Friday, 28 November 2014

Marketing to our Global Citizens

As I travel home to New York for this holiday season, I’ve come to a realisation about the community I truly represent: I am a global citizen. This means that even though I may belong to one country technically, my personality, culture, and experience is based off many cultures and many different people. My future thus looks something like a combination of career paths, jobs, travel experiences, maybe foreign languages, and even more cultural adaptations, as opposed to the generations preceding mine that have been shaped around consistency, stability, and one career path. This contrast is quite vast, and will present yet other new tasks for marketers to analyse, interpret, and adjust to.

Global citizens represent a combination of third culture kids, zero generations, and first generations within family lines. Additionally they represent a set of values within our changing world: acceptance, understanding, respect, versatility, and adaptability. In short, this type of individual’s identity transcends borders.

I first heard of the term global citizenship when applying to my undergraduate university, Rollins College. In promoting their liberal arts studies, which I am extremely grateful for, they also produce socially responsible, broadly cultured, and internationally aware students. As a marketer, you’re probably wondering ‘how am I meant to find value for a population that doesn’t fit within normal or measurable demographics?’

Some research and experienced modern-day business owners indicate that social media has become a way of validating our identity as opposed to boarders. Because of this, current and relevant information is becoming the most valuable to us, but can still act as a window of opportunity for governments and businesses alike to capture those identity insights. This movement is fronted by the growing accessibility of information and spread of knowledge.


Above is a picture we are all probably very familiar with. Little did I know, when I was five years old and first learned the meaning of this picture at the International School of Curaçao, that it would have such large impacts on the world and the promotion of our diversity and equality over the next 20 years. And now, I sit here as a marketer at Sydney University wondering what truly defined the people I want to create value for.

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

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