Start the Week: Foxtel weighed up name change; InStyle returns; Tourism Australia back in the marketing business
Foxtel's marketing team gave 'serious consideration' to changing the name ahead of its planned float; InStyle is back from the dead; What do you think of the new Woolies logo?
Welcome to Unmade, written at sunrise at beautiful Sisters Beach, Tasmania.
Happy National Ferris Wheel Day. Can there be any finer representation of Melbourne than the observation wheel, with its commanding views of the M2, the train tracks and a couple of very fine car parks. Why on earth did it die?
Today’s writing soundtrack: Triple M Classic Rock.
Monday’s Start the Week edition of Unmade is where we to run an eye over the media and marketing sections of the major newspapers, which are published on a Monday. Today: Marketing strategy at Foxtel, a creative agency revives InStyle and Tourism Australia comes out of hibernation.
Foxtel: The name remains the same
The Australian’s media editor James Madden makes an interesting revelation today about how the bosses of fellow News Corp outfit Foxtel see the brand. “Serious consideration” has been given to changing its name.
Chief customer, marketing and revenue officer Hilary Perchard, who joined the company a year ago, tells The Oz:
“One of things we talked about was whether to rename Foxtel, to leave behind some of the history. But when we talked to consumers, they told us that there still a lot of love for the brand.
“We decided that rather than try to repaint it with a different name we were better off trying to fix the things that consumers were upset about, and explaining that this brand can be something new.”
News Corp is two-thirds owned by News Corp, with Telstra owning the rest.
The company is working towards floating Foxtel on the ASX. It faces something of a race against time, with subscribers to Foxtel’s broadcast offering falling, while subscribers to the Kayo and Binge streaming services may be hitting a peak.
According to The Oz, actor Sam Neill will be the face of a major brand campaign for Foxtel launching today.
InStyle set to return
InStyle magazine, which was closed by Bauer Media in July 2020, is set to return to Australian newsstands, according to today’s Australian Financial Review.
In one of the worst days in the history of the magazine industry, Bauer, which is now known as Are Media, closed eight titles - Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, InStyle, Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Good Health, NW and OK.
InStyle’s new franchisee is set to be the creative agency Bashful, writes the AFR’s Miranda Ward. She quotes Bashful boss Simon Bookallil (who did not confirm that a deal had been done) as saying:
“We believe that independent publishing can be more nimble, and we really want to contribute to culture and live and breathe it.
“We want to have the best possible people with the best possible brands in our portfolio. We want to create fresh and new and distinctive brands where we’re looking to apply our skills to our direct-to-consumer model – whether that’s podcasts, luxury content, activations, magazines, physical magazines or digital.”
Bashful has appointed former Elle editor-in-chief Justine Cullen as chief content officer of its new True North publishing division.
Ward speculates (in a way which suggests that she has been briefed by somebody who cannot speak on the record): “It is understood the new InStyle will be primarily digital, complemented by two print editions a year.”
Tourism Australia - back in business
With Australia’s borders due to reopen to vaccinated tourists in a week’s time, Tourism Australia’s international marketing efforts are also back in business. Last night, Tourism Australia shared the new message : GO AUSTRALIA on social media.
Woolworths’ new logo - tell us what you think
A development we did not get to last week was a new corporate logo for Woolworths Group, created by M&C Saatchi’s design agency Re.
The green Woolworths supermarket logo, created by Hans Hulsbosch in 2009 and featuring a stylised W within an apple, will still remain as the main supermarket brand.
We’d love to know what you think of the new look. Have at the comment button…
Letters: On agency positioning
On Saturday we examined agency straplines, and what they stand for. I also invited agency bosses to share those I had overlooked.
Andy DiLallo writes:
Good read Tim. As one of those breaking away from the shackles of this homogenise thinking, our offering from the land of Milk and Honey United is simple and clear. Alway Fresh, Always Sticky. 🥛➕🐝
Paul Bradbury writes:
Hi Tim, The 'big' agency you missed was TBWA. 'The Disruption Company' - our positioning and strategic methodology for the last 25 years.
Ben Lilley writes:
An excellent piece Tim. The other major independent I would have included (without a hint of bias) is HERO.
Over the past 18 months, we've integrated the national creative business we acquired from McCann with a number of independent acquisitions and key hires across media, technology, PR and consulting.
We've now built a national HERO business that brings together creative, media and technology as a single national offering, under the banner of Borderless Creativity.
Meanwhile, Mutiny boss Henry Innis shares a thought on how we got here:
Tim, the simple answer here is that advertising wasn't something that was a commodity many years ago because it wasn't a globalised industry. Sorrell turned a cottage community of businesses into an industry. Everyone forgets that point.
From there; it's become commoditised and quite process driven. The knowledge to make good ads is largely distributed.
Differentiation now isn't going to be found in ad agencies, but in businesses adjacent to them (e.g people making new models of advertising - Huge @ IPG is a good example of this in holdcos), adjacent ideas (e.g the BrandTech group, us) or people applying advertising thinking to actual product innovation (e.g Eucalyptus).
It's like expecting differentiation to exist in the people who produce bottle caps, really.
And Atomic 212 co-founder James Dixon adds:
Indies as artisans is lovely thought thanks Tim. I like to think of the media agency landscape against a restaurant analogy. The kitchen as the buyers and front of house as the client service etc. And in this regard the indies are the paddock to plate option. Love and care in every step.
Magic eye 1; Unmade 0
And on the same topic, we also have a spectacular correction.
Remember all the zoom and enhance stuff with Saturday’s email, over DDB’s logo apparently being missing from Omnicom’s wall of logos?
Turns out there was not enough zooming and enhancing…
Look at the yellow splodge next to PHD logo:
That yellow splodge is a D.
And the block splodge below it, next to OMD’s logo?
That’s also a D.
And put the two Ds together, and they become a B, complete with the names of founders Doyle, Dane and the legendary Bernbach, if you do indeed zoom and enhance…
Unmade apologises for the omission. (A future opinion piece on company logos that aren’t fit for purpose may follow another time).
Time to let you start your week. I’m headed for Melbourne tomorrow, for the first time in more than two years. I must remember to look up at the observation wheel for one last time.
Have a great week.