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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

A Recipe for Success? Why not try Restaurant Australia…

With people yearning for all things foodie and gastronomic, culinary desire is simmering and exuberance for food and wine has been sprinkled across the globe, resulting in chefs and winemaker’s being positioned as modern day rock stars.

Yes ladies and gentleman, it is official, our world has gone ‘ga-ga’ in love with food.  With buzzwords such as “provenance” “degustation” and “hand crafted” fluttering amongst everyday vocab, people are striving for a deeper connection and understanding with what they’re eating and drinking.

However this healthy obsession with food shows, celebrity chefs, produce and wine hasn’t gone unnoticed with government bodies, such as Tourism Australia are even looking to take a bite via their recent marketing initiatives.

In today’s competitive and marketing savvy world, branding is accepted as a fundamental strategy for competitive advantage and success. With that notion, countries, like companies, are all continuously searching for that key insight and big idea that will propel their country-brand into the hearts and minds of overseas consumers by speaking a language that resonates with their own values, attitudes and beliefs.

And really, what better universal language is there than food?

Tourism Australia’s recent Restaurant Australia campaign aims to create positive and unique associations of the Australian food and wine industry within the overseas market. Through a visually stunning integrated marketing campaign, it aims to appeal to overseas consumers by communicating how Australia’s fine array of produce can be enjoyed in one of the most stunning locations in the world.

A Print Advert for the Restaurant Australia Campaign (Source:

The campaign was derived via the insight that only 26 per cent of people who have never travelled to Australia, associated our country to have good food and wine offerings. However for those travellers who have visited, Australia was ranked second across the 15 major markets for its food and wine experiences (60%) behind France and ahead of Italy (third).

Having worked within the UK restaurant and events industry for almost a decade, I can be the first to vouch that perceptions of Australia’s restaurants abroad is not what it is in reality. It is true, compared to the culturally-luxurious lands of France and Italy, the Australian restaurant industry could be deemed as a free-spirited teenager due to not having a comparable lengthy heritage of food and wine.

However perceptions such as “throw another shrimp on the barbie”, meat pies and rissoles still consume how the Australian food scene is positioned in the mind of the overseas customer. So much so the true depth of the quality and sophistication of Australia’s modern food and wine culture has been somewhat bruised.

The clever aspect of the Tourism Australia campaign is that over and above showcasing “Australian produce”, the creative executions also focus on the rich ethnic diversity and positive approach of Australian people as well as our superb climate. A true unique selling point, that draws the overseas customer “outside” to enjoy our finest flavours with a backdrop of spectacular natural landscape. 

Tourism Australia’s recognised that consumers have entered an era where one’s choice of restaurant or holiday is equally reflective of their ‘personal brand’ as the pair of shoes they don or what they do for a living. A consumer’s self-expression is no longer confined by specific categories such as “fashion”, “travel” and “food”, but rather a holistic “lifestyle” bubble, where the ‘fashion’ brand one wears, the ‘restaurant’ brand of where one eats or the ‘country’ brand of where one travels to – are all equally correlated and intertwined.

So like any energetic, ambitious teenager, the Australian food scene has started to get itchy feet and is on the verge of being thrust into a whole new playing field.  With Australian chefs such as Luke Mangan, Neil Perry and Peter Gilmore setting the standards of our cuisine internationally and the global popularity of shows such as Masterchef Australia; it is clear that the perception of our country brand is shifting and that Restaurant Australia is no longer being positioned as an aspiration but as truly phenomenal destination.

Shrimps won’t stop grilling on the barbie, but the fresh flavour, innovation and world-class beauty of Australia is now being translated into its cuisine. Bravo Tourism Australia for leading the view, I’ll raise a glass to that. Now, I don’t know about you, but after all that chat - let’s go eat.

For more information about the Restaurant Australia campaign, visit

Natasha Menon
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Friday, 21 November 2014

Wandering Eyes

As marketers, our greatest goal will always be to find out why consumers do what they do; be it to purchase a certain item, chose to support a certain brand or not do either at all. Sure, every business keeps track of their sales, products and loyalty members, etc. But, analysing that data only gives us basic trends which simply aren’t enough to tell us what makes you tick. That’s why we now have ‘neuromarketing’ or ‘consumer neuroscience.’ With the perfect combination of neuroscience, marketing, advertising and psychology, marketers and scientists are getting closer to understanding why we are attracted to the things we buy and what it takes for us to make them even more attractive moving forward. You can find a good example in the video below by Seren (London) featuring both Apple and Samsung:

Specifically, neuroscience can help us understand the decision making pathways in the brain in addition to the parts of the brain that register pleasure (an indication of attractiveness). Once scientists can trace the keys to activating certain parts of the brain, typically based on eye movement data made across ads or other materials, marketers can implement the knowledge into new ads to make them the most pleasing and engaging they possibly can be. If you notice in the picture below, your eyes will tend to scan the website page for key information first, such as titles, pictures and copyright information. They will also tend to come back to those critical points in order to make sense of the information over all. This is interesting because it helps website designers, for example, to determine the best layout that makes the scanning process the easiest on your eyes and the most engaging.


One key attribute of combining neuroscience with marketing is that when it comes to advertising, you’re ultimately trying to moderate someone’s behaviour without telling them they have to do something. See, marketers are a little bit more clever than that; they want you to ‘want to do’ the activity they have to share. As we similarly learned throughout our Marketing Communications course with  industry professional, Kate Charlton, you have to understand your target audience so well that you can predict their behaviour. And lucky for us, ‘neuromarketing’ allows for a better understanding of the human brain and behaviour - which then makes me extremely grateful for my psychology and neuroscience background.

Christine Drpich
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Estée Lauder signs ‘Instagirl’ Kendall Jenner as New Face

 (Source: Business Wire)

In what turned out to be a surprise move in the beauty industry, Kendall Jenner announced over the weekend (on her social media accounts no less) that she was to be the new global face of Estée Lauder cosmetics. Now for those of you that have not heard of Jenner, you must at least have heard of her half-sister, pop culture phenomenon, Kim Kardashian. Jenner, although still involved in the family’s long running reality TV show, has slowly been building a reputation of her own, having walked for some of the fashion world’s most prestigious brands during past fashion weeks, and by booking campaigns and editorials for the likes of American Vogue and Givenchy.

So although Jenner signing a beauty contract is no surprise, the real head turner was that Estée Lauder booked her - a brand that has previously shown preference for relatively older spokespersons such as Elizabeth Hurley and Gwyneth Paltrow. In what therefore seems as a clear attempt to appeal to the new wave of millennial consumers, booking Jenner may in fact be a smart move for the global cosmetics brand. With a reported 30 million social media following, Jenner has the type of pulling power that hardly any other models in the industry would have (especially at the age of 19). It’s a following that the cosmetics brand clearly has their eyes on, as they note that the young model has the potential to broaden their current audience, and re-position the brand in a much younger light; “She is the ultimate instagirl, and we are excited to leverage her image, voice, energy and extraordinary social media power to introduce Estée Lauder to millions of young women around the world.”

As reported by Estée Lauder, Jenner will not only appear in the traditional TV, digital and print campaigns for the brand, but also be involved in social media content creation. This element of the strategy really intrigued me, but makes incredible sense, as it would be futile for Jenner to just be the face of the brand, but have no further involvement. Her role as a content creator gives the opportunity for the brand to deepen their connection with a younger market that has grown up with social media, and in turn, for Kendall it provides further credibility in an industry that perhaps did judge the book by its cover (or kover, for those Kardashian fans out there), and doubted her appeal as anything other than a reality TV star.

It’s without doubt an interesting brand collaboration, and hopefully one that proves successful for all parties involved. For more information about this announcement, visit

Salil Kumar
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Friday, 14 November 2014

Melbourne Cup

As the day that stops all of Australia for one hour came and went, it’s marketing efforts still linger. Not only do they linger, they probably hang over your head as a sunk cost unless you put your money on Protectionist. One of the stand out marketing ploys of the event was sponsored by TAB - and it seems to have been the safest way to bet simply by mounting your hours for 24 hours! #ChafeCup.


As seen above, 22 passersby from Martin Place (Sydney) got the opportunity to bet TAB’s money instead of their own, and in exchange had to sit on their horse, which was really some hay, without getting off until the big race at 3pm the next day. Basically, TAB put a $2,500.00 bet on every horse that didn’t scratch, and the person who sat on the right horse would walk away with about a minimum of $20,000.00. Of course, you were allowed to eat and sleep on your horse, as long as you didn’t touch the ground. Bathroom breaks were allowed, as well as stretches every hour. But it all came down to one question - How badly do you want the money?

The event was run in conjunction with Elite Sports Promotions, which invited me to have the pleasure of checking-in on how the contestants were holding-out at around 10:00pm Monday night before the big day. Ultimately, you couldn’t have gone wrong here. You didn’t have to bet any of your own money, and how hard was it really to not touch the ground and therefore guard your horse from someone else taking your place.


In the end, Corey Boyd won. Instead of going to work that morning, he most likely cleared his schedule and told his boss of his intended absence. And, along with everyone watching the big screen set up that day in Martin Place, was probably screaming his head off as Protectionist made his moves in the final seconds of the race.

What a way to stop the country for one whole hour. And, if you did lose some money, don’t worry, I’m sure the #ChafeCup will be back next year.

Christine Drpich
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

YouTube Wants You to Hit Play on Possibility

I’ve spoken about YouTube on this blog in the past, but from the perspective of the people creating content, those managing it, as well as the brands that are involved in leveraging the reach and likability of talent on this platform. Having already discussed all these elements, I thought it was time to actually look at the YouTube brand itself, and discuss where the world’s second largest search engine seems to be heading.

(Source: Tumblr)

What really got me thinking about the future of YouTube was the almost extravagant advertising campaign that has spanned the streets of Sydney and Melbourne in the past few weeks. The campaign, also known as ‘Hit Play on Possibility’, features Australian Actor, Singer and YouTube star Troye Sivan (as seen above), as well as American Fashion and Beauty Guru, Bethany Mota. As someone who has watched both Troye and Bethany on a tiny screen on my laptop, it was a real shock to see their faces printed all over public transport in Sydney, on big billboards at Central Station, as well as on the banner ads of my Internet Browser.

Considering that this is possibly one of the most ‘mainstream’ advertising efforts by YouTube to date, I couldn’t help but wonder what prompted the campaign, and why it had hit the streets of Australia in such a big way. This campaign also shortly followed a similar one in the UK, where YouTube had commissioned TV adverts for British YouTube talent Zoella (Zoe Sugg), the Slo Mo Guys and Vice News. However, after reading an article about Facebook’s upcoming video strategy, it suddenly dawned on me as to why YouTube may have been giving its best talent a promotional push.  

As most Facebook users would have observed by now, the video function on the social media site has been slowly evolving; videos automatically play as you scroll past, and you can also track views on videos uploaded to the site. These advancements naturally pose a threat to YouTube in that there is growing opportunity for users to create content exclusively on Facebook, as opposed to YouTube. However, where YouTube remains ahead in the game, is in its extensive monetisation program, through which content creators can generate advertising revenue with each unique video view (something Facebook has yet to develop).

So in the context of YouTube’s recent advertising efforts in Australia and abroad, it makes great sense that the social media platform is putting a greater focus on fostering and promoting it’s own talent. In doing so, not only can they ensure that people like Troye and Bethany stay loyal to YouTube, but it also serves the purpose of positioning the video-sharing platform as the founder of this talent, and also the only place you can go and watch them.

As excited as I am about this campaign, I hope really hope that it isn’t a one off, and that YouTube continue to support the people that have made it a genuinely entertaining place to be. For more insight into the campaign, see Troye Sivan’s promotional video for Google Australia below:

Salil Kumar
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Friday, 7 November 2014


Can we tell what’s real or fake anymore? And even if we were to call something on the internet fake, somebody still paid for it, so it’s still very real. This is because what may look like news can actually be an advertisement! As HBO talk show host John Oliver puts it, “ads are baked into content like chocolate chips into a cookie, except, it’s actually more like raisins into a cookie because no one wants them there!” This is a rising form of advertisement known as “native advertising,” and John Oliver goes into great depth on the subject in his YouTube video below. It may be a bit lengthy, but it is a ‘must see’ in order to combat and understand some of today’s innovative marketing trends.

This video really sums up the growing confusion between credible editorials and typical, often silently ruthless, advertisements. It’s funny how the trend is changing; from making the viewer knowingly do less to making the viewer unknowingly do more - considering they would actually have to seek out the link/article content, read the entire article, and only later realise that they may have just been reading about a product or service. This is a point John Oliver made in the video, whereby viewers cannot actually tell the difference; that’s how integrated the marketing is getting. These advertorials are also found in internationally recognised news sources, such as the New York Times. But the real question is, do marketers for the companies that pay for and publish advertorials, really understand their viewers, or are they just desperately trying for further brand awareness? Alternatively, could it be a good thing that big businesses are now building connections between their brand name and actual news - like the link created between a new TV show about female inmates in America and real statistics about the current situation (as mentioned in the New York Times article John Oliver highlighted in the video above)?


Unfortunately, there are even websites that teach you how to copy real ones and turn them into a following over a real paying company and their official website.

The only upside I can see to this practice is that at least companies know exactly where their advertisements are getting placed on the internet; a subject that a group of us recently tackled in our Ethics and Regulatory Environment course during a presentation about advertising on pirated websites within Australia. Although there unfortunately isn’t enough legislation yet in place to protect company’s ads and reputation if found on illegal websites, they will now have to pay even more to advertise with this method. Either way, companies will be forced to come up with ways to reach new and larger groups of people for less.   

So, the next time you catch yourself  clicking on those popular shared links on Facebook, or searching for news updates that you don’t have to pay for or subscribe to, think again - you have probably found yourself on an advertorial website. Good luck trying to forget about it!

Christine Drpich
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Innovation is key to L’Oréal’s new strategy

L’Oréal UK Marketing Division (Source: L’Oréal UK Website)

In most industries today, getting messages through to the target market is becoming increasingly difficult with the number of distribution and communication channels continuing to grow. The challenge this poses for brands is that they need to become more innovative with their marketing strategies (as well as the actual product itself) in order to remain relevant within the market, and for their brand to continue to resonate with the consumer.

In a recent interview with Marketing Week, Michel Brousset, current L’Oréal UK managing director, spoke about the importance of innovation from a branding perspective, as well as what it takes to engage the modern consumer; ‘The world around us is changing dramatically. When I started in marketing in the US, product features and benefits were a big part of why consumers buy a product. Today, consumers are interested in the values of the brand.’

Although typically brand values encapsulate a range of social, ethical and corporate issues, what Michel Brousset seems to suggest is that innovation should also play a big role, whereby the brand should also be known for developing innovative product offerings that the consumer continues to need and want. A great example of a brand that has successfully implemented such a strategy is Gillette, who has continued to innovate their products by integrating it with technologies that their customers never knew they needed, but are more than willing to buy because this innovation re-enforces that ‘Gillette is [still] the best a man can get’.

Admittedly it is quite easy for brands to get carried with innovation and chase after ‘world first’ technologies, but perhaps where their focus needs to lie, is in ensuring that these technologies actually cater to the needs of the consumer. This is no new concept in itself, but still a great reminder that marketing is a consumer focused activity, and so as marketers, it is our responsibility to engage the consumer, and continue doing so from both a product and branding level.

Salil Kumar
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Friday, 31 October 2014

Ho Ho Ho

The Holiday’s are right around the corner with Haloween truly marking the start of the season. Although Australia doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving in between like the U.S., the build up to Christmas and Hanukkah is still quite similar. Enter Westfield.

This is where you need a truly creative team to reconceptualise the idea of buying and giving gifts. Westfield is not only a property developer, but also an avid nurturer of its retailers and their customers. And this is why their new holiday campaign involves working with two internationally known YouTube stars, Sophie Grace and Rosie. Although they have been guests on the Ellen Degeneres show, they are now advocating for a bigger cause: making gift giving about the person, not about the items. A clip of their campaign can be seen below.

While Westfield has created a new way to look at shopping during this season, they have also backed it with many new ways to search for and locate the perfect gift. This is also in conjunction with their nation-wide implementation of the searchable mall technology. So, not only can you more easily navigate Westfield centres, search for certain items, and purchase them seamlessly, even the holiday shopping rush will be made less of a hassle with the help of Sophia Grace and Rosie who can help you pick the gifts. They will even be making guests appearances at 3 locations around Australia to run interactive parts of the campaign.


As you can see above, the dynamic duo are already featured on the company’s website, soon to be followed by the Happy Giving Gift Finding Tool you can use to search you centre’s inventory. And, when you are done purchasing your Christmas gifts, and wondering why it was so easy, you’ll know it was because of the Westfield ultimate shopping experience and the help of Sophia Grace and Rosie who helped you though buying gifts for the people you love.

Christine Drpich
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Brandy Melville taps into the Instagram Generation

Ever since completing our Innovative Marketing Strategies unit, I’ve been on the look out for brands that have truly embraced a ‘never done before’ marketing strategy. It was only until I was trailing through my ‘cool strategies’ bookmark folder (truly innovative name, I know), that I stumbled back upon an article I had read a few weeks back. The article profiled Californian womenswear brand, Brandy Melville, and mentioned some of the strategies that the brand had adopted to engage with its predominantly teenage girl target market.

The Brandy Melville Girls (Source: Brandy Melville Spring 2012 Lookbook)

Although the brand’s strategy is quite multi-layered, what stood out most was the fact that they actually employ a group of teenage girls who not only work in the retail end of their Santa Monica store, but make up the product research team, and also act as the faces of the Californian brand. These are girls that are tastemakers in their own rights, with large Instagram followings, and a pulse for knowing what other girls their age want to wear. It therefore makes great sense for the brand to actively leverage these insights so that they are consistently developing products that resonate with the Brandy Melville girl; “let's say there's a cut of a T-shirt that's doing really well, they'll ask our opinion on it. Do we like it? Should we make more? If so, what colours? Should we do long-sleeve? Short-sleeve? Cropped? Not cropped? Would this T-shirt be better in this material? There's all kinds of things that we get asked, and we give our honest opinion.”

The ingenuity of this strategy is that they have effectively humanised the brand and made it both tangible and accessible. Fans of this brand can engage with the ‘Brandy girls’ on the brand’s Instagram (as well as the personal accounts of each girl), and then further engage with them in store. However the obvious danger of this strategy is in achieving consistency in the brand experience when dealing with the ‘Brandy girls’, as well as the risks associated with leaving your brand in the hands of a group of teenagers.

Having said this, the overall idea has merit, and the key takeaway is that you don’t have to go far to search for valuable insights; the people who deal directly with customers often have a good idea of what they want, and so it’s just a matter of being open to collaboration, and fostering the right culture within an organisation in order to leverage what your employees truly have to offer.

Salil Kumar
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Friday, 24 October 2014

McDonald’s Australia goes Gourmet

Personalisation seems to be the focus of McDonald’s Australia’s strategy this year, as is made clear by their latest offering of the ‘Create Your Taste’ gourmet burger menu. Not long ago we spoke about a similar campaign run by the fast food chain (i.e. the ‘McMate’ burger), in which they encouraged the Australian public to design a new burger option for their national menu, and then vote for the most popular design on the company’s Facebook page. As perhaps a natural extension to this campaign, McDonald’s is now giving the opportunity for customers to actually create their own burgers in-store, and then have them personally delivered to their table.

Table service at McDonald’s Castle Hill (Source:

The new menu is currently being trialled at a McDonalds restaurant in Castle Hill (Western Sydney), and involves customers creating their own burger at digital kiosks installed at the store. With around 19 ingredient options, there is ample opportunity for customisation, and once customers have finalised their order, their burger is then loaded on wooden boards, and delivered by McDonald’s wait staff.

As mentioned by McDonald’s Australia CEO Andrew Gregory, the new menu seems to be a response to the changing landscape of the fast food market in Australia, with seemingly ‘gourmet’ offerings by competitors Lord of the Fries, and Grill’d gaining popularity; ‘McDonald’s is innovating and changing again to meet the needs of our customers. What we’re really doing here is simply what our customers have asked us to do.’

Although the ‘Create Your Taste’ menu is yet to roll out across other stores in Australia, it is clear that the company is looking to re-position itself as more than just a ‘fast food’ provider. It’ll therefore be interesting to see how this strategy plays out in the next few months, and whether the ‘Create Your Taste’ menu offering, in addition to the delivery service it has also been trialling, resonates with the existing McDonalds customers, and assists the brand in elevating the McDonald’s experience in a way that has never been done before.

Salil Kumar
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Business and Social Responsibility

Many people complain about the terrible things we’re doing to our world. But one problem that we just can’t seem to help is the fact that there are more and more people in the world population every year. Realistically, this has the largest impact on any given nation’s economy. More people means the need to create more jobs; more jobs means the need to further spread money and resources, both natural and man-made; and most of all, it means the need to monitor the changes over time. Below is a video time lapse of different parts of our world and the effects humans have had on it.

Now, I bet you’re wondering how people, global climate changes, and jobs, all relate. Well it comes down to the social responsibility every individual and business should be obligated to uphold. Social responsibility is a way to ensure mutualistic symbiotic relationships. These type of relationships are the scientific way to describe situations and circumstances where everyone involved can benefit. Making sure that more good than harm occurs throughout all of our business transactions is a tricky subject however.

For example, Nokia is rated as one of the world’s most socially responsible companies by Maclean’s, a Canadian current events magazine. This rating is because of Nokia’s efforts to eliminate harmful chemicals to the environment from their products, such as Bromine and Chlorine, as well as divert any waste they do incur away from landfills. Therefore, their transactions are beneficial to the environment and provide customers with products that are already built with sustainable technology. Featured below is a graphic from one of Nokia’s business reports on the subject.


Nokia is also a firm which students in our program have become very familiar with through our Innovative Marketing Strategies course by researching their new relationship with Microsoft and potential ways to build innovative strategies. Hopefully there will be ways for the two companies to maintain these sustainable efforts.

It is important when making business decisions to think of the larger impact certain products will have on both the environment and the consumers which we are targeting, another aspect of our course studies covered throughout Research and Decision Making, as well as Ethics and the Regulatory Environment. By utilizing these skills, we can practice more conscientious marketing tactics and execute more sustainable business plans.

Christine Drpich
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Friday, 17 October 2014

Keeping Your Enemies Closer

Apparently, the airlines in Australia are avoiding confrontation; with both small regional and international markets, they sort of have to if they want to survive. What’s even more surprising than the major Qantas cuts from earlier this year, is that Qantas has finally admitted that it can’t exactly continue to keep claiming its prestige over Virgin Australia or blow their sales away, according to This realisation may save them in the end, however, many customers simply look for good service and convenience and don’t want to see furious marketing and advertising hostility and devious price wars - although no one minds snapping up a hot deal here and there!

The image below displays Australia’s major airport hub cities. Note: There aren't many! The second image displays America’s major airport cities. Note: There are significantly more. The pure fact that there are more cities to service in the USA is a key indicator of competitive pricing, whereas in Australia, it costs a lot more to service the fewer cities, let alone, the fact that there are fewer competitors in Australia, fewer flights per day, fewer people to potentially accommodate, flying time constraints over some cities/airspaces, and other regulations which inhibit the market from growing more significantly.

Not only do airlines in the Australian market already run into domestic problems, they also face the hardest feat of getting people to Australia in the first place, as it poses international carriers some of the longest flying legs in the world. Some people even say Australia is on the way to nowhere else.

(Image 1:

(Image 2:

All of this being said, it just goes to show these big and indestructible businesses exactly how important their internal and external marketing is. Completing an environmental scan in order to find out where their business competes is crucial in understanding the types of obstacles they will face in such a demanding market. Additionally, they must then understand what they can truly offer to combe any obstacles, such as by assessing assets and competencies. In this case, Qantas has chosen to update some of their fleet; their main asset in the industry. This may be costing them quantities of seats to purchase smaller planes or those configured with less seats, as opposed to Virgin, Tiger, and Jetstar, who are all said to be gaining quantities of seats through newer aircraft. And lastly, these airlines need to begin to revise their market strategies and be strategic in their partnerships; or at least who they are going to mess with or not.

These three steps make up the foundations for a long-term and innovative marketing strategy, something we’ve recently experienced in our Innovative Marketing Strategy course in our Master of Marketing program. So, the next time you check or and wonder why Virgin and Qantas are no longer fighting over fares and seat classes because their prices seem to be the same, just think of the long term benefit they are trying to create instead. Maybe one day the regional services within Australia will pick up and then they can focus on those new markets and new outreach programs.

Christine Drpich
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

The Apple Watch is En Vogue

The hype surrounding the launch of a new Apple product is usually unprecedented, but for the first time in a long time there has been a much slower build-up towards the launch of one of its products. Although the technology giant unveiled the ‘Apple Watch’ back in September, it won’t actually be made available for purchase until early next year, and since the initial announcement, only small details surrounding the Apple Watch have been released.

So when it was revealed last week that the Apple Watch was about to make its sartorial debut in the November issue of Vogue China, it suddenly made sense as to why Apple had been quite mum about its new product offering until now.

The Apple Watch on the cover of Vogue China (Source: BoF)

Given that the market for wearable technologies has been heating up for some time now, with offerings by Samsung and health focused brands such as Jawbone already available to the public, for Apple to successfully enter the market at this stage of the game it would need a product that not only outshines the competition, but re-defines the product category (like it did with the iPhone back in 2007). The Apple Watch delivers on this challenge with features that many other smart watches already offer, but additional capabilities like Apple Pay, and health tracking technology, that make other products in this category quite redundant. So although Apple has clearly come up with a superior product offering, it’s the way it has decided to position the Apple Watch as a premium fashion accessory that I find most interesting from a strategic perspective.

The first inkling of the fact that Apple was targeting the fashion industry was it’s decision to launch a showcase (much like any other fashion house would) in the middle of New York and Paris fashion weeks; inviting the fashion press and key figureheads of the industry (think Anna Wintour, Karl Lagerfeld) to experience the Apple Watch at their headquarters in California, and then later at the iconic luxury fashion boutique, Colette, in Paris. The second giveaway was the watch’s debut in Vogue China, in which it has its own fashion spread featuring Chinese supermodel Liu Wen, and was shot by noted fashion photographer David Sims.

Chinese Supermodel Liu Wen modelling the Apple Watch  (Source: BoF)

Despite the obvious reasons for debuting the watch in the Chinese market (a clearly booming economy with a pre-existing appetite for luxury fashion and Apple products), the fact of the matter is that Apple has recognised that unlike its previous product offerings, its latest product looks, functions and has been referred to as a ‘watch’, and thus automatically categorised as a fashion accessory. It therefore makes great sense that the company would need to carefully build the associations around its product as a truly fashionable watch, and what other way would it be able to do this than be featured in Vogue; the debatably ultimate source of fashion credibility.

As much as I could continue talking about Apple’s fashion debut, the key take away from their recent strategic moves is that they are no longer satisfied with just being a premium technology brand. It is clear that they’re eying the title of a fashion focused design house, and given this Vogue cover, it seems they are well on their way of achieving this.

Salil Kumar
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Friday, 10 October 2014

Instagram Advertising About to Hit Aussie Shores

Advertising on social media platforms has been a highly contested topic of conversation for some time now, and one that continues to gain momentum as the business model of these companies evolves.

Going through my Instagram feed earlier this week, I came across a post from Instagram’s Instagram account (a mouthful, I know) explaining the upcoming changes to the social media platform’s operations in Australia. Namely, the post discussed the introduction of sponsored brand content for Australian users, a concept that has already been live in the US for a period of about 10 months (as seen in the images below).

Sponsored Branded Content in the US Market (Source:

In reviewing the press surrounding this announcement, it’s very clear that Instagram’s strategy seems to be heavily focused on curating ‘on brand’ sponsorship content. As mentioned by Instagram Australia’s spokesperson, Antonia Christie, ‘Instagram is about imagery over identity and creativity and craft win on Instagram. The best advertisers on Instagram will have a strong sense of the platform and how to interact with the community.’

So although it will be interesting to see with whom Instagram has partnered with in Australia, it’s reassuring to know that they are being selective with both the brands they intend to work with, and the resulting images that are being approved as sponsored content.

But despite these efforts, it is inevitable that the presence of sponsored content will appear as being disruptive for some users, especially since the whole concept of Instagram relies on the choice in the people you follow, and the content that appears in your feed. In response to these concerns, transparency seems to be key to Instragram’s approach to advertising, as each individual ad will be clearly flagged as ‘sponsored’, and also comes with an option to be later hidden by users from their feed if they are not interested in the ad’s content.

From a purely business perspective it makes sense for Instagram to develop new revenue streams, given that there  are concerns with the sustainability of providing a free service, especially one being used by almost 200 million people across the globe. So having been bought out by Facebook in 2012, it comes as no surprise that advertising has been selected as the primary revenue model for Instagram, especially given how successful this model has been for Facebook itself in recent years.

I’ll have to issue a ‘watch this space’ for now as we wait for the ads to eventually roll out, but so far it seems that Instagram has a well thought out strategy, and one they intend to implement in Australia with as little disruption to the user experience as possible.

Salil Kumar
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Congratulations to the Graduating Class of 2014

Friday, October 3rd, 2014 - The time has finally come for our most recent cohort of graduates to move onward and upward to bigger and better opportunities - fully equipped with their specialised skills in marketing and innovative business strategies. We are so proud of them.

(Source: Erika Juliana Muñoz)

The graduates featured above are from left to right are: Samantha Jang, Subha Radharkrishnan, Kathryn Lindenau, Erika Muñoz Araque, JooNam Park, Navneet D’Silva, and Marco Tomaselli. Not featured, having already taken a full-time opportunity in Tokyo, Japan, is Lisa Katharina Grobien.

The lucky graduates above have all just completed their capstone projects which involved them working closely with various clients in real-time on necessary projects that often help change or shape business plans and other operations. This task has taken them months and we are so pleased to honour their hard work on the Marketing Matters blog this week.

This program usually poses as no easy feat for any student no matter which academic or working background we come from. Most of the cohort members even work full or part-time jobs throughout the duration of the course, managing their time very effectively. The collaborative group work, faculty advising, and industry experience however, gives us the challenges and motivation we need to not only survive but succeed in all that we do within the program.

Again, congratulations and well done to the October Class of 2014 Master of Marketing students. You all look fantastic in our snazzy pink and orange academic gowns!

Christine Drpich
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Friday, 3 October 2014

Is the Business of Business, Business?

We’ve recently spent a great deal of time in various units discussing the ethical responsibilities of organisations, and in particular, looking at whether the business of business is just business, and nothing beyond this.

The arguments supporting this notion suggest that businesses already drive the economic welfare of a nation, and in doing so support employment, infrastructure, and both supply and attract investment. Whether they have any responsibilities beyond this has commonly been suggested to be something that is optional, and up to the discretion of each individual organisation.

Although I don’t want to delve into the crux of this debate, I wanted to present a campaign that I recently came across in the CBD that showcases the great opportunity that organisations have to collaborate with community and social-good campaigns in a manner that can work quite seamlessly for all brands involved.

White Ribbon’s New Banner Ads (Source: Erika Fraser Twitter @EMcFraser)

The above image is part of the new White Ribbon campaign, which is Australia’s only national, male led campaign focused on ending men’s violence against women. The banner for this campaign has been placed on the City of Sydney’s garbage collection trucks, and therefore plays up the pun on the banner that violence against women is ‘rubbish’. Although in this case it can be expected that as a completely community focused organisation, the City of Sydney has a clear responsibility to support social betterment initiatives, it’s not to say that there isn’t scope for other businesses (who are mainly in the business of doing business) to do the same.

Ian Davis, in a Mckinsey Quarterly article on this topic, suggested that the best approach for businesses that are actively looking to extend their corporate social responsibility functions is to develop clear strategies that are implemented at an executive level, and clearly communicated down the rest of the organisation. This means identifying social issues that are contextually relevant to the organisation itself, and determining how these issues relate to the overall purpose of the organisation.

Although these issues/strategies will differ across different industries and organisations, the act of clearly establishing, and then communicating an organisation’s social, in addition to economic, purpose has been suggested as the starting point for organisations looking to go beyond just being in the business of business.

To read more about Ian Davis’s thoughts on this topic, see his article, The biggest contract, in the Economist. 

Salil Kumar
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Travel Trinkets

I have been privileged enough to travel very many places in the world, which means, I have also been lucky enough to have saved some money to buy everyone at home little souvenirs from each of my destinations. But the gift I’m about to share with you is unlike any other I’ve ever seen – Melbourne mother and business women, Annette Chambers, officially has the most marketable travel trinket ever in my opinion, as seen below. It’s a perfect rose, and it stays perfect forever, like something right out of Beauty and the Beast.

(Photo by Christine Drpich – Peace Rose, as created by Annette Chambers)

Want to take a stab at what it’s made out of? I’ll give you a hint…it’s scent will never fade, it comes in all sorts of colours, and can be easily moulded. That’s right! It’s made from a single bar of soap! Through a crafty cutting technique, Annette is able to design and layer flower petals and later use warm water strokes to create the curvature seen in a perfect rose. Additionally, she hand paints with food dye and names every single rose to create each unique personality; the most popular peace rose is featured above. The smell is potent and captivating and they come in their own unique casing that won’t break while traveling or shipping.

Not only has Annette identified a unique niche within the travel trinkets and souvenirs market, she labours intensively over each hand crafted piece so that no two are the same. The item will literally last forever, and apparently the scent is even more potent when its casing is opened in slightly warmer areas. I could go on forever about how fantastic this product is and why it’s completely worth the money. Matter of fact, I actually bought five! I finally am not experiencing buyers remorse after buying my loved ones a travel gift because I know it won’t break, I know it does what its meant to do (look and smell pretty), and I was able to buy multiple. Marketing and decision making is a subject we talk intricately about in our Research and Decision Making course within the Master of Marketing program here at the University of Sydney Business School, and not experiencing a sunk cost after a purchase is a relieving feeling for a change.

In order to learn more or purchase your own Australian made (it is not made in China!), hand crafted, everlasting rose, visit Annette’s website.

Christine Drpich
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Friday, 26 September 2014

Monopoly No More

Hungry Jacks is throwing down just as much heat as their new counter campaign claims - Get your free food at Hungry Jacks instead of at ‘You Know Who.’ How much more clever and ruthless can you get?

Hungry Jacks seems to be very, extremely, confident in the superiority of their food as opposed to their competitors who are giving out small concessions in their monopoly board game imitation. This is all in hopes of converting potential customers into loyal customers. These customers who are being targeted by Hungry Jacks have probably been burned by spending $10.00-$20.00 on their meals with a competitor to only get a small Sunday Ice Cream or small chips in return. Chances are, this is the perfect time to offer those same people more value and potentially better taste at Hungry Jacks.

Many people have reportedly been concerned with the ethicality of this hijacking campaign. Other instances of hijacking have occurred around major international sporting events, such as the FIFA World Cup, where competitors like Addidas and Nike confused patrons over who’s actually sponsoring the event. This campaign however, can either work brilliantly or horribly backfire because fast food customers may get confused as to where they’re supposed to go for the taste they’re craving or the free item they want to claim. 

Above is a preview of the website Hungry Jacks specifically set up to explain the T’s & C’s for the swap, but ultimately, providing additional choices of items which allow people to redeem their free food vouchers in more ways will make them feel more empowered and thus, potentially successfully hijack some of the competitor’s campaign.

Christine Drpich
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

When Beauty & Fashion Collide – Collaborations & Changing Expectations

Brand partnerships are no new feat in today’s collaborative marketing environment, and so when NARS Cosmetics announced their next collaboration during London Fashion Week, it came to no surprise that it would be with a fashion designer that closely echoed the brand’s own ethos, and whom they had worked with for many years.

Although not completely obvious, designers in the fashion industry form partnerships with beauty and hair brands as a means to produce the looks required for their runway shows during fashion week. MAC Cosmetics, for example, were reported to have covered 120 shows, worked with 350 make-up artists and made over 4700 models during last year’s global autumn/winter collections. It therefore seems like a natural progression for the tables to turn, and for designers to then collaborate with makeup companies to produce product ranges inspired by their design archives, or more recent collections.

The collaboration I was to alluding to earlier, is between NARS Cosmetics and Scottish fashion designer Christopher Kane. As mentioned by the designer himself, ‘NARS has been a long-standing and valued partner of ours, so this collaboration was an obvious fit. NARS has the same unapologetic aesthetic that is signature to the Christopher Kane brand and I'm excited to share what we've created together.’

Model’s wearing NARS Cosmetics at Christopher Kane’s Spring/Summer 2015 Show  (Source: The Independent UK)

Although not a new concept, what I found most intriguing about this collaboration was that the makeup looks worn by the models at Kane’s show last week were from the new collection, and served as a precursor to what NARS customers can expect once the product line officially hits the stores next May. Although the sneak peak was a clever idea, what I was initially expecting was the collection to be available right after the show had ended. What’s becoming more and more common place in the fashion industry is that designers are allowing consumers to ‘shop the show’, with major brands like Burberry taking pre-orders for their latest collections within minutes of the fashion show’s completion. These short lead-times are also happening in other industries, with Apple, for example, announcing their new iPhones just over a week before the phones are able to be purchased by customers in store (probably not a coincidence, as former Burberry CEO, Angela Ahrendts, is now Senior VP of Apple Retail).

Although there are obviously concerns with competitors copying new innovations when lead times are much greater (a topic we’ve been looking at more closely in our Ethics class), the problem here is more related to consumption patterns, with consumers wanting something now, as opposed to waiting half a year to get their hands on it.

So whether fans of both brands determine that the collaboration was worth the wait, we’ll have to see, but it’s undoubtedly a smart partnership, and with time, one that will hopefully be profitable for all parties involved.

Salil Kumar
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Friday, 19 September 2014

Balloons and Internet for all, coming at you from Oceania

Google is set to launch one of its biggest and craziest (in a good way!) innovations yet - Project Loon. This initiative was started from right here in our own back yard as well! The project's purpose is to create widespread and low cost internet access for all areas of the globe in order to further increase the spread of knowledge and the speed with which the diffusion of information occurs. The project involves large weather balloon like devices that will circumnavigate the globe at very high altitudes to create a constant flow of Wi-Fi access. The project was tested right across the Tasman in central New Zealand and is proving to be on track for future success. Check out the video below for more information.

I had the distinct honour of being able to meet the Google Head of Marketing for Australia and New Zealand, Lucinda Barlow, while during her visit to The Women's College within the University of Sydney in early August. Lucinda shared with me the importance of these big ideas and how marketers and project managers keep them alive and create opportunities for everyone through strategic planning, promotion, and testing of course. She further emphasised how crucial it is to have big ideas of your own and be known for 'out of the box' thinking within your personal brand in order to be more well recognised and sought after to start implementing your life changing ideas. 'The bigger the idea the better' is what she was basically saying, and companies and teams like Google can always provide inspiration for setting those big ideas into motion.

Another important aspect of this project is the fact that marketers are in charge of making sure each of their projects align with the company's overall Value Proposition; something we talk about very intricately throughout our Internal Marketing and Innovative Marketing Strategy courses here in the Master of Marketing Program. For example, Project Loon very clearly fulfils their overall proposition, which states, "Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful." This is further supported by the video above. Creating a cohesive brand, while inventing new projects, and innovating or disrupting the way the world functions is all part of being a successful marketer.

What idea will you come up with next? And how do you plan on implementing it or setting it into motion?

Christine Drpich
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

SMS Mentoring Program 2014 Graduation Event

Not long ago, I featured a post on this blog regarding a mentoring initiative run by the Sydney Marketing Society (SMS). The 8-week program that I participated in, ran throughout July to September, and was a unique opportunity for young marketing talent to connect with leading employers in the marketing sector.

To mark the completion of this year’s program, SMS held a graduation event at the University of Sydney Business School CBD Campus, inviting all current mentors and mentees, as well as guest speakers Allan Herman van Breukelen and Amer, who spoke about their involvement in the program in the previous year.

My personal experience as a mentee of this program was very positive, and I found it an invaluable opportunity to seek advice from an industry professional that had successfully navigated the daunting prospect of seeking graduate employment, and was more than open to assist me in making the same transition.

Among this year’s Master of Marketing cohort, it was great to see familiar faces such as Melissa Downes and Gemma Valpiani also participating in this program, and I hope that students from our course continue this involvement with the various initiatives offered by SMS, and in particular, next year’s SMS Mentoring Program.

Myself and the President of the Sydney Marketing Society, Samantha Roberts
(Source: Sydney Marketing Society Facebook)

Salil Kumar
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Friday, 12 September 2014

City of Melbourne – Re-branding for the Future

Having recently just visited Melbourne with Christine, I couldn’t help but notice the prominence of the city’s own branding. Whether it was on event tickets, billboards or magazines, Melbourne had been given a very clear identity, and one that perhaps is a lot more memorable than some of Australia’s other capital cities. 

Re-branded by Landor Associates in 2009, the brief for this project highlighted the need for an identity that could not only represent the city itself, but also the various sub-brands, programs and events that are connected to the City of Melbourne. The resulting logo of this re-branding exercise (pictured below) is at the heart of the new corporate identity, and as mentioned by the Creative Director of this project, ‘the bold ‘M’ presents a full expression of the identity system - immediately recognizable and as multifaceted as the city itself: creative, cultural, sustainable.’

The Multi-faceted City of Melbourne Logo
(Source: Landor Associates Website)

What I personally love about this (fairly) new identity is that it is not only contemporary, but also incredibly flexible and could be easily tweaked to suit the needs of different collaborators that are involved in promoting the city as a destination and lifestyle experience. Having also read the city’s 2013-2016 Marketing Strategy, I can see this identity working for the city in the long run as they plan to place an even greater focus on community involvement, and leveraging the experiences (whether it’s dining, night life, shopping or markets) that are unique to Melbourne.

What makes this new Marketing Strategy quite innovative for destination marketing is that it is focused on the consumer journey in both offline and online spaces. This journey is not only limited to the City’s own online and physical platforms, but also those of the local businesses in Melbourne that make it such a memorable destination. With the launch of a digital marketing mentoring program for local business in the near future, the City of Melbourne is clearly committed to encouraging community participation in the city’s own marketing strategy, and with its new identity, it should have no problem doing so.

Salil Kumar
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Partners in Crime

Master of Marketing students go to Melbourne

Although Salil and I both spent much of our Melbourne shopping weekend with our own vast retail agendas, we came together where, and when, it counted most. Our ‘shop until you drop’ instincts took control as we fought our way through the plethora of fabric, countless discounts, and long fitting room lines during a busy Monday afternoon at H&M. This ideally situated flagship store in the Bourke Street Mall alongside numerous tram lines has now created the perfect storm for Australian shoppers and foreigners alike. 

Seen below, I’m holding my recent purchases and Salil, yet to decide on his own. What you wouldn’t see from the photo however, is the size of the store. Not only is it massive, but it is catered to everyone’s taste and sense of direction with clearly marked sections based on style and department. In order for the brand to excel here in Australia, being that this store is the first of its kind nationally; the shopper experience has to be perfect.  

The Bourke Street Mall in Melbourne’s CBD was a well planned and coveted location from the very start. H&M can also capitalise on its positioning here specifically because its clothing is costing less for many customers then the other stores nearby, such as David Jones, Bardót, Forever New, etc. The product and price, alongside its location (place), help initiate the marketing plan for this retail giant. Fortunately, H&M has a very international and well-traveled consumer base in Australia, so most of their promotion has already been done through the foreign markets and shopping abroad.

Finally, although the brand is planning its opening of a second location in North Ryde, NSW, it could probably benefit further from retail partnerships such as with Westfield, in order to get better positioning in the following year when they plan to open up a Sydney CBD location in the Pitt Street Mall area. You have to be strategic when you go international, and coming from Europe while supplying daily updated New York fashion is not an easy task.

Ultimately, I think Salil and I both had an exciting and successful shopping weekend, but hit H&M the hardest since we can’t yet shop the brand in Sydney. The price was right, the location was central and easy to get to, and you couldn’t go wrong with the variation of styles offered for both men and women. So marketers, pay attention! This was a good example of how to create a strategic marketing plan in a ‘hard to break into’ retail market.

Christine Drpich
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Friday, 5 September 2014

Advertising: Our new best friend

Our first course of the semester is finally complete! MKTG6208 Marketing Communications came and went, but not without colourful friendships, a few all-nighters, and one very (hopefully) proud professor (Kate Charlton, featured below).

 (Picture by Elle Liu – Current Student)

The course took its students on an incredible journey through the ins and outs of the creative process within Advertising – which is of course an integral part of marketing. The creative process in this course consisted of a creative brief and its later execution. We all quickly adopted roles within our groups to be the most effective agencies we could be in solving a communications problem based on market research, strategic planning, media planning, and much more.

We were exposed to real industry processes and even current industry directors. We were also given the tools to analyse and evaluate advertising to see how effective it could be by using the S.C.O.R.E criteria – which stands for Simplicity, Creativity, Originality, Relevance and Ethicality.

If you want to hear more about our experiences, feel free to get in contact with our program coordinators or find us on LinkedIn in the Master of Marketing group. We have many more success stories to share about the effectiveness of this course and the amazing challenges we’ve grown from.

Christine Drpich
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

From Wonder to Wanderlust: How BA’s ‘Magic of Flying’ Took Off

‘Magic of Flying’ was a brilliant campaign created to remind travellers of the many destinations available through British Airways. Could BA leverage new technology and the outdoor surroundings to convey this message?

BA’s agency, OgilvyOne, came up with two digital billboards in London. Every time a BA plane flew over one of the billboards, the LED screen showed a child looking to the sky and pointing in the plane’s direction. Copy identifying the flight’s precise number and destination also asked the viewer to #lookup.

It wasn’t magic: the simple message required a complex execution. From scouting billboards at the right spot near the flight path, to setting up flight data reading antennas, this seamless integration of technology and backdrop took months to plan.

The effects were powerful. Many adults were seen pointing at the billboard in wonder, just like they pointed to planes in the sky when they were young. Feelings of wanderlust were then associated with the BA brand when viewers imagined the wide range of destinations to which the planes were flying.

The results: a Cannes Direct Grand Prix and an increase of more than 75,000 unique BA website visits. The ‘Magic of Flying’ showed the power of combining strong insights, integrating surroundings and using the medium to support the message for a wonderful outdoor campaign.

Gemma Valpiani
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Friday, 29 August 2014

Wayfinding: Where behavioural psychology mixes with business

Have you ever had that experience where you arrive at a new airport and walk out of the jetway only to follow the streamline of people flowing from the gateway towards baggage claim as if they have all done it and been there a million times? Well turns out, airport architects, construction personnel, behavioural psychologists, business managers, and marketing directors have all put their brains together to find a way to make sure you know which way to go no matter which airport you arrive at and despite how many times you've been there. This technique is called “wayfinding” and has been developed to create subtle cues which direct us to the places they know we’ll need to go.


Pictured above is the new international terminal, terminal F, at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL). Here it appears that colour has been used to highlight and reflect traffic flow from the left side to the right side to direct passengers towards security check points after check-in. Light can also be used to emulate a calmer mood throughout the check-in or bag-drop process.

More recently, wayfinding has been finding its way on to our cell phones to make for easier directions and more comprehensible traveling experiences. Subtle cues in signs or on floors already help direct traffic flow, but being able to project three dimensional directions to your phone can one day help improve wayfinding significantly. Companies in Australia already implementing these techniques include Westfield for example. You can test out their wayfinding developments by using directories throughout their shopping centres.


So, no matter where you are, or if you get lost, be it in the airport or shopping centre, which now-a-days are one of the same, you can always look for the signs that show you where to go unless one of the digital kiosks are available or you have the application on your mobile device. Also know that in order to get you where you need to go, business personnel thought very long and hard about the best way to plan their airports, shopping centres, even roads, all for your convenience.

Christine Drpich
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

The McDonald’s ‘McMate’ – The Burger Created by Australia

Back in May 2014, McDonald’s Australia posted an opportunity on their Facebook page to allow fans to help create a new edition to their menu. The ‘Build Our Next Burger ‘ campaign allowed fans to select ingredients from a range provided by McDonald’s, and the most voted for ingredients/burger combination was selected. In addition to the ingredients, the name of this burger was also voted for by fans (through a Facebook poll), and the resulting ‘McMate’ burger is now available in stores across the country.

(Source: McDonald’s Australia Website)

What we’re seeing here is another prime example of co-creation – a concept well documented here on this blog.

Although on a global scale this isn’t the first time the brand has co-created with consumers (a similar campaign was launched in the UK, but it allowed fans greater freedom to select ingredients and to also name their own creations), it’s still a great example of how a brand can get their fans involved in a promotion that has the potential to create a greater sense of loyalty towards the brand. As fans are given a say in the production process of this new burger, they may consequently feel a greater level of ownership towards the brand; which has in turn been encouraged by the company through the copy on their advertisements (as seen above), and through various PR communications.

As mentioned by a spokesperson for the company, “We wanted to highlight our fans’ ownership of the burger, and felt there was no better way to demonstrate this then by flipping the restaurant on its head and letting Australians take over the kitchen and showcase the ingredients they selected for our first ever crowd sourced burger, the McMate.”

The brand, which has also been trialling a home delivery since last year, is clearly dipping its toes in new waters across Australia, so it’ll be interesting to see if they continue with this more collaborative approach in future campaigns.

To read more about their latest campaign, visit

Salil Kumar
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School