June 4, 2024

Google’s AI-Powered Search Revolution: What Advertisers Need to Know

Google’s recent announcement about integrating generative AI into its search engine marks a significant shift in the digital advertising landscape. As the tech giant rolls out its AI-powered Search Generative Experience (SGE) in the US, with plans for a global launch in the coming months, advertisers must adapt to stay ahead of the curve. Here we explore the implications of Google’s AI-driven search for advertisers and provide actionable insights to navigate this new frontier.

The New Search Landscape Google’s SGE introduces a conversational, AI-generated narrative that dominates the search results page, pushing organic links further down. This shift has the potential to disrupt traditional SEO strategies and significantly impact referral traffic to websites. Early analysis suggests that publishers and brands could experience a 40-45% decline in referral traffic as Google’s AI engine, Gemini, creates content based on its own recommendations, minimising the need for users to visit the source websites.

While the new search format may present challenges for organic traffic, it also opens up new advertising opportunities. Google has begun testing ads that appear above, within, and below the AI-generated results. Advertisers must now consider how to optimise their ad content and placement to ensure maximum visibility and engagement within this new context.

To succeed in this AI-driven search environment, advertisers should consider:

  1. Prioritise ad relevance: With AI-generated content dominating the search results, ads must be highly relevant to the user’s query to capture attention and drive clicks.
  2. Adapt ad copy: Advertisers should experiment with ad copy that complements the conversational tone of the AI-generated results, ensuring a seamless user experience.
  3. Leverage AI-powered tools: Utilise Google’s AI-powered advertising tools, such as responsive search ads and smart bidding, to optimize ad performance and stay competitive.
  4. Monitor performance closely: As the new search format rolls out, advertisers must closely monitor their campaigns’ performance and make data-driven adjustments to maximise ROI.

Preparing for the Global Rollout While the SGE is currently limited to the US, advertisers worldwide should start preparing for the global launch. Australia, in particular, may experience a delayed rollout due to the ongoing Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) inquiry into search and the Federal Government’s media bargaining code. However, this presents an opportunity for Australian advertisers to learn from the US experience and refine their strategies accordingly.

For advertisers to stay ahead of the curve, here are some initial recommendations:

  1. Stay informed: Keep a close eye on industry news and updates regarding the global rollout of Google’s AI-powered search. Publications such as https://www.therundown.ai/ as well as Google's Blog.
  2. Analyse and review the performance of US-based campaigns to identify best practices and potential pitfalls.
  3. Adapt strategies proactively: Begin adjusting advertising strategies and budgets to accommodate the anticipated changes in search behaviour and ad performance.
  4. Foster collaboration: Work closely with agency partners and industry peers to share insights and develop innovative solutions to the challenges posed by AI-driven search.

Embracing the AI-Powered Future Google’s integration of generative AI into its search engine represents a significant milestone in the evolution of digital advertising. While the shift may present challenges for traditional SEO and referral traffic, it also opens up new opportunities for advertisers to engage with their target audiences in innovative ways.

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June 4, 2024

The rise of independent agencies: How technology and adaptability are levelling the playing field.

The rise of independent agencies in the Australian marketing and advertising industry is a direct result of the democratisation of technology, greater adaptability, innovation and the impact of the changing way we work. As the industry continues to evolve, I believe we’ll see even more top-tier indies emerge, offering innovative solutions, specialised expertise and a more personalised approach to client service.

Read more

May 30, 2024

Can AI and Humans Be Friends?

As advertising and marketing undergoes a rapid transformation at an unprecedented pace, it is crucial to recognize the revolutionary power and impact of generative AI is having on our daily working lives. At Collide-AI, a division of Now We Collide, we are at the forefront of this revolution, harnessing the capabilities of AI to find new and exciting ways to deliver projects, while uncovering incredible efficiencies along the way. However, amidst the excitement surrounding AI, it is essential to acknowledge the irreplaceable role of human creativity and expertise in shaping the future of how we work.

In this new era of AI, ‘The Age of Intelligence’, I firmly believe that the success of our industry lies in the synergy between this advanced new technology and human ingenuity. While AI offers immense possibilities, it is the human touch that truly brings the magic to life. At Collide-AI, we have identified four critical human skills that are essential for thriving in this AI-driven world: critical thinking, emotional intelligence, ethics, and passion.

Critical thinking is a foundation upon which we build AI-powered campaigns. It allows us to analyse the vast amounts of information and outputs generated by AI, ensuring its accuracy, and to make strategic decisions based on the insights provided by the machine. Critical thinking allows humans to discern between valuable information and noise, ensuring that AI-generated content aligns with the desired objectives. This human discernment is crucial in navigating the complex landscape of AI-driven advertising, enabling us to create campaigns that are not only data and insights driven but also strategically sound.

Emotional intelligence is another vital human skill that sets us apart, providing critical human input. While AI can generate visually stunning and highly personalized content, it is the human understanding of emotions that truly connects with audiences on a deep level. Our team’s ability to empathize with the target audience, craft compelling narratives, and evoke powerful emotions is what transforms our AI-generated content into memorable and impactful experiences. By combining the efficiency of AI with the emotional depth of human creativity, we can create campaigns that forge lasting bonds between brands and consumers.

Ethics and responsibility are at the core of everything we do at Collide-AI. As we harness the power of AI, we are acutely aware of the potential risks and challenges that come with this technology. Our human judgment and moral compass ensure that we develop and deploy AI in a manner that is transparent, accountable, and aligned with our values. We should actively work to mitigate biases, protect user privacy, and promote inclusivity and diversity in the AI-generated content we create. By upholding ethical standards, we not only create a responsible approach to working with AI  but also contribute to shaping the future of AI in our industry.

Passion is a driving force behind our work at Collide-AI. Our team’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of what is possible using LLMs fuels our innovation and sets us apart in the industry. Don’t be content with simply leveraging AI for efficiency; be passionate about exploring new ways to combine AI with human creativity to create truly groundbreaking concepts, strategies and outcomes. This passion is evident in every project we undertake, from meticulous attention to detail in our AI-augmented content, to the ongoing pursuit of delivering exceptional results for our clients.

Our recent collaboration with ESPN on the “Your Home For Hoops” campaign exemplifies the power of combining AI with human creativity. In our third year of the campaign, we set the ambitious goal of using Generative AI as the main creative, design, and animation pipeline. By leveraging generative AI, we aimed to create a unique visual style and experience that would captivate basketball fans and excite them about ESPN’s basketball offering.

The success of the campaign relied on the seamless fusion of artificial intelligence and human expertise. Led by Bob Connelly, Now We Collide’s Director of Generative AI, along with our in-house team of creatives, strategists, and technologists, we worked hand-in-hand with our very own AI diffusion pipeline, guiding its input data and generated outputs, to ensure that it aligned with ESPN’s brand identity, resonated with their target audience, and adhered to the quality standards we were after. The human touch was essential in refining the AI-generated content, injecting emotional depth, and crafting visual narratives that struck a chord with basketball fans.

Throughout the campaign, we relied on critical thinking to evaluate the AI’s output and make strategic decisions that would maximize the impact of our message. Human emotional intelligence allowed us to understand the passion and excitement of the game, the players and the moments, enabling us to create gen AI outputs that truly connected with audiences on an emotional level.

The success of the “Your Home For Hoops” campaign is a testament to the power of combining AI with human creativity and ingenuity. By leveraging the strengths of both, we were able to deliver a campaign that maximized reach and engagement within the rapidly growing niche audience of basketball fans. This campaign serves as a great example of what is possible when we embrace the synergy between AI and human ingenuity to find new ways to create.

As we navigate this exciting new era of AI-driven advertising, it is crucial to remember that technology is a tool, not a replacement for human creativity. The future of advertising belongs to those who can successfully navigate the intersection of AI and human expertise, leveraging the strengths of both to create truly groundbreaking campaigns.

By fostering a culture that values critical thinking, emotional intelligence, ethics, and passion, we are poised to lead the industry into a future where AI and human creativity collide, delivering unparalleled experiences for brands and consumers alike.

The “Your Home For Hoops” campaign is just the beginning of what we can achieve, and as we continue to push the boundaries of what is possible with AI, we remain committed to our belief that the human touch will always be the driving force behind the most impactful and memorable campaigns.

The rise of AI in advertising presents both challenges and opportunities. We are excited to be at the forefront of this revolution, leading the way in harnessing the power of AI while celebrating the irreplaceable value of human creativity. 

As we embark on this exciting journey, we hope brands and advertisers will join us in exploring the limitless possibilities that arise when AI and human creativity find synergy. Together, we can create a future where advertising not only informs and persuades but also inspires and connects on a deeper, more meaningful level.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

COLLIDE-AI is a groundbreaking division of full service agency Now We Collide, dedicated to providing state-of-the-art generative AI solutions for advertising and marketing. By harnessing the power of advanced AI technologies, such as large language models, Retrieval-Augmented Generation (RAG), and synthetic media creation, Collide-AI empowers businesses to create captivating, data-driven content.  

A synergy of human ingenuity and artificial intelligence to create a new paradigm of possibilities.

For more visit: https://nowwecollide.com.au/collide-ai 

To find out more about the ESPN Your Home For Hoops project visit: https://nowwecollide.com.au/nowwecollide/hoopsai 

May 1, 2024

HubSpot Unveils Exciting AI-Powered Updates to Service Hub and Content Hub

As a certified HubSpot agency partner, the team at Now We Collide are excited about the latest updates to HubSpot's platform. These AI-powered features are game-changers for small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) looking to compete with larger brands in today's fast-paced digital landscape.

HubSpot's Service Hub has received significant upgrades aimed at improving customer conversations, addressing problem areas, and driving retention. The new AI-powered help desk allows human agents to monitor real-time ticket updates across various channels while the AI can summarise lengthy tickets and generate responses on their behalf. This streamlines the customer service process, enabling SMEs to provide exceptional support without overburdening their teams.

One of the most exciting additions to Service Hub is the support agent, which HubSpot's Executive Vice President of Product, Andy Pitre, describes as the "killer feature." This bot provides accurate trained responses to customer queries through HubSpot's live chat tool referencing a company’s knowledge base articles. This feature aligns perfectly with our belief that content is a key element of inbound marketing across digital and social media.

Moreover, HubSpot is introducing customer success tools to help businesses proactively retain customers. The AI-powered health scoring feature allows account managers to prioritise which customers they should reconnect with based on various signals, such as last interaction, upcoming renewal dates, and product usage. This proactive approach to customer success is crucial for SMEs looking to maximise customer lifetime value and foster long-term relationships.

Another significant update is the rebranding of CMS Hub to Content Hub, now powered by AI. This change reflects the evolving role of content in an AI-driven world. Organisations can now use AI to build website pages, compose blog posts, generate product images, and more. The content remixing feature is particularly exciting, as it allows businesses to easily repurpose content for multiple use cases, such as creating social media posts or podcast versions of blog posts.

At Now We Collide, we believe that AI is a transformative technology that levels the playing field for SMEs. These updates to HubSpot's platform empower businesses to compete by providing them with the tools and virtual assistance needed to create engaging marketing campaigns and deliver exceptional customer experiences.

As Keir Maher, CEO of Now We Collide, states, "HubSpot's AI-powered updates to Service Hub and Content Hub are a testament to their commitment to helping businesses of all sizes thrive in the digital economy. By leveraging these tools and partnering with a certified HubSpot agency like Now We Collide, organisations can unlock their full potential and achieve sustainable growth."

We are excited to help our clients navigate these new features and integrate them into their marketing strategies. With HubSpot's AI-powered tools and our expertise in inbound marketing, we are confident that SMEs can create valuable content, attract and retain customers, and ultimately drive revenue and results.


COLLIDE-AI is a groundbreaking division of Now We Collide, dedicated to providing state-of-the-art generative AI solutions for advertising and marketing. By harnessing the power of advanced AI technologies, such as large language models, Retrieval-Augmented Generation (RAG), and synthetic media creation, Collide-AI empowers businesses to create captivating, data-driven content. 

February 23, 2024

Invaluable volunteering experience with Walbunja, Ngarigo artist Cheryl Davison

By Senior Art Director - Sarah Coleman

Nestled on the far South Coast of Australia lies the picturesque town of Narooma, a hidden gem surrounded by crystal clear waters and majestic mountain ranges. It is here that I had the privilege of volunteering with local artist Cheryl Davison (Overton), a Walbunja and Ngarigo woman, whose art intricately weaves together essential creation narratives and familial stories from the region.

Cheryl's art is not just a means of creative expression; it's a living testament to the cultural heritage passed down through generations. She preserves and shares the rich stories and knowledge of her culture. "To now have the shop is a really lovely way to connect with people from everywhere all over the world," Cheryl shared. "It's a way to share the stories and knowledge that I have of my culture. It's not just a business for me to sell art; it's a way to share my story and my place with everyone."

My journey with Cheryl began through the Community First Development (CFD) organisation, an entity dedicated to self-determination in First Nations communities across Australia. Driven by the vision of a better world for all First Nations people, the organisation creates partnerships with communities, allowing them to lead projects that are crucial to their development. Thanks to Ruth, a CFD officer, she went beyond her role, showing me around some of the most beautiful swimming spots, sharing meals, stories, and laughter – truly a wonderful person to get to know.

As a volunteer, my role extended beyond traditional expectations. I had the privilege of working closely with Cheryl, setting up her website, social media, creating a captivating look book, a postcard, and a certificate of authenticity for her artworks. However, the true beauty of this experience went beyond the technical tasks – it was the opportunity to connect with Cheryl on a personal level, delving into her community, her art, and building a strong friendship.

Narooma and its surrounding areas, including Tilba, provided a breathtaking backdrop to our collaborative efforts. The crystal clear waters and mountain ranges served as constant reminders of the beauty that surrounded us, inspiring creativity and fostering a sense of connection to the land.

I am immensely grateful to Now We Collide, my workplace, for their unwavering support throughout this volunteering journey. Their encouragement and flexibility allowed me to take time away from work and utilise my creative skills to make a meaningful impact on Cheryl's artistic endeavours.

This experience has been a testament to the power of collaboration, cultural preservation, and the unexpected ways in which one can contribute. It's proof that by coming together, listening, and working with communities, we can create a world that recognises, respects, and values the equality of all cultures.

My volunteering journey with Cheryl Davison, complemented by the warmth of Ruth and the support of Now We Collide, has left an indelible mark, emphasising the significance of building connections and celebrating the vibrant tapestry that defines our cultural heritage.

The Gallery website 'Garraywaa Gallery' -  http://www.garraywaagallery.com/ is live and will have an online shop to purchase her limited prints alternatively drop into the gallery for a yarn at 42 Princess Highway Narooma.

Follow on Instagram: @garraywaagallery /  @communityfirstdevelopment / @cheryl_davison_artist

Want to become a volunteer apply now: https://www.communityfirstdevelopment.org.au/ 

January 30, 2024

ESPN – Super Bowl Sickie Campaign

Our Super Bowl Sickie campaign is live - months of meticulous planning, creative development and production - next stop Vegas!

As appeared in Ad News Article

A tongue-in-cheek campaign, via creative agency Now We Collide, is encouraging Australian fans of American football to take the day off (with the blessing of their employer) to enjoy Super Bowl LVIII.

A contagious strain of Super Bowl fever is spreading across Australia and New Zealand, and cable sports channel ESPN is helping fans deal with the condition.

“The Super Bowl is being played on a Monday downunder, so sign me up for the Super Bowl Sickie,” said ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith.

“If you’ve got Super Bowl fever, no medicine is going to cure that, except watching the big game. Call in sick…trust me.”

Super Bowl sickie certificates available HERE

Super Bowl LVIII is live on ESPN in Australia, Monday, February 12, at 10am AEDT. 

ESPN - Super Bowl Sickie 2024

January 11, 2024

Continuing to grow our HubSpot partnership

We're continuing to see huge benefits and tangible results for the organisations we are working with that are utilising HubSpot as part of their integrated digital and social media strategy. As a HubSpot agency partner, we are helping our clients build out strategies that include a clear understanding of the customer and the customer lifecycle by integrating the HubSpot CRM. This then connects directly to the development of creative strategy and optimises creative, channel performance, media performance, ROAS, and informs ongoing optimisation. More information and how we achieve this is here.

So it's no surprise to us that HubSpot was recently named a Leader in the 2023 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for B2B Marketing Automation Platforms for the third consecutive year. Marketing Hub, HubSpot’s marketing software, is powered by its Smart CRM, unifying data and leveraging HubSpot AI to help marketers craft personalized journeys that attract, engage and delight customers and prospects. Customers using Marketing Hub for six months have seen an 81% increase in deal close rate, 108% increase in web traffic, and 115% increase in leads.*** You can read more about the Gartner B2B award here.

If you're interested in understanding how Now We Collide is using HubSpot as part of our broader service offering and how it can impact your digital and social marketing efficiencies and drive customer growth, please drop us a line.

December 4, 2023

The Creative Store: Creative Talk with Ryan Bodger

Now We Collide is a Sydney, Australia-based creative agency that is embracing AI as part of their everyday.  We talk to Ryan Bodger, co-founder and now the CCO about navigating AI via their arm Collide-AI and what this entails.

Appeared in THE CREATIVE STORE newsletter.

Ryan, give us the backstory – who are you and where did you come from?

A couple of decades ago, I started out as a junior broadcast cameraman and video editor at the Nine Network, where I stayed for a few years until the transition to a new digital world took hold through the dot com bubble in the late ’90s. In 1998 I co-founded the digital agency Tricky Design (now 24digital.com.au) and delivered campaigns and projects for high profile clients including Telstra, IBM and NAB (to name a few).

In 2003 I was given the opportunity to work in Japan as the Digital Creative Director for Nikkei Net, Japan’s largest news corporation, taking the lead in the redesign and development of Nikkei Net’s English website.

In 2006 I landed back in Sydney and went on to co-found Now We Collide with business partner and CEO Keir Maher in 2015, where I now work as CCO, with an awesome team, overseeing and delivering digitally integrated campaigns and projects for a broad range of great clients.

You have a great range of clients – do you focus on certain sectors, or enjoy the breadth and variety?

We are lucky in that the client partnerships we have built over the years have continued to grow and prosper. We have really spent the time nurturing them, helping them achieve their business goals while building strong relationships. While we don’t focus on particular verticals we specialise in helping big global brands deliver their marketing efforts across APAC and other regions. 

Your website states you are pioneers in the field of AI – how are you working in the AI space?

Right now we are witnessing the rapid advancement of deep neural networks in language, image, audio and video synthesis, resulting in remarkably precise, realistic, and customisable outputs. What was once blurry and low-resolution has now transformed into highly realistic and aesthetically impressive imagery, ushering in a new era of synthetic media. In late 2022 we setup Collide-AI driven by a passion to test, experiment and learn what this new technology can do, while seeing an opportunity to bring it into our everyday workflow.

How do you see the future of AI changing the face of a typical agency?

At COLLIDE-AI we believe that AI is not the creative solution for all projects or briefs. It doesn't provide all the answers, or simply replace more traditional creative development or production, nor should it. It is our belief that AI should be adopted as another creative tool for brands and marketers to get their message to market, at speed, in unique and exciting ways. We are conscious of the ethical issues surrounding its use and ensure we are not using it in the wrong way, using specific artists as reference for style and output. What is incredible about generative AI is the way we can come up with new ideas we may never of dreamed of in a much shorter period of time. This is based on how we are using it, prompting and engineering our outputs. It is not a simple process of prompting a few words in and hoping for the best. The processes we use, especially for AI video, is quite complex and uses a number of tools and techniques to get results that push the boundaries. In terms of the future and changing face of the typical agency, I think it is up to agencies to find the AI tools that suit their style or approach best, to find ways to adapt. There is no value in sticking your head in the sand and being stuck in old ways, the game has definitely changed.

Covering Content Marketing – Do you recommend HubSpot as the main tool? How & why would you recommend this CRM for clients?

We work with our clients from developing initial strategy, through to creative and ideation, content creation and media distribution. HubSpot is a fantastic platform to help us understand how all this comes together to achieve objectives and gain insights on what's working and how to optimise. HubSpot connects marketing activities, with sales, content management and customer service - so it really allows us to see the full customer lifecycle and understand the impact of marketing throughout all those stages. We work closely with our clients to ensure they are getting the best out of the software and we collaborate to gain insights, plan and optimise marketing activities.

What has been your most exciting creative to work on to date?

As a person with a life long love of playing and watching basketball, a campaign we recently delivered was for ESPN, creating their brand platform ‘Your Home For Hoops’. This initiative has been in development for a few years now and it has been exciting to see it unfold through such a strong period of growth for basketball in Australia. I’d like to think the campaigns we have run for ESPN, NBA, NBL, NBA Basketball School in Australia have helped to fuel this interest and growth. What has been most exciting about it, is the opportunity it has given us to push the creative boundaries and experiment with many different ideas, production techniques and concepts. You can check out some of the work here.

How do you curate a positive culture at Now We Collide?

By being open, honest and collaborative with our clients, our team and everyone we come into contact. Early Fridays' in summer, flexible working, rostered birthdays off, fun events, regular 'community days' where we give back to the community, the odd long lunch and gatherings and a passion for nurturing ideas and creativity also helps.

Do you look to other companies / have a mentor – whether that is in Australia or overseas?

I’ve been lucky enough to end up with a business partner who at times acts as a mentor, keeps my wandering creative mind on the straight and narrow and ensures things are as much about function as well as form.

As far as other companies go for inspiration I have always had a curiosity for tech-enabled creativity, so am always on the lookout for people, agencies or artists doing new, incredible things, be it here or overseas. I feel like the space for creative innovation is now more exciting than it has ever been before. 

How has 2023 been for you?  What are you looking forward to in 2024?

2023 has been exciting but challenging. Coming out of Covid posed many new challenges. I felt empathy for employees and clients who had effectively been working in a bubble for over two years, while this year gave people an opportunity to properly reconnect and travel again without as many rules and restrictions. I think people came into 2023 feeling quite restless with a need to explore again. As an agency, we doubled in size during COVID so it was a tricky juggle to find new talent and integrate them into the business. 2023 has opened things back up and brought the team back into the office, which is so important as a creative agency. 2024 will be another exciting year for us with many new and exciting projects currently in the pipes set to launch in the new year. 

Last words?

Collide-AI watch this space.

August 5, 2023

Threads – suddenly you’ve got huge scale instantly, which no other ‘Twitter killer’ has been able to achieve.

August 5, 2023 - Article featured in MediaWeek

Last month, Meta launched Threads, the app widely reported to be a ‘Twitter Killer’ – or perhaps now, an ‘X killer’. 

As an app, Threads is more focused on text and dialogue, with Meta saying that the platform “offers a new, separate space for real-time updates and public conversations.”

With the app now out there in the world, Mediaweek caught up with Keir Maher, managing partner at Now We Collide – Meta’s local agency of record.

“It’s been interesting – Meta have come back really strongly this year,” Maher says, reflecting on how the year has been for Meta so far. “ It’s good for us to be part of that journey after last year’s ups and downs across the tech industry, I don’t think anybody was really out of the firing line for that.

“It’s been good to be back this year, and with things like Threads launching, it just means there’s more to come.”

Now We Collide works with Meta as part of their B2B side of the business, and in that space, Maher says that the team have been pleased with the launch of Threads.

Everybody is blown away by how quick the take up has been, in terms of the interest that there’s been from creators’ brands. ChatGPT had the fastest growth ever, and now three months later, that’s been blown out of the water by 10 million new users in six hours.

“I think it was a super smart move from Meta to make it so easy for people to access Threads through their Insta account, and at the touch of a button say, ‘Yes, I want to follow everyone that follows me on Insta, and everyone that’s on Insta that follows me can follow me on Threads’. Suddenly what you’ve got is huge scale straight away, which no other ‘Twitter killer’ has been able to achieve, because they’ve had to build scale from scratch.”

The ‘Twitter killer’ – or perhaps ‘X killer now – label has been following Threads since it first launched, however, Maher says that anyone who is pushing that line probably hasn’t spent much time on Threads.

A lot of people are saying it’s a Twitter killer because it’s the same as Twitter – they haven’t used it if they’re saying that, because it’s not the same as Twitter. You can’t use hashtags for content discovery yet, which is what drives Twitter. There’s no area within Threads to find trending content at the moment, it’s a single feed, whereas Twitter is all about picking news trends, sports trends, and music trends in their native menu – there is no native menu in Threads yet for that.”

When it comes to the rapid take-up of Threads – the app took only 5 days to record 100 million users – Maher says that Now We Collide will always focus on the value equation, because “there needs to be some kind of value equation between the consumer and the platform itself.” With some very famous backers of the app, however, he’s feeling positive about the future.

“You’ve got Chris Hemsworth with 3.7 million followers already on the platform, Tourism Australia, they’re on there with 155,000, you’ve got Nike with 2.5 million followers, you’ve got Netflix with 3 million followers. Even Anthony Albanese is on there with 51,000 followers. The fact that you’ve got all these content creators already there means you’ve got brands looking for that first-mover advantage. We’ve been talking to the partners and the clients that we have on how they can take that first-mover advantage, experiment with the platform, and see where it goes.”

While Meta isn’t offering advertising to clients just yet, Maher says that it could be a service that is just over the horizon.

“There’s still more development to come. At the moment, they’re not offering advertising to clients, so that first mover advantage is from an organic point of view – what can clients do to test, learn, and experiment while they’re building out? Threads are saying that monetisation is not a priority for them at all this year, Zuck himself is saying that his vision for Threads is to create an open and friendly public space for conversation. 

“Meta has very good ad tech tools, they’ve got the tech stack, they’ve got the tools for finding people and delivering relevant advertising messages. It makes sense that over time that could possibly come in, but at the moment there are no plans to do that in the foreseeable future.”

Published by

Keir Maher

Now We Collide - Managing Partner

June 8, 2023

Chief Executive Women partners with Now We Collide to rebrand and launch annual Leadership Summit

MediaWeek

AdNews

Independent creative agency Now We Collide has partnered with Chief Executive Women (CEW) across their creative and marketing initiatives. This strategic partnership aims to revamp CEW’s Leadership Summit, driving awareness among Australian leaders and expediting progress towards gender equality. 

CEW is the pre-eminent organisation representing Australia’s most influential women leaders across various sectors such as corporate, public service, academic and not-for-profit sector.

Their annual Leadership Summit, now branded as ‘Agenda 2033’, acts as a catalyst to reaching a future where gender equality is reality. An unmissable lineup of influential speakers and disruptors will take to the stage to identify tangible actions that people and businesses can implement to accelerate change across Australia. 

Ann Burns GAIDC, CEW Member and Strategic Advisor, comments: “No one wants to wait 100 years for an equal future. We are a force for change and are advocating for more diverse voices at every table and women’s workforce participation enabled across all sectors. Our mission is to empower all women so they are economically secure and free from violence across their life course and that there is workplace flexibility for all to work and care.”

Burns continues, “Our Leadership Summit is for all leaders looking to take decisive action in the next ten years to accelerate our journey and to empower men and women to have the same social and economic choices. This is the forum where change is re-ignited and we set a new Agenda that is built on activation and collaboration.

“Working with Now We Collide has given us the creative inspiration to move ahead with confidence and set our passion in the context of action,” says Burns.

Naomi Young, Strategy Director at Now We Collide, said, “Key to the creative strategy was identifying the data-wow point we drew from the 2022 CEW Census*. Based on the current rate of change, it will take 100 years to have leadership equality.

“Accelerating this unacceptable statistic is at the heart of the new name, Agenda 2033, but also key to CEW’s action plan. This event will ignite a chain reaction to fast track equality, turning what could be 100 years of snail-paced change into 10.”

Young continues, “Partnering with the CEW team in their rebrand for the summit has been very fulfilling. Leadership development is a crowded space in the market, so creatively we needed cut-through, to clearly communicate the unique position of Agenda 2033. 

“This is not just another leadership event or a day to shape your future self, this is about igniting change on a national level. The creative, from naming through to visuals in market, needs to inspire and activate people.” 

Announced earlier this week, the lineup of speakers for Agenda 2033 includes notable individuals like Taryn Brumfitt, who was honoured as the Australian of the Year in 2023. Joining her are influential leaders such as Shemara Wikramanayake, CEO of Macquarie Group, Leah Weckert, CEO of Coles, and Kaylee Anderson, Victorian Aboriginal Engagement Lead.

Want to be part of the fast track to equality? Tickets are now on sale for CEW’s Leadership Summit here: https://cew.org.au/events/cew-summit/

Credits:

Chief Creative Officer: Ryan Bodger

CEO: Keir Maher

Strategy Director: Naomi Young

Creative Lead: Kate Holdsworth

Art Director: Sarah Coleman

Chief Executive Women - Agenda 2033

*Source:  2022 CEW Census https://cew.org.au/advocacy/2022-cew-census-an-urgent-wakeup-call-ceo-gender-balance-100-years-away/

December 13, 2022

‘Experience the Unforgettable’ with BridgeClimb Sydney

BridgeClimb Sydney is putting one of Australia’s most iconic experiences back on the itinerary of international travellers, with a new campaign from independent creative agency Now We Collide. 

Read more

November 25, 2022

Cocentric – Unlock the Best in People

Now We Collide launches campaign unveiling new name and look for digital transformation business Cocentric. Independent creative agency Now We Collide has worked with digital employee experience company Azuronaut to rebrand, creating a new name - Cocentric - brand values and visual identity.  Cocentric improves the digital employee experience, bringing people and tech together to […]

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November 18, 2022

Why AI is the assistant every creative needs

Full article published by The Australian

If you work in advertising or digital marketing, some of today’s emerging technology might seem a little threatening. But just as television didn’t kill the radio, intuitive AI won’t spell doom for human creativity either. Ryan Bodger, Chief Creative Officer at Now We Collide, explains why we should look on the bright side.

 Not long ago I was working with a client and telling them about the improvement I’d seen in AI-generated copy. They were, it’s safe to say, dubious.

So we did a little experiment and produced a few different versions answering the copywriting brief they’d sent our way. Oh, and one we slipped in there was produced by an AI source. 

Lo and behold, their preferred option was penned by the machine.

Others were at it before us. In 2018, Lexus released an advertisement completely scripted by AI. The company used IBM Watson, an AI system, to analyse 15 years of award-winning car ads. Watson managed to identify the elements of successful ads that resonated most with audiences - and did it with aplomb.

If this sounds like an unconvincing way to open a piece reassuring you that the machines aren’t going to put creatives out of business, well, fair enough. 

But bear with me, because where pure creativity is concerned, I’m convinced AI is the assistant we need right now and not an existential threat. Here’s why. 

In the media and technology industries machine learning has thus far mostly been associated with measurement. In recent years we’ve been swamped by a sudden deluge of data with no way to make sense of it. The solution was AI.

Ask most people and they’d say machines replacing human brains for repetitive tabulation tasks is a good thing. Well, AI can do something very similar for creatives. There are now huge efficiencies to be had in developing concepts and getting them back to clients quickly. 

At Now We Collide, for example, we’re already experimenting with art and text generators like Open AI & Broca for copy, tagline and idea generation. And we’re running tests on video and animation solutions that can help our designers come up with new ideas and expedite existing ones (see below).

We’re also using MidJourney, Dall-e2 and Stable Diffusions DreamStudio for visual concept development and content generation. It’s a new and exciting world - and one that can make us much more efficient as businesses.

In many cases, having this AI in our toolkit means tasks that would’ve taken two to three weeks from conception to delivery can be achieved much quicker. And this is especially important when speed to market is key to keeping share-of-voice high for most brands.

Measuring up in a creative space

In the world of measurement you’ll often hear people from tech companies extolling the virtues of giving the AI the richest data possible. The theory being that what you put in correlates strongly with what you get out. This is having some interesting knock on effects in the creative realm.

We’re now considering the types of roles the intersection of human output and AI technology is creating. There’s now a place in businesses like ours for what we are calling the Prompt Architect or Engineer. This is a role that involves working with AI, providing it with the right stimulus, or ‘prompts’ in order to get the best possible results. 

Of course, we’ll never replace the human element entirely, but the ability to maximise the output of AI shapes as a very important new job skill. It’s an interesting inversion to think that great results can come from humans learning machine learning language, rather than us teaching AI what to do.
And if you’re not convinced of AI’s efficacy yet, well, we’re already seeing some exciting developments in the fashion and cosmetics space. In the example pictured below, the model, hair and makeup were all created by an AI source in under two hours - derived from refining a single prompt sheet of images.

Image generated in Midjourney

And while AI used in this way could be disruptive for the fashion industry, it’s fair to assume this approach isn’t going to work for everyone just yet. But given the potential, I think that brands and marketers will certainly be interested in faster, more cost-effective ways to get their messages to market.

For creative businesses, there are simple ways you can experiment too. Being a big basketball fan, and working with ESPN on creating ‘Your Home For Hoops’ brand platform, I’ve started a BallArt Instagram account as a way to experiment and explore new visual concepts. Just by showcasing what’s possible via AI creativity, it provides us with a way to quickly realise which ideas work with a specific audiences.

Image from @ballart76

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of the rise of machine learning in the creative space for me, though, is the ability to generate fresh ideas and new ways of thinking at a much quicker pace. A lot of effort goes into ideation, and having a collection of thought starters can be a very powerful thing.
If you’re still not convinced, then consider this. For agencies - particularly smaller Indies like us - leaning into this technology can also be a great selling point for clients. It’s a sign you move with the times and embrace agility - and that you’re not afraid to experiment with new trends in the quest for success. 

For brands, I say, don’t be scared of it. Embrace it, test it and work with those who are doing likewise. At the end of the day, it’s just another software solution, but one that could really make a difference to your next campaign.

November 14, 2022

Creating history with ESPN and the Opals

For just the second time in history, Australia played host to the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup, and in a first, ESPN would be broadcasting a major sporting event, live from Australian shores. Now We Collide was given the task of creating a social media led creative campaign that targeted a wide Australian audience alongside basketball fans to drive tune-in to ESPN’s live broadcast.   

The creative strategy involved featuring high profile Opals players delivering inspirational lines to camera from a New York training camp, which NWC managed remotely. We then combined this footage with unique cell animation, game footage and commentary stings to set the scene for the home town showdown. Multiple exports were created with different calls to action. The first was to create awareness in the lead up to the competition, we then tailored messaging to game specific tune-in as each game approached. The creative was then A/B tested with sound on and sound off versions across different platforms. 

The semi-final game creative - Opals v China on ESPN.

We ran the campaign using a blended social media strategy with the goal of reaching the widest possible audience and combining this with ‘active engagement’ to achieve video view completions. 

The Opals did Aussie fans proud in the world cup, bringing home the bronze medal after narrowly missing out on the gold medal match. The USA claimed their third championship on the bounce but there was another winner out of the competition and that was the success of the sound on, vertical format video in our creative campaign, something that Now We Collide has been championing for a while now - Vertical video keeps soaring. 

Sound on environments such as TikTok and Instagram Reels proved to be a great format to drive reach and engagement where we used the celebrity and inspiration of the Opals players to deliver piece-to-camera with a more ‘native’ feel to the TikTok/Reels world during the campaign. Also, because people tend to actively scroll TikTok and Reels as opposed to the more passive scrolling provided by other formats, audio becomes more relevant and powerful when making creative choices on these platforms. The TikTok campaign also included some tactical enhancements such as premium placement in feed and Super Like interactive add on.

The campaign reached over 2.5 million viewers across Facebook, Instagram and TikTok while engagement and 100% video views performance achieved was significantly above benchmarks and KPIs set. Not only that, and most importantly, the event has become one of the most successful for ESPN Australia in terms of audience numbers and viewing figures.

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November 11, 2022

Vertical video keeps soaring

Just over 2 years ago we wrote about the Rise of Vertical Video and how we saw it as “one of the biggest opportunities for brands” at the time. Shift forward 2 years and it's clear that the prediction has become a reality. During that time we have seen the exponential growth of Instagram Reels, in 2021 Adam Mosseri, the Head of Instagram announced a focus on video and the tripling of Reels maximum running length to 90 seconds (while ads have a maximum running length of 60 seconds) – with over 1 billion active Instagram users every month the move into vertical mobile video has been one of the driving forces behind the success. Reels has now been expanded to Facebook as well which in turn increases the views and discoverability of Reels across both platforms.

Ultimately though, Reels was a response to the growth of what was then a new-comer to the vertical video scene – TikTok. TikTok has grown rapidly and whilst we recognised 2 years ago that they were a serious competitor to the incumbent leaders in social video at the time (Facebook and YouTube) we didn’t foresee quite how big they would get. In fact, data from the recent Hootsuite / We Are Social report shows that TikTok now leads in average time per month spent in app across Android devices globally:

TikTok’s undoubted success has been driven by their AI algorithm and the ability to curate and recommend the most relevant content to keep viewers hooked and scrolling for more. In this sense, TikTok has become a quasi social media and entertainment platform in one. TikTok now has over 1 billion monthly active users itself and is projected to reach somewhere between $8bn - $12bn in ad revenue in 2022.

Not to be out-done, in late 2020 YouTube launched their own YouTube Shorts vertical video and short-from platform for videos 60 seconds and less. YouTube Shorts is already driving 1.5bn monthly views and has in our eyes the advantage over both Instagram and TikTok in that it plugs into both the creator community of YouTube and the overall Google ecosystem, particularly search. Demand for YouTube Shorts has been soaring, in April this year Google CEO, Pichai announced that YouTube Shorts, is generating 30 billion views per day, which is four times more than the same time a year earlier.

So what does all this mean for brands and advertisers? In a word, plenty. There are the obvious creative ramifications we discussed in our original article – vertical video needs to be filmed or produced with the vertical 9:16 format front of mind mind – utilising all the available pixel space to maximise engagement with a feeling that is native to viewing and platform experience. With videos across all vertical platforms primarily watched with sound-on, this means that dialogue, sound and sound design has become more important than ever and revokes many of the previous recommendations around creating for a sound-off viewing experience.

This also means that video content including people and dialogue directly to camera within the creative has become more important than ever – driven by the success of a plethora of content creators – and for advertisers this is an important consideration. We have run a number of organic and paid campaigns across Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube in which we have A/B tested different creative and we have interesting findings where for certain categories and demographics, people speaking directly to camera and engaging with audience one-to-one, have significantly out-performed all other creative.

One thing we have also been working on as an agency is optimising video creative for 95%+ or 100% video completions. This is because the video platforms are often optimised to reporting on a 3 second or up to 6 second video view and while this might be relevant for the platforms themselves to report on, this isn't necessarily a true gauge of how consumers are interacting with a brands content or ads. While there has been lots written on the demise of the average attention span there is also plenty of evidence available to confirm that if you reach the right people, at the right time with content that is relevant and of interest/engaging, they will dedicate as much time as needed. So we believe a truer reflection of campaign success is to understand and report on those higher video completion rates and optimise the creative and media strategy accordingly.

Data from numerous campaigns we have run here at Now We Collide over the last 2 years has shown that the growth in vertical video has been accompanied by much higher video viewing completion rates and the associated cost efficiencies which can be achieved and by optimising video to the vertical format, even higher engagement and efficiencies can be achieved.

So for now at least the rise of vertical video continues and is now an essential part of any digital and social media strategy and should be integrated into the channel mix accordingly.

October 17, 2022

ESPN on Foxtel – Sport Never Ends

US sports have continued their growth trajectory in Australia with numerous studies showing both participation and viewership have increased markedly. While demographics of fans skew younger than the average Aussie sports fan, the growth in US sports has been driven by both younger fans entering the market and existing sports fans being attracted from other codes.

Beginning in September with the NFL, and followed closely by the NBA & NHL, ESPN gives sports fans access to some of the world’s most prestigious leagues. Combine that with the MLB playoffs and the ever present UFC and you have all the drama, action and intrigue that sport fans know and love. So, while Aussie football codes such as the AFL and NRL finish up their respective seasons, sports fans from across all codes are safe in the knowledge that “Sport Never Ends”.

Targeting Foxtel subscribers, Now We Collide produced a campaign to show Australian sports fans the common ground amongst all sporting codes - although the games might differ in style, they’re packed with emotional storylines. From the highest of highs, to the lowest of lows, fans return each season to right the wrongs from seasons past or to witness teams build on the dynasties that will be remembered forever. This is the same for every sport, everywhere and with ESPN on Foxtel, this can be done anytime. 

The integrated campaign features 3 broadcast TV commercials run across the Foxtel platform to retain existing subscribers and this was supported by print, digital display, and social media, with all creative, design and assets produced by the team at Now We Collide. The team took inspiration from recent US sporting events, and used game footage supplied by ESPN to create a narrative campaign that all sports fans can relate to. The creative is held together with motion graphics that combined elements from both the ESPN and Foxtel brand to create a familiar but unique art direction. 

Services

  • Creative Development
  • Campaign strategy
  • Art Direction
  • Copywriting
  • Production / post-production
  • Motion Graphics

Credits

  • Marketing Mgr Au/NZ ESPN - Mark Porter
  • Sports Marketing Manager - Foxtel - Emily Peake
  • Executive Producer - Keir Maher
  • Chief Creative Officer - Ryan Bodger
  • Producer - Shayne Carter
  • Art Director - Tim Prosser
  • Editor - Josh Groom

Check our integrated social media campaign for ESPN on Kayo here.

August 10, 2022

AdNews Industry Profile: Ryan Bodger our CCO at Now We Collide

AdNews Industry Profile

Our Industry Profile takes a look at some of the professionals working across the advertising, adtech, marketing and media sector in Australia. It aims to shed light on the varying roles and companies across the buzzing industry.

Ryan Bodger: Chief creative officer at Now We Collide

Time in current role/time at the company:
Now We Collide was founded in 2015 by CEO and Managing Partner, Keir Maher, and myself, Ryan Bodger, chief creative officer and managing partner.

How would you describe what the company does?
Most of the time we are helping our client partners realise the potential of the new digital economy. This means coming up with creative ways to intersect and engage with audiences, customers and consumers on a myriad of platforms, channels and digital ecosystems. Every business we work with has different goals and objectives, so we uniquely tailor our approach to each of them and build teams to support their business for successful outcomes.

 What do you do day-to-day?
Problem solving, ideation, creative execution, research, strategy, production, client and stakeholder management and team building. Sometimes I might even fix a broken cupboard in the studio - I like to get hands on with everything I do. Each day presents a new set of challenges and often I lean on our great team, resources and mentors - both internal and external - to get the job done. I’m blessed to work with such a talented and clever group of people.

Define your job in one word:
Adaptation.

I got into digital market industry because:
It was where the ad industry was heading. It was a natural progression from working in television early on, through the dot.com boom running a digital agency, to the fragmented, decentralised digital landscape we are now in. It’s been a wild ride and it’s ever changing - but that’s why I like it.ADVERTISING

What’s the biggest challenge you face in your role?
Helping clients realise the potential of the ever-changing media and digital landscape. I think a lot of the time we are comfortable in the day-to-day and find it difficult to adapt and change. Often people resist change, because it’s hard and it makes them feel uncomfortable.

But that is exactly what we all do as audiences or consumers. We constantly shift our gaze to the next exciting thing that interests us, solves a problem or entertains us. Think the iphone, Netflix, Reddit, TikTok, Discord, Blockchain, AI - it’s always changing. We’re here to help businesses embrace these changes.

 What’s the biggest industry-wide challenge you’d like to see tackled?
Getting people to value creativity in our industry and the ‘idea’ as currency. While the digital age has caused a paradigm shift in our ability to scrutinise data, and rightly so, the value of creativity has been diminished by some.

I think the ‘idea’ is seen as something floating in thin air, waiting to be plucked. Sometimes that can happen, but very rarely. I believe those that harness the power of data, draw valuable insights and drive quicker creative thinking and effective strategy to market will win. Those ideas and that thinking needs to be worth more and valued more.

What are you most excited about in the next 12 months?
Seeing Now We Collide go from strength to strength in delivering some of our best work, while continuing to build and support an incredible team of people that all love working together.

Who has been a great mentor to you and why?
My Dad. As a kid I saw him go from working in the backyard shed in the outer suburbs of Melbourne, as a sole trader Signwriter (back when they used paint and brushes), to running a sign factory with around 20 people working for him.

I have good memories of spending time with his apprentices, learning how signs were made, mixing paints, screen printing, and seeing how business was done. He didn't always have to give me great advice, but his work ethic and commitment to making a better life for his family has given me a great lens through which to see the world.

 Words of advice for someone wanting a job like yours?
Nothing ever stays the same, so be ready to adapt to change, constantly. Don't be precious when things don't go your way.

 If I wasn't doing this for a living, I'd be:
As a kid, my dream was to be playing alongside Michael Jordan with the Chicago Bulls… that didn't quite work out. But if I wasn't running a Creative Agency right now, I would probably be helping my wife more with her new venture, Alba Atelier (plug!).

My mantra is:
Time is running.

My favourite advert is:
The original Apple iPod Ad - design, simplicity, fun. RIP the iPod

August 2, 2022

Cross-border creativity and the landscape for content production has shifted.

Appearing in Mumbrella

Five years ago, if you’d suggested to your boss that all staff should work half their week at home, I reckon you’d have been met with raised eyebrows.

But things have changed fast and employers have come to see hybrid work not just as something that’s viable – they’re now viewing it as genuinely advantageous.

This shift in how many in our industry are operating is just one reason why indie agencies have shone so brightly over the past few years.

We are now increasingly seeing how important agility is to powering innovation and delivering results. Speed to insight plus the ability to adapt and move quickly has become critical, and smaller agencies typically work without the legacy baggage of larger, traditional agencies.

The playing field has levelled between indies and larger global agency networks. Why? Technology improvements, shifts in the way we work, and access to global resources such as talent, research, software, hardware – you name it – mean clients no longer need to rely on big players to coordinate international creative ad campaigns.

The game has changed, permanently

The events of the last two years years caused a seismic shift in the way agencies needed to support their clients and this has continued into 2022. Indie agencies with a willingness to adapt have been able to thrive throughout thanks to a number of factors which were already in play, but have now become even more significant.

The first is their ability to leverage a satellite network of talented experts. These highly skilled and experienced professionals provide invaluable support, with small agencies better placed to flexibly choose who they engage for appropriate projects.

Additionally, with the advent of more advanced virtual work technologies, smaller, unencumbered agencies can more easily bring these experts into the fold to work in a more mutually productive way.

Secondly, I believe indies are uniquely positioned to deliver work remotely. In the past, large international agency networks had a monopoly on global client relationships, and great emphasis was placed on having many important people in rooms together.

But the game has changed. Now, a client in the UK typically cares a lot less if the agency they’re working with is in London or Sydney. And that’s a good thing, as it makes operations more efficient, opens up avenues to new talent, and drastically lowers overheads.

In this evolving context, we’ve seen a stack of indies doing great things lately. There’s a genuine ability to develop ideas and create content that is entirely market-specific, even when produced remotely.

A great example of this model succeeding is the ‘Checkout Catch’ campaign from Catch Group, supported by AJF GrowthOps. With both the agency’s creative team and Catch Group headquartered in Melbourne, they were faced with a challenge when a second lockdown was imposed. Ultimately, the campaign was shot in Queensland, but directed via real-time feedback from interstate – and the results didn’t suffer an iota.

Overseas examples are plentiful too. Remote filming worked a treat for US-based creative agency Mischief @ No Fixed Address. It produced terrific ads including Miller Genuine Draft’s ‘Unapologetically Beer’ and Shutterfly’s ‘Make it a Thing’ – both are well worth a look.

Staying creative and embracing adaptability

One of the reasons I chose this industry is because it is a ‘people’ industry – collaboration and human interaction are at the heart and that will always be the case.

However, now clients have more options than ever before to engage the right agency, they no longer have to hire the global agency group to get the best results. The playing field has been levelled and smaller agencies now have access to the same networks of expertise and resources.

The lesson of the last few years is that the old rules really no longer apply. Technology has shown us that businesses can thrive when their employees predominantly work from the comfort of their homes. Similarly, creative businesses don’t need to be leviathans to deliver brilliant results for their clients.

So if you don’t think you need a room full of VIPs to shoot the lights out with your next campaign, then consider what a smaller agency partner has to offer.

April 11, 2022

Julia Morris beats the banks with Homestar Finance via Now We Collide

Source: Mumbrella, AdNews

Homestar Finance has launched its latest integrated campaign via Now We Collide.

The campaign challenges Australians to rid themselves of “toxic financial energy” by switching to Homestar, in what is the second iteration of Homestar’s campaign that launched last year via Now We Collide.

“Beat the banks” also marks a continuation of Julia Morris as the face of Homestar’s campaigns, following the comedian across three humorous spots that see her at peace knowing that she can refinance a home loan with Homestar Finance.

The first of three 30-second TVCs sees Morris ridding herself of ‘bad energy’ at a group meditation. Morris tells viewers about the super low rate and extras offered by Homestar, inviting Australians to ‘let go’ of their ‘toxic old bank’.

The integrated campaign will be rolled out across free-to-air TV, radio, digital and social media, as well as owned assets, in addition to a sponsorship with Sky News.

Executive directive and COO of Homestar’s parent company, ColCap, Ilias Pavlopoulos commented: “It’s been great to once again team up with the creative powerhouse that is Now We Collide and the charming and hilarious Julia Morris.

“Homestar Finance is a market disruptor and we wanted a campaign that reflected that. We offer some of the lowest home loan rates across the country, an easy application process, and the best personalised service – which is why we’ve been awarded by Canstar as an Outstanding Value Home Loan Provider in 2022. This campaign delivers this message in a unique and relatable way to all Aussies.”

Now We Collide’s CEO Keir Maher added: “Banking and finance don’t always have to be boring which is why we developed a fun, creative platform that’s relatable to all Aussies. Julia Morris injects the right amount of humour and personality into the campaign.

“It’s been an absolute pleasure to work alongside Homestar for the second year. Our businesses are alike in that we both like to challenge the status quo. We’re excited to have expanded our trusted partnership as Homestar’s business grows.”

Now We Collide was first appointed to the Homestar Finance creative account in March 2021.

Credits:

Director: Josh Logue
Executive Producer: Keir Maher
Creative Director: Kurt Toohey
Producer: Shayne Carter
DOP: Ben Shirley
Art Director: Sam Lukins
Copywriter: Lyndon Christie
Editor: Josh Groom
Stills: Ben Kelly

March 31, 2022

Now We Collide Champions Small Business In New Global Campaign For Meta

B&T ; MarkeTech APAC ; Mumbrella ; Adnews

Now We Collide has created a new campaign for Meta which showcases the ingenuity of small businesses across APAC in its latest “Good Ideas Deserve To Be Found” global campaign. 

The campaign will run across the APAC region and consists of four 15-second ads which bring to life the stories behind nine different small to medium businesses (SMBs) from countries including Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Philippines and Thailand.

“Good Ideas Deserve To Be Found” is designed to build awareness of tools and resources available to help SMBs connect with new audiences and grow their business online.

It is built on the insight that there are millions of good ideas out there, even though running a business and making it stand out to customers can be difficult.

“The last two years have been uniquely testing times for SMBs, providing some serious challenges with store closures and new opportunities with the explosion in digital retail,” said Meta Australia and New Zealand director of marketing, Alex Sloane.

“With this campaign, we wanted to draw attention to the wealth of resources available to help them use digital tools to even better effect, with the potential to create truly global businesses. We genuinely believe that “Good ideas deserve to be found.” and can come from anywhere.”

Meta 'Good Ideas Deserve to Be Found' - Stay Flower Japan

The campaign will be distributed via digital channels and Meta-owned platforms through Dentsu Media.

Each of the creative executions centre on revealing the ‘invisible’ product of a small business. One shows a boy wearing a bike helmet and pads apparently floating along, before an Instagram ad unit reveals the bike he is riding. Another features a woman practicing Jiu Jitsu apparently alone before revealing she is sparring with her instructor.

“We’re excited to be involved in a campaign that would help out many SMBs across APAC, especially as it was filmed at one of the more challenging periods of the pandemic,” said Now We Collide chief creative officer, Ryan Bodger.

“We had to grapple with these challenges as well, and our team was able to bring to life these stories from all across Asia either filming remotely or in-studio and on location in Sydney.

“By bringing the client into the studio ‘virtually’, we were able to closely collaborate throughout the production process, making approvals frictionless. We streamlined the process through live video offline edit sessions, bringing together various stakeholders from different locations across the globe.”

Now We Collide CEO, Keir Maher, added, “One of the more positive things the pandemic has given us, is the ability to work in ways we never thought possible.

“Quick adaptation to change has always been part of the Now We Collide DNA, but now it is built into our production processes and methodologies. This campaign is testament to our abilities as a nimble and effective team.”

Credits:

Creative Agency: Now We Collide

Production/Post: Now We Collide
Media: Dentsu

VFX/CGI Post: Heckler
Sound: PureSound
Executive Creative Director: Ryan Bodger
Business Director/EP: Naomi Young
Creative Director: Shelby Craig

Meta Internal Creative Leads: Justin Yeo (Meta), Jonathan Cockett (Meta)

Director: Toby Morris

DOP: Dan Freene

VFX Supervisor: Jamie Watson (Heckler)
Stunt Coordinator: Ray Anthony

Account Lead: Shayne Carter

Producer: Re Lim

Editor: Josh Groom

Motion Graphics/VFX: Darryn Rogers

Sound: James Martell

February 24, 2022

Instagram and Butterfly Foundation launch BodyKind

Source: Mumbrella, B&T, Butterfly Foundation

Independent creative agency, Now We Collide has created a new campaign for Instagram and The Butterfly Foundation encouraging Aussies to challenge their perceptions of body image and beauty.

The “BodyKind Online” series features five key creators and influencers to share their “#BodyKindOnline” tips, including @alrighthey, @allira.potter, @oliviamollyrogers, @stylebydeni, and @katewas.

The influencers appear in various short form videos, speaking out about their own online experiences, clinically backed tips and advice to help young people foster positive body image and inspire more positive and kind behaviour.

The campaign aims to educate Aussies on how to navigate likes and comments, how to curate your feed to make Instagram a more positive place, using filters safely, and managing feelings of comparison to friends or influencers.

The campaign is based on a national social media and body image study conducted by The Butterfly Foundation, which found 40 per cent of respondents admitted they compared their posts to those of others, and 63 per cent said how others perceived their appearance online was important to them.

“Butterfly is proud to once again partner with Instagram and Now We Collide to foster a positive body image online. #BodyKindOnline sparks discussion and offers practical advice about how we can all be kinder to ourselves and each other’s bodies online,” said Butterfly Foundation spokesperson, Alex Cowen.

“It is imperative that everyone, in particular young people, are equipped with strong social media literacy skills to disrupt the negative feedback loop that can sometimes occur online.

“This campaign puts the power into young peoples’ hands and gives them the tools to reject unattainable appearance ideals, social comparison and the seemingly ‘perfect’ life that can fill our feeds.”

Instagram Asia-Pacific policy programs manager, Tara Bedi, said the social media platform was “committed” to reducing pressures surrounding body image.

“We’re launching safety campaigns and consulting on new tools and policies to ensure we protect the most vulnerable people on Instagram.

“The new campaign combines clinically backed advice from Butterfly with tips from some of Australia’s top creators to help young people navigate a safer and more positive body image experience on social media.

“It’s been a pleasure working with such a great cause and leaning on our partners at Now We Collide to help bring this campaign to life,” she said.

Managing partner and CEO, Keir Maher, added, “We’re so proud to be involved in a campaign addressing such an important cause. These videos are an intimate window into these five creators’ personal experiences and are a great way to connect and seek help for those who are undergoing similar circumstances.”

“We had to jump through hurdles to bring this project to life with lockdowns and Covid restrictions but our nimble team once again faced up to the challenge to share these invaluable stories.”

Full details of the campaign and Butterfly prevention programs for young people, professionals and parents can be found on Butterfly Foundation’s website.

Credits:

  • Senior Producer - Amanda Cooton
  • CEO - Keir Maher
  • CCO - Ryan Bodger
  • Art Director - Kate O'Donnell
  • Editor - Josh Groom
  • Client Services Director - Naomi Young
  • Copywriter - Declan Arrighi
  • Audio Engineer - James Martell
  • Motion Designer - Karina Smole

December 6, 2021

Nothing but net; the fundamentals of leveraging subcultures in sport marketing

Source: AdNews

Aussies have always been sports fans, but a year of lockdowns have left them more interested in sporting communities than ever before. Now We Collide’s Ryan Bodger shares his thoughts on basketball subcultures and the opportunities for marketers in reaching these audiences.

Patty Mills, Steph Curry , LeBron James.

How many people would recognise these names without having watched a full game of professional basketball in their life?

The popularity and cultures surrounding sports entertainment have skyrocketed. Digital innovations, particularly throughout the pandemic, have been geared towards emulating real life experiences in the digital and now virtual world. This has expanded the borders of sport further than ever before, bringing new communities into the foray and invigorating those that already existed.

Basketball in particular has seen incredible growth, particularly in Australia. The national men’s basketball team, Boomers, made history in the Tokyo Olympics with the team’s first ever Olympic Medal. Interest in the athletes and their stories have built a pop-culture even when fans weren’t able to physically attend the games.

Marketers have a unique opportunity to tap into this thriving, passionate and engaged audience. But every new game comes with its own rulebook and challenges, and understanding these are foundational to any success a brand might hope to achieve.

A household game

Australia is a sporting nation, and basketball has become a very important part of that national psyche.

The recent success of Australian basketballers overseas, including Patty Mills, Andrew Bogut, Ben Simmons, and more recently Josh Giddy and Joe Ingles, has contributed to skyrocketing interest in basketball and the NBA. The triumphs of these athletes on a global stage has played into a sense of patriotism and community built across international borders.

The Last Dance, a docuseries focusing on the career of Michael Jordan, also introduced popular narratives around basketball to the everyday Australian audience. For those who weren’t able to watch the games Michael played, this was a portal into the world of the NBA and basketball culture they previously didn’t have access to.

Another consequence of being an international fan is embracing virtual channels and innovations to consume sports.

This means that a significant proportion of NBA fans are no longer sitting through entire games via streaming. Instead, they’re accessing highlight reels, recaps, dedicated sporting apps, and even betting websites to participate with the game. These are all channels outside of the traditional sports broadcaster which are being engaged to support thriving fandoms.

This gives marketers more mediums than ever to tap into the subcultures created by these communities.

It’s not all balls and whistles

Basketball fans aren’t just interested in the game. They’re participating in art, music, fashion, pop culture and values that support it.

The barriers that separate these cultural avenues from each other are disintegrating. An example of this is Drake’s music video for Laugh Now Cry Later, which featured athletes Kevin Durant and Odell Beckham Jr. playing basketball with the artist. The unique combo brought Drake’s fans to the NBA and the NBA’s fans to Drake - broadening the reach that either combo had solo.

Now We Collide was also recently involved with an extended campaign for ESPN and the NBA. The campaign’s goal was to market the NBA finals to a wider audience outside of those fans who would already be tuning in. The solution? Now We Collide commissioned Aussie artists to create six original artworks of some of the game’s iconic athletes including LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kawhi Leonard.

The campaign immortalised these superstars in paint, with artists selected for their genuine passion for the game and their social media presence. The campaign successfully played to an Australian demographic of those interested in street art, culture and sport.

It’s a clear example of how effective sports marketing partnerships can be. Utilising new cultural avenues can expand audiences to new horizons, as well as providing passion points to freshen and invigorate brand images.

Don’t just bet on it

For all brands looking to get involved in these subcultures or communities, brand safety has to be at the forefront of their concerns.

Ensuring brand and artist values align is essential for productive work relationships. Some subcultures developed as a rejection to mainstream cultures, so understanding the passions, interests and concerns of artists is paramount in ensuring both parties are on the same page.

Brands also need to invest in authentic messaging, rather than bombarding the fans with the product. Understand audience triggers and interests to ensure you’re building awareness in a genuine and sustainable way. Culture changes with the click of a mouse, so proactivity not reactivity will be the key in staying ahead of the curve.

Data, as always, is a fundamental part of analysing the impact of campaigns and can be rolled into future plans. Making use of all available assets, including smaller digital-first, creative agencies, will help brands keep up in a fast-changing environment.

When it comes to sports marketing, in particular for basketball, the time is ripe for marketers to capitalise on super-engaged and interactive subcultures. Understanding who exactly these cultures are and how your brand can support their interests gives your company the best chance of getting a slam dunk.

December 3, 2021

Meta works with Now We Collide to champion Aussie small businesses

Source: Mumbrella Bandt

Meta has partnered with creative agency, Now We Collide to showcase the strength and resilience of small businesses around Australia.

The campaign “Good Ideas Deserve To Be Found,” features the stories of four Australian businesses including Singing Magpie (SA), BoardSox (VIC), D-STILL Drinkware (QLD) and Survival Emergency Solutions (NSW).

Each story shows how the business found their own way to pivot and thrive through the pandemic, whether it was using Facebook or Instagram to start a new business, running personalised ads to find new customers or listening to customers to refine their offering. 

Notably, this is Meta’s first dedicated small business campaign in Australia since its re-brand in November.

Insights from Meta’s Dynamic Markets Report helped to inform the direction of the campaign, highlighting how Meta’s tools were used to help Australian entrepreneurs start a new business, pivot to new ways of working and grow online.

The report found that 82 per cent of Australian SMBs used Meta’s apps (Facebook and Instagram) to start their own business, while 64 per cent said that Meta’s apps were important to adapt to the changing business environment during the pandemic.

One of the most popular tools was the use of personalised ads which 71 per cent of SMB’s reported were important for the success of their business.

The campaign will feature across digital, print and out of home channels utilising a range of video and still assets.

“The approach we took allows the genuine journey of each business owner to really shine through and we hope they inspire others to understand what’s possible,” said managing partner and CEO, Now We Collide, Keir Maher.

Head of policy programs, Meta ANZ, Alisha Elliot also commented stating, “This campaign highlights the value of Meta’s tools and in particular, personalised advertising, to enable small businesses to participate in the digital economy with precision, impact and ensures their marketing investments are effective.”

Credits

Client: Meta

Head of Policy Programs ANZ – Alisha Elliott

Project Manager – Montana Cooper

SMB Marketing Manager – Meg Montgomery

Creative: Now We Collide

Executive Producer – Keir Maher

Chief Creative Officer – Ryan Bodger

Creative Director – Kurt Toohey

Producer – Amanda Cooton

Art Director – Kate O’Donnell

Copywriter – John Kerswell / Lyndon Christie

Director of Photography – Patrick Harris

Media: Dentsu X

Senior Media Director – Sonam Singh

Associate Media Director – Jose Pantangco

Media Executive – May Ng

November 26, 2021

Find The Blue Beer: An integrated campaign for Sauce Brewing Co

Loved by locals and enjoyed (responsibly) by craft beer enthusiasts, Sauce Brewing Co is an independent microbrewery in Sydney’s inner-west. Based in Marrickville, the brewery has developed a cult following amongst avid craft drinkers, highly regarded for its lineup of easy drinking ales and hop-heavy IPA’s.

As part of their ongoing growth, Sauce Brewing tasked Now We Collide to develop an integrated campaign to support the distribution of Caribbean Fog. Juiced up with Azacca and El Dorado hops, Caribbean Fog is a fruity, sessionable pale ale that’s recently found its way into the fridges of a number of key retailers.

To celebrate their entry into major bottle shops, Sauce Brewing launched ‘Find The Blue Beer’, a promotion to drive taste and trial of their summer friendly tropical ale. In the spirit of supporting a local Sydney business, Now We Collide joined the project to lead the strategy, creative, production and media distribution of the campaign. The team photographed and designed campaign material in-house, rolling out a suite of creative assets to feature across OOH, social media, digital and in-store POS. 

Taking an integrated approach to media, the campaign reached customers using hyper-targeted OOH with precinct and neighbourhood posters and targeted digital and social media to reach lovers of craft beer in Sydney locations. The team worked with Sauce Brewing to identify key audiences and used Facebook and Instagram targeting to reach customers based on location, demographics, interests and behaviours. The extensive social campaign also drove new followers to Sauce Brewing’s social pages, increasing brand awareness of their wider lineup of products and their craft brewery experience in Marrickville. 

blue beer now we collide campaign

To support the in-store promotion, we also created a suite of POS deliverables to appear in independent bottle shops and major alcohol retailers, to encourage trial of Caribbean Fog at point of purchase.

blue beer campaign now we collide agency

Through development of the ‘Find The Blue Beer’ campaign, Now We Collide helped Sauce Brewing to paint Sydney blue with it’s Caribbean Fog beer. With a strategic suite of OOH and social assets, the campaign increased brand awareness of the brewing credentials of Sauce Brewing, keeping their product top of mind for craft drinkers and beer lovers in search of their next taste adventure.

November 2, 2021

Instagram: New Tools For Creators

Article: Instagram

Instagram has released an exciting new batch of features, arming users with a shiny toolbox of toys to play with. The new features provide creators with greater freedoms, empowering them to collaborate, commercialise and fundraise for charitable causes. Take a look at the three biggest updates for Instagram.

Collaboration

An exciting feature designed to increase engagement, Instagram has launched ‘Collabs’ which allows two accounts to co-author Posts and Reels. The move is a win for creators, influencers and brands, encouraging users to create partnerships and collaborate on the platform. The feature will also improve the feed for users as it reduces the frequency of followers seeing duplicate pieces of content from two separate accounts. When posts are created in ‘Collab’ mode, both accounts are able to see a shared like count, view count and comment section.

This new feature is exciting for marketers as it provides brands the ability to streamline social campaigns that are based on partnership. This year Australia has seen a number of high profile collaborations such as the recent Dominos x Vegemite and  Bundaberg Rum x Bundaberg Ginger Beer product innovations.

Link Sticker

A big win for smaller accounts, Instagram is beginning to roll out ‘link stickers’ for all users, a function that allows users to include hyperlinks in Stories. The feature was previously offered only to verified accounts and high-profile creators. The barrier set a perceived benchmark that often drove users to break the hallowed 10,000 follower count.

The wide deployment of the ‘link stickers’ feature is seen as a valuable win for small businesses, who now have the ability to include links to their products and services on their Stories. The move sees Instagram improve its ability to act as an ecommerce portal for brands of all sizes. The democratization sees a leveling of the digital playing field. For example a small local clothing boutique will now have access to the same app features as a global brand. The update compliments existing features such as Instagram Shops.

Instagram is also rolling out desktop functionality, allowing users to upload photos to the platform directly from their web browser. The new updates allows users to edit, filter and post from the comfort of laptops and desktop computers, however the feature is yet to be added to iPad and tablet devices. The update essentially gives all users the same experience of industry social media managers, who have long used 3rd party apps to bypass the previous restrictions. The emergence of desktop posting will likely push users towards uploading curated content of a higher quality, as creators look to leverage desktop software such as Canva to create image and video assets.

Fundraiser
The rising influence of digital activism has also been boosted, as Instagram announces the rollout of a new ‘fundraiser’ feature. The function allows users to create a fundraising initiative for not-for-profits, with subsequent posts appearing in the feed. Instagram trialled a similar fundraising feature during the global pandemic by allowing users to include fundraising links during live streams for charity. It’s important to note the feature appears to suit time-sensitive initiatives, as fundraisers can be set up for up to 30 days. No doubt major charity platforms such as GoFundMe and Donorbox will be keeping close watch as Instagram moves into the humanitarian space.

September 8, 2021

Now We Collide launches new APAC brand strategy for TMX

READ THE ARTICLE: B&T, Adobo Magazine, Marketech APAC, Campaign Asia

Now We Collide has been appointed to create the new brand strategy for leading supply chain consultancy TMX, as it expands rapidly throughout Australia and across APAC.

Founded in Melbourne in 2010, TMX works with major consumer brands including UNIQLO, Australia Post, BMW, L’Oreal, Kmart, Asahi, and Coles to create end-to-end digital and supply chain solutions. The business’ success has propelled during the pandemic, attracting significant new investment to enter several new markets across APAC. 

Now We Collide was brought on to develop a universal visual identity that would translate across multiple languages and markets to support this growth. The new integrated brand campaign encompasses digital and social media strategy in addition to a full suite of creative for both organic and paid media.

The work is driven by high-end 3D animation and the aesthetic is dynamic, fast-paced, visually informative and warm to echo TMX’s brand purpose to ‘invent tomorrow’.

Travis Erridge, CEO at TMX commented: “TMX is the leading solutions provider for a number of traditional bricks and mortar retailers which are navigating new digital supply chains. Our new brand strategy firmly establishes our credentials as a true innovator in this space across APAC. 

“Now We Collide has been an absolute pleasure to work with. The team’s strategic insights, creative development and in-house production capabilities have been the perfect combination to provide a new platform for us to continue driving results and focusing on customer acquisition and engagement.

“Navigating through the nuances of each APAC market is no small feat however Now We Collide were experts in providing consistency of message. We're looking forward to continuing our partnership with Now We Collide as we continue our growth across key markets.” 

Keir Maher, Managing Partner & CEO at Now We Collide added: “It’s always a privilege to support a successful Aussie business that’s making such big waves on the international stage. 

“The visual identity, language and style guide of the campaign is very unique in the category and goes to the heart of TMX as an innovator. We’re proud of this campaign that translates TMX’s unique story onto a global platform and best of all, we’re already seeing the strategy provide positive business outcomes for the team at TMX.”

CREDITS:

Now We Collide 

E.P. & Strategy Director - Keir Maher

Chief Creative Officer – Ryan Bodger

Client Services Director – Naomi Young

Creative Director - Kurt Toohey

Motion Designer – Jamie Hoy

Project Producer – Michele Marquet

Copywriter – John Kerswell

TMX

Natalie Liang – Director of Marketing & Communications

Nhung Nguyen - Marketing & Communications Manager, Vietnam

Grace McLean - Marketing & Communications Executive

June 16, 2021

ColCap Enlists Now We Collide To Launch New Brand Identity

ColCap is a diversified financial services company that provides a range of sophisticated products to financial institutions and mortgage managers across Australia.

As part of their ongoing growth and evolution, ColCap briefed Now We Collide to develop a new brand identity to reflect their innovative approach to financial services. With a client base of knowledgeable and experienced financial professionals, positioned within a highly competitive industry, ColCap were looking for a bold and forward-looking approach to their brand. Working closely with their senior team, Now We Collide created a logo and brand identity that builds on the heritage of the company and looks to the future growth ahead.

The new design pays homage to brands existing visuals, with refreshed collateral adapted to ensure ColCap looks at home within its sector and is positioned as a digital-first financial institution. Merging classic design and modern applications, the existing logomark was built upon to create a grounded, ownable icon. Inspired by the Bauhaus, with a subtly modified version of Futura for the logotype. Designed in 1927 by Paul Renner, Futura is based on geometric shapes, especially the circle, a form that is repeated in this brand identity.

For the colour palette, the existing core blue was adapted to include a bright, digital neon variant in addition to a darker navy blue as a nod to the brands history. For photography two distinct directions were developed; at a brand level coloured, abstract shots of urban and architectural scenes are used to add texture and visual interest, while also connecting to themes of a bustling business hub, infrastructure, urban development and finance. Content images focus more on people and moments, feeling realistic yet stylised, helping to add warmth and relatability.

The resulting identity is bold, contemporary and flexible, allowing ColCap to stand alongside both traditional finance sector companies and digital fintech leaders.

June 11, 2021

Roblox – Social Media Game Changer

Anyone with kids aged 8-15 will know about Roblox, the platform that allows players to interact with friends in user-created 3-D digital worlds, and how it has become the go-to entertainment and social network choice for this age group. We have been following the progress of Roblox for a couple of years as it has grown the user base (average daily active users of 42.1 million, up 79% year over year Jan-Mar 2021), time spent on site (hours engaged jumped 18% to 3.2 billion) and revenue (adjusted revenue jumped 161% to $652.3 million). After the company's recent IPO, it now has a market value of US$51 billion.

One of the key reasons for the success of Roblox is that it is built as a community first platform, Roblox provides the platform and tools for creators to build their own games and environments, with over one third of revenue from the platform going to creators, much higher than most other social platforms. Prof Galloway provides an interesting perspective on the Roblox Flywheel (at 5 mins).

The social media aspect comes in because users can multi-play with friends and interact in real-time through speech or messaging within games and from different or remote places, while online safety and parental controls have always been a huge part of the success of Roblox as a platform primarily for kids. There are now over 18 million 'experiences' to choose from on the platform with users sampling on average 20 different gaming experiences per month.

Also, the Roblox social-media tentacles spread into mainstream social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and predominantly YouTube, with YouTubers such as Ssundee having 17.4 million subscribers on YouTube and regularly getting video views of over 5 million per video playing Roblox games.

Roblox is not only driving revenue from in-game purchases but is also now ramping up brand partnerships. As this article from DigiDay explains "From Nike to Disney, Warner Bros. to Gucci, some of the world’s largest advertisers are already trying to reach Roblox’s audiences, which historically has had a very young demographic though that is changing. "

Roblox, is definitely on the growth path with a new generation of audiences and certainly one platform we are keeping a close eye on their progress.

April 28, 2021

Julia Morris says ‘I love money!’ in new national campaign for Homestar Finance

MEDIA RELEASE: B&T

Award-winning online home loan provider Homestar Finance has partnered with Now We Collide to launch its first national above the line campaign, starring Australian comedian and TV personality Julia Morris.

Morris’ comedic flair brings an element of glamour and excitement to the competitive world of home loans in the national ad for the challenger brand.

The work runs across TV, social media (YouTube, Facebook and Instagram) and digital media.

Julia’s character is that of a glam celebrity, in a luxurious mansion bragging about how she has got the highest home loan rate on the market, before opening an envelope from Homestar Finance and realising their lowest rates on the market might be better, leading her to question her own IQ scores.

Independent creative agency Now We Collide was responsible for the creative strategy, design and production of the campaign and collaborated with Dan Thomas (Julia’s husband) to develop the TVC creative and scripts.

Media agency Kaimera led all the media strategy, planning and buying.

The campaign launches in conjunction with Homestar’s brand refresh and website redesign, developed by Now We Collide. The new brand identity reflects Homestar’s vision to provide faster, easier property ownership for all Australians through personalised service and great rates.

Keir Maher, managing partner and CEO at Now We Collide, commented: “It’s been a lot of fun bringing this campaign to life, and putting some much-needed humour and life into what is very often a pretty dry area—personal finance.

“Working with a comedic talent like Julia Morris was a joy, and the result is a campaign which will stand out and provide real cut-through with the target audience.”

“Homestar is a challenger brand backed by highly experienced financial professionals. For their first national campaign we wanted to show that they’re prepared to take risks and challenge the status quo.”

Homestar marketing lead Caroline Ashmore added: “With some of the lowest rates in a highly competitive market, the timing seemed perfect to launch our first national above the line campaign.

“We encourage all Australians to rethink how to save on their home loans and partner with businesses that put their customers first.

“Now We Collide have been a great partner, taking the time to understand our unique proposition and using a collaborative approach to help us achieve this high-quality campaign.

“It’s been a great opportunity to showcase our great rates and personalised services to customers in a new, energetic way.”

Nick Behr, CEO at Kaimera, added: “It’s been a great experience collaborating with Homestar Finance and Now We Collide on this integrated consumer campaign. We’ve taken an agile and strategic approach to push Homestar’s refreshed message out to those that are most receptive.”

February 11, 2021

Now We Collide strengthens team with new hires and promotions

MEDIA RELEASE: AdNews, Mumbrella

Independent creative agency Now We Collide has announced a string of new promotions and hires after a steady year of growth following new business wins and expanding remits with existing clients.

Current senior creative producer and strategist Naomi Young has been promoted to client services director and will work alongside CEO and managing partner Keir Maher in managing client relationships and steering positive business outcomes for Now We Collide clients.

“What has continued to excite me about Now We Collide is that we are an agency with a clear and unique proposition, combining the smarts and clever thinking of a digitally-minded creative agency with production mastery," Young says.

"I am excited to be taking on this newly created role which enables us to maintain the forward-thinking and strategy-led approach that serves our clients in the best way possible.”

Young is a multi-disciplined advertising account director and producer with over 10 years experience in strategy, coordinating integrated campaigns and achieving outstanding business outcomes for clients such as Facebook and Goodman Group.

Young will be supported by a new producer and account management team featuring new hires Sally Muul and Amy Watson.

Muul joins from DDB where she was account manager and Watson joins from Chello where she was leading production as a producer and account manager.

The agency has also invested in new creative roles with current senior art director Kurt Toohey being promoted to creative director with ongoing support from chief creative officer and managing partner Ryan Bodger.

Over the last 18 months, Kurt has successfully led design, art and creative direction on a number of campaigns and projects including above the line campaigns for ESPN, Facebook, Universal Pictures and Obela.

The creative team also expands with the addition of art director Kate O’Donnell who previously worked as art director and designer at Archibald Williams.

“While 2020 threw up unexpected challenges for everyone in the industry, we achieved solid growth because we were able to adapt quickly, transform strategies and deepen client relationships," Maher says.

"Diversifying and strengthening our creative and client management teams gives us the perfect platform to continue achieving the best outcomes for our clients in 2021.

“I believe we’ve truly rounded out our incredibly talented leadership team with the promotions of both Naomi and Kurt, and the addition of Kate, and look forward to working with this great group of creatives on many exciting projects to come.”

January 29, 2021

Kayo, ESPN and Now We Collide deliver AR campaign for Super Bowl LV

MEDIA RELEASE: MumbrellaB&T

In the lead up to Super Bowl LV, sports streaming service Kayo and ESPN have launched an AR-driven campaign that will take NFL fans behind the scenes of quarterbacks Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson’s stories of success.

Created by Now We Collide the interactive out-of-home (OOH) ads aim to drive emotional engagement and interest in the Super Bowl. Leading the OOH component are two street murals designed by sports artist Lee Olson and painted by graffiti artist Reubszz.

Scanning the QR codes on the OOH ads will reveal the video content featuring the quarterbacks. Digital and social is also supporting the campaign.

The films were created by building on Now We Collide’s experience working with ESPN on weekly content initiative and campaigns since 2016. The mobile-first strategy behind the campaign was selected in recognition of the viewing behaviour of Australian NFL fans.

Carl Burgmann, head of social for Kayo, said: “This year, for Super Bowl 55, we wanted to try something new and appeal to sports fans at all levels, to connect them with the moments, stories and legends of Super Bowl.”

Ryan Bodger, chief creative officer of Now We Collide, added: “This campaign is really exciting for us, marrying AR tech to heighten the storytelling experience to give fans an intimate moment with the superstars of the NFL, bringing their unbelievable achievements to life in an exciting new way.

“We know people emotionally connect with and share inspirational stories – especially in sports. When you see these films you can’t help but feel an emotional connection to the players and the game itself, whether you are an NFL fan or not.”

Brady, in his tenth Super Bowl and first for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, will take on Mahomes, the defending champion quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs, in this year’s blockbuster.

ESPN marketing manager for Australia and New Zealand, Mark Porter, said: “The Super Bowl is one of the biggest sporting events on the planet. Beyond the half-time show and the spectacle that surrounds Super Bowl, there are some incredible stories that people may not know. We wanted to share these incredible Super Bowl moments and remind sports fans what makes this event so great.”

The Super Bowl will air live in Australia on ESPN and Kayo from 10:30 AEDT on 8 February.

Credits

ESPN
Mark Porter – Marketing Manager

Kayo
Carl Burgmann – Head of Social
Ashley Streeting – Paid Social Specialist
Stephanie Lukin – Senior Brand Marketing Manager

Now We Collide
Executive Producer – Keir Maher
Executive Creative Director – Ryan Bodger
Creative Director – Kurt Toohey
Project Producer – Amy Watson
Shoot Producer – Sally Muul
Films Director & Editor – Sarah Peisley
Special Content Director – Simon Morehead
Copywriter – John Kerswell
Story Writers – Sarah Peisley / Ryan Bodger
Art Director / Designer – Lee Olsen / Kate O'Donnell
Mural Artist – Reubszz
Director of Photography – Pat Harris
Sound – James Martel

November 18, 2020

Facebook Australia and Now We Collide deliver ‘Keep going. Keep growing.’ campaign.

Facebook Australia partners with Now We Collide to deliver ‘Keep going. Keep growing.’ campaign to help Aussie small businesses.

MEDIA RELEASE: Campaign Brief, B&T

Facebook Australia has teamed up with local independent creative agency Now We Collide to launch a new digitally integrated campaign to drive awareness of Facebook tools for Australian small businesses. 

The ‘Keep going. Keep growing.’ campaign shares the growth stories of three Australian small businesses: Native Australian food revolution Warndu in South Australia, Sydney-based Aussie Mobile Vets, and Sydney fitness community Flow Athletic. 

The series of video ads and supporting digital media created by Now We Collide share how each of these businesses has adopted Facebook tools to grow and prosper through 2020. The campaign forms part of Facebook’s ongoing global initiative to support small businesses. 

Now We Collide has been working with Facebook Australia as appointed creative agency and production partner since 2018, helping to deliver data and insight led creative across a raft of campaigns and initiatives.

Commenting on the campaign, Facebook ANZ Marketing Manager Regan Houlihan said, “Navigating 2020 has been extremely difficult for many small businesses around the world and in particular, in Australia. With this campaign, we wanted to shine a light on some of the positive outcomes we’ve seen small businesses achieve using Facebook tools. 

“Now We Collide are a hugely collaborative partner, providing the creative and production expertise to bring this campaign to life in a unique and meaningful way. They’ve helped us remain agile with our marketing efforts, finding new ways of working during the pandemic.” 

Keir Maher, Lead Strategist and CEO at Now We Collide, added: “For over two years now we’ve been immersed in the Facebook business, bringing our own unique blend of strategic, adaptive, and digitally-led thinking to each and every project. 

“This campaign is no exception, we worked closely with the Facebook team from strategy all the way through to production, helping them communicate their support of local small businesses clearly and authentically.”

Credits:
Facebook
Alexandra Sloane - ANZ Marketing Director
Regan Houlihan - ANZ Marketing Manager
Amelia Gilbert - AU Marketing Executive

Media 
Dentsu 

Now We Collide
Ryan Bodger: Creative Director
Keir Maher: Strategy
Amy Watson: Producer
Edward Copestick: Director (Warndu / Aussie Mobile Vets)
Selina Miles: Director (Flow Athletic)
Kurt Toohey: Art Director
John Kerswell: Copywriter
Josh Flavell: Director of Photography (Aussie Mobile Vets/Flow Athletic) 
Miles Rowland: Director of Photography (Warndu)
Mark Parry: Editor

September 28, 2020

Dilmah – The Story of Goodness

Dilmah is devoted to sustainable and ethical production of their tea and this, along with their dedication to quality and taste, provided the creative platform to engage Australians across social media.

The development of the campaign began through extensive market research in partnership with Dilmah to identify the addressable market, the competitive set, tea lovers and specifically the audience who share Dilmah’s values. Our social media strategy was to focus on capturing new customers here in Australia, by driving awareness with the principles, purpose and quality of Dilmah.

To elevate brand awareness and increase purchase consideration, we combined striking imagery, punchy copy lines and visually enticing video footage that quickly attracted the attention of consumers to encourage higher brand recall. The campaign tagline of 'Just the good stuff' served to encapsulate both the brand purpose and the tea ingredients in a colloquial relevant way to resonate with Aussies. Interactive stories on Instagram prompted engagement from the audience to select their tea of choice using polls.

We used our research and strategic insights to build consumer profiles for detailed targeting of ads and content across Facebook and Instagram specifically. We then aligned this with multiple creative executions to a/b test and optimise creative performance and metrics such as video completion, engagement rates and cost efficiencies.

The creative premise throughout was to show the genuine Dilmah story and purpose, how they approach ethical production and sustainability. This starts with their agriculture, all the way through to their packaging. This was our focal point for the campaign to capture the authenticity of the company's culture behind their quality products.

Copyright © 2020 Now We Collide

March 4, 2020

The Rise (& Rise) Of Vertical Video

How Brands Can Take Advantage

With nearly half of the world’s population having a smartphone in their pocket, the mass consumption of pocket-sized video grown. With that, vertical video has gone from an awkward aspect ratio to a mainstream media style practically overnight. Research has shown that we hold our phones vertical 94% of the time, while mobile has become the preferred device to watch short-form video.

Facebook, Instagram and YouTube have embraced vertical video formats in recent years. The newer generation of social media apps, like Snapchat and Tik Tok, use vertical video almost exclusively. There is now even a vertical film festival for creators pushing new boundaries, and Samsung launched a television recently that can rotate from horizontal to portrait for what they call millennial or gen z minded audiences.   

Vertical Video Samsung

Vertical video has won so much that Samsung recently made a concert stage optimised for your phone.

Vertical Video Marketing Conference

What is it?

Vertical video (also known as “portrait mode” video) comes in a few shapes and sizes, but generally, it means a video with an aspect ratio of 9:16. The aspect ratio describes the relationship of video width to video height. In vertical videos, the video is taller than it is wide.

In short, this means vertical video provides more pixel ‘real estate’ to deliver a message, and this is of particular interest for brand and advertising.

Vertical video best practice

Traditional 16:9 video (left) 4:5 video (middle) and 9:16 vertical video (right)

How are brands using it?

While Facebook hosts a variety of aspect ratios, it has fully embraced the format primarily due to increased engagement rates with mobile viewers. When Facebook A/B tested vertical video against square ratio video using the same creative, video length, targeting, budget and bid, they discovered that vertical resulted in brand lift 70% of the time. Viewers even reported an increase in ad recall of between 3 and 9%.

What’s even more interesting is how it changes how we watch video ads. In the Facebook test, 70% of video watch time, including video ads, was with the sound turned on. Typically Facebook mobile viewers prefer muted video. However, full-screen vertical is engaging enough to encourage audio. And Facebook isn’t alone in their findings.

An independent test by Annenberg Media found that vertical video reached more people on Facebook than both square and horizontal formats and increased engagement.

In another recent study by Buffer & Animoto, they found vertical video advertising out-performed all other social formats considerably providing better bang for the buck. 

So, long or short?

In a recent study from Social Bakers, they found the first 30s of long vids were completed 16.4% of the time and horizontal ones 13.4%, compared to 14.9% and 12.5% for medium-length videos.

Videos shorter than 30 seconds were completed by far the most often (29.9% for vertical and 22.2% for horizontal). Across the board, vertical performed better than horizontal videos.

Now We Collide embraced vertical in a recent project for Facebook Australia and used these insights to develop a marketing strategy that was vertical video first. We used stories, a vertical video format across Facebook and Instagram, to build awareness and drive traffic to the Facebook Gift Guide, showcasing the significant economic impact of Facebook on small businesses in Australia. 

The creative strategy was designed to maximise the full-frame vertical with set design, art direction and camera setup all designed for the portrait format. “It is a great example of how clever vertical content can be effective in connecting with an audience to drive a business objective,” says Ryan Bodger Chief Creative Officer, Now We Collide.

See Gift Guide case studies here:

2018: https://nowwecollide.com.au/our-work/facebook-annual-gift-guide

2019: https://nowwecollide.com.au/our-work/facebook-giftguide-2019 

Vertical Video Advertising is one of the biggest opportunities for brands and business in 2020 and beyond. Now We Collide offer consultation to determine how it could help your brand grow. Please contact us to find out more info@nowwecollide.com.au

 ++++

Written by Ryan Bodger, Chief Creative Officer at Now We Collide, an independent creative agency based in Sydney, Australia. We use insights, strategy and clever, creative thinking to produce contagious advertising campaigns and content for today's connected brands and consumers.

August 12, 2019

Content Marketing Podcasts worth listening to

With the sheer amount of podcasts out there, we thought we'd share three of our favourite content marketing podcasts with you.

This Old Marketing

The Content Marketing Institute has brought back their regular podcast. It's a fantastic resource for anyone in marketing, advertising, content production, media or social media. Joe Polizzi and Robert Rose originally coined the term 'content marketing'. They described it as the ability for brands to generate and produce their own content to fuel brand storytelling and marketing objectives. They discuss the latest developments in the world of content marketing and also provide opinion, insights, strategy and case studies. It's worth checking out.

Face 2 Face

Face 2 Face is a homegrown Australian podcast. Each episode discovers how Aussie marketers and creatives like Spotify, Volkswagen, Kathmandu and Telstra are using digital and social media platforms to succeed in a connected world.

The Now We Collide team led creative development, as well as design and production of the integrated campaign materials including video, email, digital and print assets. We collaborated with Facebook, Wooshkaa and Clear Hayes to develop the podcast series. Since it's launch it has become the number 1 business podcast in Australia. With in-depth interviews with some of our industries leading brands, along with real-life insights, the series is well worth a listen. (Well, of course, we would say that 😉

Behind the Numbers

The eMarketer Behind The Numbers podcast is great for getting a quick hit of the latest global news and trends from the world of digital media and digital marketing. Because they cover all the big stories and emerging trends using eMarketers research and data pedigree. And episodes feature global leaders in their field to provide strategic insights and opinion on the implications of emerging trends and developments for business.

Written by Keir Maher, CEO at Now We Collide, an independent creative agency based in Sydney, Australia. We use insights, strategy and clever, creative thinking to produce contagious advertising campaigns and content for today's connected brands and consumers.

December 11, 2018

YouTube growth & John Lewis’ Christmas TV commercial

YouTube has made another big move into 'social video' launching a new Stories feature for creators with over 10k subscribers. Following the huge success of Instagram Stories (er…sorry, Snap) it was only a matter of time before the YouTube team launched their version.

Using FashionByAlly, who has nearly 1 million YouTube subscribers, as an example of how stories can be created and shared. It will be interesting to see the options this will present to brands and businesses both natively and through advertising.

Facebook Watch is now offering in-stream commercials and with the growth of Instagram Stories and IGTV, YouTube clearly sees the threat to their revenue. It will be fascinating to see how this one plays out.

The power of YouTube to attract new eyeballs

An eye-opening article from the team at Venture Beat highlights the power of YouTube for attracting new eyeballs in emerging markets. In India, this means YouTube reaches 245 million unique active viewers each month and a further 74 million in Indonesia. That's phenomenal numbers. It shows how digital video is becoming a regular part of the lives of audiences in emerging markets. It presents challenges for both incumbents and new entrants like Netflix alike, who see these markets as the future of their growth - read the full story here.

A TV commercial worth watching

Not only the traditional ad-world but the wider public alike was a-buzz recently with the anticipated launch of John Lewis 2018 Christmas TV commercial. It proves that when 'advertising' is done well it can entertain instead of annoy. The TV commercial already has 10 million+ views on YouTube. Hats off to John Lewis and the team for investing over the long term. For all the nerds out there, check out the 'Making of The Boy and The Piano' TV commercial.

https://youtu.be/5cA7RjKcbk8

August 17, 2018

The Latest Tech Giant Partnerships

Spotify and Samsung announced a new partnership whereby the music-streaming leader would become the new "go-to music service provider" for Samsung devices. Interestingly, Apple recently overtook Spotify as the number 1 music streaming service in the US and this obviously presents a challenge for Spotify. At the same time, YouTube launched its revamped YouTube Music App offering 1-month free trial and then an ongoing subscription for $11.99 per month. Samsung has been using Google Play as the default music partner on all devices, until now. In this sense, the partnership makes a lot of sense, particularly as Spotify tries to increase its presence in Asia. Samsung is the largest maker of mobile devices with 30.7% of the global mobile market, with Apple second at 19.4%.

A new AR experience

UK AR company Blippar has also launched a version of their AR experience which can map urban and indoor environments to within 1cm, providing a user with overlaid maps, navigation or other AR components for the mapped territory, or the application components can be embedded into other apps. The company suggests a wide range of potential environments for this platform, including retail stores, supermarkets, airports, shopping malls or stadiums. Use cases include AR menus floating in front of restaurants in shopping malls, reviews or product info hovering over products on shelves, treasure hunts or a virtual guide for tourists.

More and more startups are emerging offering decentralized social platforms -- often using blockchain technology.  The main purpose of these new platforms is to reward users and content creators and not only the platform owners. Angel List has highlighted what they see as the 2 most promising - Steemit and Sapien. Built off the Steem blockchain, Steemit is a Reddit-esque social platform that as of now boasts nearly 800,000 registered users. Steemit’s version of upvotes, however, are tokens that hold real market value. Users—not advertisers—are rewarded for engagement. Sapien is a social news network built on the Ethereum blockchain that already has thousands of active users. The platform features a global reputation system, a reward system for users, and a marketplace for creators. While Facebook isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, these new decentralized social media platforms are growing—and fast. 

This week Audi launched the first of a series of 3 big budget Hollywood style trailers from the creative team at BBH in the UK. Watch the Video: Audi Technology - Escape (Extended Cut).

August 9, 2018

News Colliding This Week. 9th August

Some of what we're reading, listening, watching this week...enjoy!

Ever heard of NewTV? Well they just raised a cool US$1bn to fund their plans to create a new short form video content platform, a kind of next-generation Netflix, with original content. NewTV is aiming to launch by the end of 2019, with a premium lineup of original, short-form series comprising episodes of 10 minutes each. The brainchild of ex Pixar exec Jeffrey Katzenberg has attracted investment from Disney, NBCUniversal, AT&T and more. Read Jeffrey Katzenberg’s ‘NewTV’ Startup Closes $1 Billion, All Major Studios Among Investors

At the same time as OTT's are planning short-form narrative content development, social media networks are taking an aim at longer form video. eMarketer and their podcast series 'Behind The Numbers' explore how long-form video is spreading across social media in this week's episode. With key moves by Facebook's Watch, Instagram's IGTV, YouTube Premium (previously YouTube Red (RIP)) and Twitter this episode is a great update on all the key developments and moves being made and how video content strategy is leading to advertisers. With some marketers placing pre-roll and mid-roll ads in social shows, there is great potential but the audiences are small and the current measurement capabilities are limited. Listen to eMarketer social-networks-get-serious-about-tv-style-programming

In-case you missed it, Apple became the first company in US history to be valued at over US$1 trillion. According to Bloomberg, iPhone sales continue to be the engine room of Apple profitability with iPhones generating 61 percent of the company’s sales in its last fiscal year, up from 56 percent in 2014. We can't help thinking the iPhone is unlikely to be anywhere near 50% of sales 10 years from now with Apple's push into AR, AI (Siri and HomePod) and even mobility with the company doubling the amount of cars it is testing since Jan 2018.

And talking of AI, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that robots are now making burgers in San Fransisco, "11 thermal sensors lock in the exact doneness" apparently. Watch the video here.

July 31, 2018

News Colliding This Week. 31 July

A weekly round up of what we're reading and watching - enjoy!

Twitter haven't given up on video just yet. TheVideoInk reports that Twitter is adding to it's video offering in an effort to bolster it's video credentials. Live and on-demand video deals have remained a major focus for Twitter and has in part led to half of all Twitter revenue coming from video. Read the full article - Even Without a Dedicated Live Stream Team, Twitter is Still All About Video

eMarketer released new figures showing the shift from PayTV towards OTT and other cord-cutting services has continued to gather speed in the US accelerating beyond most forecasts. The latest figures show the number of cord-cutters—adults who have ever cancelled pay TV service and continue without it—will climb 32.8% this year to 33.0 million. Read the full article - Exodus from Pay TV Accelerates Despite OTT Partnerships.

Facebook Australia launched their latest thought leadership video and podcast series, Face 2 Face. The series discovers how industry leaders from KPMG, TBWA Melbourne, Optus, Velocity Frequent Flyer, Host/Havas, Guzman y Gomez, AFL and Initiative are building brands in the digital age. The series uncovers key insights for how brands should be adapting for mobile, how has creativity changed, how to build a brand on mobile, and how marketers can engage customers in a meaningful way. Watch the full video series here.

A recent report from Marketing Land shows that Instagram ad spend has grown 177%, outpacing Facebook growth, while YouTube advertisers spent nearly triple what they did last year! Instagram audience growth also continued, helped by Stories, and they'll be counting on this continuing with the recent launch of IGTV. The biggest news though was that YouTube ad impressions rose 225 percent, and CPMs fell by 11 percent. Phones and tablets accounted for 79 percent of YouTube ad spend during the second quarter of this year — up from 71 percent a year ago. Read the full article - Facebook takes a back seat to Instagram as ad spend on the Facebook-owned app grows 177%

Paramount Pictures launched Mission Impossible: Fallout with a nice 360 video featuring Tom Cruise perilously dangling from a helicopter, fair enough, Cruise apparently went through 2,000 hours of training in order to shoot the scene. Watch the full video here. 

And finally, we're loving the thought of taking our own private autonomous flying taxi next time we have a meeting. This TED Talk from Rodin Lyasoff, Chief Executive Officer at A³ by Airbus suggests the dream may not be too far from reality! Watch the video - How autonomous flying taxis could change the way you travel.

June 26, 2018

Facebook Kicks Off A Major National Ad Campaign

Facebook is rolling out a major ad campaign across Australia in an attempt to reassure users that the platform can be trusted and will do better.

The national 'Here Together' ad campaign, created in-house, addresses issues of online safety, privacy, and the brand's integrity.

Launching in Australia today across out of home, digital, TV and cinema, the eight-week ad campaign is intended to restore trust in Facebook. It aims to inform users about its efforts to combat fake accounts, data misuse, and fake news – all of which the social media platform declare are “not our friends”.

This creative will also feature six-second animations.

We've listened to what Australians expect

The promotional crusade follows its recent data calamity with Cambridge Analytica, a rise in fake news and calls for the platform to be more transparent and open.

Managing director of Facebook Australia and New Zealand (ANZ), Will Easton, says: "We've listened to what Australians expect from us, and they expect action."

"It is our responsibility to make sure Facebook is a place where everyone can stay closer to the people they care about, and to make sure it's a positive force in the world."

Speaking to AdNews, Facebook ANZ Head of Marketing, Alexandra Sloane explained how the in-house creative team in the US developed the original asset, and locally it carried out research and engaged with its content agency, Now We Collide, to create the end result.

"We understood what Australia and our community needed from us in terms of an update on ways we're going to improve the experience of our platform," Sloane says.

"Through a mixture of Australian user-generated content, as well as live-action video, we localised the Australian community that we represent. Also, the script and voice-over are addressing particular research insights we uncovered."

Spots remind viewers why they engage with Facebook

The video spots remind viewers why most engage with Facebook in the first place – as a portal to connect with family and friends.
“Then something happened,” the ad voiceover says. “We had to deal with spam, clickbait, fake news and data misuse.”

Facebook Head of Communications Australia and New Zealand, Antonia Sanda, tells AdNews that local research, both qualitative and quantitative, was at the heart of the Facebook ad campaign.

“It’s very much focused on meeting the needs of the Australian community, absolutely,” Sanda says.

Sloane says a lot of the insight Facebook got from Australian consumers was that they wanted to hear about the actual updates to the platform.

As a result, it has also launched a new landing page to accompany the campaign, as a resource that pulls in all the updates in one place. Sloane says this gives users "a sense of how we're changing – how we're doing better and taking a broader sense of responsibility."

Ad campaign media placement is key

From there, the media agency Mindshare came on board, with CEO Katie Rigg-Smith explaining why they chose certain marketing channels.

"The out-of-home campaign is focused on eye-level, longer dwell time formats across street furniture and transit centres to deliver more detailed information on how Facebook is changing," she says.

"While cinema will be used to celebrate the 60-second video creative in a highly engaging environment."

Sloane adds that the whole campaign is really about starting a more meaningful and open relationship with Australians.

"We have to start by being more open and transparent with our community, and acknowledging and listening first of all, and then addressing the things that are important to our community head-on," she says.

"And so we hope that we've not just acknowledged the broader responsibility that we have, but that we're also demonstrating action that we're taking."

Written by Keir Maher, CEO at Now We Collide, an independent creative agency based in Sydney, Australia. We use insights, strategy and clever, creative thinking to produce contagious advertising campaigns and content for today's connected brands and consumers.

March 15, 2018

Reach consumers who searched on Google…on YouTube

It sounds like a no brainer but now Google has provided a direct relationship between search on Google and video delivery on YouTube for advertisers. At the recent Search Marketing Expo - SMX, Google announced a number of updates to YouTube which provide greater evidence of their focus on video. It's now at the heart of internet search and way to connect brands, products and services to audiences (and that means customers).

Allowing advertisers to reach (and if done correctly, engage) people on YouTube who have recently searched on Google, the new innovation called "custom intent audiences" harnesses Google's vast amount of search information and is currently only available within the AdWords experience. By fusing the data collected in search with audience information and search terms on YouTube, custom intent audiences can be "an effective way to move undecided customers to action using the persuasive power of video." according to the Google announcement. 

This presents a really interesting opportunity for brands to develop an integrated digital strategy using the power of video to build brand and/or product awareness, brand affinity and product features and benefits in an engaging way. Used in the right way it is clear that this can complement and increase the performance of SEM and digital marketing campaigns. Particularly in hyper-competitive categories such as travel, finance, auto, e-commerce and beyond, a well-thought-out strategy to connect with audiences based on historical search behaviour across Google to deliver relevant and timely video content could significantly drive enhanced outcomes for not only awareness and brand building but also customer acquisition.

Google highlights a case study of online investment company Betterment who used custom intent audiences to reach YouTube viewers who recently searched for financial keywords on Google. The brand increased its return on ad spend 6X compared to previous YouTube campaigns and saw a 245% increase in searches on Google.com, including their brand term: "Betterment". 

Social media content has the power to assist with SEO

Of course, Google would like everything to stay within their ecosystem but in reality, the power of social media content to also assist with SEO, customer engagement and acquisition means that a multi-channel social video content strategy would also contribute significantly to overall results and maximise the ROI of video content. This also provides a way for savvy marketers to prove direct results of an integrated digital marketing strategy with video at the heart. 

One issue this also highlights is the need for specialist video content experts with a deeper knowledge and understanding of not only the different platforms available but also how video and content creative needs to be optimised for these platforms and the different opportunities to maximise ROI within them. It also highlights the need for multi-disciplinary teams to work collaboratively, in this case, the SEM specialists working alongside video & content strategy and creative as part of a wider digital content strategy. It will be interesting to see which brands take full advantage of this new feature as Google starts to roll it out globally.

February 16, 2018

Media & Tech Predictions For 2018

2018 is in full swing and gathering pace at breakneck speed - Mark Zuckerberg has already promised a new and improved Facebook experience for users but is giving brands the cold shoulder unless they advertise, Twitter has announced it's first ever profit, Aussie retailers are getting busy fending off Amazon, and Apple is about to become the world's biggest investor in original content with $8.3bn outstripping Netflix measley $7.5bn-$8bn.

Our only prediction for 2018 is that more change is inevitable and to be prepared for the unexpected - aside from that we thought we'd share one of our favourite commentators - Proff Scott Galloway from L2Inc - and let him put his neck on the chopping block on our behalf - enjoy.

November 15, 2017

ESPN Partner With Now We Collide

ESPN Partner With Now We Collide And Launch New Brand Playbook ‘It’s Your Prime Time’

In a competitive pitch Now We Collide have been chosen as the lead creative and content agency for ESPN Australia going into 2018.

The announcement follows successful project based work from Now We Collide which has contributed to the biggest year on record for ESPN in Australia, with audience growth across both broadcast and digital channels - a massive 21% increase in TV ratings so far this year, while the ESPN Digital Network audience has surged to reach 2.6 million unique visitors a month.

With ESPNS’s focus on creating high quality content and getting it in front of fans - all devices and screens and with sports now being 24/7, ESPN is redefining what Primetime means to their audience.

Now We Collide developed the creative and content strategy which speaks to this new way of consuming content and appeals to a younger and more ethnically diverse audience than those of traditional sports broadcasters. Using bespoke research and audience insights as a foundation, the integrated creative provides a distinct positioning for ESPN across all brand assets including TV & digital - social video templates and content, EDM, digital display, print and out of home media as well as the establishment of a brand campaign playbook for ongoing campaigns.

“We worked in close collaboration with Now We Collide, every step of the way, and their clear understanding of our audience and our brand position in Australia has led to a longer term commitment from ESPN to the agency. They are the perfect fit for us at this time” Says Patrick Bour, Director of TV and Marketing at ESPN.

Chief Creative Officer for Now We Collide, Ryan Bodger said, “ESPN gave us the ability to highlight our deeper understanding of the ESPN audience and the need for a more unified and personalised approach in the multi-channel world of sports entertainment. We used this to develop standout creative while giving the fans ownership of ESPN embracing ‘Prime Time’ as their own.

“The most satisfying thing for us as an agency is seeing the success that ESPN is having through our collaboration. Audience numbers are consistently growing across owned and earned channels. The recent US Open coverage in September was a huge audience success with ESPN audiences up a massive 172% supported by integrated campaign creative, all consistent with the ‘It’s Your Prime Time’ playbook. With NFL and NBA seasons kicking off we’re looking forward to another big year ahead. It’s an exciting time for us as an agency.” commented Keir Maher Now We Collide CEO.

April 19, 2017

A Video Led Campaign With Social At The Heart

We loved collaborating with UPI Australia and our tech partners ShareRoot to develop this integrated video led campaign with social at the heart for the release of The Secret Life of Pets. Hats off to the team at UPI for being brave enough to unleash the power of UGC - which, when planned and executed correctly, can deliver serious return on investment. The campaign proved such a success, including delivering a huge box-office return, the guys over at Marketing Magazine have published our campaign case study

November 4, 2016

YouTube’s New End Screen Feature For Brands & Publishers

YouTube recently announced it is looking to faze out annotated end frames on videos and has introduced YouTube End Cards as a feature. Previously reserved for a select number of publishers and creators, the key benefit of End Screens is that they work across both mobile and desktop, whereas predecessor annotations work only on desktop. This is a step YouTube had to take given half of all YouTube users now access YouTube video on mobile.

So what are they? End Screens are overlays appearing at the end of videos which encourage viewers to take an action before the video completes, such as get more information, click to view another video, visit a website, subscribe to the channel and more. End Screens can appear in the last 5-20 seconds of a video, and desktop viewers can hover over them for more information while mobile audiences just need to tap on the thumbnails. YouTube has restricted use to up to four End Screens, as long as the video has a 16:9 aspect ratio. 

This makes End Screens a valuable feature for brands and publishers who take advantage of this important new feature.

If brands and publishers create quality videos that convince viewers to watch more content via the use of compelling End Screens, they can expect to see increased retention and watch time across their channels, thanks to the YouTube algorithm. Over time, this tactic can also increase overall video completion and watch time metrics notwithstanding the fact that the video creative still needs to do the main job of attracting and keeping viewers. 

With viewing across mobile being so high, the ability to encourage channel subscription and additional calls-to-action such as product purchase or visiting a specific (verified) website across both mobile and desktop traffic is significant.

The switch to End Cards does create a potential headache for existing publishers who have annotated end frames and want to switch to End Screens as the formatting is different and the placement restrictions of the thumbnails means previous end frames and calls-to-action are unlikely to match up and will need re-formatting.

Ongoing though, it is clear that any brand or publisher uploading video to their YouTube channel will now need to consider: 

  1.  How videos created can best utilise the updated End Screens format.
  2.  How to time video end frames to make the most use of the 5-20 seconds available on End Screens.
  3.  Check performance and metrics of end screens to see those performing best, be prepared to modify based on audience behaviour.

As the world's second biggest search engine and with the seemingly unstoppable rise of video consumption on mobile, a YouTube strategy is now near essential for most brands and publishers. With End Screens, brands and publishers can improve the experience on YouTube for mobile audiences, increase watch times, and drive specific actions from viewers. As such, brands and publishers should start using End Screens as soon as possible so they can reap the benefits of the feature sooner rather than later.

September 20, 2016

Branded VR Video & 360 Video ‘Experience Is Believing’

We used to say seeing is believing. Now we have to say ‘experiencing is believing’.

It seems about 1 in 5 briefs we work on at the moment have a VR video component as brands and agencies look to explore the possibilities of the immersive and engaging world of 360 video and virtual reality.

The next 18 months will be a telling time. Let's see how audiences transition from standard video viewing to embrace VR and invest in a personal headset, closing themselves off from the real world to engage with the most immersive form of video content.

For anyone that has put on the Samsung Gear VR, Vive or Oculus, there is usually a wow moment when you realise just how immersive and engaging the VR video world can be. One thing is for certain we are just at the beginning of where the technology will lead us. It will be exciting to see what other AR/VR players like Magic Leap, Sony and Microsoft can bring to the table.

We know that premium publishers and tech giants are getting on board with big investments. Google is working on a VR version of Chrome. NBC and Samsung broadcasted the summer Olympics in VR. Hulu, Crackle, Jaunt, and Within already have dedicated apps, or “theatres,” where viewers can consume massive amounts of VR content. 

The NBA (National Basketball Association) has also started creating longer form VR experiences with its mind-blowing VR production ‘Follow My Lead’ which tells the story of the 2016 NBA finals, taking audiences behind the scenes for an experience like no other.

Content innovation can lead to commercial investment

Now more than ever we are seeing significant brand dollars being spent on VR experiences that prove that content innovation can lead to commercial investment, leaving audiences feeling inspired by the bravery and courage of a brand to do something different in the VR space.

A great example of a brand investing in VR 

One thing we know for sure is that when you are inside a VR experience you are the most captive audience a brand can have and the experience you create needs to be compelling. There is no other form of media right now that is as immersive as a branded VR video experience and brands need to take advantage.

The Numbers

Greenlight Insights released results this week from its survey of 1,300 adults that found the majority of consumers, 71% of them, feel that VR makes brands seem “forward-thinking and modern.” However, there’s even better news for brands’ bottom lines: 53% of respondents said they’d be more likely to purchase from a brand that uses VR than from one that doesn’t.

“We’re seeing specific VR activities have unique emotional footprints, offering fascinating insights for those who are considering their VR strategies,” Steve Marshall, SVP of Research and Consulting for Greenlight VR, said in a statement announcing the findings.

What is the perfect branded VR video experience?

It comes down to the brand objectives and how people will contextually be viewing the experience. When people are in groups with one person viewing a VR experience the viewer doesn’t want to feel trapped inside for too long (4-5mins max). They will want to share or talk about their experience soon after. When a viewer is alone with VR, the sky’s the limit, a viewer will stay engaged for longer and want to stay immersed.

‘Virtual reality by definition intensifies the impression of reality. All the viewer’s senses are heightened including sight, sound, and motion; content that delivers fully immersive experiences will be in high demand.’ 

Content that delivers a fully immersive experience will be in high demand 

This potential for VR storytelling will take branded entertainment to a whole new level. Imagine Apple showcasing its VR capable iPhone 8 (yet to be released) where viewers can take part in a Mars landing and film the experience in first person using features on the iPhone 8. Viewers could zoom into the phone to play with a realistic, 360-degree model of the device or even watch a video shot with that new device, thereby zooming into an entirely new storyline set on Mars.

The Production Value

There are a number of aspects when considering the production value of producing VR or 360 video content.

 VR is not the same as 360 Video.

While the two can be packaged up as a VR experience, there is a difference between the two. 360 video is effectively filming a real-world environment with a 360 camera, which can be produced in 2D using a whole range of cameras from consumer to prosumer or in stereoscopic 3D using more high-end professional-grade equipment.

Once captured 360 videos can have 3d, overlay graphic elements or interactive hotspots added to make the experience more engaging. A great example of a mixed live-action 360 video shoot and 3D environment can be seen here with Google Spotlight Story Help.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-XZhKqQAHU

Help uses a mix of studio, 3D and real-world 360 videos. This is, of course, a pretty amazing experience best viewed in VR and not desktop. VR environments, games and stories that are completely virtual are created in 3D and compiled using software like Unity 3D or Unreal Engine.

2D vs 3D

If done right, VR created as a 3D experience is always going to be more compelling. 2D is a great way to create a high-resolution experience and keep production costs down. Poorly implemented 3D and 360 video footage can cause a great deal of discomfort to the viewer including headaches, eye strain or nausea. With a 2D video, you’re getting more resolution out of the device because you’re not having to stack the left and right channels (or top and bottom channels) within the phone’s limited resolution. Oculus CTO John Carmack explains, “People that are resolution-picky will probably prefer monoscopic videos, which can have twice the resolution of stereo videos. The stereo effect may not be worth anything to you if you can't get past the blurring.”

How To Get Views?

Virtual reality viewing roughly falls into 3 categories. First are desktop and mobile video player with no headset (think Facebook or YouTube 360 native players). Next are expensive headsets tethered to a computer, aimed mostly at gamers, like the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive. Finally, there are mobile viewing experiences that combine with a smartphone, like Samsung's Gear VR or Google's Cardboard. 

Marketers need to think about how and when audiences will be viewing their content and ensure they are driving people to experience branded VR through a quality headset. This should be coupled with the distribution of content to key VR publishers for optimal reach across platforms and devices. As with any type of video content distribution and seeding, a strategy is paramount.

August 25, 2016

#SecretLifeofMyPet Campaign Launches with Great Success

UNIVERSAL PICTURES AND CHANNEL 7 SUNRISE

GIVE ONE AUSSIE PET THE CHANCE TO APPEAR IN A GLOBAL ANIMATED FEATURE FILM!

Universal Pictures Australia and Channel 7 Sunrise have kicked off a massive 4 week promotion for the upcoming animated film THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS.

In a unique and unprecedented promotion, the pair has joined forces with the film’s production company Illumination Entertainment to exclusively give one Australian pet the chance to be animated and featured in THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2.

It’s no secret or surprise that Australia has a deep and abiding love for pets. More than 63% of Australian households own a pet and more than 83% of Australians have owned a pet at some point in their life*.

 “The promotion taps into Australia’s love of pets and extraordinary interest in pet content, both viewing and sharing. As a country of proud pet owners, we love showing off our furry companions. Now, thanks to The Secret Life of Pets, we’re giving owners the ultimate prize with the chance to immortalise their pet on the big screen,” says Universal Pictures Australia Marketing Director, Suzanne Stretton-Brown.

Working with partner video content agency Now We Collide & UGC technology firm ShareRoot, the competition has been designed to maximise social sharing.

To win the money-can’t-buy prize, entrants are required to submit a photo or video showcasing their pet’s star quality. People can enter a video or photo of their pet at the dedicated website or via social with the hashtag #secretlifeofmypet on Instagram or Twitter.

The moderated submissions will be aggregated and then showcased in a gallery on the competition website.  The best 5 entries as voted by a Channel 7 Sunrise judging panel will go into a voting phase where Australia will vote for their favourite Australian pet.

We are set to receive a huge amount of UGC content through this campaign that will be used to extend and amplify the film release here in Australia. We’re expecting to see UGC video content drive a big proportion of entries. Says Now We Collides’ Head of Content Strategy Keir Maher. 

“This project is incredibly exciting as it’s one of the most unique and innovative uses of UGC we’ve ever seen. It’s watershed moment for UGC marketing,” CEO and co-founder of UGC marketing technology firm ShareRoot said.

The Secret Life of Pets opens in Australian cinemas on September 8 but has already broken box office records around the world.  In the U.S, the film became the biggest opening ever for an original film, animated or otherwise.

Entries for the SECRETLIFEOFMYPET competition close at midnight on Thursday September 1st. The Top 5 finalists will go into public voting from Monday September 5th where the pet with the most votes by midnight Friday September 9th will be awarded the major prize.

* (2013) Pet Ownership in Australia Summary, Animal Health Alliance

COLLABORTAING PARTNERS:

Channel Seven
Now We Collide
ShareRoot
Mediacom

November 8, 2015

Native Mobile Video Campaigns Best Practice

Here at Now We Collide we work with brands looking to engage with customers and build a broader fan base with meaningful and relevant content. Mobile video campaigns are often a great way to do this. Because we are consuming more and more video online via mobile through Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other big native video players and publishers.

Mobile-First Video Campaign Best Practices

Here are the 5 summarised steps from a recent study from Comscore:

Hook the viewer quickly: You've got two or three seconds to grab the viewers attention before they scroll by.

Come in close: Engaging the viewer demands special video editing. Use close-ups, quick cuts, interesting imagery and strong point-of-view angles.

Go big: On-screen text showing product info needs to be clear and large enough to read on a tiny mobile screen.

The silent treatment: Viewers probably have their devices on mute. Therefore you need to develop creative content that works well with no sound too.

Tell them what to do: Include a simple call to action. Use the same message in the text around the native video ad unit to reinforce your message.

“Native mobile video campaigns not only work but can be especially effective when following creative best practices,” says Andrew Lipsman, vice president of marketing and insights at ComScore.

“It’s important for brands to make an impression quickly and engage with the consumer on a more visual level to drive campaign success.”

In conclusion, this is all true for native video formats, but of course the same can be said for mobile video campaigns too. They are good rules to follow no matter what video content you are producing. What do you think? Feel free to leave your comments below.

October 27, 2015

ESPN Brand Campaign – The Making Of…

Now We Collide partnered with ESPN to develop a new video led brand campaign. It was a move to cement the growing interest in U.S. and international sports among a younger Aussie male audience.

Watch this short documentary about how it all came together.

The video content created merges pivotal sporting moments from the world of NBA, American Football and X Games with murals drawn by graffiti artist Sofles. The time-lapsed amalgamation of sports and street art created a social buzz among the 18 to 34-year-old demographic and prompted them to share the content across their networks.

The brand campaign that became shareable

ESPN Marketing Manager, John Webb told Mumbrella “It’s one thing to make a great TV commercial that we can run on our own platforms but we wanted to build a brand campaign that will become shareable, that strikes gold and potentially goes viral.” he said. The video quickly became the most viewed and shared across ESPN Aust/NZ social networks drawing massive social reach and advocacy.

“We wanted to design a brand campaign that goes beyond our hardcore fan base and hit those casual fans who are on the fringes who we want to bring into the network."

“Using Now We Collide and Sofles was the perfect way to design something that we could use on Instagram and Facebook and hit the demographic that we are congregating on those platforms.” - John Webb.

August 27, 2015

360 Video On The Rise Globally

360 video is quickly moving from niche to mainstream. YouTube and Facebook are taking it to the masses and it's catching on. Because 360 video is so immersive, it allows the viewer to explore outside the frame and experience each story in a different way. That could be different every time they view it.

You may have noticed that YouTube has added 360 videos as the main navigation in their Channels list. And Facebook has teamed up with the little company they bought for $2bn last year, Oculus Rift, to introduce 360 videos to the Facebook Newsfeed.

With the growing popularity of virtual reality (VR), the demand for 360 video production is also on the rise. 

If you haven't seen some of the awesome recent examples check them out - Facebook: Star Wars: The Force Awakens Immersive 360 & GoPro Spherical: Sand Dune Jumping in VR with Ronnie Renner.

So if you are a marketer looking to create an experiential brand to engage your audience or you want to tap into the potential of VR for employee training for a global team, then now might be a good time to get the ball rolling on 360 video production.

More to come from the team at Now We Collide soon...

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