Tag Archives: Advertising

The best ads of 2015 – the professionals pick their favourites

From the heartwarming to the note worthy,  from The Guardian Australia, compiles the ads their contributors liked the most this year…

John Lewis’s Tiny Dancer advert was executed with elegance and warmth. Photograph: Adam&Eve.

Tiny Dancer, John Lewis Home Insurance
Picked by: Jim Carroll, former UK chair, BBH

Advertising home insurance isn’t easy. It belongs in the “boring-but-important” category of expenditure. John Lewis focuses on the human value, not the material cost: you’re insuring your home, not your house. And it dramatises the ubiquitous risk of disaster, not its rare occurrence; thereby reinforcing the product’s importance and at the same time keeping us on tenterhooks. It’s all executed with such elegance and warmth: the expressive choreography, the pigtails and glasses, the brother’s look, the teetering vase, one of Elton John’s most moving songs; and the charming Tiny Dancer herself. Perfect.

Superhero: I Want to Be, Thai Life Insurance
Picked by: Geoffrey Colon, group product marketing manager, emerging media, Microsoft

In 2014, Thai Life Insurance ushered in storytelling that really pulled at the heartstrings with their ad Unsung Hero . It’s an effective mechanism in a world of noise. In 2015 they followed up with another story, this time pulling at our heartstrings with the theme that our parents are our superheroes. When you’re watching these ads for the first time, you have no idea what the product is but you get sucked in and by the end, you realise a company’s cultural message can be strong even with products as bland and boring as insurance. If they can do this, why can’t technology companies or non-profits that have powerful missions? This is the best ad of the year because hopefully it will influence other industries to take note and use stories that help entice social sharing because of the underlying message.

Beyond Utility, Lexus
Picked by: Jerry Daykin, global digital partner, Dentsu Aegis Network

My favourite ad of 2015 isn’t exactly one advert but 1,000. It doesn’t tell an emotive story, feature fancy production or special effects and you’ve probably never seen it. In fact, I can almost guarantee you didn’t see 999 of the executions. Lexus’s Beyond Utility ad campaign gives us a glimpse of the future of personalised advertising, with a thousand subtly different short animations created and served to millions of consumers based on their individual passion points and interests. Sure the storytelling could be better but as a first step into this new world it’s an eye-opening start.

Choose Beautiful, Dove
Picked by: Mark Evans, marketing director, Direct Line

Dove smashed it this year with its Choose Beautiful campaign. Challenging women from around the world to walk between two doorways marked “beautiful” and “average” it received a polarised response. But I loved it for the fact that it was so true to the incredibly simple but powerful insight that many women do not see themselves as beautiful, but did it in a completely different way to previous Dove campaigns such as Real Curves and Real Beauty sketches. If I take my teenage daughter’s strength of response as a barometer then Dove definitely hit the mark.

The Flag of Flags, Norwegian Airlines
Picked by: Tom Goodwin, senior vice president of strategy and innovation, Havas Media US

Photograph: M&C Saatchi Stockholm

There is a T-Shirt I love. It states: modern art = I could do that + yeah but you didn’t. The very, very best advertising doesn’t have the “I could do that” part.

For me, this print ad for Norwegian Airlines is an example of that. The best advertising is a concept so incredible, so rich, so smart, so deep. It’s still on brand, it’s not smart for the sake of it, it’s not ads for ad people, it’s hard working, it gets a pricing message across in a smart way, while building the brand.

Friends Furever, Android
Picked by: Tracey Follows, founder and futurist, anydaynow

My favourite ad of the year is also the most viral ad of the year; in fact, the most shared ad of all time. What I like about it is that it is a classic piece of brand advertising created by an ad tech brand. In all of this talk about ad tech interruption and ad blockers and how science is driving out art from advertising, it takes one of the proponents of algorithmic advertising to execute what is a brilliantly crafted, single-minded, adorable film that builds affinity with the brand it promotes. Ad tech plus ad agency working in harmony, “together, but not the same”.

You Can’t Get Any More Ribenary, Ribena
Picked by: Amy Kean, regional director, strategy, Mindshare Asia Pacific

It’s rare to find an advert that is part favourite, part arch nemesis, because you cannot get it out of your head. Seriously, I haven’t slept for four months because of this ad.

Ribena nailed it for me this year with their new millennial positioning and an integrated creative that was clearly designed with the textbook E4 viewer front of mind. It’s weird (rabbits with sunglasses), it’s compelling (ridiculously addictive soundtrack from Tiger Monkey), and it’s voiced by the guy that played Holly in Red Dwarf. Every inch of this ad is cool – if your idea of cool is hedgehogs with top hats and mine is. Forgetting brand metrics and big data for a moment, if your ad can make people think and talk, you’re doing something right. The surreal is underrated in advertising, but it definitely gets people’s attention and I can’t wait for the sequel.

High School Girl?, Shiseido
Picked by: Tham Khai Meng, worldwide chief creative officer, Ogilvy & Mather

Gender fluidity is not widely seen on TV, so it was refreshing to see the Shiseido High School Girl? commercial showing the issue in loving close-up. The transformation is all done with Shiseido cosmetics, which are used to turn a classroom of schoolboys into schoolgirls. Directed by Sho Yanagisawa, it’s a dream to watch – an audacious concept matched with brilliant camera work, direction, sound design and editing. It’s one of those spots that are so good you seek it out to watch again.

Celebrate the Breaks, KitKat
Picked by: Deirdre McGlashan, global chief digital officer, MediaCom Worldwide

My favourite ad of 2015 was the Celebrate the Breaks campaign from KitKat. I love this campaign because it brings together the right moment (break time), a clever play on the word break and a very specific product feature the brand is well known for. Then it incorporates the product itself with the 72 types of breaks featured on the packaging as well as the hashtag #mybreak moulded into the actual chocolate bars. It’s a great example of a total brand experience, bringing together the marketing experience with the product experience, because that’s how we, as regular people, encounter brands.

Unstoppable, P&G
Picked by: Lindsay Pattison, global CEO, Maxus

Advertising today has to achieve the right balance of consistency versus speed, being both relevant and cleverly placed. But when a campaign nails this while also inverting damaging historic stereotypes, it becomes a truly worthy endeavour.

For me – and countless others – Always Unstoppable smashed it for 2015, with its clear demonstration of how society limits girls. The ad, directed by Lauren Greenfield shows girls breaking up cliché written boxes to underline the frustration these young women feel at being pigeon holed. It’s a powerful call to action with its deservedly angry girls. Not only is Unstoppable a great piece of work in its own right but it manages to build on the previous Always campaign Like A Girl which was widely and justly rewarded.

White Squad, MTV
Picked by: Sanam Petri, creative director, Wieden+Kennedy

There were lots of great ads in 2015, but for me the most interesting campaign was one done for MTV called White Squad. It was created as a way to advertise a documentary on racial injustice in America and while many found it controversial, I thought it was one of the best social-issue campaigns in recent memory. It’s not often you see a satirical ad about social injustice – especially with so much turmoil in the culture to underscore it. Sure, it may have raised a few hackles when it was released. But after all, isn’t that sort of the point?

Keep Britain Tidy
Picked by: Richard Shotton, head of insight, ZenithOptimedia

Watching you ad

Keep Britain Tidy’s anti-dog fouling ad is a brilliant example of the application of psychological insights to advertising. The copy is based on experiments by Newcastle University which prove that displaying images of eyes, by making us feel watched, reduces anti-social behaviour. In a clever twist the ad uses eyes that glow in the dark, the very time most dog fouling occurs.

Will this ad win any awards? No. Will it change behaviour? Yes. That’s enough to make it my ad of the year.

Man on the Moon, John Lewis
Picked by: Susan Smith Ellis, chief marketing officer, Getty Images

For me the best ads are the ones that engage the viewer by telling a story. The best demonstrate what we call “the end, end-benefit” – the end-benefit being the impact of any one advert on how that brand makes you feel. The Apple ad Music Every Day (2013) is a spot on example of this concept.

This year’s John Lewis Christmas advert, Man on the Moon, is one of 2015’s finest. It is visually beautiful, wonderfully cast, and uses storytelling to show us the often lonely existence of the elderly, and the power of connecting. Never heavy handed, it draws the viewer into the film. Imagery powerfully utilised.

Look at Me, Women’s Aid
Picked by: Sarah Speake, chief marketing officer, Clear Channel

Look At Me

This year, it’s been exciting to see so many great examples of out of home media using technology and creativity together to create beautiful, emotionally impactful advertising experiences for consumers.

A personal favourite was Women’s Aid’s interactive Look at Me campaign. The ad, which showed an image of a bruised woman, used facial tracking software to recognise when passers-by were looking at the screen and would then trigger a live copy change. When people payed attention to the ad, the on-screen bruises would visibly heal, showing how we can all make tangible changes in the fight against domestic violence.

Compiled by  for The Guardian Australia.

Is Programmatic killing creativity in the advertising industry?


Customers today prefer a more personalised online ad experience. Ryan Roche looks at how this is achieved using a blend of technology, data and creative input.

With only 2 more weeks until I finish Macleay, I’ve learnt so much information in such a short period of time. However, if I were to condense all this knowledge into one main point, it would be that ‘different is good’. You don’t win Effie’s or get your name considered to be apart of the Cannes Lions festival of creativity in France if your work isn’t better then not just anyone else in your agency, but rather all the other agencies around the globe. According to CBS News, the average person is exposed to roughly 5000 advertisements each day.

With so many brands paying for your attention, most of them will find some difficulty in getting any actual results such as brand awareness or sales if they all start looking the same. However, taking a broad approach, the question I ask. “Is programmatic the vehicle that drives the majority of these 5000 advertisements out of our minds as soon as we see them, having no affect at all?” Or in actual fact, is Programmatic the new formula that advertisers have needed to better connect with their audience?

According to the Internet advertising bureau, 47 percent of display ads were traded in programmatically in 2014, nearly doubling from 28 percent the previous year. Furthermore, in 2014, Magna Global forecasted digital ad revenues to reach 30% market share globally by the end of 2015, validating that advertisers need to shift their focus more on digital. With such huge growth, it seems as though more of each agencies money, time & energy is being spent on buying into programmatic compared to focusing on the big idea. In other words, with numerous deadlines for the agency to meet, it seems as though the most efficient way to get business done would be done through using less of the creative & shifting their focus on buying media space in the form of a cheap banner ads in front of the right people just to get their message out there. In doing so, this causes for a much less effective, innovative & resonates far less with each consumer, even if they are all reached individually.

I would like to further continue on this path when talking about how big programmatic really is & how much it has taken over the advertising industry in such a short time. The scariest statistic I found was that Yahoo processes around 150 billion user data events every day globally, which is an incredible amount of knowledge that us as advertisers have about consumers. However, I feel like there is so much information for advertisers to use to best target their specific target audience that they can fall into the trap of just assuming that their work will be effective. They fall into the trap of thinking that they are reaching their target audience anyway, so it’s easy to just think of an idea & put it through the programmatic pipes & let that do the work for them. I think now would be a good time to confirm that after reading numerous articles, I believe programmatic is the best resource that has happened to the advertising industry in the past ten years, however, my issue lies with the work ethic of the creative.

The best thing about all this programmatic data is that it allows us to distribute content to the right consumer at the right time. It’s all up to the creative ideas that will ultimately drive optimum performance, creative minimal wastage of money & determine if this ad is the once that people actually remember from the other 5000. I found a great quote that backs up exactly what I would like to convey about my views on programmatic.

“The goal of programmatic advertising is not to take humans out of the equation, but to make the process itself more efficient & ensure that individuals can focus on higher value work. It doesn’t mean humans are gone, it just means that their role in the process is changing. Humans may not be buying or placing the ads directly, but they are still the cornerstone of the process.”

To further expand on this, no jobs are being lost. The advertising industry is forever shifting & it is our job as advertisers to adapt, to change with technology & trends to continue to better our own work. Rather than it being a case of man vs. machine, it is actually man + machine, with increasing opportunities opening recently for creative in buying & selling programmatic to make sure the quality of work is continually improving.

A great example to further expand on the importance of programmatic is the forever growing age of digital media. Whether we like it or not, phone usage has increased significantly, & so has the way that we interact with our phones. Currently, there is close to one million apps that are available through IOS & Google play. Furthermore, on average, people use 20 different apps on their mobile, spending roughly 86% of their time in one of these 20 applications compared to 14% of people that are on the web. So we know that most users are on their applications, they are highly engaged, they may be focusing heavily on getting a new high score, maybe scrolling through their social media such as Instagram or Facebook, or maybe they are just watching a ted talk video on the way to work. This is a perfect opportunity for us as advertisers; we can subtly place our message in front of each consumer’s eyes while they are highly engaged.

Well without programmatic, good luck choosing which apps that your target market will be engaged in. For example, If I wanted to sell my brand’s new product, I would have to choose one app out of one million that is not only popular, but also is where the target market will be engaged. Programmatic is the way that this can be done. More facts about phone usage, more information about each app, more knowledge about where our target market are & inevitably, from all this, we have ourselves increased creativity all achieved through programmatic.

To sum up my beliefs into my own words, customers today would prefer a much more personalized ad experience. So in order for this to happen, you get the most from digital advertising through showing that you view each customer as a person, not just data, and to do that most effectively, it all comes back to the creative. All that programmatic is doing is repositioning the online advertising industry to make it more efficient & effective. At the end of the day, automation is just machines doing what the creative programmers tell them to do, and programmatic is laying the ground for a new wave of creative thinking.

Are We Visual Creatures?


Samantha Harley looks at the popularity of video and animation in advertising and Social Media marketing. Is this the best way to cut through the noise or does it just add to it?

Since childhood we’ve been told, “A picture paints a thousand words”.  Combine this with how advertisers like to cram ads with information, and we have the reason why video has become the next evolution of Social Media marketing.  Content marketing is rarely seen without an accompanying video these days.   With the rise of infographics being used to explain dull or complex content in a vastly simplified manner the Internet and Social Media streams are being transformed into video content hubs.

So what’s wrong with communicating more?  The answer is that soon consumers will be overwhelmed by content.  The artistry of good advertising is communicating a message with minimal content, and while we do enjoy the pretty moving pictures, if everything in our newsfeed is moving, consumers may actually seek out traditional static communication.

Since its inception Youtube has transformed the way we discover content and has evolved into the 2nd largest search engine in the world (owned by the biggest search engine in the world – no names needed). There are over 1 Billion unique monthly visitors to the site, which tells us that it’s the way viewers prefer to be delivered content.  A negative point to this is that everyone is now an independent producer of content and the market is becoming flooded.

Video advertising has branched off through Social Media platforms becoming cloaked as memes and animated GIFs but still has the core focus of selling. Whether selling a product or yourself video has become the answer – with the newest updates to your mobile profile you can post a video as your profile picture on Facebook, and how did Facebook deliver this information…in a video of course.


Video content makes searching more visual and engaging.  With the advancement of technology it has initiated the rise and fall of Motion-ography – by which I mean the rise of the population as motion artists and the fall of artists with true skill who will struggle in the future because everyone can be a ‘motion artist’.

The question remains whether video for the sake of video is the correct progression of advertising or whether the tactics will out-way the purpose of the advertising.  Social Media platforms are independent, evolving organisms but currently they are merging into the same formation – video streaming.  Could it be Facebook’s intention to become a video streaming service and bring social media into the Hulu hub along with Youtube and Netflix?  Or will they remain an independent social network with a strong video centre?  The smart move would be to embrace the element that boosted them to the #1 social platform – connecting people.  If Facebook want to use video then they should introduce reliable video messaging that’s integrated into their existing service to undercut Skype and Facetime. If they continue on the path of flooding consumer Newsfeeds with motion then they run a strong risk of becoming the next MySpace (That’s not a good thing).

On top of everything else, App plugins like ‘Giphy’ have fashioned animated memes as the new method of instant messaging and emoticons are using the sad face as they become animated or obsolete.

Video is feeding the ‘visual creatures’ of the internet, but that hunger will change with time; either increasing to the point that Times Square looks like the fluffy toy of advertising, or decreasing once people have had their fill and we see online content with substance return.

The rise and rise of Mobile Advertisng

Check out this great infographic reblogged from NEWSCRED about Mobile Advertising.

Click here for the link to the original article.

Mobile’s still the new kid on the block when it comes to your marketing mix, but based on consumer reaction and adoption, it’s a sensation.

From its inception, using the introduction of the iPhone in 2007 as the starting point for the mobile revolution, it has been unstoppable. From smartphones to tablets, people have an almost insatiable capacity to adopt mobile technology into their lives and welcome mobile marketing. Just think about how quickly mobile technology has progressed over time. Remember your first cell phone? It doesn’t seem like that long ago that you were playing snake and sending rudimentary text messages to friends!

In just a short amount of time, mobile has evolved to be a central mode of communication for consumers. Being tied to a mobile device is now the norm and not the exception. The standard mobile phone’s capabilities have expanded to replace almost every other peripheral device — from maps, to calendars, to desktop computers. Mobile continues to grow, now including Internet of Things devices that help consumers monitor and streamline aspects of their lives from fitness, to smart cars, to appliances.

But how can marketers effectively engage on mobile devices?

Because mobile devices are very personal — 44% of cellphone owners sleep with their phones next to their bed so they don’t miss a message, call, or update — marketers need to be thoughtful about how they deliver marketing messages. Consumers are looking for communication that is personalized, and marketers must deliver or risk being seen as an interruption and deleted. Essentially, successful mobile marketing is about trust and relevance. But to build that, marketers must look beyond mobile devices and create long-term, personal conversations with their customers across channels.

Check out our infographic: A Marketer’s Guide to Going Mobile to see how to start creating a mobile marketing strategy that works.

Marketo_Marketers_Guide_To_Mobile (1) 2

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

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.

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. 

SuperBowl 2015 Deliver’s The Best (And Most Expensive) Ads on TV

Advertising student, Dion Heal takes a closer look at his five favourite television commercials from Superbowl 2015. Take a look at the amazing work US big name brands produced this year…

February only really means one thing in the world of advertising.


The commercials aired during the game have become as much of a cultural phenomenon as the half-time show or the actual game itself.

With over 100 million people tuning in each year, its expected that companies would take advantage of this tremendous viewership and sell their product to 1/3 of the United States. At a very steep price however. The 2015 cost for a 30 second spot? Almost $4.5 million. That’s $150,000 per second, so companies are going to make sure every cent is worth it.

Some of the most notable ads in television history were produced for SuperBowl broadcast such as Apple’s ‘1984’, and 2015 did not fail to deliver some of the best TVCs. Many which are great sources of inspiration for us as Advertising students.

Esurance – ‘Sorta Pharmacy’
2 years on from the end to Breaking Bad which probably sent its fans into separation anxiety for a few months, esurance owned by Allstate, an American insurance company, brought back Walter White as a ‘sorta’ pharmacist. Basically, stick a beloved character in an ad, and people are going to pay attention.

Reebok – Freak Show – Be More Human

In one word? Inspirational. One of those ad’s that makes you look at the hardworking people onscreen only to realise that you’ve been sitting on the lounge eating chips for the last hour. It makes you look at how you can be “a better human”; to quote the ad, and Reebok is hoping you will choose to buy their products to help you do that. And the Braveheart-esce soundtrack only adds to the desire to want to go outside and do a couple of pushups. Nice work Reebok.

Carl’s Jr. – Charlotte McKinney All-Natural

Well this is America. Football + A very large male viewership. It’s surprising we didn’t see this one coming.

NO MORE’s Official Super Bowl Ad

This is an ad campaigning for an end to domestic violence. This is a very captivating piece of viewing. You find yourself watching wondering what is going, only to realise the seriousness of it, leaving you to contemplate the situation.

Budweiser “Lost Dog”

Budweiser (an American beer company) continued on from last year’s SuperBowl ad called “Puppy Love”, incorporating the synonymous Budweiser Clydesdales in an absolutely heart wrenching video. You’ll be brought to tears only to be shocked and somewhat betrayed when you realise it was selling you alcohol. *cries*

Have you got any SuperBowl ads you loved this year?

Advertising to give local graphic design a boost in 2015

Rachael Micallef is reporting in AdNews.com.au that the Australian advertising industry is increasing it’s demand for digital designers in 2014/2015 with a 4% revenue boost forecast for that period. This is very encouraging news going into the new year, for local digital designers as the advertising industry embraced multichannel campaigns versus traditional print, radio and television.

“Adland is investing deep into digital and it’s not just boosting its own bottom line. Multichannel graphic designers have seen a major boost in revenue as a result of carving out a niche in this speciality advertising area, according to a report from Ibisworld.

The report is forecasting growth from Australian advertising agencies will flow into specialised design services, resulting in a boost of 4% revenue growth over 2014/2015.

Much of this is based on the adoption of digital technology, which has led to bigger multichannel advertising and wider branding strategies, all of which require strong design.

Ideaworks executive creative director Tom Hoskins told AdNews the increased demand is ‘absolutely’ something it has seen in its business. The GPY&R agency specialises in shopper and retail executions and Hoskins said the business has a specialised team which works on graphic messaging.

‘Smart brands realise that they need to invest in graphic design or tangible experiences,’ Hoskin said.

‘Brands are investing in design much more than just a simple veneer of experience and the digital explosion has helped that become much deeper. So design has now almost permeated the whole way through from start to finish.’

Bloke creative partner Mike O’Rouke said his agency brings in graphic designers on a freelance basis when they are needed rather than outsourcing the skills, so he hasn’t seen this trend in his own business.

However he said design overall was starting to play a bigger role for marketers and brands.

‘Design is solving a lot of people’s marketing problems because it goes across so many different channels. So you have to nail that first,’ O’Rouke said….”

Reproduced in part from AdNews.com.au by Rachael Micallef
Read more at http://www.adnews.com.au/news/advertising-to-give-graphic-design-a-boost-next-year#OYgRHS4hZ2SPJTLW.99

AdSpeaks: Chris Hamilton on the misconceptions of the effectiveness of advertising delivery platforms


At the recent AdSpeaks presentation at Macleay College, Chris Hamilton the marketing manager from Yaffa Publishing spoke about how regardless of your position in an agency, it is important to bring some understanding to what advertising medium to use to maximise your clients’ results. He also explained that with the world we live in today, there are so many choices of media and that you shouldn’t just choose the “hottest”medium of the moment, but rather choose the one that is will achieve the most effective results for your target audience and client. Chris presented comparative statistics about the perceptions of the consumer vs those of the marketers in terms of how to best communicate to certain target groups. Important to note were the discrepancies between the perceived effectiveness of social media as an advertising vehicle, and TV which is in recovery mode at the moment. He then went on to show us a video of the advertising icon Sean Cummins, where he explained why creatives, account managers and media planners should work together from the very beginning to maximise the success of an ad campaign. Chris used an old TV with two knobs and modern day remote to show us all the extra buttons we need to navigate through in order to find that parts that actually work – which is exactly the way creative problem solving in advertising  works – we need to go through all the possibilities to find the best one.  At the end of the talk Chris told us about a competition AdNews is running for students who want to launch their career in advertising or marketing for the new 3rd generation Audi TT. Everyone saw this as a massive opportunity to kick start our careers with only one trimester left everyone was very eager to enter.

Advertising Student, Nicholas Farasopoulos