Publicis works its Mojo in Australia with Myne

 In advertising

I spied an interesting article in the Sydney Morning Herald a few months ago, and this post has been in draft for too long – so time to publish, as it is still relevant.

As an expat Australian who spent a few years at Telstra, and was directly involved with the Publicis Mojo team on the “Just Get Me Telstra” corporate marketing campaign back in 1999, I thought it worth a post.

Unique chance for telco to shine
Date: July 10 2008

Paul McIntyre THE PITCH (Sydney Morning Herald)

BILL OBERMEIER’s unexpected leap to what is traditionally known as an ad agency could be seen as peculiar until you realise how deeply some in the media and marketing services sector believe digital media will change everything. And how serious Telstra is about becoming a digital media player.

Telstra has a potential audience in excess of 10 million people but it can’t monetise that audience in the same way as a TV broadcaster or even an online portal. It can and does sell online advertising to its BigPond and Sensis users and it can and does sell banner-style ads on mobile phones.

But as Obermeier, his new friends at Publicis Mojo and Mojo’s new digital venture, Myne, argue, there’s a whole lot more that can be done to bundle and commercialise a digitised customer base of pay-TV viewers, online users, mobile phone owners and online traders. It’s just that no one knows quite how yet.

What’s different in the Telstra equation is that it has ownership across all those media zones and wants to find a way to exploit it. It fits snugly into a widely held belief in the marketing services sector that the industry has to find a new ways of flogging commercial messages to punters beyond the one-way yelling method deployed for so long in established media.

Obermeier is careful not to smash traditional media too hard, although he says groups with a suite of digital media assets such as Telstra will ultimately win out. “It still comes down to great ideas that communicate a message or involve people in brands in emotional way,” Obermeier says.

“I think what we will see happening in the near term is integrating digital media with traditional media. In the long term it appears that the world is moving more and more towards digital and more people are going online with their mobiles, more people are experiencing television on their mobile screens and not always having to be at home. The emphasis may move towards the digital space but we’re not there yet because it’s not mature enough.”

Publicis Mojo’s chairman, Graeme Wills, is more blunt. “We need different ways to engage with customers and consumers and in the traditional media it is harder and harder to make that connection,” he says. “We need experts, senior people who understand how to make that bridge possible. The fact is there are millions of people spending millions of hours not watching television.”

Interestingly, at the heart of all this new, possibly invasive and annoying commercial digital messaging is an argument that still could work for traditional media but which is widely ignored – create communication that is engaging and entertaining and at least you won’t be ignored.

The Myne team makes a big point of this with these new digital platforms that will require, in many instances, opt-in clauses from the user.

“The exciting thing for us is that it actually forces you to make sure what you are delivering is so entertaining and personal,” Wills says. “If you are sending something down the mobile phone, you better make sure the individual is going to get something out if it, that the communication is out of the ordinary and not just another ‘buy this for $2’.”

So yet again…the message is clear – when advertising to a mobile, you need permission, preference and privacy sorted to ensure mobile advertising is successful.


Based in London, The Actionable Futurist and former Global Managing Partner at IBM, Andrew Grill is a popular and sought-after presenter and comementator on issues around digital disruption, workplace of the future and new technologies such as blockchain. Andrew is a multiple TEDx and International Keynote Speaker.