Marketing Featured ANZ

Mediabrands Australia names Geoff Clarke as COO

Sydney, Australia Global media and marketing solutions group IPG Mediabrands has appointed Geoff Clarke as its chief operating officer for Australia. Clarke will retain his chief operating officer role and business growth development responsibilities for Initiative, a global media agency that is also under Mediabrands.

In his expanded role, Clarke will be responsible for driving operational and organisational improvements across the entire group. He will also continue to lead IPG’s transformation agenda throughout APAC while leading the operational integration and working system of Australian businesses. Clarke will also collaborate across the company’s entire client portfolio.

Mark Coad, CEO of Mediabrands Australia said that the expanded leadership role is a timely and well-deserved recognition for Geoff who has successfully led the Group’s transformational agenda.

Coad added, “Geoff is an outstanding leader. While still keeping his fingers 100 percent on the pulse at Initiative, he successfully positioned Mediabrands as an industry leader in the use of automation and BOTs considerably reducing repetitive and menial work and significantly improving the way we work across the entire group.”

In his three-decade media industry career, Clarke has established a background in investment, planning, and media buying. He worked for various agencies in London and eventually obtained a managing director position in Australia in 2013.

In 2015, Clarke started his role in Initiative as a client partner and later on promoted to chief operating officer. He has been instrumental in the agency’s growth and development in Australia.

For his new responsibilities, Clarke commented, “I am going to be busy, but it is an exciting time to be in the industry. My goal is for our clients to engage Mediabrands’ agencies knowing the unique business solutions we offer are fully effective and designed for ambitious growth.  This can only happen when the best operational and procedural innovations are in place and the most talented teams are available to service clients.”

Main Feature Marketing ANZ

Appointment of the Year: Belong’s Amy Childs

In 2022, we have seen numerous appointments and elevations in the industry, and out of all of them, it’s Australia-based mobile and internet provider Belong bagging our Appointment of the Year for its announcement of Amy Childs as its chief customer officer

Childs, who was previously the managing director of electric utility firm Momentum Energy, stepped into the newly created role in Belong last March 2022. She is now responsible for the strategy and implementation of the telco’s customer experience capability, with the intent of delivering a best-in-class customer experience to better serve the telco’s customers. 

In an exclusive interview with Childs, she discussed with us her biggest challenges and opportunities in the role, her plans for this new year, as well as the new trends we can expect in the telco industry.

Challenges and opportunities in the role

The biggest challenge Childs had come across in her new role is the realisation of just how many Australians are digitally excluded. She shared that while Belong retails services, addressing access to the network is not in their control, they can ensure that they focus on designing accessible products and services – both from a price point and accessibility lens – so that more Australians can participate. 

Meanwhile, on the opportunities, Childs said that they are now turning a lot of their attention to digital and opening more channels for customers to access support when they need it. 

“Our digital support model needs to go in, and our customers need better experiences across our web and app channels,” she added.

Meeting demands and expectations in 2023 

As customers’ habits and expectations change rapidly, Belong is directing a huge focus on self-service capabilities, and digital channels and app.

Childs said, “We will continue to focus on developing these with accessibility and affordability in mind and partnering with organisations that can represent these customers at the design table.”

She further shared that to keep ahead of customer expectations and demand, focusing on developing and nurturing a customer-centric culture in the organisations that you work in is the key.

Moreover, she believes that the connection of the whole value chain together is where the magic happens, and the only way to do that is through culture – which is why culture is always top of mind, and always her main focus.

What’s next for the telco industry?

Today, the world has already adapted to working remotely, businesses want to know how to connect to customers on a more personal level, and one thing Childs is looking forward to in 2023 is leveraging the Metaverse platform to help their teams walk a day in the life of a customer, connecting across regions or countries. 

“As technology evolves, so too will our opportunities to use them for the better,” she noted.

Childs also mentioned continuing Belong’s carbon neutrality initiative. She said, “I am so proud to work at Belong, as we are proudly Australia’s first certified carbon-neutral telco.”

This recognition is based on the results of Google Analytics on the most-read stories of 2022 with editorial validation on the significance of a leader’s contribution, campaign results, and overall impact.

Main Feature Marketing ANZ

Video Campaign of the Year: Betting platform Sportsbet’s cinematic campaign

With mobile platforms now the lifeline of our content consumption, we have seen storytelling in this space become an extension of the ever-sophisticated and highly elaborate silver screen. One particular Australian brand – Sportsbet – took cinematic value up a notch in the early part of 2022, resulting in the launch of its March campaign emerging as our Video Campaign of the Year

Through the use of new technology from virtual production studio Dreamscreen, Sportsbet, Australia-based online betting and entertainment website, has raised the bar in ad delivery, building promotional shorts that boast bespoke production to take audiences into an otherworldly delight. 

Sportsbet’s team, Jason Thatcher and Raman Goraya, the brand’s heads in brand and advertising, and content and partnerships, respectively, jumped in a conversation with MARKETECH APAC to bare with us how the campaign for its betting products spurted out of the seeds of creativity to ultimately take form as films that time-travels viewers into eras of Ancient Egypt and the Middle Ages. 

The campaign sequel that invited Cleopatra into the spotlight

The March 2022 campaign, which put into focus its group betting feature ‘Bet With Mates’ and multi-bet product ‘Same Game Multi’, was in fact a sequel of an earlier series of ads that marked the launch of Sportsbet’s unique cinematic direction. In the 2021 campaign, settings included barbarian times and storylines circled imaginative themes such as an alien invasion and travelling to the future.

Thatcher and Goraya said that these are the lengths necessary in order to create product and brand stickiness. 

“Sportsbet is always focussed on making sure we can drive [cut-through] and memorability,” they said. “With so many messages in [the] market (within the wagering category especially), if we’re not capturing the attention of the audience to promote our products, then we’ve failed.”

The latest one, developed in partnership with production outfit Palomina, had a trio of ads within it. The short titled ‘Alliance’ was set in the Middle Ages, the film ‘Cleopatra’ showed the queen amongst her people in Egypt, and the ad ‘Rescue’ places fictional characters on a deserted island. Each film was striking and on point both in visual and flow – carried out with top-class cinematography, individuals in the historical settings are seen planning to place their bets as a group with gusto. 

“We used a similar approach for [the] 2021 campaign, and we found our audience [was] highly engaged by bringing fascinating but recognisable environments to life,” shared Thatcher and Goraya.

“There was also quite a bit of humour and cheekiness in putting your everyday person in a setting viewers would usually see on a Hollywood feature or Netflix series. By doing [this,] we were not only gaining memorability but staying relevant to our audience.”

The brand outperforming itself

According to Sportsbet’s marketing heads, the brand outdid itself in the March 2022 campaign with the content hitting above-average levels of its own benchmarks in bringing “Enjoyment”, being “Different” and “Unique”, and as an initiative that “Sets trends”. 

Thatcher and Goraya said they wanted to build ‘tension’ and this suspense and excitement was achieved by crafting environments outside of the current time period. 

“[When] faced with the temper of Cleopatra or a medieval witch, we are able to position our product offering as an interesting solution. Whenever we expand outside the scenarios you see on a lot of advertising, we notice viewers have a higher level of engagement and curiosity.”

Of course, whilst consumers are bedazzled with the brand’s creative delivery, a production of such scale is not without its own challenges. According to the team, the numerous iterations needed for the campaign made for intricate logistics. 

In fact, one of the executions which played around the release of the new Top Gun film had to be delayed due to the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine political tensions at the time.

“Our media investment dictates Sportsbet needs to produce a wide range of creative executions to avoid wear out and irritation,” said the brand’s leaders. 

“Having to deliver up to 30 different executions (including bespoke digital media assets) across 5 unique scenarios becomes a complex production challenge. We had challenges where we needed to adjust scripts for filming time and making sure we can talk to the right product offerings.”

The courage the brand mustered in order to get out of its comfort zone in marketing is obviously paying well. The streak of innovative and original films is not just hitting home in terms of brand engagement, but is also adding up to earn the brand a masterful reputation in adland.

To those who wish to adopt a similar level of creative endeavour, the duo said, “The main advice would be to have ambition but stay agile and expect challenges throughout [the] production.” 

What’s next for Sportsbet?

As far as cinematic narratives are concerned, the campaign won’t be the last in the betting brand’s sleeve, the marketing heads ensured. 

Sportsbet had not been laying low a bit and is consistent with its marketing efforts, albeit on a more laid-back approach. The latest one from its content line-up is an ad for the World Cup, still injecting that tongue-in-cheek play we’ve all come to love.

Thatcher and Goraya said they have a commitment to provide the best and most innovative products to their customers. 

The duo concluded, “Our marketing will continue to support that goal as well as [continue] to highlight the fun and engaging nature of our brand.” 

This recognition is based on Google Analytics results on the most-read stories of 2022, along with editorial validation on the significance of a leader’s contribution, campaign results, and overall impact.

Marketing Featured ANZ

M&C Saatchi appointed as poultry company Baiada’s social agency

Sydney, Australia – Marketing agency M&C Saatchi has been appointed as the social agency of Baiada, a private company that produces poultry products. This will see the agency responsible for managing its brands’, Lilydale and Steggles, social activity.

The appointment by Baiada also further builds on M&C Saatchi’s social portfolio, having been appointed Woolworths’ paid social agency in July.

“We’re on a mission to accelerate brand growth. M&C Saatchi, as our lead creative agency, is well placed [on integrating] ‘social’ as part of their remit to give us a holistic creative solution,” said Yash Gandhi, Baiada’s head of marketing.

Meanwhile, Sian Cook, managing director at M&C Saatchi, commented, “Baiada are a brilliant and longstanding partner we’re proud to have created lots of great work with. So, we’re thrilled to extend that partnership and supercharge social for Steggles and Lilydale.”

Earlier this year, M&C Saatchi Sydney announced the additions to its creative team, namely Julian Lock, the new craft designer, Billie Gurr and Jake Rowland, the new junior art directors, and William Campion and Claire Kirby, the new junior copywriters.

Marketing Featured ANZ

Colenso BBDO adds three new hires to production and account service teams

Auckland, New Zealand – Creative agency Colenso BBDO has announced the appointment of three new senior hires in its efforts to bolster its production and account service teams.

Joining Colenso are Jacqui Walker as director of creative production, Charlotte Glennon as EP and head of integrated production, and Keshvi Lal as senior business director.

Walker has previously worked as a senior integrated producer at TBWA\New Zealand and has worked alongside awarded creatives for the last 25 years across ANZ. She has also produced award-winning campaigns across brands such as McDonald’s, Panasonic, Volkswagen, Skoda, Westpac, AFL and more.

Speaking on her appointment, she said, “Working with Angela, Rob, Si and the incredible team at Colenso is definitely a pinch yourself moment. I’m excited to bring my creative production experience to the agency and continue to help create world-class work.”

Meanwhile, Glennon brings her years of experience as a producer for TBWA\Media Arts Lab, Mother London, Host Sydney, and DDB Aotearoa, amongst others. 

“I’m really excited to join the team at ColensoBBDO, who have the same creative ambition as the best agencies I’ve worked at. Selfishly I’m going to lean on the stellar creative department to help my gardening insta account (200ish followers) blow up, follow me for reels of Dahlias mixed to 90s R&B @charlotteinthegarden_ iykyk,” said Glennon.

Lal, on the other hand, will be leading Colenso’s Spark and Skinny accounts, amongst other responsibilities. She has also led work for iconic brands including McDonald’s, ANZ, 2degrees, and Instant Kiwi.

“I’ve long admired the work coming out of Colenso – it’s ambitious, meaningful and effective. I’m thrilled to join the whānau and work alongside the incredibly talented humans at 100 College Hill,” she said.

Angela Watson, managing director at Colenso BBDO, also commented, “Great senior people give everyone around them the momentum they need to succeed. It’s a wonderful thing. Jacqui, Charlotte and Keshvi are real talent who have already made a difference, and we’re lucky to have them.”

Colenso has also previously appointed Maria Devereux and Simon Vicars for creative leadership roles, as well as seven creative hires last June.

Marketing Featured APAC

Fyllo makes new hires for Australia, Singapore team

Sydney, Australia – As part of its continued expansion in the Asia-Pacific region, data-driven marketing and regulatory solutions platform Fyllo announced that they will be joined by Daniel Cravero as the new VP for ANZ and Chrysa Soon as the VP for customer success & operations in APAC.

The two new senior hires will be reporting to Robert Woolfrey, managing director for APAC. Soon will be based in Singapore while Cravero will be based in Sydney.

Cravero will be bringing his broad digital advertising experience and industry-recognized leadership in data for the development of Fyllo’s marketing and data solutions in Australia and New Zealand. He will also be collaborating with leaders across the region on the development of Fyllo’s data offerings.

On the other hand, Soon will be bringing her decade of agency and platform experience from companies such as Amobee and Havas to her new role. She is also expected to handle regional client management, amongst other responsibilities.

“The debate around data is a pressing concern for brands and consumers alike. Daniel’s leadership on data will help Fyllo navigate this rapidly changing environment, particularly in Australia and New Zealand, while Chrysa will ensure our client management is industry-leading from the outset,” Woolfrey commented.

“Identity as we know it is undergoing significant changes around the world and Fyllo is at the forefront of this movement,” said Cravero.

He added, “Fyllo bridges the gap between ID-based audiences and contextual targeting which allows us to bring scalable solutions to the ANZ market. I am delighted to join Robert and the Asia Pacific team to bring this to life.”

This follows Woolfrey’s appointment last August, which is also a part of Fyllo’s expansion efforts.

Marketing Featured ANZ

The Conversation ANZ appoints Margy Vary as chief marketing officer

Australia – Non-profit research-based media outlet The Conversation has appointed Margy Vary as its new chief marketing officer for Australia and New Zealand. Prior to that role, she was working for a consultant for the company.

In her new role, Vary will be leading the publication’s marketing and reader revenue strategy in the region, and will be reporting to editor Misha Ketchell.

In addition, the role includes responsibility for driving audience growth, digital engagement, customer experience, as well as leading The Conversation’s donations strategy.

She was previously the marketing director of Guardian Australia, where she overlooked the local marketing and comms strategy during a period of rapid audience growth and development of the successful reader revenue strategy. She also has 20 years of experience in advertising and marketing, including launching Virgin Atlantic in Australia and developing creative campaigns at Host in Australia and Lowe in London.

Speaking on her new role, she said, “The Conversation has the best business model for sustaining public interest journalism, as a charity that’s not dependent on advertising revenue. I’m excited to join a team of experts with a culture of collaboration that is ideally suited to the challenges of these times, when the future of public interest journalism is under threat and Australians are more than ever crying out for facts over opinions and expertise over agendas.”

Meanwhile, Ketchell commented, “It’s the perfect time to welcome Margy to The Conversation. With so much disruption in public interest journalism and so many new developments in reader revenue happening around the world, her expertise will ensure The Conversation stays ahead of the game.” 

She added, “Margy’s track record in converting audience relationships into reliable and sustainable revenue streams will ensure we remain self-sufficient and not susceptible to the politics of funding. Margy brings a track record in creative, purpose-driven marketing that will be a huge asset in helping to differentiate the Conversation’s fact-based news by experts, which is needed now more than ever.”

Lisa Watts, CEO at The Conversation Media Group, said, “In 10 years we’ve gone from being a small startup to a global network with millions of monthly readers, and since COVID-19 The Conversation’s audience has doubled as people turn to experts for information they can trust. As an NFP our work is free to read and free to republish but we rely on support from donors and readers, and this role helps keep our work free and available to everyone. Margy is a great addition to the team, she brings deep expertise and we’re all very excited to work with her.”

Marketing Featured ANZ

Icon Agency appointed to handle Salesforce’s Australian communications programme

Australia – Australia-based integrated communications agency Icon Agency has been appointed by cloud-based software company Salesforce to manage its Australian communications for the global CRM leader in CRM.

The move will see Salesforce joining Icon’s expanding roster of global technology brands including ADP, Schneider Electric, and Luno. 

Salesforce said that it believes that business is the greatest platform for change and is committed to doing well and doing good, making the brand a seamless addition to Icon’s purpose-driven client base.

Joanne Painter, Icon Agency’s managing director, commented that they are thrilled to work with a value-led business, dedicated to trust, customer success, innovation, equality, and sustainability, and it’s a time of tremendous change and they need more innovators and change-makers to navigate significant headwinds.

“As a trusted digital adviser, Salesforce is perfectly placed to support the evolution of businesses to a more resilient, prosperous, and sustainable future. Salesforce is an ideal fit for Icon’s brand platform, ‘For people, with purpose’. We continue to cement our expertise in the tech sector to complement our existing strengths in healthcare, education and government Purpose is not just a lofty ideal. We’re committed to work that makes the world better, enabling us to rapidly expand whilst producing award-winning work. The results are clear: purposeful work works,” said Painter.

Just recently, Icon Agency appointed Simon Hobbs to step into its newly created role of executive director of digital. He will be leading Icon’s digital department with a focus on new business development and optimising the team’s processes and systems.

Marketing Featured ANZ

Australia-based Icon Agency names Simon Hobbs as new executive director of digital

Melbourne, Australia – Australia-based integrated communications agency Icon Agency has appointed Simon Hobbs to step into its newly created role of executive director of digital.

In this new role, Hobbs will be leading Icon’s digital department with a focus on new business development and optimising the team’s processes and systems. 

Hobbs brings significant management experience, having previously grown multiple teams across agency and government. He previously consulted for the New South Wales government for two years, focussing on the complex content platform that is the website.

Commenting on his appointment, Hobbs said that Icon is in a fantastic position that aligns with his passions, and with recent and ongoing growth, there’s a great opportunity here for him to make a difference and help the team do their best work.

“Icon’s commitment to innovation is a real drawcard for me. We’re keeping one eye on the horizon to see what new technological opportunities are coming, like AI and the Metaverse,” he added.

Meanwhile, Chris Dodds, Icon’s managing director of digital, noted, “Adding Simon to our team reflects our commitment to constant improvement. In this next phase of growth his expertise and leadership will help our team operate at peak performance. Simon’s extensive experience with government projects strongly complements our strength and history of government work. We’re excited to add his knowledge and skills to our growing team.”

Joanne Painter, Icon’s group managing director, said “We continue to grow quickly thanks to the support and trust of our clients. Senior appointments like Simon strengthen our capabilities across all disciplines and allow us to offer multi-faceted, end-to-end projects.”

Marketing Featured ANZ

Match & Wood named as media partner of AU-based bedding brand Snooze

Melbourne, Australia – Independent media agency Match & Wood has been appointed as a media partner by Australian bedding brand Snooze. The move will see the agency taking over the account from incumbent Starcom which held the business for a number of years.

The mandate includes media strategy, planning, and buying. Through this, Match & Wood will be managing Snooze’s paid media (excluding search).

Doni Davies, general manager of marketing at Snooze, shared that they were looking for an agency that would work as an extension of their dedicated team, and the more time they spent together it was clear that Match & Wood believed in the same things as they did, which they feel sets a solid foundation for the future. 

“There is a strong cultural fit and we look forward to partnering with them to achieve our ambitious growth plans for the business,” said Davies.

Meanwhile, Chris O’Keefe, chief operating officer at Match & Wood, commented, “We are delighted to have been appointed after a competitive pitch, which recognises the expertise we have across media strategy, planning and buying. This is a significant milestone in Match & Wood’s history and [a] testament to the depth of specialist talent we have in the agency.”

In February 2022, Match & Wood has also been appointed by food company Chobani to handle the media duties of the Chobani and Gippsland Dairy brands in the Australian market.