Category Archives: Hot

3 great ads I had nothing to do with!

In the tradition of the popular Thinkbox series of shorts that explore some of the greatest TV advertisements in the company of leading Creatives ‘who know a thing or two about making them’, I’ve decided to put forward my own three choices of great advertisements that I had nothing to do with. Now, I’m no Chief Creative Officer of a huge agency, but I feel like I still know a good ad from a bad one. So here goes.

In the age of digital television recorders, advertisement skipping, product placement, overlay ads, Google and pretty much the internet in general, making a TVC stand out above the rest has become tough. Attention spans have shortened, and the point now is to make a TVC that instantly grabs attention and is genuinely engaging. I’ve selected three TVCs that have recently inspired me in my journey through studying advertising; brilliant commercials, old and new, that I admire. (Oh and by the way, if you’ve never heard of it, check out on Facebook – absolutely brilliant page constantly posting great TVC’s from around the globe.)

Ad #1: It’s now or never.

As the rest of the world runs for their lives and civilization crumbles around them, the bar-goers enjoy their last moments together and make the most of theirs. The bartender pours shots of Cuervo, a man plays Elvis Presley’s “It’s Now or Never” on the jukebox and couples tango while destruction around them ensues, because as for these brave souls; ‘tomorrow is overrated’.

The coolness factor is stratospheric here. CP+B’s campaign, directed by Ringan Ledwidge, features stunning visuals and uses an end-of-days scenario in charming fashion as a metaphor for living in the moment. The Elvis ballad, which was the second best-selling single of his career, is conceptually perfect and cuts right through the mayhem. The end tagline, “Tomorrow Is Overrated,” is a fun way to highlight tequila’s reputation as a liquor that can lead to unparalleled nights of abandon – and a way to emphasize the primacy of now in times of uncertainty.

Ad #2: Only time.

Who would have thought that more than 85 million people would watch the Muscles from Brussels doing his signature split with two Volvo trucks moving in reverse on a highway, backed by Enya’s “Only Time”? Volvo knew.

Directed by Andreas Nilsson, Volvo filmed the short on a runway in Spain in one take after three days of rehearsals. The short was, at the time, the latest in a series of videos Volvo used to promote how easy it was, and is, to steer its new high-tech big rigs – others have featured a woman walking a tightrope between to moving trucks heading toward a tunnel and a hamster steering one up the edge of a cliff.

The series, and the Jean-Claude Van Damme video in particular, are an insanely clever way to get attention to a type of vehicle most consumers usually don’t care or even think about while proving to other brands that they can use short clips to generate a Super Bowl-sized audience for little money when upping the creativity level of their campaigns.

Ad #3: Satisfaction.

While they sleep, a man’s tongue crawls completely out of his mouth and embarks on a journey to a house party down the road, bringing back home a cold Tooheys Extra Dry.

Yes, another alcohol ad. But prove to me that this isn’t one of the greatest Australian ads ever. I distinctively remember always rushing to the TV whenever I could hear Benny Benassi’s “Satisfaction” playing. “The tongue beer ad is on!”, I would say. I was 12.

This Tooheys TVC, created by BMF in Sydney, drew dozens of complaints but ranks as one of the best television commercials in the world. The Advertising Standards Board rejected a deluge of complaints about the ad, while Tooheys claims it reinvigorated Australian beer advertising. The advertisement is deliberately distinctive to reflect the diverse and growing consumer appetite for the brand, with a particular focus on younger consumers. At the core of the ad, the tongue is a simple yet strategic device to highlight the importance of taste.

The overall theme of my three advertisements, it seems, is that they all effectively make use of one huge feature amongst the impact of the visuals; that of music. Each advertisement conveys a strong message, but through the added characteristic of music, and specifically popularised music, the ad becomes something else. It becomes engaging.

Rowan James Slade

It’s all about the Idea!

You could have the greatest production team, the best global agency, and an amazing client. But just remember this does not mean anything with a bad idea.

Let me give you an example of a simple idea that was a pure genius. Do you remember the power cut during the third quarter of Super Bowl 2013, which caused the lights to go out for 34 minutes? The sandwich cookies brand, Oreo was quick to think in this situation and posted on social media ‘‘Power out? No problem. You can always dunk in the dark’.

 It revealed a simple picture of an Oreo cookie in a dark room. You could argue how Oreo was a great success compared to the other brands that paid for a spot in the memorable, global game. However I disagree with this theory as great ideas also went into all of those other commercials even If they didn’t think of it in 10 minutes. For example the Budweiser commercial- brotherhood, it worked because of the idea behind it. It was a surprising advertisement away from the typical alcohol ad. It told a warm, hearing story between a man and his horse that were separated, yet three years later they were reunited. It engaged the audience from the start as we questioned what the advertisement was for as it had a cinematic feel to it.

According to SJ Insights the number of ads that adults are now exposed to across all five media (TV, radio, Internet, newspapers and magazines) is about 360 per day; of these, only 150-155 are even noted, and far fewer make a strong enough impact to be recalled, make an impression, and ultimately, make a sale. It is vital that there is a strong idea behind any campaign; if your ad is noticed out of those 360 per day then you are on your way to success. One campaign that has stood our for me this week as my bus goes past it everyday is a campaign that was advertising Mardi Gras. It was the simplicity that made me love the outdoor advertisement. Instead of using a billboard outside Westfield in Bondi Junction they have simply made a mural to advertise Mardi Gras using a colourful set of wings, which, people can stand next to and take photos. This always grabs my attention, as the advertisement looks different every time I look at it with different people laughing and smiling, whilst taking photos with the wings. It is memorable as it made me feel happy. You could spend fortunes on a TV commercial or a print ad but if the idea is not relatable or doesn’t make your audience feel an emotion then it gets lost in the world of advertising.

Just remember the greatest ideas are the simplest.

Chloe Alexandra Geggus

Sell Me Content… ‘A New Word To Help Sell An Old Concept!’

Content marketing is a strategic way of attracting and engaging a defined targeted audience. Brands distribute valuable or relevant information to ‘pull in’ consumers, rather than using traditional advertising, which focuses on ‘pushing’ out a message.

Content is designed not to interrupt, but to interact.

From simply uploading an image or news article to Facebook, to putting peoples names on coke bottles or Jack Daniel’s sponsoring a YouTube video that shows ‘behind the scenes’ of a music producer, content marketing is on the rise. Boosted by the growth of social media, its effective and getting more and more creative and innovative.

I don’t believe people are ‘fooled’ by it. They know that its marketing based, but it doesn’t matter, if they like it, they will engage and interact.

However, Content is not a new concept. It is simply indirect information or entertainment targeted to a consumer segment market. Brands have been doing this forever…
Whether it’s a Magazine article in “Women’s Weekly,” informing you on how to get the cleanest clothes from your washing machine (brought to you by Cold Power) or MTV interviewing a popular rock band.

Content is not a new concept.It’s just a new word. And we have a shiny new potential lathered platform to use it.

It’s a word advertisers like to throw around to sound smarter. To add a little ‘pizzazz’ to what they’re talking about.

The idea hasn’t changed. It’s been around since the beginning…

How do we advertise without annoying the consumer with the same repetitive message over and over?

Lets give them something they’re interested in, and throw our logo in there somewhere or good measure. BOOM. Content.
But you still need a great idea, and how do you sell an idea? What can you use to help sell something that has yet to be proven to work?

You use jargon.

An internally constructed ad language that makes you sound like a wanker, but a wanker that knows what his talking about. Words like programmatic, channels, platforms, integrated, traffic, ideation and organic reach.
You use it to make old concepts sound new again.

Advertisers have the ideas, but they need to sell them to clients. They need to sound fresh, on top of it and impressive. They need to have a bit of the dodgy car salesman approach, or they might lose the account. All agencies have good ideas. But it’s a hard fought fight to see who can sell theirs the best.

Smother the client in so much jargon that they can’t understand what you’re saying, but they think you’re a genius… a wanker, but a genius as well.

Daniel Fitzsimmons

Caitlin Thomas: Scholarship Winner for T3

Congratulations to Caitlin Thomas for winning the Advertising & Media scholarship for Trimester 3, 2016 valued at $5000. 

12011396_10206506666018465_201242697883468829_n1Caitlin is a second year Bachelor student, who showed great tenacity in her very first trimester of study by putting together a winning spread for B&T magazine.

Un-phased by the task of organising and art directing a photo shoot although she had never attempted this before, Caitlin arranged a model, makeup artist and photographer to put together her solution to the ‘Untranslatable Words” feature in the IF section of B&T that was pitched by the Macleay College Advertising & Media students.

You can read about Caitlin’s experience putting this project together here:

In the meantime, Caitlin did so well during her internship at IDEAWORKS, they offered her a job. She is doing a great job balancing full time work and part-time study.

Congratulations Caitlin, and we look forward to having you as an ambassador for the Advertising & Media course at Macleay College this trimester.

To see Caitlin’s blog, click here:


There is something very invigorating about being surrounded by hundreds of creative people talking about what they love.

This year’s Semi-Permanent conference in Sydney had some tough competition, with the city in lock-down with winter cultural festivals. But faced with engaging options at the Biennale, Sydney Writers’ Festival, Sydney Film Festival, Vivid Festival of Ideas, the REMIX conference or MUMBRELLA 360 – it was still a good choice to go to listen to some choice speakers at Semi-Permanent at Eveleigh’s rusty, rustic and renovated Carriageworks.

Semi-Permanent is a great chance to see what some of the most talented and innovative creative professionals are producing both here and abroad. But far from being an introverted look by the design world at it’s golden spiralling navel, it’s a chance to hear from some big thinkers about technology, globalisation, sustainability and the future of creativity.


I must admit, I didn’t manage to get to all of the sessions, but one highlight for me was the FUTURE STATE panel with Dantley Davis, director of design at Netflix, Jon Lax, director of Product Design at Facebook, Jon Wiley, director of Immersive Design at Google and Dav Rauch, futurist at IDEO.

From announcing strong new developments in technology such as Google’s Tilt Brush that lets you paint in 3D – in the virtual reality space, and tiny portable supercomputers that plug into whatever interface you have access to (phones, tablets, laptops), to the challenge of using data to create personal and personalised product experiences at scale, the three speakers built a strong argument for need for empathy.

In a world where designers sit and work in cities like San Francisco, London and Sydney –isolated bubbles a long way geographically, economically and societally from the global audience who are now consuming these products, Dantley pitched that the way forward to create successful and sustainable products and businesses is to develop a deep understanding of the people we are creating these for – whether they be on the streets of Lahore or the avenues of New York.

A second highlight was hearing from a couple of blokes, designers and businessmen who have been around the traps long enough to be able to share some words of wisdom from their professional success and failings. Vince Frost, founder and executive creative director of Frost Collective and Andy Bateman, founder & CEO at Everyone. The lads offered some great advice to creative businesses in their session on ‘Break it to make it’.

Based on their shared years of experience in top level creative businesses, Frost and Bateman presented a compelling thesis on the importance of constantly challenging your own business model in order to create sustainability and growth.

Their premise is not to sit on your laurels based on past success, but rather to challenge everything you are doing and how you are doing it at the pinnacle of each of your successes. They argued that to stay on the leading edge of business and technology, you must not simply develop your product further, but destroy it and rebuild it on a regular basis, to ensure that you really are responding to the latest consumer needs and developments in technology. Only by doing this can you ensure you will not end up being superseded by technology like NOKIA, KODAK and the like.

Their 3 maxims: 1) Know where you are in the growth phase of your business or product, 2) Challenge yourself creatively all the time, and 3) Sitting still will kill your business. With good advice for achieving sustainability and permanence in business like that, Semi-Permanent may need to consider a name change.

‘Can’t wait for SP 2017.

Ian Thomson is the program leader of the Advertising & Media faculty at Macleay College

Macleay Ad Students rock the AdNews Awards

Macle-aaaaaaaay how you doin?

~Dress ups and schmoozing up the big guys~

It was a warm Thursday evening and with the promise of food, alcohol and some potential schmoozing, ten Advertising students from Macleay College attended the AdNews Agency of the Year Awards. We asked the big questions. What makes a successful campaign? Who are the big players in the industry? Is it socially acceptable to take selfies with Sean Cummins?



The night was about celebrating the successes of the industry throughout 2015 and was a crash course on the scope of Advertising and Media. Every so often, as another award was called we would discuss which agency we aspire to join, glazing over as we thought about what our acceptance speeches would be one day.

So, in order to get on that stage one day, we learned two lessons.


The Advertising Industry is a loving, albeit dysfunctional family… with great cheekbones. A family created amongst themselves consisting of unique individuals but ultimately who share the same goals. Tight knit groups of like-minded people that have worked hard to deliver an outcome that is as equally successful to the clients as to the agency. A 50:50 ratio of work hard play hard.


The importance on leaving the family legacy behind and focussing on innovation. Separating yourself from the opposition in a world where if you live in the past you get left behind. Staying relevant to trends and the issues of today is what all the winners seemed to be doing.

Of all the winners a favourite among the Macleay crew was GPY&R’s “Melanoma Likes Me”. They showed us how high quality, strategic thinking can convey a crucial message in an engaging way. The campaign was clever in its channel selection e.g. targeting Instagram users (Currently 400 million active accounts) while demonstrating a creative solution where they could get the message across in such a small window of time. The campaign reinforced a valuable lesson: that if you’re not saying something clever quickly no one is listening.

For ten, starry-eyed students the night was the perfect introduction to the work hard, play hard world of advertising and media. The next step is for us to decide if we want to be in the business for the fancy award nights with food and wine, or whether we will be on the stage under the bright lights being recognized for an amazing contribution to the industry. Hopefully we can aim for both.

Advertising Student, Brooke Demenezes


AdGrad wins JWT’s ‘Rising Star’ Award

We are thrilled to announce that the Macleay College advertising graduate Lexi Mounsey has won the JWT ‘Rising Star’ award. From her first position as an Account Executive, she has rapidly proven herself and most recently stepped up to become an Account Manager at J Walter Thompson, one of the world’s leading advertising agencies. Congratulations Lexi, we are keen to hear where your journey takes you from here. And now a few words from Lexi herself:


“I started at J. Walter Thompson in May 2014 after finishing the Bachelor course at Macleay. After a 3 month stint travelling South America, the job hunt was on and lasted all but 1 week before landing an Account Executive role on the Kellogg’s account. Working across all mediums, and getting constant exposure to creative work kept me passionate about the industry and the work. This curiosity was rewarded when I received the ‘Rising Star’ Award for 2015. I’m learning something new every day, from people whose ideas are simply incredible and incredibly simple.

A year and a half later, an opportunity came up as an Account Manager in the agency and I transitioned into the role and my amazing new team at the start of 2016. “

AdBare goes International

Hi fellow AdBare readers! My name is Katerina Pappas I am from the States. I go to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and I am currently a senior Advertising student. As I am in the process of a research project with a professor, I stumbled across Adbare. U of I (as we call it) is in the R&D stage of making a blog for Advertising students, similar to that of Adbare. My professor and I agreed, Macleay’s Adbare blog was the best benchmark/goal blog we saw! I had the pleasure of exploring the site’s content quite a bit as well as having a Skype interview with Ian Thomson, the head of faculty and chief editor for the site and would love to share my thoughts!



The overall content the site provides is wonderful. I love the “Ad Speaks section” as well as the “Not” bad advertising section. The “Ad Grads” is great because it is not only an appreciation to Alumni from the school but also serves as a great Networking tool! I also think it is wonderful that student’s work and portfolio’s are displayed. I know as a student we create lots of unique/exciting projects and I can only imagine how great it is to see hard work pay off! Also, if prospective students are seeing the work Macleay’s students do, I am sure it is great to help them narrow down their school/major decisions if they see potential work they could be doing!

My conversation with Ian was not only interesting but thought-provoking, eye-opening and inspirational. He walked me through how the blog started as well as the logistics behind how the posting works. I was furiously taking notes to understand how this great blog came to be! I really liked how he explained the blog was a learning tool. How it is more than just a blog and how students are taught blog etiquette, the blog spark conversations and dialogue as well as even help students contribute to their portfolio. I also liked Ian’s key point of, “students are engaging in real-world valuable skills. Having skills in a social media sphere where you’re often expected to write and update posts makes them really employable.” This is very true and I have seen it in previous interviews and internships where students are expected to elaborate on their experiences. Also it is special if you can bring skills to a position and continually build on them.

Overall viewing the Adbare blog and speaking with Ian has helped me have a strong benchmark for our potential blog but really think about how as a student we have so many resources and learning opportunities available to us. Our industry is evolving every single day and let’s be honest we are so fortunate to be part of a hip, fun, engaging industry and culture of Advertising. Macleay’s blog really exemplifies this idea of the “different” people we are and being run by students makes it that much better! Thank you Ian for your insightful talking points as well as Adbare for being a role model for our blog. Looking forward to keeping connected, even 9,183 miles away!

AdBare = Goals

Katerina Pappas. University Of Illinois At Urbana Champaign | Class of 2016 

71 Tips on how to create Inspirational Ads

Hey guys, check out this great blog piece from Melanie Biehle at Design School Canva, about creative ways to solve that tricky advertising communications problem.

There is some inspiring stuff here, and also lots of ideas of how to approach your next advertising brief. Like this:



Volkswagen Park Assist: Hedgehog and Fish

Precision Parking. Park Assist by Volkswagen.

Volkswagen wanted to increase the sale of optional equipment with the new cars they sell. Therefore we had to come up with ideas that introduced the features and would also get people excited about them. One of these features: the park assist.

Advertising Agency: DDB Tribal Berlin, Germany
Chief Creative Officer:: Eric Schoeffler
Creative Directors / Copywriters: Maged Nassar, Ali Ali
Illustrator: The Operators
Account Supervisor: Susanne Plümecke
Account Manager: Catrin Schmid
Art Buyer: Susanne Kreft