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Australian Life

Photographic insights into Australian life

Nathan Sarmiento

I visited the Australian Life exhibition which includes a range of photos, on Monday and I the following photo inspired me.


The image of people praying in the background with a little girl on her phone has many elements in the way you describe it. I see it as people praising technology seeing how big it is in our generation as well as the following generation. I also see it as the future of religion as well as the future generation. With the girl on the phone and ignoring the people praying, I see it as our future generation ignoring religion, ignoring family tradition and ignoring many other things all for the sake of going on their phone.

This picture also reminds me of what I’ve seen in the next generation, I’ve seen kids around her age going on their parents phone during family time like lunch or going out…

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Digital media advertising will be the top global category by 2018

Hey all budding advertising professionals, it is now official, well at least according to the Magna Global “Global Advertising Forecasts” report, that digital advertising will be where the lion’s share of the advertising dollars will be going in just a few years. Read the full report from “WHICH 50” by Andrew Birmingham.

Ring the bell, the war is over. Almost. 21 years after the little browser that couldn’t – Netscape – changed the way we consume content forever, digital media will finally emerge as the world’s largest advertising category in 2018 according to a new report.

The study, called Global Advertising Forecasts and produced by Magna Global fell off the back of a passing futon van and into our lap as we were enjoying our third soy Piccolo on a chilly Sydney morning,  made by the charming and delightful baristas of Brooklyn Hide in Surrey Hills. And it’s the kind of report that will warm the cockles of the good hipsters of Australia’s own Silicon Gully quarter when they stop reading Monocle just long enough to scan the numbers.

While traditional advertising spending will decline by 0.8 percent next year lead by the continuing self immolation of newspapers and magazines, digital media will surge by another 15.8 per cent.

Across the globe, $US518 billion will be pumped into media owner advertising. The US remains clearly the world’s largest market at $163 billion and will remain in the top spot for many years to come, based on US dollar pricing parity comparisons. China and Japan are firmly locked in at 2nd and 3rd but both markets combined will still be barely half the size of the US in three years time.

Australia maintains its 9th place spot this year and is likely to stay there at least in the foreseeable future, just behind Canada, which, let’s face it, is not even a real country anyway.

The world’s other great emerging market, India, will finally crack the top 10 in 2019.

All about the pixels

But the real story, as it has been for two decades now, is digital.

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(Image source: Magna Global)

According to the report’s authors, “Digital media advertising is expected to grow by double-digits again this year again (+16 per cent to $149 billion) driven by mobile advertising (+53 per cent at $50.0bn), video formats (+38 per cent at $15.4bn) and social formats (+38 per cent at $22.7bn). Global digital revenues will reach 31 per cent market share globally this year. Mobile advertising now accounts for 30 per cent of total digital advertising and will reach 55 per cent by 2019.”

They note that digital media was already the top media category in 2014 across 13 of the 73 markets analyzed by Magna Global, including the UK, Australia, Canada, Germany, China, Sweden and the Netherlands.

“This number will grow to 14 in 2015 and to 23 by 2018. Based on our long-term forecasts, digital media will catch up with television in 2018, when digital media reaches 38.0% of global ad revenues compared to TV’s 37.7 per cent share. This is one year earlier than previously forecast. In the US, digital will outgrow television revenues by 2017.”

Search is king, still. Globally, it remains clearly the biggest ad format, with 54 per cent of total digital dollars, according to the report. “Display remains second but social grows faster and now represents 13 per cent, nearly two thirds of it generated through mobile platforms.”

The authors note that market shares are very different when comparing desktop and mobile environments. “Display accounts for 27 per cent of desktop ad dollars but only 13 per cent of mobile ad dollars.”

Mobile digital advertising claimed almost a quarter of the digital dollars and will claim a clear majority of the spending by 2019. “Mobile advertising (across all formats) will grow by 33.5 per cent per year over the period 2014-2019.”

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Again – and despite some alarmist predictions to the contrary- search will continue to dominate. It will claim 48 per cent of mobile advertising while social will garner 31 per cent. Alas, and despite the hype, display and video formats will continue to lag behind due to their inherent limitations such as screen size and  bandwidth, according to the study.

Rise of the machines

Programmatic advertising continues to gather share. Combined real time bidding (RTB) and non RTB platforms will deliver the majority of display digital display ads in 2015 – at least in the most advanced 11 markets that Magna Global tracks in its Programmatic studies.

“Programmatic transactions now account for nearly half (46 per cent) the media transactions in non-search digital media. Approximately half of programmatic (i.e. a quarter of total inventory) is transacted through Real Time Bidding (RTB).  Total Programmatic will grow to represent 70 per cent of dollar transaction by 2019. By then only non-standard (native) formats or premium display/video inventory will stay entirely out of programmatic buying reach.”

Regional outlook

In the Asia total advertising spend grew by 6.2 per cent in 2014 to reach $138bn according to the study. And it  will grow by roughly the same rate in 2015 to reach $147bn.

“This will push APAC past EMEA to be the second largest global advertising region by spend, behind only North America.”

Forecasts have been pared back slightly for the region though after the IMF reduced its nominal GDP growth expectations for APAC down from 7.7 per cent. Despite this,  APAC remains one of the fastest growing advertising economies on a global basis, ahead of North America and Europe says the authors.

And no wonder the cafes are packed in Surry Hills with the outlook for Australian advertising decidedly gimlet eyed. Total ad spending will grow 3.8 per cent next year to reach $12bn.

According to the report, “Australia remains one of the most mature and intense advertising markets, with ad spend per capita passing $500 this year, which is the fourth highest global total trailing only Norway, the United States and Switzerland.”


Click here to read the original article on WHICH 50

Mercedes Clever Creative?

Ethan Fowler analyses the latest ad by Mercedes-Benz, and asks is this the creative Mercedes solution we would expect?


This is a recent print ad that was created for Mercedes-Benz.

The ad offers what we expect from the premium car brand:

– slick and smooth design
– a clever visual idea in modern look and feel
– corporate designed typography and copy

The clarity and conciseness of this ad ties in with the straightforward and direct style that Mercedes has become well known for in its advertising.

It is assumed that the target audience is people of both genders 30 – 45 years of age who have a well paid job. But the depiction of a man in this demographic may suggest the primary market is male.

The use of a clever key visual that shows a man looking forward and sideways at the same time a creative way of showing what mercedes is all about: intelligence, simplicity, elegance and a clear advantage over its competitors.

The ad recognises that most cars have blind spots, but Mercedes creates so many rear-viewing options, that the driver barely needs to turn their head because the side mirrors are so effective.

Another trump in Mercedes deck.

I am looking forward to their next stylish, clever and innovative campaign.

Cannes Lions Grand Prix Winners 2015

Check out the Cannes Creativity award winners, compiled by Aden Hepburn for Digital Buzz.


With the Cannes Lions 2015 Festival of Creativity complete, all the gold awarded, parties over and the 15,000+ people flying back home with perfect tans, it’s time to review the the world’s best creative work for 2015. So Aden Hepburn has rounded up each Grand Prix winning case study for this year, and embedded them below so you can check them all out in once place.

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Click here to watch the videos and see the original article on DigitalBuzz

The Year’s Best Facebook Campaigns

Check out this link from AdWeek about the most successful Facebook marketing campaigns over the past year.


The Ice Bucket Challenge was the past year’s best use of Facebook marketing, according to the social network, which just announced its ad award winners. It’s no surprise the viral campaign got so much praise—Mark Zuckerberg even participated.

Zuckerberg was one of the millions of people to douse themselves in ice water to raise awareness for ALS in what became a powerful moment for online marketing. The best part was that it cost the ALS Association no money to generate all that attention—440 million people saw the videos.

The lesson was not lost on Facebook, which is holding it up as an example of how to use the platform for maximum impact.

This year marked the fourth Facebook Awards, which are timed to coincide with the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity—starting next week—where the ad world assembles to honor its top creative work.

Facebook executives also attend Cannes to meet with brands and agencies to discuss the kind of work that can be done using the platform. The social network has been expanding its global presence, too, now seeing more than half its ad revenue come from overseas.

“Facebook continues to see significant business growth internationally, especially in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Kelly Maclean, leader of Facebook’s emerging markets ad products. “More businesses are connecting with the right people in ways that are unprecedented.”

This year, award entries came from twice as many countries—more than 160—as last year, according to the company.

It also was the first year Facebook included winners with Instagram ad campaigns, and video was a core piece of the ad mix, as well.

“The two big things were mobile—people building for where people are—and the other was video,” said Mark D’Arcy, chief creative officer of the Facebook Creative Shop. “Seventy percent of submissions this year involved video as an essential component of how they were building a brand story.”

Facebook pulled in $12.5 billion in ad revenue in 2014, and mobile ad sales now makes up more than 70 percent of the business. Instagram is just starting to scale.

Facebook chose six award categories looking at the creative content, social strategies, use of targeting technology and results.

“The question I get more than any other is, ‘What is the single best ad on Facebook?'” D’Arcy said. “And the answer is as diverse as the people on Facebook.”

Brands, agencies and marketers are using Facebook in ways that can switch up creative depending on the audience, tailoring the promotion based on a consumer’s interests, background and geography. D’Arcy calls it the science of building relevance.

Here’s a look at the top 12 campaigns from the last year—the winners that took home blue, gold and silver honors: (The other winners and notable campaigns can be found here.)

Click here to see this year’s winners

By Garett Sloane

Champagne, red carpet and rubbing shoulders with the ad industry’s best

Surrounded by the biggest names in the Australian advertising industry, Ashleigh Hogan tells of her experience at the AdNews, Agency of the Year Awards.

It has come down to this, the AdNews Agency of the Year Awards 2014 (held in 2015 but acknowledging the 2014 campaigns…I know-confusing). The AdNews awards are seen as one of the biggest awards that an agency can achieve as the nominees are recognised by the amount of minor awards achieved throughout the year. Luckily, some of Macleay’s11034258_489595944512344_1795563846160227612_n students were invited to dine with these high recognised agencies as we witnessed their successes.

Being one of the students that was fortunate to go, I thought it was one of the best experiences of my life so far. I got to dance and meet some of the people who I would some day be. The moment I arrived at the Dockside Pavilion, I felt like I was already apart of the industry; treated equally to all the people in the room and speaking to some of the most genuine yet successful people, the thought of being a student went right out the door and the thought of being in their shoes one day became a possibility.1484526_10205818345808636_3796115332436180595_n

Where we were seated in the room surrounded us with winners which was quite exciting. Tabled to our right was Saatchi & Saatchi and they won three AdNews awards in total for The Game Changer Awards, The Ad of the Year and the Digital Campaign of the Year whilst to our left was SOAP Creative who scored an AdNews Award for the Digital Agency of the Year. I even got a photo with the award!

The room was buzzing but when it came to The Hall of Fame Award, everyone went silent. If I had to say what was one of my highlights of the night was, it would have to be The Hall of Fame Award. The 2014 AdNews Hall of Fame awards went to Scott Whybin. What moved me about this award was that Scott Whybin achieved so much in his career, is respected by so many that he received a standing ovation as he walked up the to that stage. He could have easily boasted about himself in his moment under the stage lights but instead, he spoke about the passionate youth. He spoke about being the 20 year old Newcastle boy, passionate about the advertising industry and was given a shot to be someone. Saying that, he also said he 10690_10205818386449652_6554945664722670255_nhopes the industry we have now is still the same one that he was introduced to and the young people full of passion like he was, were given the same chance he was given. I then realised he was talking about us; one day being like him and maybe 30 years from now, being on the Hall of Fame.

I’m not going to lie, but I didn’t know who Scott Whybin was but Googling him after the awards night astonished me. He founded WHYBIN/TBWA in 1994 which is a growing agency that has three offices in three cities and is worth over $500 million (imagine selling that out in 5c coins- MIND BLOWING)10471134_10205421059422409_2522958393585930947_n

As we got towards the end of the night, the most important award was left till last. This was the Agency of the Year Award. The nominees for this award was not given at the start of the night, but they were chosen according to their 10441382_10205818560814011_7525827703931020521_nachievements during the presentation. It was said to be a tight competition between Cumins & Partners, Mnet, SOAP Creative, and Leo Burnett but in the end there could only be one winner. As a drum roll filled the room, the AdNews Agency of the Year Wward for 2014 was given to Leo Burnett.

As the awards were all given out and the formalities were over, the real party began and people swarm to the dance floor. There was a D.J hitting tunes all night (in a VW Kombi! How sick is that?!), a bar that kept the booze flowing and an Instagram booth to capture the fun. Overall, it was the best night that I have had so far. It was such a great introduction to the party life that comes with being apart of this industry. If I had to take away a lesson from this, it would have to be “work hard to party hard.” By the end of the night, my legs were KILLING but it was all very worth it.

A huge word of appreciation goes to Jeremy Taylor-Riley who arranged to co-sponsor the participation of the advertising students.

Brand creates ‘unskippable’ ad viewers can’t help but watch

Here’s a great article we found on written by Cristina Finn. Geico creates a TVC you can’t skip!

“YOU CAN’T SKIP this Geico Insurance ad, because it’s already over.”

These are the lines of the genius advert that makes you fight the urge to press that skip button.

Dubbed the “unskippable” ad, viewers have called it weird, wonderful and just down-right strange. (It’s the freaked out eyes that makes it, and the dog, of course).

However, the brand succeeds in its goal. You’re going to watch until the end:
Source: GEICO Insurance/YouTube

This is not the first of its kind. Geico also made this one:
Source: GEICO Insurance/YouTube

Stefan Sagmeister talks Design and Happiness

After winning a design competition in her Digital Design class, Samantha Harley was given free tickets to an evening with graphic design legend Stefan Sagmeister’s talk on Design and Happiness.

Last Wednesday I went to the AGDA Stefan Sagmeister talk regarding Design and Happiness at the Powerhouse Museum.

The night began with Jason, Ian and I meeting Stefan briefly before the talk and getting a photo with the abnormally tall designer. You could tell by his presence that anything he said would become words to live by. As the crowds packed in it became clear that we were about to head into the designer version of a One Direction concert, and I was getting excited to hear what Stefan had to say.

IMG_6332Looking at his work, he is quite provocative and his ideas are often thought provoking. His recent partnership with Jessica Walsh has had a vibrant effect on what they produce as well. Knowing this I wasn’t too surprised when I walked in to see a somewhat graphic presentation slide of an Opera House made up of questionable body parts. After some debate they later were revealed to be tongues (I hope I can add therapy to my tax return this year).

The talk was opened by Jason Little, founder of For the People and was one of the people that had organised Stefan’s visit. He seemed like a kid in a candy shop while talking about Stefan; his admiration clearly showing through. Next was the moment of truth, the man that promised happiness; Stefan Sagmeister.

Armed with videos and amusing slides Stefan definitely controlled the room. In the beginning he gauged how people were feeling, with the tone being somewhat positive. He then talked about his exhibitions of Happiness. We were shown an amazingly shot video involving Stefan, Jessica and a third employee with water balloons exploding over and under them in slow motion. Each balloon contained a message which in this video formed “If you don’t ask you don’t get”. It was a great motto, and it’s true; really the worst that can happen if you ask is you get a ‘no.’ But even with that ‘no’ comes the respect you gain from others and yourself for being bold enough to try.

Stefan continued to talk about his exhibition specifically the show in Philadelphia. When he first proposed the idea of a ‘happiness’ exhibition I can’t imagine they ever envisioned what he would do.
Expanding outside the original space, he was given Stefan took use of negative space in the gallery such as stairwells and elevators theming happiness as different types and positions of sex. Not exactly family friendly but mixed with a strong yellow colour palette the exhibition was sure to make you smile one way or the other.

Before entering the exhibition, patrons would choose a piece of bubblegum that linked to a number of how happy they felt from 1-10. At the end of each week they were able to see a visual representation of how happy the general population was which I found quite interesting.

Stefan then talked about the idea of Negative Bias also known as the negativity effect where things of a negative nature have a greater impact on one’s psychological state and processes. He used the example of the news network that aired only positive news and shut down after two days because nobody wanted to hear ‘only’ good news. Psychologically the negative impact of watching the bad things around you can actually make you feel better when things aren’t going your way, i.e., you get fired, but a plane crashed in Asia, so the perspective becomes ‘My life’s not so bad.’

We were shown some of the other videos that were created for the happiness exhibition both with footage and motion graphics that were true art. Stefan then began speaking about his film based on happiness. He has so far devoted 6 years of his life to the project researching the ins and outs of happiness, speaking with experts and trying everything himself to access what does and doesn’t make him happy. From exercise to ‘prescription’ drugs and singing, Stefan gave us his insight into some of the things that have and haven’t worked for him.

About halfway through the talk, we all joined in as a group choir to sing a song as loud as we could (I will admit it was fun). Next Stefan ran us though his methods of six years work, one year play.

In every seven years, Stefan takes a year to himself closing his studio and persuing travel, personal projects or anything else he wants to do. I loved hearing about his freedom to do what he loves and being so in demand that he can choose to work only on the best projects and then use that money to fund his own work. He has a carefree lifestyle but at the same time devotes himself to everything whole-heartedly.

Interestingly this is the first time his design studio will remain open while he is on sabbatical with Jessica running a select amount of projects.

Stefan’s Tips to Happiness:

  • Start your day with 20 minutes of exercise such as a run outside.
    Stefan uses this time to think and comes back home to have a 30-minute brainstorming session before going to the office.
  • Progress through your day with the hardest things first.
    This way when you get to the end of your day, you have a light workload and can focus on relaxing.
  • Do something different.
    Something different is something you couldn’t do yesterday, and you can’t do tomorrow like go to a Stefan Sagmeister talk. Repetitive events dull the mind and create a sense of unhappiness.
  • Learn from your mistakes.
    Failing isn’t a bad thing; it means that you’ve tried. Not learning from those mistakes that made you fail will make you lose confidence in yourself and will become an endless cycle of misery.

Stefan said, “Making a film on happiness has made me completely miserable.” It’s understandable, spending that long on a project when you aren’t sure if it will work or what it will become can become daunting and when you are used to fast projects you can be ready to move on and be left with the feeling of being held back.

Although it has taken Stefan 6 gruelling years to make his film on happiness, every second both good and bad would be worth it.

Knowing definitively what you need to do in life to be happy is great gift, one that I am thrilled to have spent the night hearing about.
Stefan is all about being positive; whether it’s starting your day with positivity or in a brainstorming session “Negative ideas are not allowed in brainstorming sessions. A shitty idea can be built on while a shot down idea cannot”.

The night was truly incredible, and I look forward to seeing him speak again in the future. Stefan will be back in Sydney for the Vivid Festival so keep an eye out.

I’ll leave you with an exercise from Stefan: Write down three things that worked for you that day, before you go to bed each night. This will leave you with positive thoughts to help you sleep and allow you to start your next morning with thoughts of positivity.