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.

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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.

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. 

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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.

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

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

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

July 20, 2021

TikTok Goes Boom

The battle for eyeballs continues and TikTok is soaring. The platform recently became the first non-Facebook owned app to surpass 3 billion installs globally. 

The Chinese owned app is now the fastest growing social media platform in Australia, used by over 2.5 million Aussies. It’s also the preferred platform for younger audiences, the app is dominated by Generation Alpha & Generation Z who make up over 70% of all users.

So what are the major factors behind this skyrocketing growth?

Whilst YouTube birthed a breed of video based content creators, TikTok inspired the same audience but provided a platform that sat comfortably in the palm of our hand. The platform has been applauded for giving young creators the opportunity to script, film, edit and upload instantly. A process so seamless, it created a new variant of internet creatives, known as ‘TikTokkers’. Despite the cute name, don’t be fooled by the collective superpower of teens inspired to express themselves online. TikTokkers have been a driving force in a number of major cultural moments in the last 12 months, from driving campaigns in digital activism, pranking US presidential rallies, to writing and producing a crowd-sourced musical which appeared on Broadway. The platform has even played a role in predicting the estimated number Covid-19 cases in Sydney during the latest outbreak.

Another major force behind TikTok’s meteoric rise is young audiences' insatiable appetite for bite-sized content. It’s sub 3 minute video restrictions keeps videos fast paced and extra scrollable. Researchers are now beginning to uncover the effects of a feed built from blink-and-you’ll-miss-it content, as mental health professionals start to flag early cases of addiction. We are now starting to see the platform take over other longer form video services. As of May 2021, TikTok has now surpassed Youtube for average time spent per user in the US and the UK.

As the platform grows, so does its ability to encroach the territory of other major social players. It’s latest venture into the employment space certainly has the likes of LinkedIn and Seek on notice. The platform is now enabling teens to apply for jobs by submitting video resumes to a number of high profile employers. Companies involved in the US based trial include Target, Chipotle, Shopify, NASCAR and the WWE. Are we seeing the death of the job interview? Will major career moves soon be driven by the creation of a 15 second reel rather than a LinkedIn profile? Not likely. However, the platform is certainly shaking up HR departments across the world. The platform has been credited for helping young job seekers with career tips, whilst #CareerTok continues to be a major hashtag on the app.

As the platform grows, so too has interest from the world’s largest brands. The NFL, UFC, Sunsilk and Universal Pictures have all jumped at the opportunity to sign multi year deals to capitalize on the marketing opportunities afforded by the platform. TikTok has also played a vital role in reviving out-of favour brands, most notably Ocean Spray whose appearance in a viral TikTok entered the social zeitgeist in 2020, becoming one of the most memorable memes of the year.

TikTok has recently started to include new shopping features, however its dive into shoppable social media has only just begun and this will certainly be a huge area of growth for brands and advertisers. The key for any brands though, is to ensure TikTok has a relevant place in their overall digital and social media strategy and integrates seamlessly into wider marketing and business objectives. Understanding how the platform provides value to target audiences and a clear idea of the objectives, are critically important for brands wishing to use TikTok as a social media channel.

June 15, 2021

Shedding More Light on How Instagram Works

Source: Instagram

Search “How to Hack the Instagram Algorithm?” and you’ll find an array of blogs, click-bait and YouTube videos with unverified top tips and tricks. 

In a move to clear up the many misconceptions floating about the web, it’s interesting to see Instagram beginning to release a series of blog posts explaining how their algorithms actually work. The article demonstrates Instagram’s ambition to become more transparent about their technology and the way data is leveraged to shape the user experience of the app.

The blog outlines the fundamental metrics that decide how content is served to users across their Feed, Stories, Reels and Explore. This is a helpful tool for users looking to understand why certain posts appear in their feed at any given time. The blog is even more useful for content creators looking to better understand what affects the success of their content and its ability to reach the right followers. The top tip? Post interactions are key.

We’ll be keeping a close eye on this feed as Instagram releases further in-depth analysis of their various algorithms. It will be interesting to see whether other major social players follow suit.

May 24, 2021

Snap continues innovation for both users and brands

Snap recently had their partner summit and announced a number of developments including next generation spectacles, rolling out more business profiles, ecommerce features, new AR features and Snap Map features.

It's interesting to see Snap continuing to stick to their strategy of providing a real alternative for younger audiences within the social media space, defining themselves as something very different to Instagram, Facebook and YouTube in terms of technology and usability - and don't forget, they're a camera company!

Read more on the announcements HERE

November 27, 2019

The Importance Of Great Content

There's been a noticeable rise in chatter around the push by 'Big Tech' to keep users inside their own platforms and ecosystems as more and more internet searches end without a click. So what is the role of great content and strategy within these environments?

It's interesting to see that now more than 50% of Google searches end without a click. Google search provides on-page content such as Wikipedia synopsis, shopping options, movie times, maps and directions etc. And they are all displayed within the first page of search without the need to click. The change has been gradual and subtle. Of course, when it comes to video, Google will promote YouTube as the one place they are happy for you to click-out to.

It's incredible to look at the most recent 'Internet Minute' chart for 2019, there are actually more YouTube videos watched in a minute than Google search queries made.

Internet-Minute-2019-Great Content

Likewise, Facebook is also on a mission to keep people inside their platform for longer. Recent statistics show that time spent using Facebook has remained stable over the last few years, even as more social platforms and niches have emerged. Examples include Facebook Watch, Facebook Marketplace, the raft of publisher and media deals and incredibly 43% of users now get their news from Facebook.

How will great content provide meaning, sales and loyalty?

All this is making the challenge for companies and their brands even greater. How can they still provide meaning, sales and loyalty in a constantly shifting online environment? Will clicks to websites and 'owned channels' become a thing of the past as online behaviour begins to change?

For sure! So ensuring a well planned and executed creative content strategy which performs specific marketing functions and ultimately delivers on business objectives becomes ever more important.

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.

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.

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