Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Under the influence

Mazda have been a client of Melbourne agency CHE for several decades or so. Which is a lifetime in the cut and thrust of Australian advertising. And in the last couple of years or so, they've been nice enough, from time to time, to ask Able & Baker along for the ride.

As reported in influential industry journal GoAuto, Mazda's advertising has been found to be the 'most likely to influence a buyer to own one of its cars'.

The report said:

'A startling 42 per cent of buyers told market researchers Colmar Brunton that Mazda advertising was most likely to make them consider one of its models – a stunning result for a company on nine per cent total market share.'

In the same month, Mazda failed by just two vehicles to outsell traditional Aussie heavyweight Ford.

Which is nice.

Here's an on-air TVC for Mazda 3.

You can read the full GoAuto article, here.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

We live in your world

I don't mind the 'Barbara from Bankworld' campaign for ANZ. The scripts are well-written, the performances are spot-on and the end result is pretty funny. And full marks to the client for having the self-awareness to approve ideas like these.

However, I worry a little that it's the right campaign for the wrong client. Or a cute advertising idea with a hollow centre.

The sector is extremely competitive, with any product or service advantage quickly matched and neutralised. The end result is, with a few odd exceptions like the excellent ANZ iPhone app, it's pretty much a level playing field.

ANZ has pretty much the same products, the same service levels and branches in the same sorts of places as the other Big Three. So while Barbara captures the zeitgeist of anti-bank frustration, I wonder what long-term value there is for the brand. We might well laugh at Genevieve Morris' excellent character, but it may not be quite so funny when encountering a real-life Barbara at an ANZ call centre or in a branch.

And as anyone who's ever tried to cancel a credit card or arrange a small business loan will tell, there are plenty of them.

However while in the Collins Street last week, I flipped open my laptop in a cafe to find the following notfication on my screen.

With little fanfare or self-aggrandaisement, ANZ provided free wi-fi in this small CBD cafe. So that people could check their emails, read the news or even do their banking without any hassle.

The tagline to the Barbara campaign is 'We live in your world'. I reckon this is a far more persuasive expression of that brand idea.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

This is like totally two weeks old already...

Technology is really cool. If you don't believe me, listen to Louis CK.

But sometimes there is a tendency to get overexcited about the technology itself, rather than what the technology enables you to do.

A brand isn't cool just because it has a facebook page or tweets. A twelve year old can do both those things. Probably better than you.

What's cool about technology is not what it is, but what it does. What it enables you to do.

And when the convergence of an idea and technology is at it's very best, you don't even notice the technology at all. It just becomes a part of the storytelling process.

The new film by Chris Milk for Canadian band Arcade Fire is a co-production with Google, using the the bits of wizardry at the pointiest bit of the pointy end of their arsenal. Which is pointy to the power of ten.

But funnily enough, once you're in, you forget all about the wizardry and just get lost in the moment.

Try it for yourself here.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


A hundred hours of painting compressed into a ten minute video. Artist Phlegm (good name) describes himself as someone who 'makes comic books and sprays paint on walls.' You can find more Phlegm at