The biggest event on TV: State of Origin

Nine is all about big event television and there is no event bigger than State of Origin, says Simon Fordham, Nine’s Head of NRL.

“State of Origin is the Superbowl for the Australian audience and every year viewers flock to see this game. It’s mate-versus-mate, state-versus-state – a revolutionary sporting concept that has lasted for more than 30 years and will continue to prosper for many years to come,” says Fordham.

In 2019, Origin is set to deliver several world-first additions and changes to the format of the game.

“This year we launch Game I of State of Origin in Brisbane,” Fordham says.

“Then we take Game II to Perth for the first time in its history. It will be a twilight kick-off which opens the game up to a whole new audience on the other side of the country. We will also see the inclusion of Queenslanders Billy Slater, Johnathan Thurston and Sam Thaiday as new permanent members of the Nine commentary team.”

Watch State of Origin on 9Now or get the news and highlights and Ultimate Guide at Wide World of Sports.

2019 State of Origin team announcements for NSW and QLD.

The 2019 Origin series, which wraps up with Game III in Sydney, provides an invaluable brand-safe environment for marketers aiming to reach a broad audience.

“In 2018, Origin reached close to nine million viewers and the three matches were in the top 10 most watched programs across the entire year. Last year we streamed State of Origin live and exclusively on 9Now for the first time and it was the most live streamed sporting event of the year,” Fordham said.

In terms of the viewing experience, audiences will be taken even closer to the Origin action this year.

As Fordham explained: “The NRL home and away season is focused on taking viewers on Nine closer to the action with a number of innovations, which will flow through to Origin. Telstra Tracker will be back again, and the Rugby League Players Association has unlocked a whole bunch of new data points to exploit for far more in-depth player comparisons.

“Corner-post cams will be a part of the Origin coverage, along with referee cam and the all-time favourite spider cam, which gives you a view of every angle of every play.”


The Voice Returns with Strong Growth in Key Demographics

The Voice returned on Sunday with strong audience figures and was the No. 1 non-news program of the night.

The Voice had a national average audience of 1.387 million (Metropolitan: 1.012 million; Regional: 376,000) and won across all key demographics: 25-54s, 16-39s and Grocery Shopper + Child.

Importantly, across the 5 metro cities week one has seen strong year-on-year growth in the key demographics of the show. People 25-54 had 5.8% growth, People 16-39 with 1.9% growth and Grocery Shopper + Child performing well with a 9.1% year-on-year improvement.

To find out how your brand can harness the power of big dreams to connect with audiences across multiple platforms, contact your Nine representative.

PHD defeats Independents claim to Nine’s 2019 Agency of Origin title

A packed crowd of media agency executives took over North Sydney Oval last week, for the annual Nine Agency of Origin competition for 2019.

As with previous years, it was a closely fought competition with PHD triumphing over last year’s champions the Independents team (which consisted of representatives from Atomic 212, Frontier, Joy, Pearman & The M Agency media agencies).

PHD defeated the Indies 7-2 in a tightly contested game which according to the referees saw a number of controversial tags and some very close calls on tries. 
The semi-finals were also a battle royal with the Independents facing Dentsu Aegis Network, while PHD went head to head with Mindshare.

In the PHD v Mindshare semi-final the game featured an incredible intercept try by PHD Investment Executive Joseph Bunworth, who in the last 30 seconds scored his agency a game winning try, bringing the score to 1-0.

Joshua Laming, an account executive at PHD, was named man of the match.

The win by PHD sees them take the trophy of Agency of Origin from the Independents who last year seized the title from Carat, who had held the title for three consecutive years. 

VMLY&R Chief Creative Officer: The Power of Print is its Cut Through

In an increasingly digital world, there remains an important place for print in helping advertisers grab audience attention, says Paul Nagy, Chief Creative Officer at VMLY&R. 

“The great thing about the contextual relevance that print can deliver is this idea of cutting through,” says Nagy.

In the modern world, society has become so accustomed to technological creativity and advancements. However, in an era of “fake news”, Nagy argues this growing prevalence of technology has created a new wave of trust and appreciation for print and its environment. 

“These days, people are so used to staring at their phones and being impressed by technology that when we do crazy things with normal formats like newspapers, billboards, radio ads, it makes such an impact and is a real opportunity these days for a modern marketer,” he says. 

Nagy went on to further highlight the value of print by stating: “we are bombarded with so much everyday. The idea that if you’re reading about one thing in the market and someone references it, so if you’re really interested in that article or story at that particular time, anything that surrounds it has got that added bonus of cutting through and being memorable.”

The power of BVOD together with linear TV

One of Australia’s top marketers, Toby Dewar, Westpac’s Head of Group Media, Social and Digital Tech has argued there is real power in combining linear television and broadcast video on demand.

Speaking at The Art and Science of Addressable Advertising Masterclass recently, Dewar said: “It’s not about addressability and personalisation yet, it’s about being smarter about the targets and the segments you buy at scale.

“It’s about how you can get meaningful audiences through these platforms. It’s a combination of traditional linear TV with a side order of addressable at the same time. It’s a really strong balance.”

Also speaking at the masterclass was Pippa Leary, Nine’s Director of Sales Strategy and Product Commercialisation, who agreed with Dewar and went on to note the value that addressable TV adds to traditional TV campaigns.

“While you’re running your TV campaign you should be looking at addressability as the ability to optimise your TV in real time and learn about your TV campaigns in ways you haven’t been able to do before,” she said.

“These two are not mutually exclusive. They should always be used together and that’s where I think, as marketers, you will get the real value.

“You will get the brilliance of TV and its ability to build that brand, but you also get from addressable TV the insights, the targeting, the attribution modelling and the measurement. All that will give you a much fuller picture of how your TV campaigns are functioning.”

Leary further highlighted her views on the power of addressable TV by drawing comparisons between traditional TV and digital.

She said: “TV has always operated at the top of the funnel, creating mass awareness and emotional connection to your product. Digital has operated at the bottom of the funnel, closer to conversion purchase.

“Addressable TV for the first time means that you can do both at once. Full funnel solutions will be the way of the future – the ability to link the top to the bottom.”

APT Travel Group Chief Commercial Officer: Print + TV is a ‘perfect mix’

When it comes to the right marketing mix for her brands, a combination of print and TV represents a “perfect combination”, says Debra Fox, Chief Commercial Officer at APT Travel Group.

Speaking on a panel at Mumbrella’s recent Travel Marketing Summit, Fox told the audience the return on investment of traditional mediums like print and television was clear for her to see.

“Who said print is dead? Print is core to us,” Fox said. “It is always going to be part of our platform for any of our brands. TV also plays an important role. Television combined with a print campaign, through both the brand and tactical retail communication, with some digital, is the perfect mix.”

APT Travel Group is Australia’s largest locally owned tour company, with 90 years of heritage and an extensive portfolio of touring and cruising brands including Travelmarvel, Captain’s Choice and Botanica.

Fox went on to support her comments by sharing the success of APT’s partnership with Nine’s Travel Guides speaking about the need for brands to back themselves when considering partnerships.

“When Travel Guides came to us last year we thought it was a bit odd and a bit of a risk, but we knew we had to do something disruptive with our new brand platform. You’ve got to back ‘yourself when you know you can deliver incredible experiences.”

“Travel Guides has just been this breath of fresh air.”

Adrian Swift, Nine’s Head of Content Production and Development, joined Fox on stage to explain how, in his experience, there was a powerful synergy between television and travel.

“The relationship between travel and television is a close one. The good thing about television is that there’s a really good, healthy symbiotic relationship between media and how it delivers for travel brands and the industry itself,” Swift said.

“We enjoy doing integration. If you have a great product with a good brand and agency willing to work with you, you can come up with a brilliant solution.”