become an invaluable tool for marketers who are thinking about going to market and running a process, but equally, I think agencies have gotten tremendous value out of being able to see on the macro level how marketer requirements are evolving and what they need to do in order to secure new business,” Feely added.

See also: Pitch process ‘same one that’s seen in Mad Men’: Darren Woolley dissects pitching’s ‘bad name’
89% of agencies not paid pitch fees: TrinityP3’s inaugural State of the Pitch report
Pitching behaviour ‘even worse’ than State of the Pitch reveals: Industry leaders weigh in
Pitch pledge might not work in ‘Wild West frontier’ of Aussie adland: ACA, MFA, and IMAA on State of the Pitch

Top image: Lydia Feely and Darren Woolley

IMAA Pitch-chella
IMAA unveils line-up for inaugural Pitch-Chella initiative

By Alisha Buaya

Mike Wilson: “This innovative initiative is part of the IMAA’s commitment to showcase and develop the depth of talent within the independent media sector.”

The Independent Media Agencies of Australia (IMAA) has revealed the line-up for its inaugural ‘Pitch-Chella’ initiative.

The program, sponsored by Audience360 and supported by Meta, was designed to support emerging agency talent, led by a committee of independent agency leaders, including Mike Wilson (Hatched), Jessica Bray (Audience Precision), Jac Ely (Apparent), Lisa Blackshaw (Edge), Taylor Fielding (TFM Digital) and the IMAA team.

Applications are now open for the industry body’s first-ever Pitch-Chella program, which features a judging panel of industry legends alongside up-and-coming indie agency professionals nationwide encouraged to participate.

The two-month virtual program is open to IMAA member single agency or inter-agency teams comprised of members with less than five years of media industry experience.

Teams will be provided with a brief and budget from two national charitable organisations – the Northern Territory Indigenous Business Network and the Waves of Wellness Foundation – and will then be required to prepare a written response. The briefs will be reviewed, with shortlisted finalists set to be announced on August 26.

Finalists will then present a virtual pitch to a panel of judges, including gold sponsor Audience360’s managing director, Jenny Parkes, TrinityP3 global media consultant, Steven Wright, Kennards Hire general manager marketing and customer experience, Manelle Mehri, and Orand founder and senior media consultant, Adam Hickey.

Pitch-Chella will culminate with the official winner announcement at a closing party in Sydney on 18 September.

IMAA Leadership Team member and Hatched chairman, Mike Wilson, said Pitch-Chella was designed to unite the skills of the industry’s future talent with opportunity and creativity.

“This innovative initiative is part of the IMAA’s commitment to showcase and develop the depth of talent within the independent media sector. This program is specifically designed for agency professionals who have been in the industry for five years or less, so we can focus on cultivating the next generation of agency talent,” he said.

“Pitch-Chella is also dedicated to creating a spirit of collaboration among our members, while providing real-world experience – participants will be exposed to the nuances of the pitch process, receive feedback from seasoned professionals, help worthy charities, and build brand awareness for their individual agencies.”

Audience360’s Jenny Parkes, said: “Audience360 is proud to support Pitch-Chella, another brilliant IMAA initiative. Our involvement is driven by our shared ambition to support up-and-coming talent and future-proof the media industry.”

Pitch-Chella is open to all IMAA members, who are currently employed at an independent agency, with five years or less experience in the media industry. Applications close on July 12, with successful applicants to be announced on July 22.

Val Morgan Outdoor - VMO
VMO secures advertising rights to Mall 88 and unveils The Halo

By Alisha Buaya

The Halo is the longest digital curved retail screen in the southern hemisphere, measuring 40 metres in length.

Val Morgan Outdoor (VMO) has secured the advertising rights to Mall 88, the newly developed retail precinct in Sydney’s Lower North Shore developed by property development company JQZ.

The $1.6 billion mixed-use development, located opposite St Leonards train station and a short stroll from the future Crows Nest Metro Station, brings to life a three-level shopping centre anchored by a full-line Coles supermarket, a public library, commercial office spaces, over 600 luxury residential apartments, and an open-air plaza at ground level.

The centrepiece of the development is The Halo, the longest digital curved retail screen in the southern hemisphere, measuring 40 metres in length. The Halo curves across the main precinct thoroughfare and creates an unparalleled and unique advertising opportunity for brands.

Alongside the immersive Large Format Platinum screen, 15 digital floor and ceiling-mounted panels are installed within direct proximity to Coles and other key retailers.

Anthony Deeble, chief commercial officer of the HOYTS Group and VMO, said: “We’re dedicated to expanding our network into premium locations across the country, enhancing the environments these assets live within.”

“With the addition of Mall 88, we’ve created an incredible opportunity to launch our footprint within this retail environment in Sydney’s Lower North Shore, which will undoubtedly be one of the most sought-after locations nationwide.”

“Mall 88 isn’t just a shopping centre; it’s a destination for living, working, and playing, which embodies our place-based network approach at its core,” Paul Butler, managing director of VMO, added.

“Situated in the prime of Sydney’s Lower North Shore, this new location offers brands the opportunity to connect with premium audiences and is yet another testament to our commitment to deliver innovative advertising and brand experience opportunities to our partners.”

JQZ said: “Selecting VMO as our new media partner at Mall 88 was driven by our desire to elevate our outdoor media approach to a superior level of quality and innovation. The collaborative efforts demonstrated by the team in crafting and implementing optimal solutions across the precinct have truly exceeded our expectations.”

The news comes after VMO launched Ultimate Media Champion (UMC), a competition that aims to unite the Australian media industry through health and wellness.

See also: VMO launches Ultimate Media Champion competition

Inside Out 2
Box Office: Inside Out 2 becomes first film since Barbie to gross $1 billion globally

By Jasper Baumann

This weekend, the Australian box office made $19.8m.


1. Inside Out 2 – $5,960,897 (1)

There seems to be no stopping Disney/Pixar’s Inside Out 2 as it comes in at #1 for a third week. This week, it becomes the first film since Barbie in 2023 to hit a worldwide gross of $1 billion. The film introduces a new array of emotions for a now-teenage Riley, including Anxiety voiced by Maya Hawke and Envy voiced by Ayo Edebiri.

Coming in first place this week, Inside Out 2 took $5,960,897 in its third week, averaging $9,553 over 624 screens.

Total Australian Box Office gross to date: $27,621,742

Synopsis: Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust have been running a successful operation by all accounts. However, when Anxiety shows up, they aren’t sure how to feel.

2. Despicable Me 4 – $5,391,170 (2)

Steve Carell returns to voice Gru and this time is joined by fellow funnyman Will Ferrell who plays the villain Maxime Le Mal. The Despicable Me franchise is the highest-grossing animated film franchise of all time, grossing a total of more than $4.6 billion. Coming in second place this week, Despicable Me 4 took $5,391,170 in its second week, averaging $9,442 over 571 screens.

Total Australian Box Office gross to date: $14,556,646

Synopsis: Gru welcomes a new member to the family, Gru Jr., who’s intent on tormenting his dad. However, their peaceful existence soon comes crashing down when criminal mastermind Maxime Le Mal escapes from prison and vows revenge against Gru.

3. A Quiet Place: Day One – $3,948,269 (debut)

The newest film in the Quiet Place franchise is directed by Michael Sarnoskil, who takes over the reins from the director of the previous two films, John Krasinski. The film is a prequel, documenting the beginning stages of an invasion in New York City by creatures who are drawn to the slightest hint of sound. It stars Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o and Stranger Things star Joesph Quinn. Coming in third place this week, A Quiet Place: Day One took $3,948,269 in its first week, averaging $7,960 over 496 screens.

Synopsis: When New York City comes under attack from an alien invasion, a woman and other survivors try to find a way to safety. They soon learn that they must remain absolutely silent as the mysterious creatures are drawn to the slightest sound.

4. Kalki 2898 AD – $1,650,575 (debut)

Mindblowing’s Kalki 2898 AD is the first instalment in the planned Kalki Cinematic Universe, which will contain films inspired by Hindu scriptures. Coming in fourth place this week, Kalki 2898 AD took $1,650,575 in its first week, averaging $10,316 over 160 screens.

Synopsis: A modern avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu, is said to have descended on Earth to protect the world from evil forces.

5. Bad Boys: Ride or Die – $926,216 (3)

The new film in the Bad Boys franchise is directed by Adil and Bilall, who are rumoured to be in talks with Marvel to direct the upcoming fourth Spider-Man film, starring Tom Holland. Coming in fifth place this week, Bad Boys: Ride or Die took $926,216 in its fourth week, averaging $2,807 over 330 screens.

Total Australian Box Office gross to date: $11,709,424

Synopsis: When their late police captain gets linked to drug cartels, wisecracking Miami cops Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett embark on a dangerous mission to clear his name.

Top 6 – 10

6. Jatt & Juliet 3
7. The Garfield Movie
8. Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga
9. IF
10. Blue Lock The Movie

Emotive launches campaign for Google starring Aussie icon Sharon Strzelecki
Emotive launches campaign for Google starring Aussie icon Sharon Strzelecki

By Amy Shapiro

Magda Szubanski: “The fact that Shaz is helping her fellow entre-prenuers… well I think that’s exactly the type of person she is!”

Google have enlisted Kath & Kim fan-favourite Sharon Strzelecki (played by comedian and actress Magda Szubanski) to showcase its new range of AI-powered tools in its latest campaign by creative agency, Emotive.

In the campaign, Strzelecki uses the ad tools to attract customers to her Bowled & Beautiful hairdressing business, demonstrating how simple it is for businesses to set up and use. So easy, it seems, even an accident prone indoor leg-spinner and small business owner from Fountain Lakes can do it.

“Shaz is a very special character and I wanted to ensure that her evolution into a business owner was true to her spirit as an everyday Aussie who is giving it her best crack,” said Szubanski.

“Working with Emotive and Google across long form content ensured that we could tell an authentic story. The fact that Shaz is helping her fellow entre-prenuers… well I think that’s exactly the type of person she is!”

The campaign features a mini mockumentary film, alongside 60-second, 30-second, and 15-second ads, complemented by an in-depth ‘how-to’ video where Strzelecki guides users through setting up Google Ads, featuring a cameo from former Australian cricket legend, Adam Gilchrist.

Strzelecki also makes an appearance on David Koch’s Kochie’s Business Builders program on Seven, and has launched her own Bowled & Beautiful website.

The work comes at a time when challenging economic conditions have made doing business and acquiring new customers more difficult for many companies. Research from Google and Kantar found that almost two-thirds (61 percent) of Australian small and medium (SMB) businesses identified the latter as their number one challenge.

“We know that SMB owners are among the most time-poor people on the planet, and in today’s economic climate they also need their marketing to deliver more with less,” said Google Australia’s director of ads marketing, Mark Wheeler.

“That’s why we’re so excited about the integration of Google AI into our Ads solutions – it’s delivering better performance and making it easier to manage. At Google we’re committed to putting this powerful technology in the hands of all Australian businesses, regardless of their size or budget.” 

The campaign follows Emotive’s recent work for The HOKA FlyLab, showcased on Sydney’s Pitt Street over five days, marking the agency’s second activation for the sportswear brand in Australia.

See also: Emotive activates The HOKA FlyLab for Global Running Day

Client: Google Australia: Mark Wheeler, Duncan McGrath, Martin Dowling, Dana Markovic

Emotive Creative and Production: Ben Keep, Ben Sampson, Hayley Ritz-Pelling, Jess Ameduri, Michael Dawson, Michael Hogg, Monika Vidovic, Rebecca Love-Williams, Rory Pearson, Sam Gadsden, Simon Joyce, Sophia Delimihalis, Tyler Ronaldson, Zane Pearson

Research and Insights: Pollinate & Kanta

Top Image: Magda Szubanski (as Sharon Strzelecki)

Thinkerbell promotes Nick Bennett, Tom Wenborn & Paul Swann in series of senior appointments
Thinkerbell promotes Nick Bennett to GM as series of senior appointments announced

By Amy Shapiro

Tom Wenborn and Paul Swann promoted to chief creative Tinkers, Jacqueline Archer appointed national head of integrated production, and Laura Stevenson named executive head Tinker.

Thinkerbell has announced a host of leadership appointments across its Melbourne (The South), Sydney (The North) and New Zealand (Aotearoa) offices. In Melbourne, Nick Bennett has been promoted general manager, and Tom Wenborn to chief creative Tinker. Paul Swann has been promoted to chief creative Tinker in Sydney.

Wenborn and Swann have led the creative delivery in their respective offices for many years. Their promotions will see the pair wholly responsible for continuing to build and grow Thinkerbell’s creative output.

Bennett will continue working alongside managing director Jaime Morgan to build and grow the agency team.

“Nick and Jaime have been amazing at leading the agency in ‘The South’ and with Nick’s appointment as GM he now has the ability to have a wider influence on his team and the people around him with his calm and considered leadership style,” commented group CEO, Margie Reid.

Group chief creative, Jim Ingram, added: “Holding the reins on Thinkerbell’s creative output is no mean feat, our agency model allows us to have such a wide breadth of ideas and we’re obviously prolific in what we deliver, so I’m constantly amazed with how much care and craft Paul and Tom bring to everything they do. I can’t wait to see what they’ll do as chiefs.”

The creative agency has also appointed Jacqueline Archer as national head of integrated production. Archer moves from her role as managing director at integrated MarCom agency Bastion, where she led its in-house production studio, Bastion Make.

“Jackie brings with her a wealth of experience, across a wide range of production experience, from agencies, to networks and everything in between,” said Ingram.

“She’s also got a brilliant ability to truly integrate production into the agency, helping us bring our ideas and our production much closer together.” 

Finally, Laura Stevenson has been named executive head Thinker, returning to Australia after five years in the UK to lead Thinker’s Lion account. In Australia, Lion manages a portfolio of beverage brands including Guinness, XXXX, and Hahn Brewery.

Thinkerbell North Leadership - Laura Stevenson, Jacqueline Archer, Paul Swann & Phillippa Netolicky

Laura Stevenson, Jacqueline Archer, Paul Swann & Phillippa Netolicky

“We searched high and low to find someone like Laura, and she’s having an immediate impact on steering the Lion team across the agency,” Reid continued.

“With Laura’s focus on Lion across both offices in Australia, she’s ensuring our Measured Magic is consistent across all brands and the whole Lion business.”

The latest appointments follow a string of creative work from the agency. Last month, Thinkerbell worked with Starcom to launch a new brand platform for Felix mobile starring a tree puppet called Felix. June also saw the Toohey’s How do you feel? jingle performed by real people for the first time, featuring a cast of teams from across the state, including the Blues, ahead of Ampol State of Origin Game One.

In May, Thinkerbell launched a new era for beverage retailer Dan Murphy’s, evolving its current brand platform, Nobody Beats Dan Murphy’s

Top Image: Nick Bennett, Jaime Morgan & Tom Wenborn 

Hatched - Swaggle
Hatched partners with pet care brand Swaggle

By Alisha Buaya

Hatched will work as part of an agency village with the creative agency, The General Store.

Hatched has partnered with online pet store Swaggle, which launched nationally in January.
The Swaggle brand is centred on delivering pet happiness through a pet personalisation offering. This offering was created to help pet parents find and understand the most relevant products for their pets, whatever their age, breed, or life stage.

The independent agency will work as part of an agency village with the creative agency, The General Store.

Hatched has delivered a communications strategy including media planning and buying for the brand across transit out-of-home in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, Broadcaster Video on Demand (BVOD) and performance media.

Cat Edghill, Hatched Sydney managing partner, said: “You don’t get a lot of opportunities to be involved in a brand’s journey from the very beginning. We are thrilled to be putting our e-commerce and retail smarts to work in partnership with Swaggle to drive brand growth.”

“We’re pleased to have found such a terrific media partner in Hatched,” Swaggle’s head of marketing Emma Wynne said. “The team’s energy and strategic focus are just what we need to accelerate the growth of Swaggle and reach pet parents right around the country.”

Last week, Hatched revealed it was reappointed as the media agency of record of vehicle parts, accessories, equipment, service and solutions provider, Bapcor.
Bapcor, which encompasses brands such as Autobarn, Autopro, Midas, ABS, and Opposite Lock, first appointed Hatched in 2017.

Hatched will continue to deliver all media services, including strategy, planning, buying and digital media. The agency recently expanded its team with the senior hires of Laura Comber as business director and Berlian Ayudya as strategy director.

Danni Dimitri, managing partner and head of strategy, said that the independent agency “hit the jackpot” with Comber and Ayudya.

“Laura possesses such warmth; she truly is a natural people leader, and Berlian has a unique perspective on problem-solving, powered by her ability to unlock and apply consumer and cultural insights to solve clients’ business problems.”

Mango Communications wins made by Fressko
Mango Communications wins made by Fressko

By Amy Shapiro

Age Conte: “We’ve had our eye on the Mango team for several years.”

DDB’s PR, social, and comms agency, Mango Communications, has won the earned media and influencer account for Australian reusable cup and bottle maker, made by Fressko.

Mango has had a long-standing relationship with the Melbourne-based start-up, which designs and manufactures premium reusable drinkware. The agency will be responsible for deepening the brand’s relationship with creators and extending its PR offering.

“We’ve had our eye on the Mango team for several years and have always been impressed by not only their fame-building creative campaigns but also the day-to-day work they do to ensure brands stay in the consumer consciousness,” said made by Fressko’s head of marketing, Age Conte.

“We’re looking forward to partnering with them on our growth journey and bringing  to life our brand in new and creative ways.”

made by Fressko web asset

“We are excited to partner with the team at made by Fressko,” added Mango Melbourne’s general manager, Alex Lefley.

“Our expertise in public relations, coupled with our strategic ability to help brands navigate the world of influencers, was a key attraction for made by Fressko and we’re looking forward to working with the team to continue to develop its overarching brand story and  growth success.”

The latest win for Mango follows a string of work from the agency, most recently for Vodka Cruiser to promote Vodka Cruiser Cola. The bewitching, occult-themed campaign invited audiences to ‘Embrace Your Dark Side’ and ‘Hex Your Ex’ at hexyourex.com.au, an alias that redirects to the Vodka Cruiser website.

In May, Mango helped launch the second campaign partnership between athletic brand New Balance and wellness platform Kic, a run club for young women and non-binary individuals across the country to learn how to run with confidence.

See also:
Exclusive: Mango Melbourne invites you to ‘Hex Your Ex’ for Vodka Cruiser
New Balance and Kic launch run club via Mango

TV Ratings 30 June 2024: The Travel Guides put on sun hats for a Pacific Island escape

By Jasper Baumann

The Cowboys beat the Panthers 16-6.

Sunday 30 June 2024: VOZ Total TV Ratings Overnight Top 30 – Programs ranked on reach

Total People TV Ratings

Nine’s Travel Guides recorded a total TV national reach of 2,182,000, a total TV national audience of 530,000, and a BVOD audience of 40,000.

Nine’s NRL – Panthers v Cowboys recorded a total TV national reach of 1,191,000, a total TV national audience of 478,000, and a BVOD audience of 47,000.

Seven’s Dream Home recorded a total TV national reach of 1,740,000, a total TV national audience of 734,000, and a BVOD audience of 51,000.

Also on Seven, 7NEWS Spotlight recorded a total TV national reach of 1,261,000, a total TV national audience of 525,000, and a BVOD audience of 31,000.

10’s airing of MasterChef Australia recorded a total TV national reach of 1,064,000, a total TV national audience of 612,000, and a BVOD audience of 56,000.

See also: TV Report 30 June 2024: Cowboys enter top eight as Penrith fall at BlueBet Stadium

People 25-54

Nine’s Travel Guides:
• Total TV nation reach: 691,000
• National Audience: 176,000
• BVOD Audience: 23,000

Nine’s NRL – Panthers v Cowboys:
• Total TV nation reach: 364,000
• National Audience: 156,000
• BVOD Audience: 27,000

10’s MasterChef:
• Total TV nation reach: 349,000
• National Audience: 195,000 
• BVOD Audience: 31,000

Seven’s Dream Home:
• Total TV nation reach: 563,000
• National Audience: 249,000
• BVOD Audience: 29,000

Seven’s 7NEWS Spotlight:
• Total TV nation reach: 397,000
• National Audience: 165,000
• BVOD Audience: 17,000

People 16-39

Nine’s Travel Guides:
• Total TV nation reach: 256,000
• National Audience: 64,000
• BVOD Audience: 11,000

Nine’s NRL – Panthers v Cowboys:
• Total TV nation reach: 146,000
• National Audience: 60,000
• BVOD Audience: 17,000

10’s MasterChef:
• Total TV nation reach: 121,000
• National Audience: 69,000 
• BVOD Audience: 17,000

Seven’s Dream Home:
• Total TV nation reach: 184,000
• National Audience: 91,000
• BVOD Audience: 14,000

Seven’s 7NEWS Spotlight:
• Total TV nation reach: 125,000
• National Audience: 56,000
• BVOD Audience: 8,000

Grocery Shoppers 18+

Nine’s Travel Guides:
• Total TV nation reach: 1,649,000
• National Audience: 405,000
• BVOD Audience: 32,000

Nine’s NRL – Panthers v Cowboys:
• Total TV nation reach: 899,000
• National Audience: 366,000
• BVOD Audience: 36,000

10’s MasterChef:
• Total TV nation reach: 853,000
• National Audience: 493,000 
• BVOD Audience: 46,000

Seven’s Dream Home:
• Total TV nation reach: 1,387,000
• National Audience: 599,000
• BVOD Audience: 42,000

Seven’s 7NEWS Spotlight:
• Total TV nation reach: 1,017,000
• National Audience: 426,000
• BVOD Audience: 25,000

TV Ratings

Data © OzTAM and Regional TAM 2024. Not to be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) in whole or in part, without prior written consent of OzTAM and Regional TAM.

TV Report
TV Report 1 July 2024: NSW Dream Home contestants enter final renovation cycle

By Jasper Baumann

The Project spoke to Bill Bailey.

TV Report 1 July 2024:

Nine TV Report

Do You Want To Live Forever

Nine’s evening began with the next episode of Tracy Grimshaw’s new show, Do You Want To Live Forever.

Participants bravely confronted their deepest medical fears as they take on challenging tests to uncover the secrets to defeating disease and extending human lifespan.

A Current Affair

Over on A Current Affair, the program investigated a hoarder who is leaving elderly neighbours in despair and a banned used car dealer fronts court over an alleged neighbour assault.

Seven TV Report

Dream Home

On Seven, Dream Home saw the final cycle of the NSW Dream Homes which leaves seven days to complete their renovations and secure a place in the top three and with it a backyard and a shot at $100k.

Home and Away

Before Dream Home was Home and Away as Mackenzie found she can’t forgive, Mali searched for his brother and Rose was done with compromise.

10 TV Report

The Project

The Project on 10 spoke to the treasurer on the tax changes coming, senator Fatima Payman says she’s been ‘exiled’ and spoke to Bill Bailey.

MasterChef Australia

On 10’s MasterChef, contestants had to cook a dish using all nine ingredients in Poh’s everything mystery box. The winner scored themselves $5,000 to spend at Harvey Norman.

Have You Been Paying Attention?

Have You Been Paying Attention saw Aaron Chen, Lizzy Hoo, Ray O’Leary, Alex Ward and Ed Kavalee all compete to see who’s been paying attention the most with host Tom Gleisner and special guest quizmaster Yual Reath.



On 7:30, the program looked into how the deal to grant Julian Assange freedom was struck, how the Albanese government is facing internal revolt and Sarah Ferguson interviewed Greens Leader Adam Bandt.


Amazing Railway Adventures Nick Knowles

In Malaysia, Nick Knowles takes three train journeys: first a short hop to the Batu Caves with their famous rainbow-painted steps, then the jungle train from Mentakab to Gua Musang, taking in an elephant sanctuary, and finally the high-speed mainline from arty Ipoh to cosmopolitan Penang.

Business of Media

Paul Kent sacked: NRL 360 presenter punted after wild brawl outside Sydney pub

Rugby league pundit Paul Kent has been sacked from his commentary jobs after being filmed allegedly taking part in a wild street brawl outside a Sydney hotel, reports The Daily Mail Australia‘s Stephen Gibbs

Kent was dismissed by both Fox Sports, where he was a pugnacious presenter on NRL 360, and News Corp, for which he wrote regular columns in The Daily Telegraph.

The 54-year-old is due to face Downing Centre Local Court on Wednesday, having indicated he will seek to have a charge of affray dealt with on mental health grounds.

[Read More]

‘Inside Out 2’ becomes first movie of 2024 to hit $1 billion at Global Box Office

Talk about a mood booster. Disney and Pixar‘s emotion-laden Inside Out 2 is the first film of the year to hit $1 billion at the global box office, reports Variety Australia‘s Rebecca Rubin.

After 19 days of release, the animated sequel has grossed $469.3 million in North America and $545.5 million internationally for a worldwide tally of $1.015 billion. It’s one of 11 animated films to join the billion-dollar club (eight of which are Disney titles), and it’s the fastest animated release to do so.

See also: Box Office: Inside Out 2 becomes first film since Barbie to gross $1 billion globally

[Read More]

Hunter Biden sues Fox News over ‘mock trial’ miniseries

US President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden sued conservative news outlet Fox News on Monday for publishing nude photos and videos of him in a fictionalised “mock trial” show focused on his foreign business dealings, reports Reuters‘ Jack Queen.

Hunter Biden alleges Fox violated New York state’s so-called revenge porn law, which makes it illegal to publish intimate images of a person without their consent. He is also suing for unjust enrichment and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

[Read More]

Marketers up investment in brand marketing citing record growth

Australian businesses are shifting marketing investment into brand marketing activity, citing increa­sed awareness, better sales and a greater return on investment, reports News Corp’s Danielle Long.

Companies including Intrepid Travel, Koh and Airtasker have ­reported strong uplifts in business ­results and brand metrics after adjusting performance marketing budgets and increasing brand activity across TV, out-of-home, radio and press channels.

[Read More]

Signs of life appear in TV show purchases

It has been nearly seven months since Hollywood resolved its strikes, but momentum still hasn’t taken hold in the entertainment industry. “Survive till ’25” has become an informal slogan among entertainment workers, reports The New York Times‘s John Koblin.

But the global market for ordering new TV shows is beginning to show some signs of life, and it has been overwhelmingly driven by two players – Netflix and Amazon.

[Read More]

Social Media

Supreme Court avoids final decision on state regulation of social media

The Supreme Court on Monday said social-media platforms’ content-moderation policies can be protected by the First Amendment. The justices sidestepped a ruling on the validity of laws in Texas and Florida that sought to restrict Facebook, YouTube and other internet giants from suppressing user speech, reports The Wall Street Journal‘s Jan Wolfe.

The court, in an opinion by Justice Elena Kagan, said lower courts hadn’t properly analysed the scope of Texas and Florida’s laws.

[Read More]

Andy Cohen joins Influencers against antisemitism summit, encouraging creators to “represent Jewish culture with pride to your followers”

“I am a proud American Jew,” Andy Cohen declared to cheers at the Voices For Truth: Influencers United Against Antisemitism summit in New York, where the TV host appeared first at the opening gala on Sunday and then moderated an “Influencers Town Hall” conversation on Monday, reports Hollywood Reporter‘s Kristen Chuba.

The two-day event, organised by the Combat Antisemitism Movement, saw more than 200 social media influencers congregate for conversations about fighting antisemitism, with Cohen among the speakers at the opening night event.

[Read More]


Celebrity chef Manu Feildel makes surprise return to restaurant industry with pub bistro

After declaring the restaurant industry broken and vowing never to open another venue, celebrity chef Manu Feildel is making a surprise return to the industry, reports News Corp’s Karlie Rutherford.

The My Kitchen Rules Host is set to open Bistro Red Lion by Manu at Rozelle’s 196-year-old pub The Red Lion.

“I’m doing it for different reasons this time – or right reasons this time – I’m doing it to have fun,” Feildel told The Daily Telegraph.

[Read More]

Morgan Freeman slams AI voice imitations of himself

Morgan Freeman shared a note giving thanks to his fans Friday morning, expressing gratitude for users’ efforts calling out unauthorised AI imitations of the actor’s recognisable voice, reports Variety Australia‘s Selena Kuznikov.

The celebrated 87-year-old actor has become legend for his narration in films such as March of the PenguinsThe Shawshank Redemption and Million Dollar Baby. The sterling reputation of Freeman’s voice has made him a particularly popular target of AI-generated voice imitations, including in a recent viral series of TikToks created by a woman posing as the actor’s “nepo niece.” Freeman is not a fan of the practice.

[Read More]

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