Discover more from Unmade: media and marketing news
BOTW: Daggy ads; TV's 22% revenue hole; and why the Yes vote is in trouble
Welcome to Best of the Week.
Today: Telstra and Coles get back to basics; More data points on media’s revenue crisis; and why isn’t The Voice campaign cutting through?
You can support Unmade in lots of ways:
You could forward this edition to a colleague who should be getting Unmade. Or, best of all, become a paying member.
Daggy ads are back. Good
Tim Burrowes writes:
Two of Australia’s biggest brands launched new ad campaigns this week. And they’re both daggy as hell. Advertising creativity purists will hate them.
Last month, thanks to a TikTok shopper, the return of Coles’ big red hand leaked:
This week the campaign launched.
It comes from Smith St, the in-house agency for Coles, led by DDB. But the ad could have been from the glory days of the partnership between former Coles marketing boss Simon McDowell and creative Ted Horton, boss of agency Big Red when the big red hand was everywhere, a decade ago.
There are dancing staff, backflipping acrobats, more red hands than can be counted and even a stunt cameo looking suspiciously like Budget Direct’s Captain Risky.
Most importantly though was the simplicity of the message. Value. That’s the battleground. If the campaign is backed by actions - genuinely lower prices - then it’s the right campaign for the right time.
And this week also saw the launch of an unpretentious - “Deals you didn’t see coming” - retail campaign for Telstra, created by The Monkeys.
It’s some of the first work to emerge since Brent Smart became chief marketing officer
Again, the Telstra work is unlikely to trouble creative awards juries, but the unmissable message - savings and deals - will land with consumers.
Perhaps one of the effects of the downturn will be the return of prioritising effective over creative advertising. Creative teams will hate it.
Hard to find a Voice
I took a drive out to Smithton, in Tasmania’s far North West, yesterday lunchtime.
A question I’ve been asking every communications experts I‘ve spoken to in recent weeks, is: Why are the polls trending towards a ‘No’ vote in referendum on The Voice? What are the campaigners getting wrong?
With the vote date announced this week as October 14 - six weeks from today - the campaigning has now officially begun.
The closest comparison over the last decade was the vote on marriage equality, six years ago. Although it was a postal plebiscite, rather than referendum, it was based on a single yes / no question: “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”
For the most part that campaign was a process rooted in conversations about fairness. The outcome of the marriage question - a 61.6% vote in favour including a majority in every state - never seemed in doubt. It was a joyful moment.
By contrast, this Voice campaign has lacked joy. It’s become bogged down in questions about detail, which has served the No side of the debate.
Yes campaign director Dean Parkin and Linda Burney, minister for Indigenous Australians were the main speakers at yesterday’s forum. Perhaps naively, I wanted to be swept up or inspired by their message.
Instead, the meeting - with perhaps 30 or 40 people in the room, broke up with no more than polite applause. And this was from the people motivated enough to turn out to hear from them.
It was not a forum for getting questions answered. Nobody was allowed to ask a question from the floor. Instead, scraps of paper were handed out, where questions could be written down. In the end, only one question made it through the vetting.
The main thrust of the briefing was mired in explaining the process of a referendum - that the detail being asked for is unnecessary - that’s work for the politicians later. Voters should focus on the narrow principle of whether Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples should have the Voice to Parliament.
Logically, that’s fair enough. It’s how referendum questions work. But it’s not motivating.
The fairness argument should be compelling - First Nations people have far worse outcomes than other Australians. Nothing else has worked, so why not The Voice? That might be right, but it’s unlikely to be motivating enough to shift the trajectory.
TV and outdoor take opposite paths
It was a week of data points on advertising spend, with Standard Media Index releasing its numbers for July, and the IAB releasing digital numbers for the previous quarter, plus streaming data produced alongside fellow industry body Commercial Radio & Audio.
Starting with SMI, which records advertising spend on behalf of clients by the major agency groups, July was down 1.3% compared to the previous year.
In the scheme of things, that might not seem so bad. However, it’s worth noting that last July’s SMI number was itself a fall 0f 4.2% on the year before.
The data indirectly offers more evidence that although The Matildas’ FIFA World Cup golden run, which ran from July 20 to August 19, was great for ratings for Seven West Media, it did not deliver a similar revenue boost. TV was down by 10.8% on July 2022. Seven had to share the advertising revenue with main rights holder Optus Sport.
The Matildas effect mainly boosted the digital video category, which was up 67.7% compared to the same month, albeit off a much lower base.
Overall, the video category (of TV plus streaming) was down by 6.4% for the month. That was despite July 2022 also being down, 1by 4.4% on the year before. That means the video category has lost 19.9% of its revenue in the last two years.
Within that, broadcast TV has lost a horrible 22.3% of revenue for July in the space of just two years.
Expect the forthcoming TV Upfronts season to be far more about streaming and far less about broadcast.
If you’re looking for a bull run to counter the television bears, outdoor is the place to be. It rose by 19.7% in July compared to the previous year. And that had seen a rise of 28.8%. So in the space of two years, outdoor advertising put on 54.2% for the first month of the financial year.
And then we turn to the audio streaming data.
The new PWC-compiled numbers jointly released by the IAB and CRA suggest podcasting could indeed become a $100m medium in this calendar year, after doing a total of $82.5m in 2022 . The first quarter saw podcasting revenues of $19.8m, which rose to $27.5m in the quarter just done.
Meanwhile, the IAB also released its online advertising data covering the whole of the FY23 financial year, also compiled by PWC. With media slowly becoming fully digitised, these numbers are gradually becoming a proxy for the entire advertising market.
The IAB said that in FY23, online advertising hit $14.2bn, up by a modest 1.8% on the year before. That included $3.5bn in the video advertising category, up 8.9% year on year. That suggests the likes of YouTube and the social video platforms are taking a far greater share of video advertising revenue than the BVOD (broadcast video on demand) efforts of their traditional TV broadcasters.
An awful lot is riding on the success of new TV trading platform VOZ Streaming, finally announced this week. The vague timing: “anticipated in calendar 2024” suggests it’s a long way from ready.
Campaign of the Week: Coles Champions Great Value, Hands Down
In each edition of BOTW, our friends at Little Black Book Online highlight their most interesting advertising campaign of the week. They also approve of the Coles campaign
LBB’s ANZ reporter Casey Martin writes:
This week's campaign was made by Smith St for Coles. The spot brings back the iconic red hands and highlights everything that Coles has to offer with the use of song and dance, breathing new life into the iconic supermarket brand. It's energetic and fun and reminds customers of what Coles has to offer with a succinct tagline: "Great Value. Hands Down.”
Unmade Index continues upwards creep
Seja Al Zaidi writes:
After a nightmare fortnight, the Unmade Index crept upwards for a third day in a row on Friday, rising by 0.7%. The index, our barometer of the performance of ASX-listed media and marketing stocks ended the week at 638.3 points.
Seven West Media led the way on Friday with a 3.33% rise in share price. Enero Group had similarly positive fortunes, growing its price by 6.41%. Ooh Media saw a lift of 1.37%, while Nine increased 0.97%.
ARN Media fell by 1.76% while Domain dropped 1.56%. Southern Cross Austereo didn’t perform well either, falling 1.06% to its lowest price since June.
In case you missed it this week:
On Tuesday, we revealed that James Warburton is media’s top paid CEO:
On Wednesday we analysed one of the oddest set of radio ratings for some time, and revealed the program for REmade:
On Thursday ex-Insiders host Barrie Cassidy told Seja Al Zaidi that the current ABC management need a lesson in humility:
On Friday we examined the smoking trashheap of Qantas’s reputation:
Time to leave you to your weekend. We’ll be back with Start the Week on Monday.
Have a great weekend.
Publisher - Unmade