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Category Archives: Insights

What we’ve been reading | April 18 2014

The Confidence Gap | The Atlantic
In studies, men overestimate their abilities and performance, and women underestimate both. Here’s why, and what to do about it | 10 min read

The Invention of the SlurpeePriceonomics
From 60s cool-kid culture to Obama’s belly, the Slurpee has seen it all | 10 min read

What You Think You Know About the Web Is Wrong | Time
Why we race towards new trends without fixing what was wrong with the old ones and make the same mistakes all over again | 10 min read

The Truth About Google X | Fast Company
Space elevators, teleportation, hoverboards, and driverless cars: The top-secret Google X innovation lab opens up about what it does–and how it thinks | 12 min read

Eight (No, Nine!) Problems With Big Data | The New York Times
There is no doubt that big data is a valuable tool that has already had a critical impact in certain areas. But is it really all it’s cracked up to be? | 5 min read

The Innovation of Loneliness | Shimi Cohen & Sherry Turkle
Here’s what Facebook is doing to your brain | 4 min video

Can Robot Musicians Play Songs That Entrance Human Ears? | Co.Labs
Electronic music artist Squarepusher wanted to see if a band of highly sophisticated bots could play emotionally engaging music. The result is his new EP | 5 min read

The Oldest Living Things in the World | Colossal
Artist Rachel Sussman photographs the world’s oldest living things | 2 min read

To Tell Your Story, Take a Page from Kurt Vonnegut​ | HBR
The famous author plots out three most compelling story arcs | 6 min read

Hierarchy Kills Innovation | BIA
How to neautralise the effects of hierarchy on the flow of ideas | 5 min read

How to Negotiate Like—or Against—a Pirate | Nautilus
The economics of bargaining with Somali Pirates | 6 min read

The Daily Routines of Geniuses | HBR
Seven elements can help create exceptional results | 5 min read

The Brand Agency Perth Launches Campaign for St John AmbulanceTBA
St John Ambulance Western Australia has launched a new advertising campaign with a hard-hitting message for people who aren’t first aid trained | 1 min video

Do Your ThingMarketing Magazine
Philadelphia’s new brand campaign encourages Australians to get creative at home via JWT Melbourne | 2 min read

Chrissy Amphlett: Still Telling Women to Touch ThemselvesThe Stable
It’s an obvious anthem for breast cancer awareness. It took JWT Sydney, Cancer Council and Chrissy Amphlett’s friend to make it happen | 2 min read

Change Your View | Campaign Brief
Mitsubishi asks to change your view of SUVs in the new PHEV Outlander campaign via Jamshop | 2 min read

Meyer Cookware Australia Appoints Spinach | mUmBRELLA
Melbourne creative agency Spinach has won the competitive pitch to provide full service to Meyer Cookware Australia | 2 min read

Corporate Reputation Index | Marketing Magazine
Good news for retailers but big publishers now rank lower than the ATO | 2 min read

Award Winning Creative Duo Promoted by JWT SydneySTW
JWT Sydney yesterday announced the promotion of award-winning creative team Will Edwards and Chris Badger to Associate Creative Directors | 1 min read


What we’ve been reading | April 11 2014

How we think about classBillfold
An old joke has an Oxford professor meeting an American former graduate student and asking him what he’s working on these days. ‘My thesis is on the survival of the class system in the United States.’ ‘Oh really, that’s interesting: one didn’t think there was a class system in the United States.’ ‘Nobody does. That’s how it survives. | 10 min read

Steve Blank on the next 50 years of business innovation | Inc.
The entrepreneur speaks with the class of 2014 about the future of entrepreneurship and the role new generations play in inciting change | 5 min read

How Gmail happened: the inside story of its launch 10 years agoTime
Google’s email breakthrough was almost three years in the making. But it wasn’t a given that it would reach the public at all | 20 min read

The ‘Gospel of Jesus’ Wife’ is real: what now?The Atlantic
Historians, engineers, and linguists have pored over a three-inch piece of papyrus that makes mention of Jesus’s wife. But what does this discovery actually mean? | 6 min read

Facebook’s news feed now punishes pages that ask for likesTechcrunch
Facebook cares about Pages and businesses, but it cares more about people enjoying the News Feed | 4 min read

Google Glass embraced at leading US hospitalBoston Globe
Wearable screens a part of everyday medical care | 5 min read

ShapeMake Shape Change
Promoting design discourse for the environment improvement | 6 min video

Are hackathons the future of medical innovation? Slate
Doctors can look inside you with magnetic fields and pill-mounted cameras. They use robots to perform surgeries and lasers to fix your vision. And yet, in so many other ways, the field of medicine seems stuck in the past. But is there a new way to think about progress in health care? | 4 min read

The daily routines of the world’s most famous creative people | Co.Create
‘Breakfast was coffee, which he prepared himself with great care – he determined that there should be sixty beans per cup, and he often counted them out one by one for a precise dose’ | 5 min read

Design PrinciplesFTW
44 collections, 348 design principles | 6 min read

3 steps to become a better leaderInc.
LearnVest founder Alexa von Tobel and Samuel Bacharach, co-founder of Bacharach Leadership Group, demystify the essential skills of leaders and reveal how to instil them in yourself and your employees | 8 min video

MarketingTV: DT + Red Cross + Google Glass hackathon for humanity |MarketingMag
MarketingTV reports from the DT Melbourne office during its 24-hour hackathon to develop ways to leverage wearable technology for Red Cross Australia | 8 min read

Mitsubishi asks to change your view of SUVs Campaign Brief
The world’s first plug-in hybrid SUV – the Mitsubishi PHEV Outlander – has launched into the Australian Market this week, spearheaded by a far-reaching campaign developed by Adelaide creative agency Jamshop | 4 min read

AIMIA win for Ogilvy & DT AIMIA
KFC’s Snack! In the Face campaign combines the three loves of its core target audience (teenage males) – mobile, gaming and love of KFC chicken – in a tongue in cheek branded mobile game | 2 min read

From the brains behind Rhonda and Kevin07: how to sell climate changeCrickey
Fires, heatwaves, megastorms — you know the (apocalyptic) drill on climate change. But what if the message was flipped on its head? What if climate change was reframed to be a positive story about humans learning to live in a cleaner way for the benefit of our kids and grandkids? | 5 min read

Spinach start the year with new business wins | mUmBRELLA
Spinach has announced a number of new business wins including Karcher Australia, Ledified, Gale Pacific, Slattery Auctions and City of Port Phillip’s icon South Melbourne Market | 4 min read

Do your thing Adnews
It’s Philadelphia time. The Mondelez-owned spread gets out the peaches and the muffins and covers them with lashings of cream cheese via Do Your Thing, the latest campaign from JWT Melbourne and Isobar | 30 sec video


What we’ve been reading | April 4 2014

The SourceDoug Aitken
A comprehensive public release of the artist Doug Aitken’s ongoing series of conversations with the creative individuals shaping contemporary culture | 4 min video

How Tesla is driving the new purpose economyCo.Exist
The electric car company is slowly reshaping how people think about driving. Following the same pattern can help any social entrepreneur get people excited about world-changing products. Here’s what Tesla is doing | 8 min read

Ex-Googler invents a better way to buy bras | Co.Design
San Francisco based startup Thirdlove is trying to revamp the awful bra-shopping experience by letting women size themselves int he privacy of their own homes | 5 min read

This Little-Known iOS feature will change the way we connect Wired
A new iOS app called FireChat is blowing up in the App Store. But it’s not the app itself that’s causing such a stir, it’s the underlying networking technology it taps into | 4 min read

This is what Candy Crush Saga does to your brain | Guardian
The Candy Crush game app exploits some well known weaknesses in the human brain to keep us playing | 4 min read

The rise of the API economy and consumer-led ecosystems Wired
Just a few years ago, application programming interfaces (APIs) were largely viewed as an easy, functional way to make applications work together, a digital adhesive of sorts. Today, the value of the API has evolved into much more than a simple bridging mechanism | 4 min read

Principles of good data analysisGreg Reda
Data analysis is hard. In this article, Data Analyst Greg Reda shares his top tips for making sure you don’t fall down the analytical rabbit hole | 5 min read

Human uniqueness | Nautilus
Shining a light on the spark that separates man from beast | 7 min read

15 common mistakes designers make | Creative Bloq
All designers make mistakes. Designer Craig Minchington examines the most common ones, and how to avoid them | 9 min read

D&AD names the best design projects of the year | D&AD
D&AD, organisers of the world’s most prestigious design award ceremony, reveals this year’s nominations | 5 min read

Embrace empathy – it’s good for you and your people | B&T
‘Employees will often forget what you say. They will often forget what you do. But they will never forget how you made them feel’ | 4 min read

25 Fascinating charts of negotiation styles around the world (Part 1) Business Insider
By focusing on the cultural roots of national behaviour, both in society and business, we can foresee and calculate how others will react to our plans for them, and we can make certain assumptions as to how they will approach us | 5 min read

24 Charts of leadership styles around the world (Part 2) Business Insider
Determining national characteristics is treading a minefield of inaccurate assessment and surprising exception. There is, however, such a thing as a national norm | 5 min read

Here’s why you’re not hiring the best and the brightest First Round
‘Call me crazy, but I think if we’re going to talk about hiring the best talent available, we should actually try to do that. This means letting go of the idea that people need to be physically present for any meaningful work to occur’ | 10 min read

PR agencies will not exist in a decade | mUmBRELLA
Is that shocking enough for you? Well it’s true. Too many PR agencies are outdated, the traditional media landscape is shrinking, and with increasing numbers of advertising, social media and even SEO agencies getting in on the action, we need to smarten up’ | 5 min read

April Fools 2014 roundup | mUmBRELLA
April 1 brings out the fool in many of us and this year has been no exception. Here’s a wrap-up of the April Fools gags we’ve spotted, courtesy of the folks at mUmBRELLA | 5 min read

Why syncing into social values is important | MarketingMag
Ad agencies have been banging on about it for years. Marketing 101 lecturers are catching up and market researchers shy away from it. But the truth cannot be ignored: we just don’t think as much as we think we think | 6 min read

Spinach wins Karcher, Ledified, South Melbourne Market and more | B&T
The five wins utilise Spinach’s full suite of services, with the agency looking after media planning and buying, digital, creative, strategy and more for the new accounts | 5 min read

D&AD: Yellow Pencil Noms for Droga5, GPY&R, Havas, Leo Burnett, DDB, BMF and Jamshop | CampaignBrief
Australia ranked #4 behind UK, US and France | 3 min read


What we’ve been reading | 28th March

Inside the box | Slate
People don’t actually like creativity | 8 min read

Four deep trends affecting tech today | Co.Design
Including the blurry line between creepy and acceptable, the ability of technology to amplify and disrupt, the implications of embedded data, and opting in versus switching off | 5 min read

How mature is your organisation when it comes to UX? | UXMag
Every organisation has its own goals, processes, techniques, and teams—each with special characteristics. They are all important to consider when incorporating user experience, but it’s also crucial to gauge the maturity level of an organisation | 5 min read

Whatever goes up, that’s what we do SVBTLE
Remember that beautiful new Facebook redesign we were promised a year ago? It was so successful, they scrapped it | 5 min read

The secret world of fast fashion | Pacific Standard
What used to be a stable three-month production cycle—the time it takes to design, manufacture, and distribute clothing to stores, in an extraordinary globe-spanning process—has collapsed, across much of the industry, to just two weeks | 8 min read

How design education must change | LinkedIn
If design is to live up to its promise it must create new, enduring curricula for design education that merge science and technology, art, and business | 8 min read

That’s a nice little $40M eCommerce company you have there | Pando
Call me when it scales | 6 min read

How the internet actually works | Quartz
And why it’s impossible to know what makes your Netflix slow | 7 min read

Box | Creators Project
Exploring the synthesis of real and digital space through projection-mapping on moving surfaces. The short film documents a live performance, captured entirely in camera | 5 min video

How big data shapes AT&T’s advertising creative | AdAge
In-house scientists scrutinised 370 Ads to Unearth Secrets of Success | 5 min read

The unbelievable bus shelter | PepsiCo
Another great example of using the environment to create richer ad experiences | 2 min video

How to be a design boss without losing your soul | Co.Design
Five tips for making the move from Designer to Art Director | 5 min read

Why women make better business leaders | PSFK
How feminine skills and competencies will define the leaders of the future | 5 min read

Why you should stop brainstorming | HBR
How many times have you been in a brainstorming session this week? Chances are the answer is, “More than I can count.” But no study has proven that brainstorming works well, even though it has been the go-to method for idea generation since 1953 | 4 min video

Marketers are pitching to customers even as they shop | The Australian
Obsessed with relentlessly innovating their business model, marketers and agencies need to accept a constant state of progression or face obsolescence | 5 min read

Meet RAC + JWT’s Attention Powered Car | Campaign Brief
Using a neuro-sensory headset, custom software and the first ever algorithm to calculate what a moment of inattention looks like, the car goes when the driver is paying attention, and slows when he or she isn’t | 3 min read

Spin is so last yearmUmBRELLA
You Work in PR? Not that old chestnut again. Isn’t it time to move on and say something different? | 5 min read

Men don’t have awkward silences | mUmBRELLA
KFC is targeting men in its latest campaign promoting its ‘Mighty Burger’, with the ad suggesting awkward silences aren’t awkward for men as they don’t need to talk with words | 3 min read

Share a Coke wins inaugural GRAMA award | MarketingMag
The Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) kick started Global Marketer Week by announcing the winners of the inaugural Great Australian Marketing Awards (The GRAMAs) | 1 min read

Agency competition has become a ‘knife fight in a telephone box‘ | mUmBRELLA
Chris Savage, CEO of STW has told a conference of PR professionals that increasingly tense competition is one of the biggest issues facing the advertising industry | 4 min read

Zip it Up! | Lifehacker
People’s Choice Credit Union has launched a new gaming app in which player’s attempt to catch falling money. The hook is that the week’s best scores are converted into real cash and transferred into the player’s bank accounts. So what’s the catch? | 2 min read

Veteran journalist Emma Connors joins Ogilvy PR | Holmes
Connors joins Ogilvy PR as Senior Media Strategist after 17 years with the Australian Financial Review, where she wrote for the country’s only national business daily and sister publications BOSS and AFR Magazine | 2 min read


How wrestling prepared me for agency life

by Nextness published March 20, 2014 posted in Insights Management

Today’s guest post is by Adam Noakes at Switched on Media.

First up I need to say that I’ve never wrestled professionally – although many an old mattress was laid on the garden floor, and used as a WrestleMania ring mat.

A good few years before football, music, video games and movies would enamor a teenaged me – my interest and passion was for the entertainment sport of Wrestling. In fact, I watched my first WCW Main Event aged 7.

It’s only when you look back on experiences, to use a phrase from Steve Jobs, that you can really connect the dots.

I have come to realise that the lessons I learnt from the men and women of the WCW and WWF wrestling companies prepared me for agency life and the role of a leader.

You have to be both the hero and the villain

The very best wrestlers, and those not so good, would flip-flop between hero and villain status. This well-known trick to keep characters and storylines fresh is one that should resonate with leaders within marketing agencies. Even the greatest of wrestling legends have to play the bad guy: Hulk Hogan famously went ‘bad’ during his WCW days to become Hollywood Hulk Hogan, as part of the N.W.O (New World Order) group.

Embracing the fact that you can’t be popular all the time is a key truth of agency life. Sometimes you’ll have to make decisions, communicate change, or implement processes that will turn you from hero to villain in an instant. Remembering you will hear the cheer of the gathering crowd once again will keep you sane during these times.

A little showmanship goes a long way

The best wrestlers are true entertainers, some with elaborate face paint and pyrotechnics as part of their show; others able to turn a simple elbow drop into a dance and spectacle worthy of the Royal Dance Company.

In agency life, colleagues look for inspiration and motivation the same way as a wrestler trying to get up from a missed top-rope body splash. Clients crave theatre and entertainment in pitches, much like the crowd counting along with the wrestler laying a 10-punch combo on a forlorn opponent. Think about your agency – I bet there are plenty of examples of showmanship on display. And I bet it would be a dull place without it.

You can’t be the champion forever

Ric Flair is a 24 time champion, spanning various divisions and companies. His shortest title reign was a matter of hours. Whilst that example is extreme, it sets a valuable lesson in your expectation of success working in agencies.

Clients, much like title belts, come and go. You might have won your last title fight as the incumbent agency but what if the new Marketing Director is a fan of your title rival? For no good reason you can be stripped of the gold around your waste before the next main event.

Internally, you can’t hold the employee of the month title forever. Your colleagues all train as hard as you, so it’s only right they get their hands on the prize too.

One day you win a pitch and feel like a champ. The next day your finance director rejects a budget increase that you’ve been wrangling for months. You can’t be the champion forever.

Changing character is necessary

Mick Foley is a veteran wrestler who has played many characters over his 30-year career. To stay relevant and fresh, Mick has invented novel situations and storylines for his character over the years.

Watching Foley reinvent himself so frequently was a little baffling to me as a teenager. Looking back now I see that the chameleon act I saw in the wrestling world is replicated in my working life now.

Agencies change proposition to ride current trends and expectations – a few years ago it was all about Social Media, in recent years it has been Big Data.

People also change and pivot with the times: graphic designers turned into UX experts, PR execs transformed into social media specialists and account service suits became digital strategists.

Like wrestling, trying on a different mask helps to ensure you remain fresh, relevant and importantly: stay ahead of the roaring crowd’s expectations.

Overall, entertainment is key

If I had to choose one key thing I learnt from watching wrestling as a kid that has carried over to my professional life, it’s this: entertainment is key.

People pay hundreds of dollars to be cramped in with thousands of other wrestling fans, in awe of the showmanship, pyrotechnics, grand entrances and highflying top rope moves.

Like wrestling, our clients expect a certain level of entertainment from the agency/client relationship. Chances are, the monthly meeting with ‘the agency’ is one of the best things in the diary that week. Turning up with good results is one thing but making the meeting fun; making the client feel special and leaving them with a sense of awe should be the ultimate aim from all meetings. This doesn’t always happen. Again, just like wrestling – a few bad shows and the people will stop paying to see you. It’s really as simple as that.

My favourite wrestler growing up was a guy called Steve Borden, better known as Sting. 6ft 2inches tall, 250lb – his wrestling debut was the year of my birth. He has held a total of 21 titles over the years. He has re-invented himself several times, playing the hero and villain when required and he always entertained the crowd; entrances from the arena rafters, to taking on entire groups single handedly.

I guess if he wasn’t wrestling, he could very well be leading a marketing agency.


What we’ve been reading | 14th March

Silicon Valley’s youth problem NYTimes
In start-up land, the young barely talk to the old (and vice versa). That makes for a lot of cool apps. But great technology? Not so much | 12 min read

The truth about speed reading Lifehacker
Last week, we showed you Spritz – a new app that promises to help you read novels in minutes. Here’s why it might not work | 8 min read

How to build a digital strategy ready for artificial intelligence | BRW
Digital strategy is still siloed away under ‘marketing’ by most Australian corporates. But only an integrated approach can properly exploit advances like social media monitoring by artificial intelligence | 5 min read

Harvard is looking for a ‘Wikipedian in Residence’ | The Atlantic
The school’s Houghton Library is seeking someone to help make its collections as accessible as possible | 8 min read

My brain has no space for your user interface Josh Timonen
‘I imagine this ‘UI storage’ area of my brain is like the box in my closet containing a nest of computer and cables. It retains most of this UI knowledge—and I can get at it—but I have to detangle it from fifty other UI assumptions I’ve gathered over the years’ | 6 min read

How this startup turned financial advice into an algorithm and made $200M | QZ
Imagine if poring over your finances were as easy as using your favourite app, or smartphone—or any of today’s crisply designed technologies that make life easier, smarter and more efficient | 5 min read

Emotions are viral | QZ
The mood of your Facebook updates is directly influenced by the moods of those in your newsfeed | 5 min read

Japan just realised that it’s now the centre of the bitcoin universe | QZ
Japan has become perhaps the world’s most important locale for bitcoin, the digital currency that was supposed to liberate its users from the tyranny of geography—and its government is playing catch-up | 8 min read

How actors create emotions: A problematic psychology | The Atlantic
Fully inhabiting the mind, mannerisms, and reality of a fictional character can be as alienating as it is rewarding | 8 min read

100 Years of Design | Second Story
Second Story has collaborated with AIGA to create a centennial microsite that celebrates the profound impact design has had on our society over the last century | 10 min experience

Why songs have choruses | The Atlantic
The secret lies in how your brain processes sound: People love repetition | 6 min read

There are 16 leadership skillsBRW
But you only need two or three | 8 min read

Square-shaped is the new T-shaped | Medium
What’s better than knowing a little about a lot and a lot about a little? Knowing a lot about a lot |10 min read

70% of time could be used better | First Round
How the best CEOs get the most out of every day | 10 min read

Officeworks selects DesignworksB&T
STW’s strategic design agency Designworks has been appointed to Officeworks following a competitive pitch | 3min read

AFR journalist Emma Connors joins Ogilvy PR | mUmBRELLA
Ogilvy PR has appointed Australian Financial Review journalist Emma Connors as the Senior Media Strategist for the company’s PR Health and Corporate division. | 10 min read

Designworks buys New Zealand’s The Church | B&T
The Church team will move into the Designworks Wellington campus on March 10, and have already begun collaborating on a number of joint projects and new pitches | 3 min read


What we’ve been reading | Friday 14th February

Crowd funding explained | 3 minutesCheap words | New Yorker

Amazon is good for customers. But is it good for books? | 3 min read

Giant fungus towers will be grown in New York City this summer | New Statesman

Not a response to NYC’s overheated property market, but one possible sustainable construction method for the future | 2 min read

In 2043… | SVBTLE

“I work at an accelerator. My boss asked me to predict 2043.” | 5 min read

Technology and wealth inequality | Altman

Technology makes wealth inequality worse by giving people leverage and compounding differences in ability and amount of work | 10 min read

Facebook fraud | Veritasium

A must watch for anyone who’s ever bought Facebook ads | 9 min watch

The  hacker’s guide to getting press | Austen Allred

Learn it. Try it. | 10 min read

The science of humour | New Republic

It takes 36 hours after a tragedy for jokes about it to become funny | 5 min read

Become 5% better Ad Strategist | Medium

Overcoming everyday errors of creative strategy | 5 min read

Flappy Bird is proof that no one knows what the audience wants | Polygon

How did a game with no marketing, no story, no viral hooks, no levels, no candy, no visual sophistication, no cross promotion and no achievements capture the hearts and fingers of millions of gamers? | 5 min read

Why writers are the worst procrastinators | The Atlantic

The psychological origins of waiting (… and waiting, and waiting) to work | 10 min read

Lessons for storytellers | Contagious

TMW’s senior planner Roz Hase discusses redefining the craft of storytelling today | 5 min read

Twilight of the brands | New Yorker

It’s a truism of business-book thinking that a company’s brand is its “most important asset,” more valuable than technology or patents or manufacturing prowess. But brands have never been more fragile | 8 min read

It’s official: Pepsi has just about had it with soda | QZ

For struggling soda companies like PepsiCo, munchies, not fizzies, are the business of the future | 5 min read

Long live the brand | HBR

Brands aren’t dead, but traditional branding tools are dying | 3 min read

From the archives: Parkinson’s Law of Triviality | The Guardian

Why organisations give disproportionate weight to trivial issues | 3 min read

The art of crafting a 15-word strategy statement | HBR

All great business strategies can be summarised in a short headline. Easy to understand and communicate, they convey clarity internally and externally to the customer | 5 min read

Paul Everson moves to JWT Sydney as client services director | Mumbrella

Adding to the agency’s strategic and creative firepower, Everson’s appointment adds another string-to-the-bow of the Sydney leadership team | 2 min read

Boom time for political operatives as limping lefties make way for rampaging right | AdNews

The Abbott government has its sights set on everything from media ownership rules to competition policy. For the peddlers of political influence, it’s snatch and grab time | 1 min read

Melbourne Food & Wine Festival takes us on a sensory journey via Ogilvy Melbourne

“Through the use of artistic and sophisticated imagery, along with cutting edge technology and promotions, (the campaign) hopes to also capture the attention of a whole new audience” | 30 sec watch

Personalised print guides for showing friends around new cities | Springwise

Jauntful is a service that enables friends to create their own personalised, printed and digital travel guides for guests visiting their town | 2 min read

Renault’s off-road concept car launches a drone out of its roof | Wired

The tiny drone can be controlled through either a tablet on the dash or by setting GPS waypoints, alerting the driver of obstacles in the road, beaming pictures back to the car.