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Monthly Archives: February 2012

More kids to see their first shows thanks to OgilvyOne Melbourne’s charming DM campaign.

by Nextness published February 29, 2012 posted in STW Group

Arts Centre cover+spreadSeeing a live performance can blow a child’s mind and change the course of their life and career. But if you’re a kid who lives far away from a theatre – or you don’t have much money – it’s hard to get the opportunity to see a show.

To help allow as many Victorian primary and secondary students to access to live performance as possible, Arts Centre Melbourne set up their First Call Fund.

This inspiring program is funded through the generosity of donors.

But when the news is full of downbeat stories about natural disaster and economic crisis, how can you convince supporters to donate?

That was OgilvyOne Melbourne’s dilemma and one they solved with a piece of good-old-fashioned, perfectly lovely direct mail.

Ogilvy’s insight was simple: their audience (people on Arts Centre Melbourne’s mailing list) want to share their passion for the performing arts with others. So their key message was that a donation to the First Call Fund would bring children closer to the performing arts.

A charming children’s book dramatised the benefit of The First Call Fund.

Based on a number of real life case study examples, the book told the story of Sally, a student who had the opportunity to experience Arts Centre Melbourne for the first time.

The cover included a personalised thank-you message with the donor’s name where the author’s name would usually appear. A personalised letter was included on the inside cover, and the donation form on the back was pre-populated with the recipient’s information to make it easier for them to donate.

The book itself was a thing of beauty. It involved handcrafted typography, 10 bespoke illustrations and graphic manipulation of textures to really make it feel like a proper book. The paper was slightly textured too to give it a tactile feel.

So did it work?

The objective of the campaign was to raise $20,000. It raised $37,730 – a 232% increase on the previous year’s pack and almost double the objective. And Arts Centre Melbourne has reported that the donations are still coming in!

Best of all, the donors loved it.

'Sally's first show' meets critics' approval (photo courtesy OgilvyOne)

They wrote back:

  • “I loved the little book you sent me. Read it to my grandchildren.”
  • “Thank you for the lovely story of young Sally. We had a chuckle as that is my daughter’s name.  I also used to be a primary school teacher and went on a few ‘theatre’ type trips. We loved your creative fundraising efforts.”
  • “We liked it so much, we donated!”

Congratulations OgilvyOne Melbourne.

Since 2008, the First Call Fund has enabled over 15,000 Victorian students (and their 1520 teachers) to experience the performing arts at Arts Centre Melbourne, many of the first time. For more info and to donate, call (03) 9281 8454 or visit the Arts Centre Melbourne site.





You can’t escape Gen Y: here’s how to manage us.

by Nextness published February 27, 2012 posted in Management

And what better way to illustrate an article about Gen Y than with a random 2008 Burberry campaign photographed by Mario Testino.Emily Birks is a Senior Account Manager at Pulse Communications, Ogilvy PR. Last week she took part in PRIA’s My Generation event representing Gen Y in a panel discussion about how agencies can close the gap between the bosses (baby boomers and Gen X) and the employees (Gen Y). These were her findings.

Why does the industry need to care about working with Gen Y?

Because there are 4.5 million of us born between 1978 and 1994 and we are dominating the emerging workforce. And PR is one of the industries where it’s even harder to escape us.  To put it in perspective, 76 percent of Ogilvy PR’s current employees are Gen Ys.

We are the most labelled generation ever and the discussion kicked-off with a few of those labels being thrown around. The bosses described us as selfish and always thinking ‘what’s in it for me’, only caring about more money and job titles, and not being able to listen as we are constantly checking our phones or updating our statuses.

But in order to close the gap between bosses and employees you can’t label us with one big brushstroke.

Gen Y spans almost 20 years so it’s not sensible to consider this a target audience. Bosses should acknowledge life stages, career stages, professional needs, socio-economic differences when trying to motivate staff.

As employees we have a desire for customisation which I don’t think is unique to our generation. People of all ages want to know they can walk into a new job and carve out their own opportunities if they do well and are loyal to the company. It’s more about understanding expectations.

What ‘shiny’ things beyond salary attract us to a new job or keep us satisfied in a current one?

According to 2011 McCrindle Research one of the top priorities for Gen Ys when looking for an employer is a “great culture”. And I agree with this. We come to work at least 40 hours a week so it’s important that we enjoy being here each day and I think the people we work with play a huge role in that. All the Gen Ys in the room acknowledge the importance of great mentors in keeping us satisfied in a job.

Training also came out as being important to us. We like to feel like it is a mutually beneficial relationship, Gen Y want something back and training and development shows that the agency is willing to invest in us. I know I always walk out of a great training session feeling reinvigorated and and grateful that I work for an agency that offers inspiring training.

Loyalty and Generation Y.

According to McCrindle Research on average Gen Ys spend two years with an employer versus the national average of four years. The bosses asked us what keeps us loyal to an agency.  As we tend to get bored easily it’s important to be presented with new challenges and we need to be able to see a future for ourselves at the company. Being rewarded for being loyal doesn’t hurt either. I just had my three year anniversary at Ogilvy PR and being rewarded with three extra days of Loyalty Leave is a nice little perk. It makes a difference.

As a generation we might be labelled more than past generations. But at the end of the day the same fundamentals of great management and leadership remain.

Follow Emily Birks on Twitter (@embirksy). This article was first published on Ogilvy PR’s excellent blog.


Linkness. What we’ve been reading | February 24, 2012

by Nextness published February 24, 2012 posted in Linkness


Overthinking, via The Curious Brain. Welcome to this week’s Linkness, where we round up the industry’s most relevant posts and articles from around the web.


  • “The things that are meant to make you feel more connected today often turn out to be insubstantial time sinks – empty, programmatic encouragements to groom and refine your personality while sitting alone at a screen.” Better | The classic essay by Merlin Mann
  • There is no career ladder | Harvard Business Review
  • How I became my own mentor in a freelance economy | GOOD
  • The catastrophe of success | Harvard Business Review
  • How to make an unforgettably positive impact on others | Wrestling Possums


  • Nike’s new marketing mojo: How the legendary brand blew up its single-slogan approach and drafted a new playbook for the digital era. | CNN
  • Nike’s digital revolution | The Ad Contrarian
  • How big companies can learn from start-ups | Forbes
  • New Yorker’s cover might be most digital ever (how the magazine is embracing digital) | SreeTips, CNET News
  • Kids, Google+, and the increasing speed of innovation | To Write Is To Think



  • Pinwheel: find and leave notes anywhere in the world | Founder Caterina Fake
  • Digital mimicry and lateral thinking: real-time anthropology/evolutionary biology of the Internet | matt daniels
  • Project Narwhal: How a top-secret Obama campaign program could change the 2012 race. | Slate Magazine
  • GOP presidential primary campaigns use microtargeting to attract supporters | NYTimes.com
  • Goodbye social graph. The interest graph is the next social media trend | Creativity_Unbound
  • BYOD: Bring your own device could spell end for work PC | BBC News


  • Beyond the digital spending gap: it’s time to think differently about what paid media means | DTDigital
  • Why Pinterest is so addictive | Fast Company
  • The lack of internet inhibitions | WSJ.com
  • Fueled by a wave of investment from Silicon Valley’s deepest pockets, Hollywood players are lining up to create original online shows. | WSJ.com
  • How the web changed fame | CNN.com


  • Twelve things you were not taught in school about creative thinking | Psychology Today
  • A moderate level of noise – not a DJ set, but the equivalent of the background buzz of conversation – prompts more-creative thought | WSJ
  • Just start writing (fiction) | The Editor’s Blog
  • “Filmmaking is an exercise in problem solving.” How Stanley Kubrick invented the modern box-office report (by accident) | Mike Kaplan

On Nextness this week.

  • Adventures in data with David Pountney. | NEXTNESS
  • Stop being a tortured creative and have fun! The slightly NSFW guide. | NEXTNESS

STW Group news.

  • Ogilvy Sydney creates new Supercoat campaign for Purina | STW Group
  • Designworks expands to Sydney; Asia next in bold regional strategy | STW Group
  • STW cements leadership in corporate and financial comms with an investment in leading Western Australian firm, Purple | STW Group



Stop being a tortured creative and have fun! The slightly NSFW guide.

by Nextness published February 21, 2012 posted in Creativity

Melbourne-based Nathania Gilson is a young film maker who also dabbles in photography, graphic design, and Tumblr. In her guest post today she has a message for you, yes you: chill out and HAVE FUN! Because sometimes the best thing you can do for your work is play.

1. Take photographs of your friends.

Susan Sontag once said that photographs help people to take possession of a space in which they are usually insecure. Seems like South African twenty-something photographer Paul Ward not only agrees but also uses this knowledge and his sense of humor to create visually engaging images of friends and strangers alike in the most unpretentious and endearing ways possible. Why not try it for yourself? Get your friend(s), a camera (bonus points for if you’re feeling brave enough to make one) and go wild. Maybe try some face paint? Bring back the whole ‘hanging out casually in graveyards is cool’ thing? Choose your own adventure.

2. Cook for a loved one.

No excuses about being bad at it, if you really love someone, you will at least try. Kate Moss does. It doesn’t have to be fancy — it can be as simple as a bowl of well made quinoa for an afternoon snack. Or if you like following cook books, this one by Jane Hornby is pretty good. Sharing meals, delighting others with your culinary prowess, and perhaps even an appreciative lick of your plate at the end of a meal if it was really good are all culturally acceptable in the spirit of fun and good times.

3. Bad hair days are OK.

There is no need to be upset. Jean-Michel understands.

4. Explore.

This applies to both geographic locations and inside your brain. Use your friendliest local city guides online/offline to find new places to eat the best and cheapest Ramen, soak up local art, buy a book second hand cheaper than on Book Depository or just sit with a coffee and people watch. Doing all these things, amongst other activities, in other countries is highly recommended, too.

5. Say it with neon.

Because if it’s not meant to be put up in bright lights for the entire neighbourhood to see, it probably shouldn’t be said. Some people have made careers out of this very act.

One man, Richard Wheater, has taken his fascination with neon and glass to a whole new place. And that’s not even the best part. He wants you to join in! They are currently operating around the UK, and can travel abroad upon request. The workshop caters to all levels of experience and prices, from an affordable one-off session to a three-day workshop with the industry’s best held in Paris. If you want to read more about neon lights as art, how Kraftwerk influenced Richard, other anecdotes that contributed to the exhibition of his work, read this.

6. Wear what you like.

Really. No one should be telling you how to dress and if they do, you don’t have to take them seriously. I recently purchased the dress pictured above. This is what the back looks like. When it arrives in about a week, I intend to wear it. Out in public. Eyesore? Maybe. But remember — fun is a good thing to both have AND wear.

7. Be silly.

Bonnie Prince Billy did it. In a cab. Singing about coconuts. Take what inspiration or enjoyment that you will from it.

8. Make a music video for a band you really like.

Tim Hillier did this for Melborne’s favourite scallywags, The Twerps.

Working up the courage to approach to approach people you’d really like to work with is entirely worth it, even if it’s just to gauge how well people respond to your ideas and enthusiasm. And who knows, the fun you end up having on those kinds of projects might lead on to other exciting things.

9. Embrace being a teenage girl (or boy).

NO, DUH. Use Esther Pearl Watson’s two volume comic book as a source of research and amusement. There is something completely lovable (yes, irony) this series based off the real life diaries of a fifteen year old from the 1980’s discovered by the author at a gas station. It is sad, cringey, hilarious, strange and kind of wonderful. Because, like, everyone needs to be reminded of their dumb teenage choices, the quiet bee-string of an unrequited crush, and suburban melancholy. Right? P.S. You can read the first twenty pages of Vol. 1 here.

10. So what if you’re broke? Do stuff anyway.

Do things just because, and get other people involved. You’d be surprised who’d volunteer their time, effort and talent if they believe in you enough. I think Marjane Satrapi said it best:

If you have to do something then you do it. People say, ‘I want to make this movie but I don’t have real connections.’ You don’t need to have real connections. If you really have to do it, then you will finish it, I’m sure of that. …So if you want to do things, then you have to do them, just for the joy of doing it, not for becoming famous, not for this, not for that.

Well, then. You heard her. What are you waiting for? Get out there. Do things. Have fun!

Nathania Gilson is a film maker currently living in Melbourne. She has been involved in the making of a number of short films, documentaries and music videos over the last three years. Her short film Tiny Earthquakes is due to travel the film festival circuit in 2012. She also dabbles in graphic design, photography, film criticism, curating content for websites and independent publications, and is good at the Internet. She is available for freelance work relating to any or all of these things. Email her!


Adventures in data with David Pountney.

by Nextness published February 20, 2012 posted in Data

Everyone’s talking about Big Data - today’s guest post is from someone who lives and breathes it. David Pountney (@David Pountney) oversees Data and Analytics for DT Digital and OgilvyOne in Melbourne: here he’s collected ten data visualisation methods and his favourite examples of each.

1. Venn diagram: How to be happy in business.

Whilst Venn diagrams can be used to show numeric overlap between multiple datasets, they’re most commonly used to show logical relationships between ideas or concepts. What strategy presentation would be complete without one? The above is an all time favourite from Bud Caddell.

2. Map: Proportion of time that american network and cable news organisations dedicated to news stories by country in Feb 2007.

Taken for the Alisa Miller’s TED talk from May 2008, this abstract view of the world adjusts land mass according to level of news coverage in the US. No surprises that America and Iraq dominate, but it demonstrates the power of the media in shaping our knowledge of the world around us. I’d love to see a similar representation for Australia.

3. Pie Chart: World energy consumed.

Microsoft Excel by Banksy? When pie charts move from the accountant’s office and onto the streets, then maybe the data revolution really has begun.

4. Line Chart: Apple quarterly revenue by product segment.

Sometimes a simple line chart says it all. This chart (make sure you click through to play with it) goes someway to explaining why Apple is now worth more than the combined value of Google, Goldman Sachs, GM, Ford, Starbucks and Boeing ($425 billion). Oh and also bigger than this lot.

5. Bubble Chart: The relationship between life expectancy and personal income for the last two hundred years.

Hans Rosling demonstrates the incredible correlation between health and wealth and the enormous gaps that still exists between countries today. Bubble charts kick arse in their ability to show up to 5 dimensions on one chart (X axis,Y axis, Bubble Size, Colour and Motion) but it’s the sixth dimension of presentation style that really makes this analysis hit home.

6. Tree Map: Australian stock market source.

I’ll admit it, I bloody love Tree Maps. They are predominantly used to demonstrate the current landscape of the stock market where size of the square represents market cap and colour represents change in stock value. They allow you to get a really good feel for the size and performance or the market across categories and individual companies in a single glance, no small achievement. Other great uses include IBM’s Tree Map of the CIA’s World Fact Book and the News Map‘s aggregation of Google News. At DT Digital we use them to assess the size of the search landscape and corresponding SEO performance.

7. Mash Up: London travel times and house prices.

A great example of how combining two data sources can really help decision making. Adjust the house price and travel time sliders to see areas of London that meet your criteria. This example dates back to 2007 but seems like such an obvious value add utility for a real estate website.

8. Area Chart: Baby name wizard.

Another example of how interaction helps data come to life. The baby name wizard shows changes in popularity of baby names in the US over the last 130 years. Primarily designed to help parents-to-be narrow down potential names, it also provides an interesting insight into the impact of popular (e.g. Whitney) and unpopular (e.g. Adolf) culture.

9. Scatter Plot: Sandro Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus visualised in tableau.

Tableau is the Jeremy Lin of the data visualisation world… arriving seemingly out of nowhere to become an overnight phenemenon with cult-like status. Whilst this example doesn’t really demonstrate its dashboarding and diverse charting capabilities, it does show how it can comfortably plot large data sets in the name of closing the gap between art and science.

10. Context: Avinash Kaushik.

Sometimes it’s not the visual representation of data that’s most important, rather the context in which it’s presented. Avinash Kaushik literally wrote the book on web analytics demonstrates context perfectly in this tweet.

David Pountney leads the Data and Analytics discipline at DTDigital and OgilvyOne in Melbourne, overseeing web analytics, SEO, data planning and customer segmentation. Follow him on Twitter: @davidpountney.


Linkness. What we’ve been reading | February 17, 2012

by Nextness published February 17, 2012 posted in Linkness


Look guys they’ve made us a tshirt! And here’s Linkness, our weekly wrap up of relevant reads.


  • Are you learning as fast as the world is changing? (Don’t you think this should be Nextness’ new tagline?) | Harvard Business Review
  • Apple Chief unveils a new product: himself | NYTimes.com
  • 100 rules for NASA project managers | Astech Engineering
  • How to have more Sheryl Sandbergs | CNN.com
  • Why companies fail: why is corporate turnaround so difficult and rare? The answer is often culture—the hardest thing of all to change. | The Atlantic
  • The lessons of Steve Jobs (not what you might expect: this post focuses on 4 entrepreneurs scaling back work to focus on family after reading Jobs’ bio) | kottke



  • If 2012 is the year of Big Data, it will likely be the year vendors and consultants start to over-promise, under-deliver, and put processes in motion that will generate insights and potential risks for years to come | Fast Company
  • GE and Big Data: connecting the dots around Super Bowl spots | Brand Channel
  • Big Data’s impact in the world | NYTimes.com


  • What’s this Pinterest website? (A great intro to Pinterest for beginners) | WSJ.com
  • Pinterest: what it’s *not* says so much. “The beauty of Pinterest is that it doesn’t manufacture a need.” | MediaShift
  • Pinterest: a shocking example of women using the internet | The Mary Sue
  • Those millions on Facebook? Some may not actually visit | NYTimes.com


  • Psychologists identify Twitter and Facebook personality types | WSJ
  • The disadvantages of an elite education | William Deresiewicz
  • Manage customer’s expectations in social channels: save the brand’s ass | AdPulp
  • The new water cooler is a TV show: millions watch shows about shows, and discuss them | WSJ.com
  • Why Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’ makes everyone cry | WSJ.com


  • Brainstorming doesn’t really work | The New Yorker
  • Why being sleepy and drunk are great for creativity | Wired.com
  • Jonah Leher on the three types of creativity and how brainstorming doesn’t work | Fast Company
  • The Tavi Gevinson Interview | WBEZ


On Nextness this week.

STW Group news.

  • STW lifts earnings in tough advertising market | The Australian
  • STW tallies solid revenue boosted by digital | B&T
  • Profits grow at STW | mUmBRELLA
  • STW reveals full-year results | AdNews
  • Profile of our Executive Creative Director (and CEO of Lawrence Creative Strategy) Neil Lawrence | The Power Index
  • This is a love story: on rebranding the Mardis Gras | Moon

Nextness Visual Diary | BOYS

by Nextness published February 13, 2012 posted in Inspiration

Last week we did a Visual Diary on GIRLS. Now it’s time for some boy-themed inspiration.

1. The Great Outdoors.

Vimeo co-founder Zach Klein’s building a cabin the woods in NY with friends. He also runs Cabin Porn.

2. Bike valet.

No more cluttered hallways: Bike Valet.

3. Curated thrifting.

Secondhand is the coolest but who has the time to sift through Ebay or Craiglist? Bureau of Trade do. Now in beta, they’ll search for the world’s most unique merchandise for men. “Vintage timepieces, clothing, and classic cars. Furniture. Literature. LPs. Even petrified lightning. (It exists.)”

4. Sunday roast.

Butterland Sunday roast | Keke

You think you cook a mean Sunday roast? Check out this guy’s oven.

5. Clear.

Writing on DTDigital’s blogGooge piques our interest:

Apart from being just another (pretty damn good-looking) list-making app, there’s something about Clear which sets it apart from every other to-do app on the market.
And that ‘something’ is its user interface (UI), or lack thereof.

6. Goldsmithing.

On his blog THE GOLDEN SMITH, craftsman David Neale collects inspiration and describes his process -- eg, his Gold Sunrise ring, above.

7. Brian W. Ferry.

brian w. ferry
Lifestyle blogging and photography is undeniably girl-dominated. But Brian W. Ferry’s analog photography manages to tackle the same subjects -- small gatherings, careful details, taking pleasure in beauty -- with a masculine flair and incredible craftsmanship. His blog is the blue hour, his portfolio stocked, and he’s just quit his job as a lawyer to pursue his passion full time. An interview.

8. Plush.

Sneaks“I reckon that some of the things that people won’t do upstairs, they’ll do downstairs.” -Jeremy Scott, creator of these shoes for Adidas.

9. Glow in the dark bowling.

glow in the dark bowlingThis doesn’t have anything specifically to do with boys but it doesn’t have anything explicitly NOT to do with boys.

10. Walk like a panther.

This is what a real man looks, and dances, like. Moreover, the song’s lyrics contain valuable lessons relating to confidence.


There’s nothing visual about this but you’ll like it. James Ross-Edwards is a copywriter. He doesn’t work for us but that doesn’t stop us from laughing ourselves sick at his blog about Sydney pubs: The Moderation Hotel.