Holiday season: It's the most predictable time of the year

Simon Collins, Australian Financial Review, 9 December 2018

Are there any more predictable harbingers of Christmas than supermarket ads? For the past month it's been impossible to glance at a screen without being smacked in the cerebellum by a tsunami of seasonal same-old, much of it footage of beaming families ushering gargantuan turkeys from checkout to car park to oven to table. Usually to the accompaniment of some hackneyed yuletide earworm.

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The art of advertising has changed, brands must now stand for something

Simon Collins, Australian Financial Review, 16 September 2018

In a world where consumers have turned their backs on so many on traditional totems of morality, marketing is also a way of filling a gap in their lives. Of showing prospective customers that you at least share their values and, critically, are taking action to uphold them. That's more than advertising, it's advocacy..

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Advertising campaigns: The creative might be good but it must reflect your brand

Simon Collins, Australian Financial Review, 20 August 2017

If I was a marketing director, one of the first questions I would ask myself when evaluating my advertising agency's latest creative recommendation: is "Would this work for one of my competitors?"

If the answer was "yes" I would be very nervous about approving it, irrespective of its cleverness, originality, or capacity to disrupt.

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If the fair go goes, where does that take us?

Blog by Tim Gartrell, Committee for Economic Development of Australia, State of the Nation 2018 Conference, 25 June 2018

The results of the survey signal that a tectonic shift is underway. If the fair go is no longer a lived experience we’re in for some serious quakes and maybe even the odd tsunami. CEDA’s Pulse should be our early warning system and we’d be wise to take heed.

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Fair dinkum: How Australia markets itself to the world matters

Simon Collins, Australian Financial Review, 29 July 2018

Waiting for the target audience to arrive unaided at a desired conclusion is not an option for most marketers; they must proactively seed opinion – especially in a big-ticket category like overseas travel.

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Westpac spends big on advertisement when banking industry searches for humility

Simon Collins, Australian Financial Review, 23 April 2018

These days we rarely incarcerate contrarians but refusing to toe the popular line can still cause outrage. Which brings me to the latest corporate advertisement from Westpac. The one which depicts people of varying gender, life-stage and ethnic extraction being rescued from daunting or life-threatening situations by their workmates, peers and neighbours to the accompaniment of a cover of the David Bowie classic We can be heroes.

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Don't underestimate the power of good advertising in modern politics

Simon Collins, Australian Financial Review, 18 February 2018

Pollies are happy enough to put campaigns for things like anti-smoking and road safety out to tender. But when it comes to getting themselves elected or re-elected many are reluctant to trust it to people who made their names selling soap and cereal.

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Outrage versus offence: Not all news is good news

Simon Collins, Australian Financial Review, 24 September 2017

When I worked on the Cleo magazine account the creative brief was always the same; pick an article from a forthcoming issue – preferably one about sex – and write a 30-second TV ad about it that was guaranteed to outrage and offend pensioners.

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How advertisers like Proctor & Gamble made Cannes bad for business

Simon Collins, Australian Financial Review, 9 April 2017

I'm told that many of the outfits modelled at fashion shows are created solely for the runway. Paying your best people to produce stuff your customers can't buy on the high street isn't an approach that would get much traction in most industries.

But it has been going on for years in ours.

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