By James Manning
• Research and data partnerships drive market insights for brands
News Corp Australia FMCG industry head Ed Faith (pictured) was one of the company’s executives who took part in a recent online seminar with members of the Independent Media Agencies of Australia (IMAA).
Faith develops specific marketing and commercial strategies that help solve the marketing and business challenges of FMCG business leaders and marketers.
Since working from home in March, Faith said he and his colleagues have never been busier! “On the 29th of February I told an FMCG marketer I thought we were about to see goods flying off shelves and that understanding what was happening was going to be key for all marketers,” Faith told Mediaweek. “That was a Friday, and on the Monday that executive sent me a photo of her local Coles from the weekend with empty shelves in many categories.”
In a presentation to the IMAA recently Faith shared the findings of first party research News Corp had undertaken into changing consumer behaviour around FMCG in 2020. “We also looked at how those key findings crossed-referenced with some of the other recent research that had been undertaken in the marketplace,” Faith said.
“There were three sources of truth to give people the most accurate view of what will interest FMCG marketers when it comes to behaviour and peoples’ attitudes towards brands. Particularly as consumers move from a lockdown scenario to eased restrictions, but still living day-to-day under the threat of Covid.”
Faith noted that in particular in the early stages of lockdown in March and April there were almost record-breaking sales months for every FMCG retailer with about 85% of categories in store.
“We are now looking at how can that growth be sustained and what do behavioural changes mean for brands to stay as relevant and as up-to-date as possible to make sure they can continue to drive sales and product usage.”
Faith showed IMAA agency members two video case studies about how brands are tackling the challenges of maintaining sales momentum in challenging times. “There are some categories where consumers might have overstocked on particular products with limited knowledge of how to use them. Things like rice, pasta and noodles for instance.” News Corp worked with some of those brands to give consumers information on how to best utilise those products, moving them from the pantry into the kitchen.
As to questions from the agencies, Faith said many wanted to know the particular categories that were going to be experiencing growth.“There were two things going on. Most categories were up in terms of sales volume growth. Agencies want to understand what is driving that growth. There is a popular belief that private labels (supermarket owned brands) are driving the growth. There are a lot of examples though where it is well known brands that are driving the volume growth in many categories.
“Agencies want to know about the rule of thumb as to whether it is private labels or a brand (their clients) driving growth. We found the more brands focus their marketing efforts the more likely it is the brand will be driving the growth in that category.
“Marketing through difficult times, instead of going quiet and waiting to see what the market will do organically – the advice is they should be active in marketing. At News Corp we are investing time and resources into understanding where that change plays out and what it looks like across our network.
“We have been very fortunate to see huge growth across our digital network, not just on news sites, but especially in lifestyle sites and our food network where FMCG decisions are ultimately being made.”
Research also indicates that shoppers are heading to the store less frequently, but at the same time the basket size has increased significantly. “People are shopping less, but buying more,” was Faith’s summary.
“What brands need to do is to understand where are consumers in their media journey when they are thinking about the next grocery shop. Scale and reach for platforms like TV and out-of-home are fine, but how effective is that reach?
“If I’m watching a TV commercial in primetime after I’ve eaten, what is the resonance of that message going to be?
“However, if I am browsing a food and recipe website during the day trying to solve the problem of what to have for dinner that night, a message at that instance will have more impact for anyone thinking about their next grocery shop.”
The News Corp network boasts three of the biggest sites for people planning meals – Taste, Australia’s Best Recipes and delicious. “While there is some duplication between audiences as a network it is very strong.”
Helping News Corp track consumers is its Pulse of Australia panel with close to 1,000 consumers who participated in three surveys in May, June and August. “We tracked peoples’ relationship with brands and how it might have been disrupted. We found that because of Covid lockdowns people have become far less brand loyal. About 45% in the August research were less brand loyal. They either couldn’t buy the brand they normally bought for various reasons and they have stuck with the replacement.”
“News Corp is the only media organisation that has established partnerships with both Quantium and Flybuys,” said Faith. “That gives us somewhere in the area of 65-70% of purchase data about what Australians are actually consuming during their weekly grocery shop with the two major retailers. No other media organisation can offer that to their advertising partners.”
Faith explained that with the Flybuys partnership, News Corp can now offer FMCG sales uplift reports so brands and agencies can actually see the impact of campaigns direct on sales numbers through the Flybuys loyalty program.
Cocooning has become the dominant consumer behaviour: Even as society reopens, Australians will remain homebodies. This is about risk aversion, but also because society’s reopening will be gradual anyway. And economic rationalisation of decreasing discretionary spend in areas like travel and out of home entertainment will keep people in their homes more than before.
Homebody economy: Consumers will increase spend on household essentials such as grocery, household, home cleaning and fresh produce by 31%. As much as 74% of consumers who have cut down on eating-out are cooking more meals at home, and one-third of Australians are taking up DIY home repairs.
Consumers have re-balanced their baskets: People are adapting their shopping frequency from 2.5 times to 1.7 times per week to minimise time out and about as well as their human contact, and they’re also changing their habits and repertoires at home. This influences the types and quantities of products they’re buying at the grocery store: what categories they are buying from and the brands they choose. In many cases branded products have been outpacing the market and outperforming cheaper private labels – mainly as shoppers look for ways to treat themselves amid an ongoing reluctance to eat and drink away from home.
Wallet shift has created a 2-speed economy: The random dispersion of financial impact means that consumers are split into two camps; either focusing on ‘bang for buck’ to ease financial pressures or trading up as other discretionary spend is held back and they have more of their income to deploy on household and grocery comfort items.
Our origin preferences are ramping up: Australians are doing their bit for the economy by buying Australian brands. 57% of consumers now say they prioritise Aussie brands (2.5 times greater than pre COVID-19). News Corp surveys show significant consecutive increases in the overall net importance of product traits like ‘Australian made’, ‘Australian owned’ and ‘Supports Australian farmers’.
The consumer-brand relationship has been reset: Consumers have shopped far more promiscuously during lockdown which has meant that brand relationships were being built and broken simultaneously. The more time people spend at home the greater the needs become for a greater diversity of grocery, personal and household products that make time at home more comfortable and satisfying.
By Trent Thomas
Todd Sampson’s Body Hack will premiere the series’ fourth season on Network 10 on Tuesday, September 14.
The series will see Todd Sampson explore demolition derby in the USA, Voodoo worship in West Africa and martial arts in Japan.
Mediaweek caught up with series’ director and producer Jeff Siberry to discuss “The best gig in television at the moment”.
Body Hack uses a small team, along with Sampson and Siberry, that includes a couple of cameramen and a sound operator, with episodes usually taking about 2 weeks to film. The show has taken the team to places like the tundra of Siberia, the jungles of South America and the Gaza strip.
Siberry said that it is a long process to zero in on the story that they want to tell. A lot of research goes into an idea before it is then vetted to see if it is an engaging and visual story.
Siberry said this stage is also important because productions like these are too expensive to wing it and this allows the production team to put the money on the screen.
“If that means investing a few more days for a sequence or getting a high-end special grade camera to show our samurai slicing in extreme slow motion we will do that.
“These stories are intended for the entire family. These aren’t blokes’ adventures stories. This is really about a culture and a people. The budget really reflects that editorial need to tell a holistic story.”
The next step is that they engage a local fixer to go in and do further research on the ground and make first contact with the talent involved, which ranges from a remote tribe or an individual like Mexican Luchadore Cassandro (Season 3, Episode 3).
“Body Hack is all about learning from extraordinary people and how that can be applied to our everyday lives.
“When we did the Voodoo episode we had an amazing production team on the ground in Benin and it showed in the film that these people aren’t just helping a foreign crew they are telling a story that is important to them and want it presented in an accurate way.
“The most important thing is to be very respectful of all the cultures that you are embedding with and to give them the opportunity to voice their story. That comes down to having good listening skills and respecting their beliefs.”
When asked what the most dangerous situation that the show’s production team has faced, Siberry said that there is almost too many to pick from.
“Covering the protests in Gaza were quite scary with live fire, tear gas and people being shot. Any time you find yourself in that situation it is certainly scary.
“When we climbed the mountain in Nepal that was not a re-enactment that was real. It was a real mountain and there were risks involved in that.
“No one has yet invented the TV show worth dying for. We all want to tell a great story but ultimately we all want to come home to our loved ones.”
The fourth season will open with Sampson exploring the world of demolition derby in the United States which Siberry described as a joyous celebration of the whacky culture.
“We made the point to focus on a female driver in this story because it was really about community and family. When you think about demo drivers you think about a bunch of rev head blokes that like to smash cars – and yes that is mostly true, but it also involves a lot of families. We wanted to make sure we told a story about a family that wasn’t specific to one gender but about the community.”
A sense of community and family is a theme that also bleeds into the show’s second episode, which centres on mixed martial arts in Japan.
“I had been wanting to do a story about Japanese martial arts forever, so when it was time to look at Japanese martial arts we made a decision to tell the story mostly from the female perspective because it has not been traditionally told that way. We sought out the only female-owned and operated Yabusame (the art of horseback archery) school to film.”
Siberry explained that the show is made to raise questions and create a dialogue for families to discuss topics and to challenge perspectives and ideas. The show’s Voodoo episode is a prime example.
“We focused on a female priestess who introduced us to the world of Voodoo. Voodoo comes with so much loaded baggage because it has been demonised by either the media or history. When you get into it you realise it has a fascinating history and it’s been a mostly misunderstood religion, so we wanted to get to the heart of what Voodoo is.”
Sydney PR professional Bec Brown shares her knowledge about having a successful career in a creative industry. Her learnings can be applied to most sectors including media and entertainment.
Combining 20+ years of creative experience and working with brands and names like the KIIS FM and Pure Gold Networks, iHeartRadio, The Wiggles, Katy Perry, and Live Nation (just to name a few), the founder of The Comms Department, Brown tells Mediaweek’s James Manning real-life stories on what works and what doesn’t.
Her new book published by Penguin today, You’ve Got This, gets candid about the realities of today’s working world and guarantees a more rewarding path to success – to score a dream job or start a business doing something you love, while earning a great income and enjoying the journey along the way.
Hiding behind the Bushranger moniker Neighbours star Bonnie Anderson sung her way to victory with a final performance of David Guetta’s club anthem When Love Takes Over.
Urzila Carlson and Dave Hughes were convinced the vocals were the work of Australian singer Jessica Mauboy, but Jackie O and Dannii Minogue continued their winning streak with the correct placement of singer Bonnie Anderson as Bushranger.
Jackie O questioned whether we can expect to see Anderson focus on singing or acting in the future. The Masked Singer Australia winner shared: “I haven’t really been singing,Neighbours has taken a lot of my time. This has sparked a fire in me, and it’s nice to know I can do this. I can’t believe I’ve won this thing, it has blown my mind!”
She took out the coveted win ahead of Australian singer-songwriters Kate Miller-Heidke and Eddie Perfect.
With her regal rendition of Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive, Kate Miller-Heidke’s anonymity came to an end as she placed second commenting: “It’s super liberating. I got to leave myself and my normal hang-ups behind and step into this really strong, larger-than-life character.”
Frillneck came in third place following his take on Devil Inside by INXS revealed to be Australian singer-songwriter Eddie Perfect. Perfect said after the reveal: “It was a scary thing to do, and I didn’t want to say no to something just because it scared me. I thought I would live to regret that.”
That concludes season two of The Masked Singer Australia. The Masked Singer USA is coming soon to 10.
The history of flight is filled with danger and glamour, social injustice and opportunity. Just as it brought people together, air travel also revealed the cracks in Australia’s society.
Over three weeks, Australia Come Fly With Me will celebrate the turbulent history of Australians in the air. 2020 marks 100 years of civil aviation in this country at a time when the industry is facing its biggest challenge due to COVID-19.
Hosted by actor Justine Clarke, the three-part series brings together pop culture and the history of flight, and explores how flight enabled changes in Australian life. The opportunities and tensions created by air travel are the context for struggles between sexes, sexualities and cultures that reflect and foreshadow changes that would follow on the ground.
Justine explores the struggles of women, Indigenous Australians, gay men and migrants to find a place in the skies. These stories are told by flight attendants and pilots and are brought to life by an archive of aircraft, people and exotic destinations. Australia Come Fly with Me invites viewers to take a trip into the past from the present perspective.
Justine Clarke said: “Australia Come Fly With Me has been an eye-opening, exhilarating series to be part of. I loved learning about the daredevils and dreamers who made flying possible – pilots who risked their lives, women who refused to accept the status quo and migrants who were making this country home. I hope this series informs and inspires Australians in equal measure.”
SBS director of television and online content, Marshall Heald, said: “Australia Come Fly With Me is a landmark television moment, celebrating the centenary of civil aviation. Social justice issues like gender equality, Indigenous representation, LGBTIQ+ rights and migration have all played out across history in the skies. Flying connected us with each other and the world and this series will remind Australians how it has shaped our nation.”
Australia Come Fly with Me is an exploration into one of Australia’s most diverse and important industries, and it asks the question: What will be COVID-19’s lasting effect on the country’s love affair with flight?
Australia Come Fly With Me will be subtitled in Simplified Chinese and Arabic, and added to the subtitled collection on SBS On Demand, available immediately after its premiere. It will also be available with audio description on the live television broadcast. Australia Come Fly With Me is a WildBear Entertainment production for SBS. Principal production investment from Screen Australia in association with SBS. Financed with support from Create NSW.
Australia Come Fly With Me airs over three weeks from Wednesday 14 October at 8.30pm on SBS.
Watch the trailer here.
By Trent Thomas
Tenet has maintained its strong performance at the Australian box office as it finds itself as the #1 film for the third week in a row.
The Chris Nolan sci-fi film finds itself on top of a fresh-looking top five with three new (or not so new) entrants in After We Collided, Bill and Ted Face the Music, and Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.
With the help of these films, the Australian box office saw a rise of 36% this past weekend making a total of $4.14m.
The film continues to be the highest-grossing release since cinemas reopened amidst the easing of lockdown restrictions with its total now sitting at $7.79m. This past weekend Tenet averaged $1,790 on 610 screens – easily the most screened film in the country.
The romantic drama film based on the 2014 book of the same name by Anna Todd, and the sequel to After – which was released last year – had a strong first week in theatres with the highest average per screen on the weekend with $4,804 off 192 screens.
The film has now cracked the one million dollar threshold with its total now sitting at $1.15m after averaging $2,083 on 182 screens.
In a triumphant turn of events, Bill and Ted return for the first time since 1991 with Alex Winters and Keanu Reeves reprising their titular roles. After a pre-release last week the film has entered the top five after averaging $1,687 on 202 screens.
After A New Hope made the top five last month with $313,379, Episode V came close to matching it with its own top-five performance. The original sequel averaged $1,657 on 191 screens.
By James Manning
• The Masked Singer gives 10 its best night since MasterChef finale
• As Bonnie Anderson was unmasked, 10 won all people + key demos
Seven News 1,106,000/1,045,000
Nine News 1,031,000/1,031,000
ABC News 783,000
10 News First 360,000/220,000
SBS World News 182,000
Daily current affairs
A Current Affair 733,000
The Project 342,000/569,000
The Drum 203,000
News Breakfast 201,000
Late night news
Nine News Late 236,000
The Latest 145,000
ABC Late News 122,000
After The All New Monty got the Sunday slot, Plate of Origin carried on as the Monday reality franchise with the eight remaining teams ready to battle in the quarter finals. The audience was a series low 342,000 after 393,000 on Monday last week.
Earlier in the night Home and Away launched into a new week on 591,000 after a week 37 average of 547,000.
Later in the night 9-1-1: Lone Star was already up to episode 10 with 247,000 watching.
Nine: A Current Affair started its new week with Tracy Grimshaw welcoming viewers to a special edition about the mental health of children. Dimity Clancey started talking about teenagers and suicide with parents sharing their pain. The episode did 733,000 after a week 37 average of 677,000.
On The Block it was the start of master ensuite week. There will be more disruption later in the week connected with the spread of Covid-19 and its implications, but last night Keith was the focus for part of the episode as he wanted to kick Luke’s builder Macca off the show. As the teams had to try and organise ordering everything they would need to the rest of the entire build to avoid Covid-related shortages, Harry invited the teams over for a “winners are grinners” feed. The episode managed 791,000, close to last week’s 787,000 despite the final of The Masked Singer elsewhere.
Melissa McCarthy then featured in Celebrity IOU with 358,000 watching.
Footy Classified later had an audience of 111,000 in AFL markets.
10: The Project wasn’t the channel’s most-watched show last night after it drew 10’s biggest Sunday crowd. However at 7pm it had a respectable audience of 569,000 after a 7pm average of 505,000 last week. Monday guests included Dannii Minogue spruiking the finale of The Masked Singer.
The final of the mystery singing show followed with Bonnie Anderson being eventually revealed as the person behind the winning Bushranger mask. Along the way the other two finalists were revealed as Eddie Perfect and Kate Miller-Heidke. The audience watching the final was 1,191,000 for the reveal and 1,000,000 for the rest of the finale. In series one last year the reveal attracted 1,372,000 with 1,050,000 for the remainder of that episode.
On Have You Been Paying Attention? Lloyd, Kitty and Ash joined Ed and Sam. Ash London managed to win when the final buzzer sounded. Next week Network 10 and producers Working Dog are celebrating the 200th episode of the format. The audience last night of 767,000 was close to last week’s 764,000.
Anne Edmonds appropriately had several attempts at introducing Drunk History Australia. Edmonds eventually introduced Susie Youssef as Dame Nellie Melba with Darren McMullen as her French lover. Later in the show Harley Breen introduced the explorers Burke and Wills which reunited Osher Günsberg and James Mathison. The pilot episode for the series did 276,000.
ABC: Australian Story featured the Acast podcast Beenham Valley Road created to examine the death of young Queensland mum Kirra McLoughlin. The podcasters run Six10 Media, a Sunshine Coast based production company specialising in investigative podcasts and videography. Founded in early 2019 by former police officers Jamie Pultz and Tom Daunt, Six10 Media derives it’s name from the Queensland Police job code for community assistance. (Daunt has since left the business.) The first of a two-part episode did 615,000 and leaves many in anticipation of what will be revealed next week.
Four Corners then reported on soldiers of fortune – Australian mercenaries selling paramilitary services to warlords and despots abroad. The episode did 473,000.
Media Watch then did 467,000
Q+A investigated why so many people are lonely in a world where more people than ever are connected in different ways. The episode was on 250,000.
SBS: How the Victorians Built Britain was on 186,000 at 7.30pm. 24 Hours in Emergency followed with 174,000. The final rest day of the 2020 Tour de France meant a new 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown screened at 9.30pm to 113,000.
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.4%||7TWO||3.8%||GO!||2.0%||10 Bold||3.8%||VICELAND||1.5%|
|ABC ME||0.4%||7mate||2.9%||GEM||2.3%||10 Peach||1.9%||Food Net||0.6%|
|9Rush||0.9%||SBS World Movies||0.5%|
|ABC||Seven Affiliates||Nine Affiliates||10 Affiliates||SBS|
|ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY||2.3%||7TWO||5.7%||GO!||3.4%||WIN Bold||4.7%||VICELAND||1.7%|
|ABC ME||0.4%||7mate||4.5%||GEM||3.4%||WIN Peach||2.2%||Food Net||0.5%|
|ABC NEWS||1.1%||7flix (Excl. Tas/WA)||1.8%||9Life||1.9%||Sky News on WIN||2.4%||NITV||0.3%|
|MONDAY METRO ALL TV|
16 – 39
18 – 49
25 – 54
Shares all people, 6pm-midnight, Overnight (Live and AsLive), Audience numbers FTA metro, Sub TV national
Source: OzTAM and Regional TAM 2018. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM
ByteDance has selected Oracle as its partner for a deal to keep TikTok operating in the U.S, reports the Hollywood Reporter‘s Natalie Jarvey.
The decision comes as ByteDance has rejected a bid by Microsoft that earlier this summer was seen as the likely option for the company as it looked to avoid a shutdown of the popular social media app amid increased tensions between the U.S. and China.
A TikTok spokeswoman confirmed that the company had submitted a proposal to the Treasury Department. “This proposal would enable us to continue supporting our community of 100 million people in the US who love TikTok for connection and entertainment, as well as the hundreds of thousands of small business owners and creators who rely upon TikTok to grow their livelihoods and build meaningful careers,” she said in a statement.
The Greens are providing a path to clear the proposed media code through parliament if the government includes the ABC and SBS in the regime, reports Guardian Australia‘s John Durie.
If the government agrees to the changes, this opens the door to speedy passage of the legislation when it is introduced next month.
The code will detail how news companies are compensated for their content used by the platforms.
In a statement, communications spokesman Sarah Hanson-Young said the present code was incomplete and called on the government to include the public broadcasters in the mandatory code, to ensure the survival of the AAP newswire and to protect smaller players.
“Any code must protect public broadcasting and public interest journalism,” she said.
4BC has today announced that leading rugby league commentator and sports broadcaster Peter Psaltis will return to the station to host a local version of Wide World of Sports for the Brisbane audience.
“Peter is a much-loved son of 4BC and his passion for Queensland sport and rugby league makes him the perfect choice to launch our new and local Wide World of Sports show,” said Max Dudley, 4BC’s Content Manager. “He will also provide a boost to our newsroom by covering sport during Breakfast with Neil Breen and the Ray Hadley Morning Show.”
Psaltis will retain his existing commentary duties on TV with the 9Network in addition to his 4BC duties.
“I’m looking forward to getting back behind the microphone at 4BC. Brisbane is the sporting capital of the country at the moment, and there’s so much to look forward to locally in the weeks and months ahead,” Psaltis said.
Earlier this year 4BC announced plans to significantly expand local content in Brisbane, appointing respected editor/journalist Neil Breen as the station’s new Breakfast host and former MP Scott Emerson to host 4BC’s new local Drive program.
Psaltis will commence his duties on 4BC with the Wide World of Sports show, from 6-7pm, from October 12, 2020.
I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here will film all of its season in November and December, and save for a live finale in January, reports TV Tonight.
It’s the latest in massive changes to television prompted by the 2020 curveball that is COVID-19.
Filming is tipped to get underway in mid-November at the site near Murwillumbah, NSW, normally used by the UK series and conclude in December. Similar to the Big Brother model, a live finale would ensure the audience still chooses the winner.
As 10 Head of Entertainment Stephen Tate confirmed to Mediaweek, “The fact that we won’t have a time difference that Africa gave us will mean the show will need to be prerecorded.”
Of course, the show normally pre-records its challenges and camp footage anyway, with hosts Julia Morris and Dr. Chris Brown providing live links and eliminations, so the changes are actually rather minimal.
Cricket’s broadcasting feud is set to take an intriguing twist, with Channel 7 and Fox Sports likely to pay part – but not all – of a $58 million payment due on Tuesday, reports News Corp’s Ben Horne and Peter Lalor.
It’s the networks’ way of sending a clear message to Cricket Australia that they don’t believe they’re going to get the value they’re contracted to receive this summer.
CA has the option to either put both broadcasters in their place, or accept it’s time to get serious about negotiating a recut TV rights deal as COVID-19 has already forced the NRL and AFL to do.
Cricket officials will hold increasingly urgent talks with Seven and Fox this week, and will at least be able to tell the broadcasters that the Indian cricket board has importantly agreed to the proposed Test schedule, which is now just pending Government approvals.
The amount Seven and Fox pay on Tuesday may be a direct reflection of what they feel the summer is worth, although it’s only one of three rights instalments owing this summer, with the next due to be paid on December 15.
Industry sources say Channel 7 is serious about their threats to terminate – so onerous is the $450 million deal they signed to their business – so it’s unclear what kind of discount or changes to the schedule would be accepted.
If Channel 7 don’t meet their payment, CA would have various options they could take, including quietly continuing with behind the scenes negotiating, or more drastically, to initiate their own termination of the broadcaster.
The problem for CA is that rival networks Channel 9 and Channel 10 are unlikely to offer anywhere near the $75 million a year Channel 7 is paying for the combined rights, so terminating them could come at a significant financial cost.