Category Archives: Featured Work

This is simply the coolest work we could find.

Social Media Strategy and Brand Influencers


What a thrill for Macleay College’s Advertising & Digital Media students to be delivered a guest lecture on social media strategy and brand influencers from two of the best: HotnDelicious strategist Dan Wilkinson ( and model & fashion blogger Lauren Vickers ( – all as a live podcast in Macleay College’s multi-media studio.

Brands that move at the speed of culture

Macleay College Advertising students recently attended an AGDA event, “How to make brands and influence people,” presented by Chris Maclean, Creative Director of Re.

1_coverMaclean believes the term ‘branding’ has become so nebulous it’s lost all meaning and is even a dirty word in some circles. Even the design industry struggles with the concept, confusing ‘Corporate Identity’ with ‘Brand Identity.’ To make matters worse, the world is confused about branding; both clients and audiences alike.

Your average cabbie, worldwide, has long been considered a good sounding board for community sentiment. With equal measures of humour and frustration, Maclean shares his regular attempts to explain what he does for a quid without saying he ‘just’ makes logos. A good analogy is that a corporate identity (beginning with the logo), is like wearing a uniform, and the brand is more about the personality under that uniform.

Maclean believes that brands are living, breathing entities that should be built to evolve and meet the changing needs of people. Modern brands are “expressive personalities that attempt to influence how you think, feel and behave.”


Chris Maclean was “shi#*ing himself.” In 2011, as Creative Director of Interbrand, Maclean was about to launch the Telstra rebrand.

In The Australian, Sydney reporter Mitchell Bingemann had not been kind: “Telstra’s new $3m logo puts critics off colour”, and “It really seems to be a dilution of a powerful brand,” comments conveniently attributed to an unnamed “senior brand design specialist.”

A household name, we’ve probably all heard worse descriptors than “shi#’ used to relay a typical Telstra customer experience. Telstra was keenly aware that many of their customers were ‘hostages,’ and that “more people buy from us than ‘like us.’” Notwithstanding, CEO David Thodey’s mission for Telstra was “to become Australia’s ‘most loved’ Telco.”


In this environment, Telstra had the seemingly impossible task of re-emerging as a brand relevant and engaging to everyone from a tween to a government department. This realisation was instrumental in the decision to introduce a six colour system. With colour, Maclean had extra levels of emotional flexibility to play with, from hot pink for a teenage girl toting birthday cash, to deep blues for bureaucrats and contracts.

One can only imagine the pitch required to sell this to the decision makers. He laughs at his cabbie’s efficacious summary, reducing the extent of his three-year project to having “just changed the colours, six times,” and that he “didn’t even design” the Telstra logo. By then he truly wished he’d booked an Uber and was instead enjoying his own music, the complimentary water, and mints to boot.


Maclean takes us on the journey of the branding creative. After months of strategic planning, design work refinement, and celebratory launch, the project culminates in a design firm handing over a collection of digital artwork (brand assets) and guidelines to the company and their ad agencies for ongoing implementation. At this point, Maclean feels heartbroken and ready to capitulate – “Maybe I am (just) ‘the logo guy.'”

Reflective self-assessment leads him back to an ongoing exploration – how can Advertising and Design play nice together? He sets the scene: for consistency, designers want to build visual glue for brands. Conversely, advertising creatives don’t want to be restricted by static visual communication as it becomes featureless wallpaper. If a brand stays the same in a changing world, it loses relevance. So, while adhering to strict brand guidelines, how does a brand stay relevant and engaging?

Maclean’s discovery of the collaborative ‘middle ground’, is his innovative compromise that enables design and advertising to “play nice” together. The solution is explained with a simple graphic featuring the ‘core’ and the ‘playground.’ Maclean outlines a scenario where the brand agency creates the brand essence at the core, which remains consistent and stable. The playground is a large area orbiting around the core which allows the brand to remain relevant and engaging.


To use a successful brand as an example, Apple (of course, though image shows Nike), has a notorious solid core (no pun intended). No other brand has managed to deliver such a consistent brand experience and any changes in the delivery move at a glacial pace. Yet, when they need to ‘circuit break’ the market, they elegantly but deliberately step into the playground and shake up the space. For example, the dancing silhouettes of the 2004 iPod campaign.ipods

Maclean’s model is entirely appropriate for a landscape of digital disruption, and brands that move at the speed of culture.  Relevant brands are in beta state – alert and focussed. They need to evolve, and as brand designers and strategists, we need to build in flexibility.  Maclean likens it to a ‘Creative Thinking’ exercise: “Listen, think, create. Repeat”.


Chris Maclean and ‘Re’ are currently hiring: “Design Directors, Senior & Mid-weight Designers, Motion Designers, Strategists, Account Managers.” Get in touch  These roles are all suitable for graduates of the Macleay College Advertising & Media courses.

In a follow-up post, Julieann will review Maclean’s theory that “brands have the power to change the world.”

jules-stripesJulieann Brooker is a lecturer in the Advertising & Media Faculty at Macleay College. Study options include a Diploma of Advertising & Media, Diploma of Digital Media, BA Advertising & Media and BA Digital Media.


1g0a7505By Daniel Koublachvili, Bachelor of Advertising and Media

I have to say Sam Court’s UX course has started the Macleay year on a high! Instead of the traditional classroom setup, Sam invited us to have our lessons at The White Agency, helping to give us exposure to industry professionals like himself as he talked through all the nitty-gritty components in UX Design. ALSO Ping-Pong ladies and gentlemen, Ping-Pong!

I’ve always wanted to learn about UX Design and honestly had no idea what it really was and what goes into – I just assumed it was the concept of graphic design. Oh how very wrong of me, it’s much more than that.

Sam started by essentially teaching us how to think about UX Design. A great example is a technique called crazy 8s, which is a process that makes you create eight unique ideas in the space of five minutes. Not only that but you share your ideas to the class, and they take what ideas they like from you and you take what ideas you like from them. 


The White Agency

It’s cool because you evolve from the core of your idea and merge with other people’s ideas – #appropriation at it’s finest. You go and go, keeping it all really simple and visual by sketching (low-fi). I didn’t realise how well this process would originally work, but it’s kind of like stretching before a work out – you find your mind warming up to creativity and then BAM! Here comes all that creativity you had locked inside.

Taking the thinking process further in regards to UX really truly amazed me. We got asked a simple question that stated; think of how many ways you could use this paperclip. Seems simple enough just write down how many ways you could use this paperclip. Now, depending on how many answers you came up with shows your ability of divergent thinking. The result with this test is that a pre-school kid will score a higher result in the test versus a high school student, due to a child being able to use his imagination to his absolute will.


Advertising student Nathan Sarmiento and Sam Court

What does this have to do with UX? Well because a high school student becomes more educated he will know the uses of a paperclip, and simply state it’s uses, but a child thinks of endless boundaries. So in regards to UX you want to be able to do both, be a divergent thinker and a convergent thinker all in one.

You start with your ideas and think about a problem, make the longest list of all of your ideas using your imagination to your hearts content then push the boundaries of what’s there and say “what’s not”? Then simply converge these ideas, narrow them down to its purest solution and address the problem you are trying to solve. So to address my earlier statement, no it’s not like graphic design.

We were stunned when hearing that we were Sam’s first class, it feels honestly feels like the man has been teaching for years. There is still more to come from this class seeing as the trimester isn’t over. I can’t wait to present my final assessments with the rest of class and show off all that creative thinking.

Daniel is currently studying the Bachelor of Advertising and Media. The User Experience class is taught by Sam Court, Head of Experience Design at The White Agency.

Ad Students create new commercial for MyDish

Macleay College’s advertising students recently had the opportunity to develop and produce a commercial for the home cooking service ‘MyDish’.

From the development of the concept, copy and storyboard, the students then filmed and edited the commercial. Each took on a different production role, from production manager, to casting, styling, locations, camera assistant, gaffer, grip and editor.

Check out the results below.

Owner Tim O’Donohue was thrilled with the results:

A huge thank you to the advertising students of Macleay College, for My Dish’s new 60 second advertising film. After meeting with the head of the advertising faculty and video production lecturer, Ian Thomson at Macleay College’s Open Days with my son, My Dish was offered the opportunity to brief 2015’s advertising students on our business, products  and services in order for a TV commercial to be created. Following the briefing, the students developed a detailed analysis of the target audience, a key message for the advertisement and storyboarded the whole video. To create authenticity, the filming was done at our home with the cast consisting of family and friends. On the day, we were all blown away by the professionalism of the students who were in charge of everything, from set, food styling and costuming to lighting and sound. Five weeks after the briefing, we were presented with a polished and professional TVC, edited by the students themselves. We couldn’t be happier with how everything went, and are thankful to Macleay College for the service they provided to our small business. We can’t wait to put it out there and see the reactions from our existing customers, and our target audience!

Thanks, The Team @ My Dish”

Macleay Ad Students Tackle Issue Of Domestic Violence

Independent education provider, Macleay College, has teamed up with advertising agency GHG in an attempt to address the national emergency that is domestic violence in Australia.




The initiative sew students develop primary prevention campaign ideas that target young people for Our Watch – an Australia-wide, not for profit organisation focused on primary prevention that addresses the pre-determinants of violence against women.

Four groups of Macleay students presented their campaign ideas surrounding the key message – ‘Know the line. Call out those who cross the line’ – to a panel of judges, including:

Madeleine Clifford – manager of campaigns, Our Watch

Tim Brierley – managing partner, GHG

Ian Thomson – head of advertising, Macleay College

Julieann Brooker – lecturer, Macleay College.


The line KEY NOTE.key


Macleay College lecturer, Brooker, said: “At Macleay College, we are huge advocates for the promotion of social issues and include these in our education programs. We recognise that building Emotional Intelligence during the teen years is the key to combatting domestic violence in the next generation.

“Our work with GHG for Our Watch aims to arm students with creative and strategic skills to contribute to their community. This creative collaboration comes at a time where we are finally seeing the wider community stand up against violence towards women. With more than one woman killed every week by a current or former partner in Australia, the issue has never been more important, and our students appreciate working on current and topical projects,” said Brooker.




GHG managing partner, Tim Brierley, said that this campaign has been an eye-opening experience given the current agenda and attention given to the issue.

“Getting to the crux of this movement is an important lesson to these students, who absolutely should learn how to channel their talents and passion into an ethical campaign that can help their community, while remaining sensitive to the issue at hand.”


PowerPoint Presentation


Click here to see the original article in B&T

Click here to see the TVC that level 3 students produced

Waves of Innovation

by Macleay Advertising student, Kyra Brown

“Major trends that change consumers’ behaviours and expectations are the way of the future for ad-making”, that’s the prediction from Brad Bennett, head of technology at The Hallway. As part of Macleay’s ongoing AdSpeaks series of talks from high-ranking advertising professionals, ad students had the pleasure of venturing to The Hallway, an independent advertising agency with clients like Google, Qantas, eHarmony, Fuji Xerox, Fairfax Media and NSW Government to name just a few.

Bennett began his career in insurance consulting, then moved to Crisis Communications, and eventually over into the wonderful world of advertising. He also runs a charity, Jiamani, which focuses on providing educational resources for orphans in southern Tanzania.


Brad spoke about how the future of advertising and marketing relies on waves of innovations. The way consumers will make decisions to purchase, thanks to advertising, moves and follows these waves. Changes in major contributing factors like technology and how it benefits human knowledge have a huge influence on this process. A great point he raised was that technology can create value where there previously wasn’t any. So for certain consumers, a new tablet that offers to connect them with other family members half way across the world, has a special value to them. This can be then be highlighted in an advertising campaign which evokes emotion and ultimately the purchase of the device.

He also spoke about what he called “Wired for Search”. This is about accessing information today, compared to 10 or 20 years ago, which is a much easier and simultaneous process. The tool use and access to information is often now a more important quality for children or teenagers than actually remembering the information presented. He spoke about how consumers respond to novelty and that ‘new’  makes them very happy.

A major theme that Brad said his agency and many others are focusing on, is the concept of “always on” marketing. This is less about a “campaign of advertising”, but more about the kind of stuff that is always out there, constantly but subtly reminding the consumers of the advertising message. It follows the “conversational” type of marketing, speaking to consumers on their own level, the way they speak to each other, and how they like to be spoken to.


Bennett spoke about how marketers need to love the product and service they are advertising in order to successfully convey that to the consumers, they need to ensure the consumers know about product cycles and what it can be used for, and they need to also create value for clients in the future, so creating impactful and replicate-able ideas will express value to clients and also to consumers.

A quote that Brad referred to was “never make forecasts, especially about the future” from Sam Goldwyn. Which I thought tied in perfectly with his references to the ever changing world of technology – and how advertising can’t predict or forecast what will happen, but instead should change and adapt to meet the demands and needs of society.

The Hallway was a beautiful open-spaced studio, that was very welcoming and looked like a very cool place to work. I would love to go back and pick the brains of some more of their employees!

Click here to see the article from AdNews’ Rachael Micaleif about Brad’s presentation

The Mini Cooper Dance Floor Campaign

Mini Cooper were releasing their new heart land model, with a key insight that mini drivers were known for their individual style. They created an innovative campaign to match that of its customers. INTERACTIVE DANCE FLOORS THAT RESPOND TO MOVEMENT!

Using a mix of Broadcast, Digital, Print, and out of home media to broadcast this event it gained a lot of media traction.

The campaign was kicked off with an incredible video showcasing the interactive dance floor using a bunch of talented dancers doing their thing. Three events were then held all over Australia where media, Mini customers and regular entrants got invited to experience the interactive dance floor. What I loved about the campaign was the experience it gave the customers. An event like this allows the customers to connect with the brand in a fun and tangible way unlike other forms of advertising that can sometimes feel like people are yelling in our faces. Providing an experience like this leads to large amounts of earned media as people want to talk about it. With mini partnering with VICE and this camping also going out through their networks it ensured the right people were talking about it.

After all nothing is better than your consumers speaking for your brand and I believe that is exactly what Mini achieved with this campaign.

Post by Ashleigh Maher

Beyond Blue – Invisible Discriminator

Just before midnight I was doing the usual pre sleep internet troulling when I came across Beyond Blue’s latest campaign. After very successful campaign in support of the LGBTI community last year that used the metaphor of being left handed, Beyond Blue has come back with another powerful campaign.

The new campaign ‘The Invisible Discrimination’ is one that will stop you in your tracks and seriously make you think. Using a dark, slimy man wearing an awful black turtleneck jumper is used as a metaphor for the voice that second-guesses or judges Aboriginal Torres Straight Islander People. With a survey revealing that 97% of ATSI community have experienced racism. The one-minute thirty-second campaign cuts straight to the chase using ‘real life examples’ of when the ATSI people have experienced invisible and passive racism, allowing the viewer to feel effected and empathise with the character. I believe the most powerful part of this campaign is that the examples shown like people telling racial jokes in a pub, moving away on the train and being watched while buying milk as they are all situations we can imagine still happening today.

Finally the part of this campaign that makes it successful is the behind the scenes cut where you hear from the Indigenous actors about their real life experiences of passive racism. This version gave me chills up my spine hearing about other people’s experience of people moving away from them on the train or as a kid always being watched in shops as people assumed they would shop lift. This edit allows you to see that the people in the online video are not just ‘actors’ they are people who can directly relate to the campaign making it even more real and hard hitting than the first time you watch it.

Post by Ashleigh Maher

Simply Obsessed

Football has this unique ability to capture the attention of an audience to the point of obsession. The recent TVC put out by Foxtel has mange capture the essence of that obsession and showcase it to the world. They didn’t attempt to sell the game, they sold a culture, to a group of people whom were already a part of it.

The minute long TV ad features a reworked version of Tina turners “Simply the Best”, which is arguably the best NRL theme song of all time. Rewording the cult hit to include lyrics such as “You’re simply obsessed, way more than all the rest” .The cleverness of the lyrics have not only capture the heart of any league fan but has a created a statement that all NRL fans can agree on regardless of what team they support or how die hard they may be.

The ad isn’t filled with action shots and amazing try’s, or players staring down the camera asking you to join the team, just as it is in every other commercial that mentions the NRL or any sport for that matter, No, the Foxtel commercial is full of fans, from all teams enjoying the game. Fans who ignore phone calls, get angry at the TV and have some makeover whole they watch the game. Ordinary people who live and breathe for their team and game, the ones with a bedroom full of merchandise and are simply just obsessed. In every frame of this TV ad there is something fans can and will relate to and when you add some of the biggest names in the game doing the same things to the mix you have a winner. People love the idea that their not alone in their obsession that the people they are looking up to are getting just as angry at the TV as they are.

In my opinion Foxtel gets bonus points for the way they have incorporated there brand into the message, it’s not in your face Buy this product or rattling on how it’s packed full of features. Foxtel has let the ad speak for itself, with branding at the end and a bit of shameless product placement here and there. At the end of the message you know that you have seen an ad for foxtel so the brand message is effective, but you don’t feel like for watching a TV ad, it’s more like a YouTube video really.

The reason with ad works so well is the fact it’s not trying to sell you the game of rugby league, they are selling a new way to enjoy the game that the target market already loves so much. They found a way to capture the essence of every fan and market that. It’s not on your face, it has minimal branding and it’s true to the target market, it may sound cheesy but its more of a love story then a commercial, something that an outsider may not understand, but those that live and breathe the football culture relate to every word, its A refreshing break form the status quo of sports related advertising. Not to mention it’s catchy as all hell.

Post by Aleisha Baty