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Analysis and Comment (57)

If this man had half a brain, he wouldn’t have needed his partner to tell him how to find the best hotel deal without staying up all night. Youtube/Hotels Combined Commercial, Australia, 2013, Cole Rintoul

For Father’s Day, give us men who aren’t shown as fools and clowns

“Get your hand off it,” says the girl in the ad. Here is a cowgirl type telling men not to play with anything while driving. It’s the mobile that she means, ha ha. Why should we be concerned? Because yet…
Buying something through Facebook? Now the online giant knows if you did it on your computer or phone. CTEP AmeriCorps

What Facebook’s device tracking means for advertisers … and you

Facebook today unveiled the latest weapon in its digital arsenal: cross-device tracking capability. This enables advertisers to track individuals' usage behaviours between devices. This means that your…
The roots of gender stereotyping are perhaps not so old as we thought. Kostsov/Shutterstock

Our ancient ancestors may have known more about gender than we do

A recent advert by sanitary product manufacturer Always asks us to think harder about the term “like a girl” by asking young adults and teenagers to run, throw or fight “like a girl”. Without thinking…
Hiptastic celebrations from the Colombian team. Robert Ghement/EPA

The pageantry, performance and publicity of goal celebrations

The 2014 World Cup has been a tournament of goals galore – and with every goal comes a celebration. We’re now used to displays of individual and team pageantry with goal celebrations and they can sometimes…
This should help David Cameron get in touch via Facebook - but only if you want him to. Chris Ison/PA

Facebook’s $500m advertising deal may clear up your newsfeed

Facebook has announced a long-term partnership with the French advertising conglomerate Publicis Groupe, a deal thought to be worth around US$500m over several years. The tie up between the world’s largest…
Through Facebook, the Bundy Bear’s message becomes part of fans' everyday story, bypassing restrictions on how the product is promoted. theinspirationroom.com

New face of alcohol promotion defies advertising restrictions

The Australian National Preventive Health Agency (ANPHA) recommended in a draft report in February that the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code (ABAC) should include all forms of marketing within its self-regulatory…
It clearly takes more than nice packaging to impress this cool cat. Felix Idan

Bottled water is the marketing trick of the century

Writing in the Daily Telegraph Dr Phil Hammond, the GP, comedian and columnist wonders whether we have all swallowed the “water con”. Have we, he asks, abandoned rational thought? The answer to this question…
Nostalgic screens. Sky Atlantic

The secret of Mad Men’s marketing success revealed

As has become standard practice for any contemporary television production, the seventh and final season of Mad Men – AMC’s 1960s period drama – has been preceded by a torrent of promotional material…
We can’t always see no evil. Alicakes

Charity campaigns may cause outrage, but shock sells

A campaign for Pancreatic Cancer Action recently stirred up controversy over advertising “shock tactics”. In the advert, genuine sufferers of the disease stated to camera that “I wish I had testicular…
Sorry mate, you got a charger? Tim Ireland/PA

E-cigs let Big Tobacco get creative with advertising

The world’s biggest tobacco companies are spending millions of dollars advertising e-cigarettes on UK television, as they seek to cash in on the growing trend. Analysts at US investment bank Canaccord…
Someone thought it was a peri peri good idea to cash in on Corby. monkeyc.net

Nando’s plays chicken with Schapelle and wins

Fast-food chain Nando’s has done it again. While the release of Schapelle Corby on parole was hitting all the Australian news headlines yesterday, Nando’s used a technique known as “topical advertising…
Someone’s about to get sold a Lucozade. adwriter

Advertisers look with empathy into your front room

Technology is under development to enable advertisers to target products not just at a broad group of people that might be watching a certain type of programme but at specific households and even individuals…
Hurry up, the commercials are on soon. Elaine Thompson/AP

Forget Seahawks vs Broncos, ads are the Super Bowl stars

The XLVIII (that’s the 48th) contest has been held in New York and be fought out by the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos, with the Seahawks crushing the Broncos 43-8. Fox TV, which broadcast the…
Holden’s latest ad campaign promises “We’re here to stay”, but it seems to have misread the market. AAP/Holden

Holden’s issue advertising campaign misses the mark

In the shadow of its worst ever annual sales figures – fewer than 28,000 Commodores sold in 2013 – Holden is persisting with an extraordinary advertising campaign to “explain” its decision to cease car…
No more Mad Men. Advertising is heading online faster than ever, as the digital landscape becomes easier terrain for targeting consumers. Flickr/Orobi

The year that was: 5 advertising trends from 2013

The advertising industry appears to be locked into the perpetual cycle of continuous change, fuelled by the combination of the rapid and ongoing evolution of new and disruptive technologies and the increasing…
Tesco is no longer content with just knowing what’s in your basket. SFB579

Why too much privacy is bad for the economy

Tesco, a British grocer with global status, has this week teamed up with Alan Sugar’s Amscreen to take personalised advertising to the next level. By means of Amscreen’s proprietary facial recognition…
The world of advertising hits the small screen – again – in the new series The Crazy Ones. CBS

The Crazy Ones – advertising agencies make great television

Move over Mad Men – there’s a new group of advertising executives hitting the small screen. The Crazy Ones, a TV series set in a Chicago advertising agency, is currently the top-ranked show in the new…
Goodbye? The Z.E.R.O. model says its now possible to effectively market your product without paid advertising. But perhaps it’s too good to be true. Flickr/Christian Montone

Get ready to ditch the advertising budget? Not quite

The way we live, interact and consume has changed dramatically with the shift towards internet and mobile telecommunications technology. And yet large amounts of money are still regularly spent on traditional…
Virgin Australia is trying to revive the supposed romance of aviation’s past. Virgin Australia

Romance reborn: can glamour reboot Virgin Australia’s image?

Remember when airline travel was all about glamorous hostesses, dashing pilots and the stylish, well-behaved jet-set class? No, I don’t either. But it’s a rose-tinted view of the past Virgin Australia…
“Cat! No, wait, dog! Oh I give up.” Travis S.

Oh great, Facebook wants to know you’re being sarcastic

You might think social networks couldn’t possibly gather more information on you than they already do. That in a world where your every move is tagged, flagged and logged, there is nothing more that could…
Recent problem gambling campaigns may implicitly advertise for the very product they are trying to warn consumers off. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Nathan Hindmarsh, insidious advertising and normalising problem gambling

The radio spot begins with ex-rugby league star Nathan Hindmarsh discussing his struggles with gambling: People might have thought, “Nathan Hindmarsh he’s got it made, he’s got everything”, but in reality…
Bone conduction technology enables commuters to hear advertisements via their skull – but how? Mr.Fink's Finest Photos

Bone conduction: the new front in guerilla advertising

Imagine this scenario: after a long day of work, you settle in a train seat, rest your head against the window and close your eyes for a well-earned nap - only instead of the soothing clickety-clack vibrations…
A marketing triumph: Red Bull’s space diving project made headlines around the globe. AAP

Newsjacking: a fad or the future for marketing?

A newsworthy event is happening right now. And another, and another — it never ends. This is vital not just for feeding our 24-hour news cycle and hungry media corporations, but increasingly also for marketers…
Microsoft’s negative marketing campaign says less about Google and more about its insecurity in the IT industry. AAP/Everett Kennedy Brown

Microsoft’s mean streak reveals a company in crisis

You can tell a lot about an organisation’s culture and view of the world by looking at what it says about its competitors. Some enterprises, just like some politicians and academics, are serene. They don’t…
Like them or loathe them, advertorials are now a recognised part of the mainstream press, and a key source of revenue for struggling media organisations. AAP/Dean Lewins

Paddy Manning was wrong - in defence of advertorials

RMIT professor Sinclair Davidson has recently defended the actions of journalist Paddy Manning, who was dismissed from Fairfax after writing an article in Crikey critical of what he called “advertorial…
As a publicly traded company, Facebook faces a responsibility to increase its revenue. But is its revamped news feed a step in the right direction? AAP

The Facebook dilemma: how to raise revenue without being defriended

Late last week, Facebook broke the news of another major change to users' news feeds, sparking interesting discussion across the globe. Described by Mark Zuckerberg as your new “personal newspaper,” the…
Efforts to reduce young people’s reliance on alcohol face a huge obstacle in the form of alcohol advertising. Lala Roe

Advertising’s role in how young people interact with alcohol

The most recent guidelines on appropriate alcohol consumption from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) are a hard sell to a hard-drinking public. And this is despite growing concerns…
Many proposed measures for curbing obesity around the work are aimed at restricting the intake sugar from soft drinks. Robert Huffstutter

Another day, another anti-obesity campaign, but will this one work?

Merely two months into the new year and we have already seen a plethora of local and international efforts aimed at curbing what appears to be the inexorable rise of obesity. Some of these initiatives…
When does marketing spin cross the line to become misleading advertising? Flickr\Just1of7billion

Where should we draw the line on misleading advertising?

Two recent cases highlight the problem of misleading advertising. In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has dismissed an appeal by POM Wonderful about health claims for their juice…
According to official figures, the time fathers spend with their children has been static since 1997. flip & serena/Flickr

Detecting the sea change in men’s feelings for their children

The success of House Husbands, the Australian drama featuring four hands-on dads may be a signal that today’s fathers really want more involvement in their children’s lives than did previous generations…
Nine CEO David Gyngell has secured a lifeline for the ailing television network. AAP

Debt deal saves Channel Nine — for now

Channel Nine is a station of two tales. The first is the positive story its viewers see: smiling in-house celebrities, reliable newsreaders, and blockbuster programs such as House Husbands, The Voice…
We want our pets to be happy, but how much luxury do they need? nezitic[x]/flickr

What about your carbon pawprint?

People around the world are worrying about their carbon footprint. But what about their furry friends' carbon pawprints? Consider the numbers: there are currently around 1 billion pet cats and dogs worldwide…
The new government campaign misses the mark. Australian government

No advantage for Gillard in misguided asylum seeker campaign

With 5,459 attempted boat arrivals to Australia in the first half of 2012, an increase of 894 since last year, it is no wonder the prime minister is desperate to demonstrate she is combating people smuggling…
A recent decision by Australia’s Advertising Standards Bureau around comments left on Smirnoff’s Facebook page comes as companies re-evaluate its value. Flickr/Owen W.Brown

Smirnoff and Facebook - Not the perfect mix?

Imagine a world in which advertising companies were held directly accountable for the vision of the world their ads portrayed. Accountability could range from simple things like why deodorants don’t immediately…
As the “rivers of gold”- classifieds - dry up, there are alternative revenue models emerging - although none offer a simplistic panacea to the media industry. AAP

As the ‘rivers of gold’ dry up, what business model will save media?

Journalists have never been particularly fond of advertising or advertisers – to most journalists, advertising was space and time taken away from good stories and advertisers were commercial interests…
The Menzies government was voted in with the help of the John Henry Austral ads. National Library of Australia

Liberal Party ads from the 1940s speak today’s political language

After languishing in an archive box at Melbourne University for more than 20 years, an astonishing piece of Australian political history has recently been dusted off and digitised. The university has unearthed…
Coles is among a number of companies that have misjudged social media campaigns. AAP/Alan Porrit

Fishing for compliments: a dangerous marketing strategy

My central problem with branded clothing is my reluctance to actually be branded. Why on earth would I pay to advertise someone? When a Kiwi can make a motza from auctioning her buttock flesh to a strip…
Children remember advertisements and, more often than not, they want what they see. Dimitris Papazimouris

Fat Free TV – one step towards tackling childhood obesity

The impact of junk food advertising on childhood obesity is a topic often debated in the media. One side calls for banning junk food advertising during children’s television viewing times while the other…
ACMA has handballed responsibility for regulating junk food advertising to kids to a preventive health agency. Eekadman

Junk food advertising to kids – what’s next for regulation?

There’s no evidence that industry self-regulation works to restrict junk food advertising to children. That’s the unsurprising finding of the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s (ACMA) long-awaited…
Plain packaging is one of many health reforms to enter or pass through parliament last week. AAP

Plain packaging wraps up a big year for health legislation in 2011

The final sitting of federal parliament last week lacked no drama, ending with the sudden induction of Peter Slipper as speaker. It was also a mammoth week for health legislation, with the passing of the…
The multi-country study concluded that in Australia, television advertising’s contribution to childhood obesity is between 10% and 28%. Maggie Osterberg

Government, parents or advertisers: who should decide what kids watch and eat?

A recent complaint to the Advertising Standards Board by the Obesity Policy Coalition about a Smarties online colouring-in competition aimed at three- to ten-year-olds, and a bill introduced by Greens…
There should be more regulation of third parties to help preserve Australian democracy. AAP/Alan Porritt.

Big money politics: why we need third party regulation

MEDIA & DEMOCRACY: In the latest instalment of The Conversation’s week-long series on how the media influences the way our representatives develop policy, Marian Sawer examines the need to regulate…
Too much regulation of third parties like GetUp! will hurt democracy. Paul Miller AAP

Power imbalance: why we don’t need more third party regulation

MEDIA & DEMOCRACY: In the latest instalment of The Conversation’s week-long series on how the media influences the way our representatives develop policy, Andrew Norton says there’s no need to regulate…
Cate Blanchett is among the celebrities pressed into service to persuade us on political issues. AAP/WWF

Selling the political message: What makes a good advert?

MEDIA & DEMOCRACY: This afternoon, Andrew Hughes examines which recent political adverts have been a success, as part of The Conversation’s week-long series on how the media influences the way our…
Kevin Rudd used to manage his brand well, but was toppled after an advertising campaign against him. AAP/YouTube

Democracy is dead, long live political marketing

MEDIA & DEMOCRACY: Today, Andrew Hughes looks at how voters have become consumers of political marketing, as part of The Conversation’s week-long series on how the media influences the way our representatives…

Columnists (1)

Research Briefs (5)

Quick disclaimers reduce sales

Quick disclaimers read out at the end of TV and radio advertisements can reduce brand trust and negatively affect sales…