By James Manning
SCA’s Dave Cameron confirms regional strategy, Maz Compton returns in new Central Coast show
Recent decisions by SCA have seen questions raised about the broadcaster’s commitment to regional markets. In particular, its commitment to breakfast shows anywhere outside of the state capitals.
There have been recent teary farewells from regional breakfast shows in various markets, in particular Gosford and Gold Coast.
The axing of some breakfast shows was happening against the backdrop of ARN’s audacious play to strip out the best SCA assets for itself and push what was left into the hands of private equity.
Until that takeover move plays out though, SCA is continuing to run business as normal.
And that means maintaining its presence in regional Australia with what the company calls its Proudly National, Fiercely Local strategy. It plays out differently across the Hit and Triple M networks.
Talking about recent regional programming changes, SCA chief content officer Dave Cameron told Mediaweek: “The way we organise our two networks is trying to offer a different product with the best organisation of our assets. With the Hit Network, we have shown you can be successful with a national product with strong local appeal.
“In recent years many of our markets went to what we called a super show strategy. Those markets have seen stronger commercial and audience outcomes.
“With Triple M we double-downed on localism. What we are announcing this week is an extension of the strategy we have had in place for a couple of years. On the Hit Network, we are extending our super shows in Gold Coast, Newcastle and Hobart. They will now be the bases for our super shows.
“With that, there have been some talent and show adjustments. Broadly we are continuing on a successful path we launched a few years ago. That is having a proudly national approach and fiercely local approach with our two networks.”
When asked about preserving the heritage of regional stations, Cameron said: “We have had to change the business model. Not every station in Australia can now have a line-up hosting from dusk to dawn. The model has changed and it has changed forever.
“We have to have scaled-down versions of stations in smaller markets. That is why a Proudly National, Fiercely Local approach has delivered us really strong results.
“We have been able to change the model for the whole of one of our networks in regional markets to be able to align with cost pressures and the way people are consuming audio now.”
At the other end of the day, SCA continues its existing drive show strategy around Australia.
Hit Network stations get the national Carrie & Tommy show wherever they are. Triple M stations get the state-based metro Rush Hour programs broadcast in each metro market. One exception is Triple M in Queensland where there are separate Rush Hour programs for the north and the south of the state.
Cameron explained the sound of Triple M has been changing. “Triple M is not a rock format in regional markets. Also, in several of our metros, Triple M is broadly becoming a 40+ boomer-Gen-X greatest hits format. Rock remains a part of Triple M. We could not say ‘rock’ for the next 40 years and we would still own rock!”
The new show Bronte & Lakey show will broadcast to all of regional Queensland Hit Network stations. The new show replaces Bianca, Ben & Lakey. Dave Cameron explained: “Bronte Langbroek has been on our Queensland super show out of Townsville and she will join Danny Lakey on the Sea FM Gold Coast breakfast show. Bronte will still be heard in all of the markets she has been broadcasting to in the past year. Bronte is a Goldie girl and is a magnificent new talent. It gives us a slightly different show in that market where there have been similar breakfast shows across Sea FM, Triple M and Hot Tomato. We think we will have something interesting and a bit different.” There will be a further announcement about another co-host.
Jess & Ducko will be the NSW Hit Network breakfast show, replacing Nick, Jess & Ducko. Cameron: “They have been hosting the Newcastle Hit Network breakfast for several years, although the show will now be a duo. Jess is on maternity leave and she returns early in 2024 to start broadcasting across NSW. The show will also be heard on Hit Gosford as that becomes a satellite station for us.” Nick Gill is the co-host who won’t return in 2024.
Cameron: “Dan & Christie have been on air for 12 months. Hobart in the past has been its own local station. It will continue to be a local Hobart breakfast show but it will also be the base of the super show for Victoria. The reason we have done that out of Hobart rather than where it previously was in Albury is audience. Look at the size and importance of Hobart with 200,000 people. The next biggest market in Tasmania and Victoria is Bendigo with 120,000.”
Hit Western Australia’s Breakfast with Allan & Carly, with Allan Aldworth and Carly Portch, remains the same.
Just two weeks ago breakfast listeners on the Central Coast were hearing the final Maz & Matty show, farewelling hosts Maz Compton and Matt Baseley and their team. Now Maz is back but at a different station. Cameron: “Maz Compton flips across networks for us to do a show with Paddy Gerrard on Triple M Gosford.”
Cliffo & Kate for Breakfast is a new show to replace Hall of Famer Steve “Pricey” Price. Cameron: “We have had the hard job replacing Pricey. We have moved Cliffo [Guy Clifton] across from Hit Network’s super show to anchor the new Triple M breakfast show. Where we can we have been able to transition some of our announcers across to the other network. Cliffo’s co-host Kate Jeboult is new to radio after one fill-in for Pricey recently. She runs her own digital media company in Townsville she has a bit of an X-factor in the market.”
Bendigo gets a new local breakfast combination, with the Hit Network’s Julia Greenhalf joining local radio veteran Bryan Coghlan on Cogho & Jules for Breakfast.
The Hit Network’s Nick Feain joins existing host Josh Arthur for Nick & Josh for Breakfast.
A new local Triple M Hobart Breakfast show for 2024 will be revealed soon.
By Amy Shapiro
“There were so many reasons not to do it”
After making it big in New York, how did two close mates find themselves founding a craft beer company with one of Australia’s most legendary Prime Ministers?
Nathan Lennon, co-founder of Hawke’s Brewing Co. and the Bob Hawke Beer and Leisure Centre, took the stage earlier this year at This Way Up advertising festival of creativity. His keynote, “Hold my beer: How authentic storytelling can maybe, just maybe, keep your stupidest ideas alive,” shared the pair’s highlights, lowlights, and lessons learnt along the way.
Mediaweek caught up with Lennon to explore the difference between a stupid idea and a brave one, the potential of novelty executed with sincerity, and how life as creatives in brandland forged the tenacity and resilience needed to turn said “stupidest idea” into a cherished institution.
On a blizzard day in New York a hypothetical question arose, becoming the catalyst for the brand: out of anyone in the world, who would you most like to have a beer with? To which Lennon’s future business partner, David Gibson, answered former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke AC, lauded for his ability to scull a pint in 11 seconds.
Lennon and Gibson made the choice to leave their hard-earned positions as creative directors at Droga5 when the viable chance to pitch a craft beer company to Hawke arose. To realise their full vision, the duo would also need to raise capital for a brewery, hospitality venue, and Chinese-Australian restaurant, all in midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lennon commented on the decision, “We’d worked so hard to get to a place in our careers where we were just at that tipping point. We could have gone on to get our boss’s job and our boss’s boss’s job and financial security, and still got to live in a favourite city. There were so many reasons not to do it.
“The rational part of you, what you’d call the smart part of you would have suggested, don’t do it. But there’s a part of you, I suppose, you call it the stupid part of you, or the brave part of you.”
He said, “We were at a stage in our lives, where we were ready to really take the risk on something.”
It was, of course, a risk that paid off. The Hawke’s Brew Co. beer label was launched in April 2017, and has since garnered over $7 million in nationwide media coverage – the most of any independent beer brand in the country. It stands as one of the more decorated brews in the country, earning gold medals for its Patio Pale and Underdog Session Lager at the Independent Beer Awards.
Their follow-up venture, The Bob Hawke Beer & Leisure Centre, along with the Lucky Prawn Chinese-Australian bistro, launched in April 2022. TimeOut Sydney subsequently deemed it the ‘Best Casual Drinking Venue’ and Beer & Brewer ‘Brewpub of the Year’ of 2022. Recently, the Australian Bartender Awards crowned it ‘Best Brewery Bar’ of 2023.
But the meteoric success of such a whimsied idea makes more sense than may seem. Behind Lennon’s charming self-deprecation is the judiciousness and thoughtful planning you would expect from a highly awarded director – someone who has led work for Toyota, Motorola and Honey Maid, the latter of which earned him international acclaim and a nod from former President of the United States, Barack Obama.
“I mean, I’ve got to give myself a bit of credit,” said Lennon. “The pitch to Bob was more than just, ‘Hey, give us a crack, it’ll make for a good story!’ We mapped out a fairly rational reason why we thought Hawke’s could work. We had this dream built around this charismatic, really well-known, loved beer drinker that we felt would have the legs from a brand perspective to scale, to become national.”
Situated in Marrickville, officially dubbed the “second-coolest” suburb of Sydney, the Bob Hawke Beer & Leisure Centre boasts a uniquely inviting atmosphere that belies its gargantuan warehouse walls.
Lennon described the motivation to extend the sustainable-focussed brewery into a hospitality experience that embodies the Hawke’s label, “We loved the brand component of it… There are lots of things from a storytelling point of view that just made so much sense.
“The nostalgia and tapping back into our childhood and getting that emotion through, and Bob being a symbol of that period.”
The warehouse’s retro revival is the cosiest of old school Australiana and nostalgic rec-centre kitsch. On top of its RSL-esque Chinese restaurant, Shane Prawn, a 120 kilogram golden prawn, is perched in homage to iconic small-town monuments. Think Coffs Harbour’s Big Banana, or “Rambo”, Goulburn’s Big Merino sheep.
Lennon remarked on “the biggest prawn in the Southern Hemisphere,” which he playfully boasted. “It was just an opportunity to story tell about Australia. We love big inanimate objects; we do have a lot.
“I think we buy into what can be conceived as a gimmick because it tells us a bit of a story about our experiences.”
Despite the risk of entering tacky territory, what Lennon and Gibson managed to create doesn’t come off as a living museum or a one-off novelty visit. And that, ultimately, boils down to is authenticity in storytelling, and their belief in the brand’s narrative.
Lennon elaborated on the design elements, “There are parts of it that definitely are novelty, but we embrace that part of it in the Leisure Centre.”
“Those things remind me of road trips down the coast, dropping into random towns, and the Chinese restaurant in the local village or town is the only restaurant that’s open, or the only one you trust. There’s a gimmickry to that even, but there’s an authenticity to it as well.”
Today, Hawke’s is an inspirational Australian brandland story, but it wasn’t an overnight success. Among other challenges, the dream involved convincing Bob Hawke to bestow his blessing to two creatives with no brewing experience, selling a fantasy to Australia’s media, and persuading a dubious boardroom in order to raise a necessary $5 million in capital.
With startups notorious for high failure rates and the hospitality business similarly known not to be for the faint-hearted, what gave Lennon and Gibson the edge? Lennon highlighted that their greatest transferable skills were honed in the battle-ready environment of professional creatives, no less under the tutelage of revered advertising marvel, CEO of Accenture Song, David Droga.
“I think what we took out of the industry was probably less of the concepting and creative strengths around brand, and more the character that it built up in us,” he explained.
“Being a creative is a super vulnerable day-to-day experience, where you put your ideas out into the world in some respect for judgement. Often, as hard as you’ve worked, someone will come back with a point of view that makes you have to rethink it, and problem-solve the issue they see. You work nights and weekends and run yourself into the ground sometimes to do it.
He said, “It definitely built into us not only an amazing work ethic working as creators within the ad industry, but it also created this sort of steel backbone where we weren’t anywhere near as phased as what we probably would have been when there was a problem that surfaced.
“We’re still hypersensitive to all the things that did go wrong over that journey. But we always believed that there was a solution to a problem.”
Top Image: Nathan Lennon & David Gibson (L to R)
“It is an exciting time to be leading our incredible sales team”
The Seven Network has announced a series of senior appointments across its sales leadership team including the appointment of Georgie Nichols as national sales director, effective January 1 2024.
Nichols will be responsible for leading the network’s total TV convergence and growth across capital city, regional and BVOD markets. She will report to Seven West Media chief revenue Kurt Burnette.
Nichols will succeed Natalie Harvey, who resigned from Seven to pursue other interests.
Kurt Burnette said: “Natalie Harvey has made a remarkable contribution to Seven over the past eight years. Her passion for Seven, our clients and our people will be missed. She leaves with our sincere thanks and gratitude, and I wish her nothing but the very best for the future.
“I’m delighted to announce Georgie as our new National Sales Director. With a strong track record of delivering incredible results in her five years at Seven as Sydney Sales Director and then NSW Sales Director, she is a star performer and I can’t think of anyone better for this role.
“Georgie is an exceptional executive and perfectly placed to lead Australia’s #1 total TV sales team. An inspirational leader, she brings an energetic and driven approach to building best-in-class teams and delivering strong results for our clients. Georgie is passionate about helping brands navigate the evolving media landscape and takes on her new role at an exciting time for Seven and our partners,” he said.
Nichols said: “With significant changes happening across the industry, this is a transformational time for Seven. As the leader in converged trading across TV and digital video, backed by our exceptional content slate, growth in digital sports rights and market-leading digital product – all soon to be powered by our new trading platform Phoenix – it is an exciting time to be leading our incredible sales team.”
In addition to her appointment, Dan Sinfield has been promoted from group business director to NSW sales director, and Seven’s Victorian sales director Peter Charles will take on the additional role of head of national independent agencies and direct.
Harvey’s appointment coincides with the departure of current CRO, Tony Prentice
Mamamia has announced the appointment of Natalie Harvey as its new chief revenue officer, replacing the outgoing Tony Prentice.
Harvey comes to Mamamia from her previous role as national sales director at Seven West Media.
Harvey began her career at Seven as the office assistant to the CEO, later transitioning to the agency side with Mediacom. She then made the move to Brisbane, where she became general manager at UM. In 2015, she joined SWM in Brisbane, before returning to Sydney in October 2017, where she took on the role of Seven’s Sydney sales director, eventually earning a promotion to national sales director in 2018.
Regarding her new appointment, Harvey said, “I am absolutely thrilled to be joining the team at Mamamia. Jason, Mia, and the team have built an incredible business with an inspiring purpose and an incredible connection with millions of Australian women across multiple platforms. It will be an absolute privilege to go to work every day, being part of such an important and powerful voice in the community, and I am so fortunate to move from one incredible media company to another as they continue to grow.”
Jason Lavigne, Mamamia’s co-founder and CEO, commented on Harvey’s appointment, saying, “we are delighted to welcome Nat to Mamamia as our new chief revenue officer. Her extensive and senior experience in both agency and media, and her deep industry connections, will further our ambitious growth plans, and in turn fuel our purpose, of making the world a better place for women and girls.”
Harvey’s appointment coincides with the departure of current CRO, Tony Prentice. Before joining Mamamia in 2012, Prentice worked as chief commercial officer at News Corp Australia.
Jason Lavigne said, “Tony has played a pivotal role in evolving and transforming our now best in class commercial teams, processes and growth, as our revenue mix has changed markedly over the past five years. We extend our warmest thanks to TP for his very significant contribution, and wish him continued success for his next chapter.”
By Tess Connery
This Week: Ty Frost, Blake Wright, and Tom Crimmins
Whether it’s a childhood jingle that you can still sing word for word, or a campaign that influences the way you work today, everyone has an ad that has really stuck with them.
Mediaweek has been asking the industry to take a trip down memory lane, to find out all about the ads that made us.
“Working for smooth fm and hearing our now famous jingle, it made me think about campaigns where a jingle has stuck in my mind. The tune of Carly Simon’s Nobody Does it Better started floating through my head and I immediately remembered it was used by LJ Hooker in the 90s. It was also the oft impersonated tag line that featured the sweet kid at the end saying, ‘Thank you Mr Hooker’, that also made the campaign iconic.”
“Gone are the days of the jingle. Ads these days, particularly on TV, set out to be cinematic masterpieces, to tug at the heartstrings or to tell a story. While they are nice to watch, they don’t stick like they used to!
“Classics like the Lube Mobile TV ad from the early 2000s still ring in my head to this day, over 20 years on. It’s a number I don’t think many people in their late 20s or early 30s will ever forget, along with the phone number at the start of Soulja Boy’s Kiss Me Through The Phone.
“Bring back simpler times and the classic jingle to drive cut through in 2023!”
AAMI (Rhonda and Ketut)
“Storytelling in advertising at its finest. From the beginning, it’s clear that AAMI wanted to capture an ‘everyday’ Aussie persona that was honest and relatable. They knocked it out of the park with Rhonda, nailing everything from her sweet but slightly awkward demeanour, to her sunglasses tan and flirtatious exchanges with the hunky Ketut.
“Everyone was hanging out for the next ‘episode’ to air so we could see what would happen next.
“It was genuine, it was compelling, and it was funny. Not bad for a car insurance ad.
“There’s been few instances of dialogue in advertising that climbs from the status of memorable to iconic, becoming a genuine part of Australian culture. This campaign is certainly one of them.
“For decades to come, Aussies will continue to jokingly and lovingly inform their sunburnt friends and family that today they ‘look hot, like a sunrise’.”
Top Image: Ty Frost, Blake Wright, Tom Crimmins
By Tess Connery
“We’re providing the voice of the larger industry through the IAB”
IAB Australia’s Executive Technology Council (ETC) chair, Adele Wieser, predicts 2024 will be a “pivotal” year for the industry as it prepares for life without third-party cookies.
Wieser, the regional MD APAC at Index Exchange, predicts the industry will undergo another year of change – most significantly around the change in data as the cookie departs.
“One of the fundamental changes in our industry, the third-party cookie deprecation that is slated to start moving next year. It’s just one of those pivotal moments for our industry,” says Wieser.
“There is a very large portion of the market that is still leveraging Chrome environments, and as a third-party cookies start to go away, we’re going to see a fairly sizable change towards how addressability starts to look for media buyers.”
However, it’s not just the cookie departure that will reshape the market. Wieser predicts the ongoing battle for streaming audiences will only intensify as Paramount+ and Disney+ launch advertising tiers, along with Netflix’s announcement this week of increased ad formats. (link here)
“There’s an incredible surge in growth around streaming TV environments. We’re not only seeing our local partners growing their supply footprint and their user engagement, but you’ve got this diversification of new entrants coming in and offerings coming to market as well.”
“Where we’ve seen the market grow very, very, very rapidly into the streaming TV space, I believe we’re going to continue to see that transpire over the next year, as well.”
Wieser stepped into the role in March this year, replacing Angus Keene, who stepped up to the IAB Australia board as the ETC representative. Working alongside co-chair Jonas Jaanimagi (Tech Lead, IAB Australia), the council has been focused on the ACCC Transparency review, the IAB Mentorship program, and the annual Industry Talent Report.
“A lot of the focus continues to be around moving the market forward from a standards and transparency perspective. We’ll also continue to lean and support very heavily the regulatory affairs, discussions that are happening with the ACCC and the Attorney General’s department, etc. The career development and community engagement will continue from the mentorship perspective.
“We’re doing really well, from the IAB perspective in general, in terms of advocating for the needs of the industry,” said Wieser.
“The work that we do day in and day out with the ETC is around ensuring that we can inform, educate, and advocate for our industry as these key decisions are being made.
“Many companies have the ability to feed into these processes individually. But also, we’re providing the voice of the larger industry through the IAB – and the ETC is that technological centre of excellence in a way for those discussions.”
By Tess Connery
ANZ are also the highest globally to believe that too much data about their behaviours will be collected
On Thursday, Adobe launched its State of Digital Customer Experience report at Sydney’s Hyatt Regency.
The research has been derived from a global survey of 4,000 consumers and 1,500 executives and direct reports (collectively referred to as ‘brands’). The survey, conducted by Oxford Economics, was in field between June and August 2023.
The Australia and New Zealand analysis comprises a sample of 200 consumers and 75 executives.
According to the report, around 4 in 10 ANZ consumers (39%) would choose an AI-enabled tool or service over a human interaction. Many more want both options to be available, particularly when exploring new products and services.
Despite these preferences – and many ANZ consumers predicting CX benefits from generative AI – brands are falling behind global peers. Only 6% are deploying or piloting generative AI to enhance CX initiatives compared to 18% globally.
Brands in Europe and the US are also around twice as likely to already have dedicated AI budgets, and internal usage policies are more than three times as prevalent.
However, ANZ brands are working towards improving their generative AI capabilities in the next 12 months, with 43% saying it is their primary CX focus.
“Preferences for AI-assisted brand interactions are emerging as consumers see the potential benefits of generative AI. While ANZ brands are slower to launch generative AI initiatives than others globally, it’s their number one strategic focus for enhancing customer experience,” said Katrina Troughton, vice president and managing director for Adobe ANZ .
The majority of ANZ consumers (58%) want brands to offer the same level of personalisation online and in-person, however meeting this expectation remains a challenge for brands.
“Consumers say personalised experiences leave a lasting impression, but most brands struggle to deliver them. Delivering a great experience relies on connected data and insights, acted on in real-time. But with consumers acutely aware of data security and privacy issues, brands must prioritise responsible practices to hold on to customers,” said Troughton.
Both consumers and brands agree that data privacy and security concerns constrain personalisation. Brands say consumer reluctance to share data is a top barrier behind inaccurate data collection.
However, they underestimate the impact of data missteps. Over two-thirds (68%) of consumers will stop or consider not buying from a brand that isn’t transparent about personal data use, but only 40% of brands believe it impacts retention.
Consumer attention on data practices extends to generative AI. ANZ consumers are the most worried of any location that, as brands use generative AI, their personal data will be used without consent (63%). They are also among the highest globally to believe that too much data about their behaviours will be collected (62%).
Across ANZ, Adobe found that many brands are yet to respond to the need for stronger AI guardrails to meet consumer expectations and ensure trust isn’t compromised. Just 3% of brands have ongoing or completed initiatives to create internal usage policies, while 5% have created a working group tasked with considering it.
The morning finished with a panel moderated by Troughton, speaking to Eric Hall (senior vice president for Adobe Customer Solutions), Jane Fernandez (COO Australia, FIFA Women’s World Cup), and Davy Rennie (National MD for DDB’s tech and digital arm, Tribal).
Speaking about why ANZ may be more hesitant than other markets, Rennie told the room that “We’ve seen a number of high-profile cases where data hasn’t been entirely secure, and I feel there’s a healthy scepticism from consumers about organisations doing the right thing.
“So when we’re reviewing our policies of GenAI, it’s in line with existing security policies that do place data security at the heart of the organisation, which will never be a bad thing. If it does take a little bit longer for us to figure things out, then great, because we don’t want to be an early adopter and jump in with two feet at the shallow end, and then we’ve got a mess to clean up as we go.”
By Danielle Long
The Monkeys has been recognised at every major creative award around the globe
The Monkeys co-founder and group chief creative officer of Accenture Song, Scott Nowell, has departed the agency he co-founded in 2006.
Nowell, along with co-founders Mark Green and Justin Drape, were responsible for building the business into one of the most highly respected creative shops in the country.
During his time with the agency it has created award-winning work for clients such as Telstra, Qantas, NRMA Insurance, Sydney Opera House, Uluru Statement from the Heart, and MLA’s Australian Lamb. It has grown to approximately 165 people with offices based in Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland.
The agency was acquired by Accenture Interactive, now known as Accenture Song, in 2017. Co-founder Drape departed in 2021 to launch Exceptional Alien.
Nowell leaves behind a strong creative line-up headed by chief creative officer Tara Ford, Melbourne chief creative officer Ant Keogh and Auckland chief creative officer Damon Stapleton.
Nowell said, “It’s been quite a ride, starting with Mark, Justin and I staring at each other in an empty room to now being part of the most exciting global creative agency model going around.
“Our ambitions almost always outstripped our resources, which never made things easy, so I am eternally grateful to anyone who turned up, believed in what we were doing and gave it their all. Building a place where we get to work with folk we admire both as talents and as people has been the greatest gift this business has given me.
“I’m very comfortable stepping away at this moment. We are doing the best work we’ve ever done, we are part of a formidable global team, and we have Tara Ford, Ant Keogh and Damon Stapleton running creative in ANZ. We could not be in better shape.”
Under Nowell’s creative leadership, The Monkeys has been recognised at every major creative award around the globe.
Sam Buchanan: “It’s wonderful to know our outside-the-box approach to networking has really resonated with our members”
The Independent Media Agencies of Australia (IMAA) welcomed more than 300 media industry figures to WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo on Darling Harbour for its interactive Who’s Who in the Media Zoo event.
Executives from more than 70 independent media agencies across Australia travelled to Sydney and had the chance to network and hear important updates on the latest developments in the digital, audio, TV, out-of-home, and publishing and news landscapes, courtesy of the IMAA’s media partners.
An impressive total of 31 IMAA media partners created activations for the event including ACAST, ACM, Amobee, ARN, Bishopp, Blis, Crimtan, Criteo, Fabulate, Go Transit, Gumtree, GWI, IAS, Insticator LinkedIn, Meta, Moove, News Corp, Nine Radio, Nova, oOh!media, Paramount, QMS, Quantcast, Reddit, SCA, Scentre Group, StackAdapt, Taboola, TorchMedia, and Weatherzone.
Those activations included 3D audio experiences, 1:1 consulting sessions, demonstrations, video-making courses and giveaways – all set among the zoo’s animal displays.
The event also included a panel discussion hosted by IMAA Leadership team member and Affinity Media’s chief executive officer Angela Smith, offering a candid discussion around marketers’ perspectives on pitching. What precipitates the pitch in the first place, what’s worked for them in finding the perfect partner, and what makes for a healthy agency-client relationship to avoid a pitch being needed at all.
Panellists included Arnotts’ brand manager Krishma Sood, Spirits at Lion general nanager Ed Stening, and CMC Markets APAC & Canada head of marketing Liam Loan-Lack.
IMAA CEO, Sam Buchanan, said: “We are absolutely overwhelmed with the turn-out for Who’s Who in the Media Zoo – it’s wonderful to know our outside-the-box approach to networking has really resonated with our members.
“We are committed to keeping our independent sector across the advancements and innovations occurring across the national media landscape. Who’s Who in the Zoo was a chance for our members to chat with our media partners on what’s happening in their channels, and to hear from some of the industry’s leading CMOs on navigating the ever-changing agency world.
“I’d like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who attended. Last night’s event was highly successful – and we couldn’t have found a better location to host it – all the animals were truly engaged!”
The night was capped off by a jungle-themed after-party hosted by Criteo for members and partners. Who’s Who in the Media Zoo is part of the IMAA’s mission to provide in-person networking and learning opportunities for its members.
This year, the IMAA has also hosted the launch of its Female Leaders of Tomorrow program in both Melbourne and Sydney, along with networking events in Brisbane, Cairns and Perth.
Top image: left to right – Sam Buchanan, Angela Smith, Liam Loan-Lack and Ed Stening
The awards will be held on December 6 in Sydney
TikTok has announced the launch of their new end-of-year awards show: The TikTok Awards, presented by CeraVe.
Set to take place on Wednesday, December 6 at Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion, the ceremony is set to bring together popular creators, the biggest viral trends and the most talked-about moments from 2023.
The TikTok Awards will be streamed live on TikTok Australia from 7 pm AEDT, and available to stream on BINGE from Sunday, December 10 2023 AEDT.
Abbie Chatfield and 2022 creator of the year Kat Clark joins Logie-award-winning TV host Tony Armstrong as hosts for the evening. There will be 10 awards presented on the night.
Abbie Chatfield said: “I can’t wait for the inaugural TikTok Awards! I love that TikTok is a platform that celebrates so many different niches and encourages creativity. It’s going to be an amazing night of music, dancing, comedy, and so much more, so you’ll have to tune in to find out what tricks we have up our sleeve!”
Fans will be able to vote for their favourite creators and videos via the TikTok app, with the winners to be crowned on the night. Voting is open now and closes on December 1.
The nominees include:
Creator of the Year
• Andy Hearnden
• Angelo Marasigan
• Indy Clinton
• Tom Forrest
• Sophia Begg
Video of the Year
TikTok for Good
• The Black As Crew
• Sean Skeels & Marley Whatarau
• Jenna Hudson
Comedy Creator of the Year
• Maddy Macrae
• Tom Reese & Kell Reese
• Jimmy Rees
Sport Creator of the Year
• CommBank Matildas
• Kennedy Cherrington
• Christian Petracca
Music Act of the Year
• Peach PRC
• Kim Dracula
• Kylie Minogue
LIVE Creator of the Year
• Shirina Holmatova
• Paaka Davis
• Louis Parcell
NZ Creator of the Year
• Simeon Fiapule
• Judah Metu-Teaukura
• The Royal Family Dance Crew
International Creator of the Year
• Chris Olsen
• Maddie Jepson
• Francis Bourgeois
TikTok Business of the Year
Suzie Shaw: “This year’s Think Forward report highlights the power of culture to truly connect with consumers”
We Are Social has launched the latest edition of its annual trends report, Think Forward 2024, examining the changing landscape of social media and its impact on culture and brands.
The report, titled ‘The Social Reckoning’, examines how, in a backdrop of increased commercialisation and commodification, people on social media are rethinking and reframing their worth. They are examining the value derived from their attention and participation, their communities, and their creativity.
Think Forward 2024 explains how this new sense of value has played out across social, from the de-influencing trend helping creators flex what they know, rather than what they have, to the debate around users being able to buy their way into verification on X (formerly Twitter). It argues that cultural phenomena like 2023’s ‘Barbiemania’ demonstrate that people will willingly buy into manufactured hype, as long as it makes space for community, creativity, and play.
The creative agency’s report has highlighted five trends within ‘The Social Reckoning’ theme, exploring how each is expected to shape social media in the next 12 months and demonstrating how brands can use these within their marketing strategies.
Think Forward is compiled by We Are Social’s cultural insights team, gathering insights from teams on the ground across its 19 global markets. This was combined with interviews with external experts to help We Are Social understand broad cultural context, the social media zeitgeist and voices outside the mainstream.
Suzie Shaw, CEO at We Are Social Australia, said: “This year’s Think Forward report highlights the power of culture to truly connect with consumers. But social and culture never sleep and so for brands to successfully navigate the shifting landscape, they must move beyond simple sponsored content, and develop a fluency in culture, focussing on authentically engaging communities and bringing together online and offline conversations and connections.”
The five trends covered in Think Forward 2024 are:
Having reached peak stimulus with ‘sludge content’, the attention economy is shifting gears. The most forward-thinking users, creators, and culture-leading brands are toying with other modes of bringing people in – ones that turn away from hyper-stimulation.
Example: The viral Wes Anderson aesthetic, which uses the director’s signature style to make everyday scenes – lunch, train rides, uneventful wanders – into an artful visual experience.
People – whether minorities, disempowered groups, or just users writ large – still value representation. But in today’s culture, there’s less faith in the power of representation alone. As notions of identity compound and deepen, communities want to see messy complexity over neat narratives.
Example: On Reddit, people are using spaces like r/AskBlackGirls, r/AskTransgender, r/AskGayBrosOver30 to help people gain a more nuanced understanding of marginalised groups’ lived reality – but through exploratory, anonymous storytelling rather than loud ‘representation’.
People are looking for more interaction between on- and offline worlds. Today, characters, communities, and behaviours born on the internet are moving seamlessly into offline worlds. And this interplay isn’t just tolerated – it’s expected.
Example: Drake satirically integrated Snapchat’s iconic ‘crying face’ AR Filter into his live performance of ‘Laugh Now, Cry Later’, turning the faces in the crowd into weeping faces – generating millions of views and earned media for his blurring of real and fake, online and off.
The year of Barbenheimer and the Eras Tour has made it clear: in search of mainstream collectivity, everyday users are acting like ultra-fans. The lines between fan and non-fan are increasingly blurred, as we all engage in fan behaviours and immerse ourselves in collective moments.
Example: IKEA has been tapping into the immensely powerful anime fandom to create scale and grow market share. Its recent back-to-school spot taps into a cultural space popular with Gen Z to establish a meaningful connection with the next generation and become an integral part of their lives.
As social media and the internet become more commoditised, users are breaking out of its commercial structures in an attempt to reclaim creativity. Amidst the homogenisation of online spaces, there’s a compelling counter-trend emerging, spearheaded by younger generations.
Example: In order to prove that its products couldn’t be duplicated, haircare brand Olaplex duped the internet with a phoney influencer campaign promoting the fictitious Oladupé No.160. Olaplex championed its range and decried unsavoury business practices, all in one go.
Emily Gray: “Untangld isn’t for everyone, but has caught fire with ambitious business and marketing leaders”
International strategy studio Untangld has announced the launch of its new London venture.
Founded in Melbourne, the studio is expanding operations to London in response to the growing demand for agnostic and actionable strategy solutions. With businesses showing increasing dissatisfaction with both the traditional agency model and consultancies alike due to lack of specialism, the slow delivery of work and increasing expense, Untangld lists a “boutique approach” to business transformation.
Over the past three years Untangld has collaborated with ambitious businesses around the world, including Amazon Prime Video, Carlsberg, IG, Flaus, x15ventures, VIDA GLOW and Nando’s. It was recently recognised by the Australian Financial Review as one of Australia’s fastest growing start-ups and SmartCompany as one of the 50 best places to work.
Untangld’s London office is poised as a critical hub in bringing Untangld’s strategic thinking closer to its existing US and European partners, and enabling them to support a broader range of business problems across different time zones. It will be managed by two new founding partners; business director Emily Gray, and strategy director, Lawrence Heath, who both bring a wealth of experience from Omnicom and WPP agencies.
Jamal Cassim, co-founder of Untangld, said: “We wouldn’t entrust Untangld with anyone else. Emily and Lawrence both have the rare talent to operate at every altitude of business, from 30,000 feet to ground level.”
Heath commented: “We have to look past the obvious and use creativity to truly elevate the experience.”
Gray added: “We’ve heard from countless business and marketing leaders who are crying out for someone to help them navigate an increasingly expansive and fragmented landscape.
“The breadth of business challenges today requires a different model, one that offers blissfully agnostic, jargon-free, actionable strategy.
“Untangld isn’t for everyone, but has caught fire with ambitious business and marketing leaders who are serious about the impact they want to have.”
By Andrew Mercado
“So good to see a new Aussie series being audacious and pulling off every crazy stunt”
On paper, Australian Epic (Wednesday on ABC) must have seemed like it could become one of the biggest TV disasters of all time. Luckily though, this musical about great moments in Australian history is from The Chaser’s Andrew Hansen and Chris Taylor. The end result is nothing short of a triumph.
Interspersing hilarious numbers into a historical documentary works exceedingly well. That’s because they happen organically during serious interviews. The first show covers Steven Bradbury winning gold at the Winter Olympics, while the second episode is a Hamilton-esque take on Princess Mary, with a fabulous ditty about her Tasmanian heritage.
While it might take some viewers a moment or two to adjust to the colour-blind casting, the brilliant supporting cast win you over, including Fiona Choi, Amy Lehpamer, Phoenix Jackson-Mendoza, Michelle Brasier, Nick Kong, and Sami Afunid. It’s so good to see a new Aussie series being audacious and pulling off every crazy stunt they attempt.
Australian Epic also proves that TV can still come up with original concepts, although they are getting harder to find as free-to-air TV continues to cannibalise itself. Coming next year, a cross between Married At First Sight and Alone called Stranded On Honeymoon Island (Seven).
Thankfully, we still have great drama and the other must-see series right now is Fellow Travellers (Paramount+), a new political thriller with a gut-wrenching gay romance at its centre. Hawk (Matt Bomer) and Tim (Jonathan Bailey) meet in the 1950s while working at the State Department, thereby putting them in the centre of the McCarthy era, when closeted hypocrites were waging war against suspected communists and homosexuals.
Openly gay actors Matt Bomer and Jonathon Bailey are electrifying as the gay couple. Once upon a time, queer actors were ordered to hide their sexuality, but today they can bring authenticity to queer roles while continuing to play straight, something else they have plenty of life experience in.
Australian actor Tim Draxl was outed in 2011 and has gone on to play gay characters in A Place To Call Home, Molly, The Newsreader, Summer Love, and In Our Blood. Right now he can be seen in his most eye-popping role yet as a daddy with disability issues in the Aussie anthology Erotic Stories (SBS On Demand).
Draxl still gets to play straight too, like a detective in Last King Of The Cross (Paramount+), or was he? Given there is going to be a second series where John Ibrahim moves into the gay nightclub scene, perhaps there will be a few more bent cops. And maybe some more Tim Draxl. Fingers crossed.
Read more Mercado on TV here.
Listen now on your favourite podcast platform for 30 minutes of TV reviews and recommendations every week from Mediaweek’s Mercado on TV columnist Andrew Mercado and editor-in-chief James Manning.
We want your comments, feedback and questions – [email protected].
That was awkward! Bit of sensitivity this week when one host’s choice for Show of the Week is slammed by the other host. What could it be? Andrew and James power through five programs this week: Milli Vanilli (Paramount+, doco), Boiling Point (BBC First, series), A Friend of the Family (7plus, series), Night Bloomers (SBS On Demand, series) and Australian Epic (ABC and iview, series).
Tell us what you have been watching. Email: [email protected]
By Anita Anabel
• Nine’s RBT tops prime-time entertainment
• A non-elimination leg on The Amazing Race: Celebrity Edition
Seven News 799,000 (6:00pm) / 760,000 (6:30pm)
Nine News 653,000 (6:00pm) / 635,000 (6:30pm)
ABC News 500,000
10 News First 197,000 (5:00pm)/ 140,000 (6:00pm)
SBS World News 114,000 (6:30pm)/ 90,000 (7:00pm)
Daily Current Affairs
A Current Affair 563,000
The Project 160,000 6:30pm / 248,000 7pm
News Breakfast 145,000
Nine won Thursday night with a primary share of 19.4% and a network share of 27.3%.
7Two has won multi channels with a 3.5% share.
Seven received a primary share of 19.1% and a network share of 27.0%.
10 took a 9.8% primary share and a network share of 16.9%.
Nine’s A Current Affair (563,000) reported on the woman at the centre of Victoria’s alleged mushroom poisoning mystery, Erin Patterson, who has been charged with murder and attempted murder after she was arrested at her home on November 2.
Then, 389,000 watched RBT with episodes “Speeding Street Kid” and “New Year’s Bad Luck”, before 309,000 tuned in for Emergency where Dr Mark Putland and the Royal Melbourne Hospital trauma team have minutes to save a truck driver’s severed leg. A week ago, 298,000 watched on.
A repeat of Big Miracles followed for 135,000, exploring the emotional world of IVF.
389,000 began their evening in Summer Bay with Home and Away. 389,000 watched the first double episode, while 337,000 saw Home and Away Late. During the mammoth run, Dana wanted to give back and Tane snapped before he was ready to rebound. Kirby and Theo then teamed up to write a song before Marilyn’s work request backfired and Leah’s nightmares escalate, admitting to Justin she needs help.
167,000 stayed on for a repeat of the film Kingsman: The Golden Circle. When the Kingsman headquarters are destroyed and the world is held hostage, their journey leads them to the discovery of an allied spy organisation in the US called Statesman.
397,000 watched ABC’s 7.30 detailed how Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will be visiting China this weekend — the first trip by an Australian PM in seven years plus, the program looked at how the unsuccessful Voice referendum has sparked a backlash in Queensland and Sarah Ferguson interviewed former PM Kevin Rudd.
331,000 then watched Martin Clunes: Islands of the Pacific. During the episode, Martin Clunes climbed an active volcano and met a tribe that worshipped Prince Philip.
A repeat of Grand Designs followed for 291,000 before 155,000 watched a repeat of Miriam Margolyes: Australia Unmasked.
On 10, The Project (160,000 6:30pm / 248,000 7pm) also put the spotlight on Erin Patterson, while also speaking with Jacqueline Kirkman, who start experiencing concerning symptoms of postpartum psychosis after the birth of her child, which can see mothers separated from their child.
The Amazing Race Australia then followed for 353,000. Amidst Borneo’s wondrous coastal backdrop, Teams had to find Beau Ryan at the Pit Stop. Darren and Tristan were the first team to check in while Alli and Angie were the last team to hit the mat. However, in a surprise turn of events, tears were flowing when Beau revealed it was a non-elimination leg.
137,000 also watched a repeat of Law & Order: SVU and 83,000 saw an encore of The Cheap Seats.
The highest rating non-news show on SBS was Every Family Has A Secret with 171,000 tuning in to see Koori woman Paula Morrison trace the difficult life of her tormented Austrian-born father.
79,000 also caught Luke Nguyen’s India before 42,000 sat down for the second instalment of Erotic Stories.
907,000 viewed Seven’s Home and Away, up 25%.
794,000 saw 10’s Celebrity Edition of Gogglebox Australia, up 36%.
695,000 watched 10’s The Amazing Race: Celebrity Edition, up 37%.
685,000 sat down for a repeat of Nine’s RBT, up 8%.
553,000 also tuned into 10’s AFC Qualifier. The Matildas took on Iran, up 20%.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC TV PLUS||3.4%||7TWO||3.5%||GO!||1.2%||10 Bold||2.9%||VICELAND||1.5%|
|ABC ME||0.5%||7mate||2.2%||GEM||2.4%||10 Peach||3.4%||Food Net||1.3%|
|7Bravo||1.1%||9Rush||1.9%||SBS World Movies||1.1%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS||Sky Regional|
|ABC||10.9%||7||22.9%||9||17.5%||10||7.4%||SBS||3.4%||Sky News Regional||3.8%|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC TV PLUS||3.4%||7TWO||3.7%||GO!||1.0%||10Bold||4.5%||VICELAND||2.0%|
|ABC ME||0.7%||7mate||3.4%||GEM||2.7%||10Peach||2.2%||Food Net||0.8%|
|ABC NEWS||2.2%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||1.0%||9Life||2.5%||Nickelodeon||1.0%||SBS World Movies||1.2%|
|THURSDAY METRO ALL TV|
16-39 Top Five
18-49 Top Five
25-54 Top Five
Shares all people, 6pm-midnight, Overnight (Live and AsLive), Audience numbers FTA metro, Sub TV national
Source: OzTAM and Regional TAM 2023. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM
Network Ten star recruit Lisa Wilkinson, having been offscreen for a year, is about to face off against her employer in court, bringing a once-promising relationship to a potentially sour end, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Calum Jaspan.
On Friday, Wilkinson and Network Ten will be before the NSW Supreme Court in an attempt to resolve a dispute over unpaid legal fees – a situation some say never should have come to pass.
ABC management is concerned it does not have a diverse enough workforce and said action must be taken to ensure it reflects “modern Australian in our content and staff,” reports The Australian’s Sophie Elsworth.
On Thursday, the ABC’s chief content officer Chris Oliver-Taylor sent an email to staff and warned that action must be taken to ensure diversity and inclusion is made a priority at the taxpayer-funded broadcaster.
Amid its quest to slim down its asset portfolio to scale up its core entertainment ambitions, Paramount Global hit 63 million global streaming subscribers in the latest quarter (up from 61 million as of the end of June) and kept narrowing losses in its direct-to-consumer segment to $238 million, a possibly encouraging sign for Wall Street, reports The Hollywood Reporter’s Erik Hayden.
The Rugby World Cup in France is over and thoughts turn to Australia hosting the next edition in 2027, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Jonathan Drennan.
The 2023 tournament thrilled and frustrated in equal measure. Preventable logistical issues were set against thrilling rugby in packed stadiums.
This past September, a group of Marvel creatives, including studio chief Kevin Feige, assembled in Palm Springs for the studio’s annual retreat. Most years, the vibe would have been confident — even cocky — given how the premier superhero brand, owned by Disney since 2009, has remade the entertainment business in its image, reports Variety Australia’s Tatiana Siegel.
Ask 10 Australian film fans their view of Baz Luhrmann and you will probably get 11 opinions, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Garry Maddox.
Opinion one: the Australian director is a visionary genius who keeps redefining cinema genres.
Opinion two: he makes films that are over-the-top, flamboyant and hollow.
Sydney is a character in and of itself in new Hollywood blockbuster, The Fall Guy, reports News Corp’s Jonathon Moran.
Starring Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt, the movie was filmed in and around the city from October last year through to March.
The first look trailer has been released out of the United States overnight, with director David Leitch and producer Kelly McCormick very much highlighting the Harbour City on the big screen.