Macquarie Group pushes into consumer banking to now define the big 5 banks


Big 5 Banks - Average Monthly Share Price in $AUD (Close)

Westpac vs Commonwealth vs ANZ vs NAB vs Maquarie

Macquarie Group pushes hard into the consumer transactional banking market, with their latest advertising campaigns and new consumer banking system roll out. Macquarie Group which traditionally sat behind the scenes underwriting much of the Australian finance market now positions itself as a “big 5 bank", openly competing with the likes of NAB, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and ANZ.

The retail banking space is transforming rapidly with brands advancing in digital technology, fostering a connection with customers and banks. Macquarie Bank enhances the digital banking experience for consumers, launching its new online and mobile banking platform in September last year for personal banking customers. The digital platform is no ordinary digital e-bank offering, rather it harnesses a combination of features that is the “first” to the Australian market by taking a more personalised approach. Digital disruption is setting new benchmarks in customer experience, with many brands empowering new technology in their business models.

Market Cap in Billions ($AUD)

Data as at 24 July 2017

The innovative and personalised digital banking system developed by Macquarie Bank also acts as a money management tool for customers. Not only will customers be able to view a list of their online transactions, but also manage and track their spending so that it aligns with their budget and goals. What makes Macquarie digital app so appealing is that it draws inspiration from customer experiences delivered by popular apps including Netflix, Facebook and Spotify.

Macquarie Bank Transaction Account Offers

Macquarie Bank Transaction Account Offers

Macquarie’s app won the CANSTAR Innovation Excellence Awards for its number of unique and intuitive features including:

  • Automatically categorising transactions - Using machine learning technology that groups customer spend on groceries, travel, leisure, food, drink, technology and more.

  • Giving customers the ability to search like Google - The way users turn to Google for answers, customers can do the same within the app by asking specific questions about their own transactions. E.g “How much did I spend on groceries last month?”

  • Add Hashtags and track transactions - Customers can tag statements, tax returns and important documentation to easily track what they are looking for. For e.g. #Tax

  • Upload receipts and warranties - Customers can attach receipts and warranty documents keeping everything all in one place without having to worry about lost receipts.

  • Set saving and spending goals - Gives customers the ability to set goals and stick to their budget. Customers can view cash flow trends to help manage their overall net wealth position. 

Combining all these unique features in one platform enables customers to better manage and control their funds and provide greater insights into their spending behaviours updated all in real time. The move represents the bank taking the extra step to guide customers rather than simply listing all their transactions. The competitive nature of the digital space in banking is fierce with Macquarie Bank launching its new tech to position themselves differently from their competitors.  

BigDatr's Campaign Library collection of Macquarie Bank campaigns

BigDatr's Campaign Library collection of Macquarie Bank campaigns

BigDatr's Campaign Library has picked up Macquarie Bank's very first campaigns targeting consumers which rolled out in June, across Out-of-home, Digital, Newspaper and Online video. Campaigns launched include "We Bank With Macquarie", "My Bank Gives Me Confidence", "Our Home Loan Is With Macquarie" and "We Wanted Smarter Banking."  The campaigns message promote the smarter choice banking with Macquarie and the digital journey will ensure quick online transactions that can be made effortlessly. 

Macquarie Newspaper campaign  Source: BigDatr Campaign Library.

Macquarie Newspaper campaign  Source: BigDatr Campaign Library.


The newly launched e-banking, is an attempt to break into the consumer transactional market, home loans, savings accounts and credit cards. Macquarie Groups shares have climbed with share prices moving up and to the right, with much growth potential still to be seen for the globally diversified business. 

What marketers need to know about Gen Z

Image source: Pinterest 

Image source: Pinterest 

For marketers looking to target the new generation of youngsters, aka Generation Z (born after 1995), an advertisers approach to reaching and connecting with this generation will differ from millennials. Gen Z have been viewing the world through the lens of their mobile, and their smartphones have become an extension of themselves. For brands to keep up with Gen Z, marketers will have to re-position quick enough before the momentum of this generation becomes overwhelming and difficult to catch up.

Gen Z is the first truly digital generation, and are the first to never know life without the super easy access to the internet and mobile technology. They are tech savvy and have an intuitive understanding of social media, being drawn to Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram. They have grown up with social media, by observing their parents and sibling using it at a young age. For businesses targeting a generation that has grown up with social media, brands will need to excite them and be on top of their social game.  

Here are some key takeaways that marketers need to know about engaging with the next generation in order to build a successful brand for yourself:

1. Be Authentic

To connect with Gen Z, marketers need to listen more than ever before. Your brand should tell a compelling story, yet needs to be real and honest. To engage with the next generation, your brands messaging and communication must be authentic.

The best form of creating a conversation with a brand, is to engage with brand ambassadors who can easily enter a dialogue with them. 

Remember that Generation Z change out of trends really quickly, and digital gives them the choice to terminate and move on quicker than ever before.

2. Keep it short, sharp and entertaining

Gen Z attention spans are shorter given the on-demand delivery ecosystem, swiping away at any moment to online interaction is the norm. It is likely that Gen Zers won't sit still long enough to watch a dull and boring 15-30 second ad. Give them the full story in 8 seconds or less. Your brand needs to help them understand what the content is about, why they should care and how it will help or entertain them. 

3. Be on top of your social game

The Gen Z group has never known life without the internet, and when it comes to social media they spend most of their time using YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Tumblr, with some teens checking their social media accounts up to 100 times a day. Through social media, teens are creating their own personal brand to reflect how they want to be perceived. 

Snapchat ads are an example of users interacting with the brand in a personal and fun way, and leads to a more positive brand image. There are so many brands getting on board with SnapAds, with Cadbury successfully executed their Cream Egg Snapchat filter. 

Cadbury Cream Egg filer on SnapChat. (Image from

Cadbury Cream Egg filer on SnapChat. (Image from


4. Use video and visual communication

Gen Z's live in an emoji-era, preferring visual over word. They communicate with symbols and images, speaking in emoticons, emojis and glyphs. This is evident in they way the younger generation use Snapchat videos and use visuals to communicate via a meme. They consume most of their time in watching videos online, with YouTube being a must have. 

When it comes to promoting products and services, video content is one of the most effective mediums in offering value to both Millennials and Gen Z.  

5. Influencers resonate more than celebrities

Gen Z sees social influence in a different way. They would much rather see influencers that they can relate to instead of formal celebrities. A study found that Gen Z members were not as interested in ads that featured celebrities and are more receptive to ads that offered interesting creative, told a story, were humorous and had captivating music. Gen Zers follow a mass YouTube following and idolise bloggers and vloggers for the honest opinions. 

Influencer-driven marketing on social media is super powerful in driving conversation between the consumer and brand. Adidas effectively ran a campaign which generated massive user engagement via Instagram. To launch their new line, Adidas collaborated with Selena Gomez to kickstart their #MyNeoShoot campaign on Instagram, with the help of top influencers to leverage to generate social buzz. The campaign received 12,000 entries for the content and over 71,000 hashtag mentions. By working with celebrities, Instagram influencers and everyday users, Adidas was able to reach millions of engaged consumers. 

New post is up on 🙆🏽 @adidasneo #outfit

A post shared by Iga Wysocka (@igawysocka) on

The time has come for marketers to shift their focus from Gen Y or Millennials to the next generation of digital natives, Generation Z. 

BigDatr June Marketing News

Image source: Ad Age

Image source: Ad Age

Ten goes into voluntary administration

Network Ten was forced to go into voluntary administration earlier in the month after its billionaire shareholders said that they would no longer guarantee a key loan, putting the TV network at risk of insolvency.

Ten Network has been appointed Korda Mentha as voluntary administrators of the company and its subsidiaries. Fans of network Ten’s top shows The Project, MasterChef and The Bachelorette were assured that their programs will not be discarded mid-season.


Government cuts broadcasting licence fees 

The Federal Government announced it will cut broadcasting licence fees for commercial free-to-air television and radio broadcasters in a bid to take pressure from foreign tech companies and online streaming services. The one-off relief for 2016-2017 will save Seven, Nine and Ten Network $127 million. The move to remove broadcasting fees stems from Channel Ten entering voluntary administration after failing to secure a key credit loan. 


Ogilvy Melbourne wins Cadbury Account

Cadbury Dairy Milk has appointed Ogilvy Melbourne as the local creative agency and will take on campaign responsibilities in Australia and New Zealand. Current agency Saatchi & Saatchi have held the Cadbury Dairy account for five years. 

Ogilvy will be responsible for Cadbury brands including, Favourites, Roses, Coco, Old Gold, Cherry Ripe, Picnic, Twirl, Crunchie, Boost and Moro. Some of Cadbury’s successful past campaigns created by Saatchi & Saatchi include, ‘Joyville’, ‘Where will you go?’ and ‘Everyone gets their favourites’.


FOXTEL gets a brand makeover

Foxtel repositions its brand with a new logo and has confirmed that it will be bringing a dedicated streaming box to the Australian market. The pay TV subscription brand has undergone a radical corporate makeover with a new re-designed logo, new programming and affordable pricing to shake up its position in the Australian market, going head-to-head against younger rivals Netflix, Amazon and Stan.


McDonald's ends Olympics Partnership

McDonald's withdraws their long 40-year partnership with the International Olympic Committee. The sponsorship agreement has ended three years early, however will continue to partner the Korea 2018 Winter games, but not participate in the 2020 Tokyo games. 

The move by the fast food chain said it was "reconsidering all aspects of its International Olympics Committee business" as a plan to re-invigorate its business. The International Olympics Committee understand that "McDonald's is looking to focus on different business priorities". 


Google releases new TensorFlow Object Detection API

Google releases brand new TensorFlow object detection API that will make it super easy for developers, researchers and enthusiasts to pinpoint objects within images. The new open-source framework, will give developers the power to construct, train and deploy object detection models. The API includes models that are designed to work on comparatively simple devices, like smartphones. Artificial intelligence gives a simple photograph the power to recognise objects, facial recognition and even the detection of landmarks. 


Movements across Media, Marketing and Advertising

  • Toyota CMO Brad Cramb joins Audi as new Sales Director
  • John Driscoll Marketforce CEO steps down after almost 30 years and joins Seven West Media as new CEO for Western Australia.
  • Nick Chan CEO of Bauer Media departs, after over a year in the role. New Zealand boss Paul Dykzeul will lead Australia and New Zealand Bauer.
  • News Corp's Nic Hodges joins Foxtel to lead Commercial Innovation.
  • Clemenger BBDO Sydney has appointed Leo Burnett's Chief Operating Officer Jeremy de Viliers to the agency as Head of Operations. 

Amazon buys Whole Foods for $18 billion moving into grocery delivery

Image source: Adweek

Image source: Adweek

The food retailing industry just changed to a whole new level, when eCommerce giant Amazon announced it was buying organic grocery chain Whole Foods for $AU 18 billion on June 16. This “game changer” to the supermarket sector will shake things up for both competitors and shoppers. The move to provide quick online grocery delivery at rock bottom prices causes an industry compression to profit margins (to those without automation) and revolutionise the in-store shopping experience through innovative technologies.

Amazon already has a grocery delivery business in place via Amazon Fresh, competing with Instacart, FreshDirect and Google Express. However the latest move with Whole Foods will change the landscape of the food retail sector radically. Amazon will own a nationwide network of Whole Food stores and solve the logistical issues involved in sourcing and storing fresh food.  

Amazon which started as an online book store 20 years ago has ventured into a number of e-commerce opportunities. Some of these opportunities include developing its very own delivery network, offering everything from packaged goods and online streaming television to being a cloud data service provider and now introducing groceries delivered to your front door.  

We can expect to see rivalry grocery stores jump on the bandwagon and invest in building out more tech in order to keep up with changing consumer behaviour of how people purchase food and get it delivered.

Chief executive of Amazon, Jeff Bezos has expanded the company delivering a range of products, and this is the latest big move for Amazon. 

Whole Foods Market has been satisfying, delighting and nourishing customers for nearly four decades - they’re doing an amazing job and we want that to continue.
— Mr Bezos

Amazon could try to use automation and data analysis to draw more customers to stores to help Whole Foods cut costs and even prices. The 460 Whole Foods stores across the U.S, Canada and U.K could potentially turn into distribution hubs -  for both delivering groceries, and the option to pickup for online orders. 

Australia's two biggest supermarket groups Woolworths and Coles are facing intense competition from international players such as Aldi, with Amazon's announcement posing as a threat. Amazon announced it will be setting up infrastructure for retail offering in Australia, which could be operational over the next year or so, including grocery delivery business Amazon Fresh. Coles and Woolies will need to put more pressure on suppliers to reduce costs, and innovate fast enough to stay up to date with the new future landscape. Yesterday Woolworths shares went down 3.5 per cent, while Westfarmers was down 0.2 per cent.


Snapchat launches self-serve ad platform


Last month, Snap announced that they were building a self-serve tool for advertisers and now have rolled out the new ‘Snapchat Ad Manager’ buying tool on Monday.
Snap’s Ad Manager self-serve tool will give advertisers full control, and remove friction in the ad-buying process. This means that pretty much anyone can purchase ads on Snapchat removing the reliance of an account manager. 

The Ad Manager tool is designed for advertisers big or small to advertise on Snapchat with the ability to manage, optimise and view reporting metrics on the campaign's performance. There is no minimum spend required, with advertisers being able to get started with just a few dollars. 

Opportunity for smaller businesses

The latest self-serve tool will cater to small and medium sized businesses, enabling advertisers to save on large costs by reducing labor-intensive costs. Snapchat's move to introduce Ad Manager is a move to scale its ad platform.

Last week we announced our first Snap Ads self-service product, called Snapchat Ad manager. Our goal is to put the power of our ad products into the hands of every advertiser, regardless of their size. This tool supports all of our ad products, targeting capabilities; and goal-based auction solutions, which allows advertisers to bid for swipes or bid for app installs.
— Imran Khan (Chief Strategy Office of Snapchat)

Advertisers will get access to performance data of their campaigns via Snapchat Ad Manager and also be able to choose specific objectives for the campaign, and targeting ads based on demographic factors.

Snap Publisher 

Above: Advertisers can create their own advertising artwork using Snap Publisher

Above: Advertisers can create their own advertising artwork using Snap Publisher

Snap has announced new tool Snap Publisher which gives advertisers the opportunity to design ads in-house via Snapchat, which will roll out sometime in July. Advertisers can create an ad within minutes, with a library of themes provided by Snapchat.

Snap Publisher will import brand assets, trim horizontal videos for vertical format, offers themed ad templates for different campaign objectives, adds motion to static photos, opportunity to run an A/B test to different ad variants for performance, and lets marketers buy through the Ad Manager with just a few simple steps.



FOXTEL rebrands, following Netflix and Stan with new streaming service

Foxtel repositions its brand with a new logo and has confirmed that it will be bringing a dedicated streaming box to the Australian market. The pay TV subscription brand has undergone a radical corporate makeover with a new re-designed logo, new programming and affordable pricing to shake up its position in the Australian market, going head-to-head against younger rivals Netflix, Amazon and Stan.

The pay-TV provider, once an expensive brand has repositioned to provide cheaper subscription packages without the hassle of installing satellite connection or requiring cable. The brand will launch a national campaign on Sunday including wrap around in all News Corp papers, TVC’s and Out-of-Home with the central message being that “Foxtel is for everyone”.

Mark Buckman, Foxtel’s MD of customer and retail, describes that the lowercase wording in the new logo is designed to be less intimidating and cater to everyone. The new logo created by The Monkeys’ Maud,  is aimed to be “dynamic, fun, approachable”, according to Buckman.

“We’ve had a Foxtel that has been a very masculine, a shouty, retail capital letters kind of brand. That served us quite well for a long time but in order for us to get people to think, feel or speak differently about us, we’ve taken the move to re-imagine what Foxtel might be”
— Mark Buckman
Image above: FOXTEL old logo

Image above: FOXTEL old logo

Peter Tonagh, Foxtel chief executive says the move is the “biggest strategic shift in the 22-year history of Foxtel.”

Peter says he was aiming for a new internet-TV based service called Foxtel Now at the two million Australian households using streaming services including Netflix. He said it was the first time the company had been able to offer low-priced, flexible bundles with no setup costs and the ability to cancel at any time.

Foxtel Now is a new evolution of the Foxtel Play streaming service and offers low-priced and flexible bundles. Subscribers will have greater freedom and access to sign up to Foxtel with no set-up costs and the ability to cancel at any time. The new pricing structure for subscribers include $10 per month, and will replace Foxtel Play.

BigDatr May Marketing News


oOh!’s Excite Network goes Mobile for NAB campaign

Advertisers will now have the power to bring meaningful interactive content into
any environment they select, with oOh! Media announcing the next evolution launch of its Mobile Excite Network this month.

NAB will be the first brand to engage with its audience on a whole new level using the Mobile Excite network for their campaign.  The excite panels are being placed within the bank's four branches across Sydney and Melbourne for the month. The campaign will display visitors of the branch ‘moments of truth’ videos and encourage them to download a NAB property report that contains real-time data that is sent directly to their phone or emails.


Dentsu Mitchell lands Japanese fashion retailer UNIQLO

Dentsu Mitchell media agency will take on the huge international fashion retailer UNIQLO account in Australia. The brand aims to increase their focus on digital media and online retail.
Bibian Mak, the client service director at Dentsu Mitchell will lead the account and is excited to showcase the agencies commitment. Mak has worked on clients including Australia Post, Renault and the Victoria Government.  

“This is an extremely exciting and significant win to showcase our commitment to drive connectivity throughout Australia and the APAC region, together with the Dentsu Aegis Network” Bibian Mak said.

Dentsu Mitchell will manage the media account, while UNIQLO will continue to produce the majority of its creatives.


Twitter tracks user behaviour

Twitter personalises its news feed for users, connecting stories, brands and organic content users care about most. Twitter will start to track users behaviour outside of the app in a move it says will let users see targeted advertisements. The changes were made to Twitter's privacy policy, including the creation of a new selection that lets users see how the network profiles them based on their activity.


Brands getting behind smarter automation like using ChatBots

The introduction of ChatBots is the beginning of a new era of technology, where consumers are communicating with brands via messaging. Brands embracing ChatBots include; Qantas, Domain, Boost Juice.

Mobile is driving the most digital growth, which is why brands are considering chatbots. They can resolve issues for customers 24/7, help brands craft compelling messages, and provide relevant information to consumers. However there are risks behind chatbots being in the early adoption phase, with brands moving into one-on-one conversations with its consumers.


Movements across Media, Marketing and Advertising

  • Matt McGrath joins Deloitte as CMO

Network Ten’s Matt McGrath joins Deloitte as CMO where he has been the chief brand officer for the past four years, bringing the firm a 25-year career in advertising, digital media and communications, which included working as CEO and executive chairman in the global advertising network of Y&R brands.

  • Samsung Australia announces departure of CMO Phillip Newton

Phillip Newton will be exiting Samsung after two years. Newton’s role of corporate vice president and chief marketing officer joined Samsung in 2010 and then took over as CMO in 2015.  Samsung are searching for replacements with a new CMO expected to be named in a couple of weeks.

  • Havas Village Melbourne welcomes eight new members to their team

Havas Village Melbourne announced eight new hires across Havas Melbourne and Red Agency Melbourne. The eight new starters will follow the appointment of Havas Melbourne’s new executive director, Damian Royce. Art director Zoe Yeoman and copywriter Liam Travers join as a duo bringing experience working across clients including; Optus, Coles, Target, Renault and Jetstar. Yeoman, former Cannes Young Lions finalist, and Travers, who ranked Top 10 at AWARD School, working closely with Damian Royce.
Lauren Bell joins as a senior integrated producer, while Torin Didenko rejoins the company as a senior account manager. 

BigDatr April Marketing News


YouTube will stop serving ads on channels with less than 10,000 views

YouTube is taking action to help ensure that its user-generated content does not end up positioning ads by big brands next to questionable content. Google-owned video hosting platform, YouTube will no longer allow ads to be displayed on channels with fewer than 10,000 viewers, across all posted videos. Brands such as Holden and Kia suspended all advertising on YouTube recently after their paid ads were served alongside offensive videos.

YouTube pulls ads on videos with fewer than 10,000 views.

YouTube pulls ads on videos with fewer than 10,000 views.

Snapchat prepares to launch self-serve platform for Snap Ads

Snapchat is working towards launching a self-serve platform for its Snap Ad product which is expected to launch shortly according to Digiday. The self-serve feature for Snap Ads follows the digital app launching the self-serve platform for sponsored Geofilters in late December.

Giving advertisers the power to self-buy Snap Ads gives Snapchat potential for a more attractive option for marketers looking to target the younger demographic by eliminating the middlemen and fees associated. The concept of Snap Ads are full-screen vertical videos that brands can run on Snapchat between users’ curated stories or on the Discover section, or both.

Snapchat is allegedly planning on launching self-serve platform for its full-screen vertical video Snap Ads.

Snapchat is allegedly planning on launching self-serve platform for its full-screen vertical video Snap Ads.

Snapchat ads appear between story of photos and videos when users have shared with their followers. (Image Source: Adweek)

Snapchat ads appear between story of photos and videos when users have shared with their followers. (Image Source: Adweek)


Instagram Stories more popular than Snapchat

Snapchat was the first to successfully introduce the story feature concept, with Instagram copying nearly all of Snapchat’s key features in August last year. Instagram Stories now has more than 200 million users per day, while Snapchat reported it has 161 million daily active users. However it should be noted that Instagram Stories is not its own app, rather an add-on extension to the Instagram app.

Instagram's Snapchat clone is more popular than Snapchat.

Instagram's Snapchat clone is more popular than Snapchat.


Brands trolling United Airlines

Emirates quickly turned over their latest "Fly the friendly skies" campaign taking a dig at United Airlines. A number of airline brands have been trolling United Airlines, after a video of officers violently dragged a doctor of the aircraft when the airline was overbooked went viral this month. 

Amongst other airlines, we have seen Qatar Airlines joining in on the trolling by tweeting a screenshot of their app update to poke fun at United Airlines, captioning:
"Doesn't support drag and drop. We take care of our customers as we unite them with their destination. #GoingPlacesTogether" 

Richard Branson owner of Virgin America, posted a picture of himself to Facebook handing drinks to people on one of his Virgin flights, captioning:
" Airline passengers, & all customers, don't deserve to be treated like numbers on a balance sheet & cattle in a cabin."

Above: Qatar Airlines shares its tweet, a screenshot of the airlines app update.

Above: Qatar Airlines shares its tweet, a screenshot of the airlines app update.

Emirates "Fly the friendly skies... This time for real" campaign

Richard Branson's Facebook post of him serving drinks to his passengers. 

Richard Branson's Facebook post of him serving drinks to his passengers. 


Some of the worst advertising fails

This month not only have we witnessed some clever and well executed campaigns but we have also noted some of the worst advertising failures. From Pepsi to Nivea, these brands received immediate negative backlash from the public and social media within days of each other. Some brands attempted to demonstrate their involvement in diversity and inclusiveness, however failed instantly.
The removal of some of these campaigns within hours and days of launch demonstrates the power of social media. 

(Left) Nivea's social media campaign "White is Purity". (Right) Nivea's 2011 print campaign "Re-Civilize Yourself".

(Left) Nivea's social media campaign "White is Purity". (Right) Nivea's 2011 print campaign "Re-Civilize Yourself".


Brands behind some of the best April Fool's gags

April kicked off with a number of jokes and pranks launched by big brands from across the globe including IKEA, Ford, Virgin Australia, Krispy Kreme, Honda and more. Here is a selection of our favourites.

Krispy Kreme announced they would open the world's first doughnut-themed amusement park.

Krispy Kreme announced they would open the world's first doughnut-themed amusement park.


Facebook takes on Slack with free version of Workplace

Facebook has released a free Premium version (free until 30 September) of its messaging service Workplace to help employees collaborate, group chat and share files, a direct competitor to the workplace collaboration tool Slack. 
The popular social media platform plans to launch a free Standard version of 'Workplace' which is designed for businesses to keep their employees connected and chatting about work-related issues using Facebook.

Facebook Work offer features like Facebook groups, Facebook Messenger, built-in audio and video calling, access to social network profiles, event and live video tools.

Facebook Work offer features like Facebook groups, Facebook Messenger, built-in audio and video calling, access to social network profiles, event and live video tools.


Coles Easter campaign "I'm Free" attracts controversy

Coles marketing campaign launched in time for Easter, highlights Coles opening extra checkouts over the Easter period, with staff members waving "I'm Free" paddles. However the campaign allegedly invited sexual harassment from customers on young staff. The TVC included a female Coles employee fanning herself with "I'm Free" paddle behind a muscly tall man which indicated sexualised undertones.   
Coles had to dismiss the holding signs, which received immediate backlash on social media.  

Coles Easter TVC "I'm Free" received immediate backlash after ad featured a female staff member using the sign suggestively.  

Coles Easter TVC "I'm Free" received immediate backlash after ad featured a female staff member using the sign suggestively.  

Diversity in advertising mix can stir up controversy


Diversity and inclusiveness has become a major theme for brands to focus on in their campaigns. We have seen a major shift in how some brands are approaching diversity, including their support of LGBT rights, political topics, gender equality and multiculturalism to drive conversation and brand awareness. Social media has had a major impact influencing the conversation around diversity in media, advertising and marketing, giving brands the opportunity to take stand, lead the discussion and be viewed as progressive.

Some campaigns are cleverly and sensitively executed, while others have spurred immediate negative backlash. Let’s take a look at brands demonstrating diversity in their campaigns, receiving immediate reaction from the public.

Nivea - "White is Purity"

Nivea received immediate backlash with its controversial “White is Purity” campaign theme line promoting the brand’s new invisible for black and white deodorant. The image portrays a dark haired woman facing a window clad in a white bathrobe while sitting on the bed with the tagline printed “White Is Purity”, which has now been removed.

Above: (Left) Nivea's social media campaign "White is Purity". (Right) Nivea's 2011 print campaign "Re-Civilize Yourself".

Above: (Left) Nivea's social media campaign "White is Purity". (Right) Nivea's 2011 print campaign "Re-Civilize Yourself".

Nivea intended for the campaign to be posted to its “Nivea Middle East” page, "The Nivea Middle East advertisement was not meant to be racially insensitive. We sincerely apologise. The post has been removed. Diversity, tolerance and equal opportunity are fundamental values of Nivea.”

However, this wasn’t the first time the brand has faced the storm with similar controversy. In 2011, a print ad depicting a cleanly shaven black man letting go of a former version of his bearded, afro-haired self against the tagline “Re-civilise yourself” was deemed racist and offensive, and was also removed from the market due to widespread criticism.

Magnum "The Ceremony"

Unilever ice cream brand Magnum depicts a wedding between two women to illustrate the brand’s view on pleasure, diversity and acceptance with its new tagline “Pleasure is Diverse”.
Complaints were received for the ad, seen to be promoting ‘lesbianism during family time’, however the complaint was cleared by the Advertising Standards Board which ruled out that the ad was not in breach of any code. Unilever rejected the complaints stating that the ad fell within community standards “which treat gender and sexual preference fairly, impartially and tolerantly”.

Pepsi - "Jump In"

Last week Pepsi’s controversial ad featuring Kendall Jenner was pulled in less than 24 hours of launch for ‘missing the mark’ after receiving heat over social media and across the internet. The ad titled, “Jump In” borrowed heavily from the imagery of the Black Lives Matter movement, and quickly drew vicious backlash on social media.

The ad spot portrays a protest, where gay, black, Muslim and transgender persons appear to mingle happily as a line of policemen look on, and was criticised for trivialising and even glamourising serious issues that Americans protest for.

Meat & Livestock Australia

Meat and Livestock Australia is no stranger with driving conversation with their controversial campaigns promoting Australia Day each year. The 2017 Australia Day lamb campaign received mostly positive responses, however some in the Indigenous community said the ad was “highly offensive” and “disgusting”. While intending to embrace unity and harmony, the campaign drew criticism of its depiction of the European invasion which failed to acknowledge the harsh realities of white settlement in Australia and the cultural sensitivities of the date of Australia Day for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

Airbnb "Until we all belong"

Yet not all ads depicting diversity have received as much controversy as these. In Airbnb's mission to create a world where everyone can belong, the campaign is asking Australian's to make their support of marriage equality known by wearing the symbol of marriage itself - a ring.

Brian Chesky, Airbnb CEO and Head of Community, hopes the movement will spark conversations about acceptance across the nation by putting marriage equality back on top of Australia's political agenda.

Openness and belonging are the heart of Airbnb - it’s the core of what we do every day. We are committed to helping people belong no matter where they are in the world and strongly believe that everyone should have the right to marry the person they love.
— Brian Chesky


SBS announces 2017 Diversity Works Challenge

This week (10 April) SBS announced the finalists for the 2017 Diversity Works Challenge which aims to promote more diversity in advertising, giving progressive brands the opportunity to win one million dollars of free media space on both SBS TV and its digital counterparts.

Andrew Cook, SBS Director of Media Sales has expressed that SBS is thrilled with the response received to the challenge.

The eight shortlisted ideas have integrated Australia’s diversity into the fabric of their campaign concept, while achieving the brands overall marketing objectives, demonstrating that thinking with diversity works.
— Andrew Cook

Shortlisted entries include KWP! for Surf Life Saving Australia, BBAM for Steel Blue Boots, Starcom for Farmers Union Greek Yoghurt, Marmalade Melbourne for the Stroke Foundation, Ikon Communications for Barnados Australia and Carat for Holden, Medibank Private Health Insurance and La Trobe University.

This is also a great initiative for SBS to be involved with for their own brand reputation, who we recently saw collaborate with Holden to promote diversity and drive meaningful conversations

At BigDatr we look forward to seeing which brand will win this diversity challenge, with the winner expected to be announced next month.

Brands get behind the pranks for 'April Fools Day'


On a day where jokes and pranks are shared, we have seen brands from around the globe get behind April Fools Day. Here are some of our favourites:


The Swedish furniture retailer IKEA announced its plan to launch its very own low cost airline, FLIKEA. Plans to launch the world’s first non-stop flights between Sweden to Australia serving up its iconic meatballs to its passengers, and IKEA footstools.


Deliveroo is taking a step further with its food delivery service, introducing 'Deliveroo Extreme Delivery.'  The extreme delivery service will now deliver to a broader location base using skydivers. 


Introducing the latest innovation from Honda - Horn Emojis. Horn Emojis offer a range of horn sounds for a variety of scenarios, from seeing your kids off to school to commiserating with other drivers in rush-hour traffic.


McDonalds introduces a tiny version of their famous BigMac cheeseburger called the Micro Mac.


Google Chrome has bought the next evolution of the smart home, The Google Gnome

Krispy Kreme

Krispy Kreme announced they would open the world's first doughnut-themed amusement park in Perth. The doughnut brand said that "Krispy Kreme World will be divided into four primary precincts and include several rides, doughnut bars, production factory and Krispy Dream, a new innovation centre where you can create new doughnuts and desserts."

ING Money

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ING Direct unveiled a prototype of the iTM, a smartphone that utilises the latest in 3D printing technology to print cash notes on demand. 
“While many of our customers are embracing mobile payments, there are still those who still prefer cash and we want to make sure we support that choice,” says John Arnott, executive director, customers at ING Direct.

Virgin Australia

Virgin Australia are excited to introduce their new Canine Crew in a world first initiative. On selected flights, a Canine Crew member will work alongside the award-winning Cabin Crew team to offer a range of additional services.


Express your emotions via Ford's 'Active Thanks Assist' technology to help reduce road rage. Within a click of a button, drivers can project a thank you wave displayed on the rear windscreen of the vehicle. 
Dr. Hugh Morris, Ford Australia’s Future Technologies Team Engineering lead, speaking about the technology said: “We were inspired by the recurring stories in focus groups of customers either being frustrated by those who don’t wave, or annoyed at themselves for forgetting to wave. This solves both issues in a driver-initiated and autonomous way. At Ford, we know a calm driver is a clever driver, which in turn makes the road a happier place to drive.”

We would love to hear what your favourite April Fool campaigns were.