Tag Archives: Australia

Brisbane Festival 2011

We are just over a week away from the launch of the Brisbane Festival.

The three-week festival runs from 3 September till 24 September and offers some of the most interesting, inspiring and cutting edge art and entertainment the city, the country and the world has to offer. Experience and delight in the offerings to be had from dance, theatre, opera, classical music, visual arts, circus, sideshows and contemporary music. There’s surely something on to tempt the creative within.

This year is set to be a landmark year with the 2011 programme boasting four world premieres, five Australian premieres and eleven international productions. What more could the creative, art minded and everyone in Brisbane ask for, especially with an extensive range of both free and ticketed events.

The Festival’s opening extravaganza will set the city a light, with the famous and colourful fireworks display Riverfire, a not to be missed highlight on the Brisbane calendar. The light theme continues throughout the Festival with the introduction of an exciting new show, Santos City of Lights, the first laser light show of it’s kind in Australia.

To find out what’s on offer at this year’s Festival and to see a full programme, checkout www.brisbanefestival.com.au.

Yours in festivities

Online video is the popular advertising choice in 2011

Online video is certainly on the rise. Did you know that 961 million online videos were watched in October 2010 in Australia alone? According to ComScore, the average viewer watched eight hours of video a month which has made it the fastest growing medium for advertising.

In Australian it seems there is a larger market for males than females, with men watching twice the amount of online video as women. In fact, there are no surprises that Generation Y are the biggest consumer group for online video. For more report findings, read the full ComsScore report online.

For years we have seen the percentage of advertising budgets steadily increase in the online arena with many traditional mediums being left behind. Online mediums give you so much more than traditional print based mediums could ever deliver in terms of hitting the specific target markets, engaging with that target market and best of all being able to measure that interaction.  2011 is set to give us even more control over the metrics with more tools for media planners and buyers and cross-media measurement services all ensuring transparency and accountability across campaigns.

Online video should be a consideration in 2011 if you’re looking to engage with Generation Y to captitalise on this growing medium.

Yours in online advertising,


Screen shot 2010-10-11 at 12.08.57 PM

Getty Images’ Photography Competition ‘Grab’

Are you the sort of person who can’t leave the house without their camera? When you travel, are you behind the lens more than not? Well why not use your photography-skills to win you some brilliant pries, including $5000 worth of Nikon camera gear simply by entering Getty Images’ photography competition ‘Grab’.

But get in quick, you only have a few weeks left! The competition closes 25 October 2010. And, please be aware that 1st and 2nd place prizes are available to Australian and New Zealand residents only.

So, maybe your passion is for the surf, or maybe the great Australian outdoors, or just a great shot of Aunt Aggie asleep at another family picnic.  Let your imagination go wild … you just never know where your ‘happy snap’ could take  you or win you!

Yours in photography,


Facebook Places launches in Australia

Facebook Places, which launched in Australia today, will allow Facebook users to share their location with friends. So if you’re enjoying a coffee in Brunswick Street, Brisbane and your friend is nearby, you’ll be alerted – and like magic, you can have a random catchup. This new feature is set to open up new real-life connection opportunities.

“But what about my privacy!?” you say? According to the Sydney Morning Herald’s article “Facebook stressed the service would be opt-in and users would have to check in to venues before their location was revealed on their page. The default privacy setting would be to share with “friends only” and users can even restrict location sharing to specific friends or groups of friends.” Phew…

How can you access it? If you’re a Facebook user (most likely, given that 9 million Aussies are!), you can access Places via your Facebook iPhone Application. If you’re a user of other smartphones that support HTML5, try touch.facebook.com.

How does it work? When you open up Places you’re presented with a list of venues near you, which are ranked according to distance and other factors. You then “check in” somewhere and can see recent “check ins” from your friends and their comments. You’ll also get notifications if your friends “check in” somewhere close to you.

If you’re struggling to work out how Facebook Places work, I recommend you watch this quick video.


So, will you be opting in to open the door to “serendipitous” catch-ups?

Yours in social media,


The Gruen Transfer to take on the US market

At the Brio Group office, we all love a bit of Gruen banter. Thursday mornings are often spent chatting over the previous night’s The Pitch ads, or laughing over the witty banter thrown between Todd Sampson and Russell Howcroft.

And in news just in, ABC’s The Gruen Transfer is set to take on the world! The successful Aussie format has been picked up by US-based international format distribution company, Fox LOOK, a division of Fox Networks Group and will be renamed “The Big Sell”. For more information, take a read of Campaign Brief article.

Now in its third season in Australia, The Gruen Transfer has gone from strength to strength since its 2008 launch. Reported figures reveal the Australian audience numbers continue to grow; September 8’s episode set a new viewing record: almost 1.8 million viewers across ABC1 and ABC2.

I know we can’t get enough of it here … it will be interesting to see how The Big Sell will be received in the USA.

Yours in advertising,


Oprah to host her Farewell Season show at Sydney Opera House


Who would have thought the invaluable exposure Australia received on The Oprah Winfrey Show during the Tourism Queensland “Best Job in the World” could be topped? Just this morning, it’s been announced that Oprah will host part of the final season of The Oprah Winfrey Show in Australia! It’s a major, major PR win for Tourism Australia, giving our great land the sort of magical exposure that money simply cannot buy.

The big news was announced by Oprah to her fans, who collectively flew into a frenzy of excitement when she invited them to come along. Oprah told the audience: “This is my last chance to do something really big. Maybe I should take all of you with me to the other side of the world. We’re going to Australia!” As the audience erupted in excitement, the nose of a Qantas jet edged onto the set before John Travolta stepped out of the jet to greet the ecstatic audience. More details of her Farewell Season show can be found here.

Oprah and her audience are believed to visit Australia for about ten days in December where they will explore our country before filming the show at the Sydney Opera House (expected to be dubbed, ‘The Oprah House’!). The show will be part of the 25th and final season.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh today announced that Oprah will visit Cairns during her visit, and told the Cairns Post “it was a phenomenal opportunity” for the tourism industry after the Global Financial Crisis. It’s believed a holiday package based on Oprah’s Queensland trip will be developed and marketed to tourists.

This incredible PR opportunity follows the remarkable  2009 “Best Job in the World” global campaign that searched for an Island Caretaker to set up camp in a beautiful Whitsunday Island’s pad and report back to the world of their experiences. News stations world-wide picked up on the story and the campaign catapulted to massive heights, even landing on The Oprah Winfrey Show, where Oprah interviewed the UK winner Ben Southall.

The marketing influence of Oprah is enormous. 2011 looks to be a very interesting, and hopefully very lucrative, year for Tourism Australia. We will be keeping an eye on this story!

Yours in PR-wins,


Australian Art Deco Architecture










Think about art deco architecture and buildings like Manhattan’s Chrysler Building or The Rockefeller Center usually spring to mind. It’s unlikely that the strip of shops including Myer and David Leees in Bourke Street, Melbourne, or Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) will be at the top of your list. They are great examples of this particular style of 20th-century architecture.

On a world level, Australian cities rank quite highly as far as the volume of art deco architecture goes and stylistically they’re pretty well up there, too.  Art deco architecture is a term that’s often bandied about, particularly by real estate agents.  It can be misunderstood, but can also be quite inclusive and we celebrate all styles.

Generally,  curvaceous houses, painted white and with features such as portholes and steel-framed windows fit into domestic deco. As for larger buildings – anything from offices, factories and flats to pubs and parking garages – they’re often colourful and asymmetrical, with large cantilevered balconies or a tower, and with minimal but stylised ornament.

Many people date the start of deco as the 1925 Paris Expo, others believe it was first seen more than a decade earlier and came about as a reaction to the excesses of Victorian and Edwardian architecture and a response to new materials and technologies. As to whether art deco architecture is fully appreciated, we’re getting there, but it’s a battle to get people to understand its beauty. There was a view for a long time that anything built after 1900 wasn’t of any value. Fortunately that’s changing.

Yours in design,


Who’s looking after the kids?

In executive boardrooms across Australia there are very few women sitting at the head of the table in the top positions, but today marks an important day for women around Australia. It’s an inspiring day that proves it’s possible to lead from any chair.

On 24 June 2010 Julia Gillard became our nation’s first Deputy Prime Minister and has now become the first Aussie female to snap up the top job as Prime Minister.  Julia joins other leading Australian women, like our first female Governer-General Quentin Bryce, and the long list of successful women who have claimed the nation’s top leader positions.

I found this story about why top jobs elude women, I have a close relation to this story as a mother of two I have struggled to sustain a solid career path.  I’m now at the age of 31 and I’m studying part-time whilst working full-time to give myself the opportunity to achieve my career goal. I think today marks a very important milestone for all women across Australia.

Yours in design,