Category Archives: user generated content

Content Marketing Picture with Getty Images

The most widely spoken language in the world isn’t Mandarin – it’s pictures! These and other truths will come out today when Micha Schwing (Getty), Chris Collacott (Deloitte), Lucy Sutton (King Content) and I talk ‘content marketing’ with particular focus on images. Micha Schwing is Global Director for Content Strategy at Getty Images. She explores the evolving meaning of imagery in advertising and marketing, identifying how consumers and brands engage in the wider visual culture.

Here is a link to today’s event at the Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney:


As a contributor to Getty Rise and editor of Adverblog I have my fair share of editorial experience. Including Facebook pages with a six-figure audience – what works, what doesn’t, how to combine copy and images. And ever since content production became more prominent in the marketing mix, I have helped brands like WeightWatchers, Bonds, Nescafe and XXXX Gold do the same and initiate their own programs.

Standing out visually has always been a creative cornerstone of my projects. Most recently we at Reactive initiated a world first collaboration of WeightWatchers and Getty Images: using Getty’s API Connect allowed Australians to tell their very individual success stories, choosing from millions of the world’s most popular photos.

Quick Update:

Mumbrella content marketing picture panel

Tim Burrowes (Mumbrella), Tim Buesing (Reactive), Chris Collacott (Deloitte Digital), Lucy Sutton (King Content), Micha Schwing (Getty Images)

Mumbrella has written a little summary of our different view points here.

I thoroughly enjoyed partaking in this Mumbrella ‘Content Marketing Picture’ panel and was able to learn quite a lot from debating with Micha Schwing, Tim Burrowes, Chris Collacott and Lucy Sutton. The points we covered ranged from:

  • can brands actually be authentic? It seems sometimes easier to answer in B2B marketing where it is a lot about people, projects and case studies
  • what’s the best governance and how does the organisation need to plan ahead before launching into content production and publication? what structure, resources and process need to be in place?
  • what’s a reasonable and sustainable strategy, what are the aims?
    what amplification and automation opportunities are there? Marketing automation isn’t automated marketing.
  • how can ROI be measured? It doesn’t have to be monetary, it can also be employee retention or innovation projects.
  • are marketers more open to a true portrayal of modern Australia, e.g. in regards to ethnicity, lifestyles, morality,…

We covered a lot of ground and I want to thank Getty and Mumbrella for inviting me as well as my co-panelists for their thoughts.

Content Marketing for WeightWatchers

Among our latest work at Reactive is fresh content marketing for WeightWatchers.

Screen Shot 2014-02-05 at 10.58.30 AM

Understanding weight issues and weight loss as well as making healthier choices in your life has become a critical issue for Australians. By many statistics we rank as one the heaviest nations in the world. And that is tons away from our self-perceived ‘beach-bronzed surfer chicks and dudes’ ideal. Check out the various exercise tips, recipes and psychological advice in the University of Incredible or as a series of presentations on the WeightWatchers Slideshare account.

Screen Shot 2014-02-05 at 11.44.43 AM

YouTube videos and live events like Google Hangouts and Twitter chats with WeightWatchers experts complement the offering.

6 in 6 - sneaky workouts at work-1 Why Stress Is Like A Ninja_16x9-22 Why Stress Is Like A Ninja_16x9-08 Flatter your figure-01 WWS036 - Awaken the Incredible You in Minutes_v015 Daily Distractions & Sneaky Saboteurs_v57 WWS036 - Breakfasts Not Borefests_v0216 WWS036 - Breakfasts Not Borefests_v024

Buzzfeed opens in Australia

Social content publisher Buzzfeed opens in Australia. Their new office with 3 writing staff will be creating content for and from Down Under. Which is good news for your social publishing ambitions.  Check their site if you aren’t familiar yet: . They also do serious politics coverage (like e.g. Vice does as well) and places where they opened earlier, like the UK, have noticed this branching out from pure social and entertainment:

Will have to correct the numbers below, as I am just writing this from memory. They rack up 2-3 million unique browsers in AU already and went from 2 to 10 million uniques and 22 writers in the UK in last year.


Keith Hernandez from BuzzFeed, spoke at our Creative Social Sydney  ( last night. Many thanks to Aaron Michie and ZenithOptimedia for putting it on. Here are my main take outs:

  • They measure  in ClickThroughRates, engagement (shares, comments, likes) and sentiment (positive, negative). I am sure there are deeper metrics to be analysed and potential actions you would like users to take (beyond reading and sharing)
  • Agencies like 1 Trick Pony, Barbarian Group or Mother are now training and employing brand copywriters to write specifically for places like Buzzfeed, tumblr etc.
  • Their stories derive their shareability from positivity, identity, the moment and (naturally) humour
  • Traffic from LinkedIn is rising (as LI is  aiming to raise their stickiness/return rates)
  • When brands go real-time content , they have been building and practicing (like Oreos) for a year (get brand right, approval processes in place, change culture)
  • When they covered the Grammys, it felt like a Saturday Night Live ‘writers pitch’ room
  • Brands should have a narrative arch over the whole year: VW for example turned the ‘Be Happy’ campaign motto into a SuperBowl ‘Let’s celebrate the loser city’ idea
  • And lastly: Our biggest competitor is ‘having a life’, the great outdoors – (originally said by the CEO of Reddit on a panel with Buzzfeed)


Additionally there is a (sold out) IAB event this Friday featuring  Andy Wiedlin, Buzzfeed’s Chief Revenue Officer. Some of our discussion afterwards revolved around the role of an agency in the process, how BuzzFeed’s Top10-lists and quizzes might evolve creatively, the culture you need to build for such a quick publishing model and how ‘Native Advertising’ has become the new ‘viral’ – most don’t quite know what it tis, but everyone wants it in their marketing mix.

My blog year of 2013 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for my blog. And weirdly enough, me writing about pop music (which was a complete one off) drew the most interest. Maybe time to switch direction for this blog?

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,200 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Thinstagram and other body issues in social media

I tweeted about this surge in facial surgery among singles in India. It is presumed to correlate with the rise of social media ‘selfies’ and heightened awareness of perceived ‘flaws’. See more about it by clicking on the link:

And I received two interesting links via two followers which you should check out too:

and TheBodyCon, run by the Butterfly Foundation

My own teenage years were spent without social media (at least not the online version of it), so I was pretty grounded by the time the web and digital self expression came around. Have a look at #Thinstagram on Tumblr – luckily some jokers put in their own version of being thin to lighten the slightly intense mood.



But being a parent automatically makes you think hard about the additional pressure built up by trends of #Thinstagram and the like. Phew.

Update One:
Thanks to Becky’s comment below I was made aware of another side of the same hashtag. Goes to show that I caught on to the topic in a few minutes and didn’t give it enough research time to understand what’s going on. Thanks Becky, I was just invited to speak at The Body Con in October and will definitely give it more thought until then.

Update Two:
This article on Slate “SelfieLoathing” cites studies on the effect of Facebook and Instagram on self-esteem and self image. via

Update Three:
The Butterfly Foundation have just asked to be involved in their The Body Con ad competition. Enter it if you have a creative idea for their challenge: “looking to demonstrate that the representation of the body that we see in media is constructed and often an unhealthy ideal to try to achieve.” You could win $1,000, be screened on Oct 9 at The Seymour Centre and probably make some valuable contacts to take your idea further. Check it out here.

Benevolent Society celebrates 200 years of hope

Our client, Australia’s oldest charity, The  Benevolent Society ( briefed us to celebrate their 200 years anniversary this year. We created a campaign site that engaged supporters, politicians and the academic community to answer the question “What future changes are you hoping for?”.


The site celebrates TBS’s 200 year history as well as the future 200 years. The core creative idea is ‘Hopes for Change


The Last 200 Years:–year–celebration/last–200
The Next 200 Years:–year–celebration/next—200


The submitted hopes are ideal for sharing on TBS’ Facebook page. And the site also integrates an external service called ‘History Pin’. This allows Australians to add their personal historical documentation of the past:–year–celebration/history—pin

Screen Shot 2013-08-02 at 10.06.22 AM
Following on from that, Reactive co-created an innovative on- / offline installation at VIVID Sydney:

This tunnel installation reacted with beautiful light changes to ‘hopes’ submitted via SMS, email or web site.


Parents as storytellers

Anton Buchner contacted me on Twitter with this great ‘parents as storytellers’ project you can help make happen. It might interest you if you have young children and would like to take your bed time story reading to the next level. It’s promising to be very enjoyable for both sides.

Anton and friends are putting together a book, helping you not only to read a story to them but  to imagine one, on the fly. And in turn animate your kids to do the same.

Imagination Stories on Pozible

Imagination Stories on Pozible

Check out Anton’s post on it and if you like the idea, contribute to it via their page on the crowd funding site Pozible. They have already raised more than two thirds of their goal, so please give them the last nudge. You can also join their Facebook page.

Here is how Anton came up with the idea:

“I used to create imagination stories for my children (who are now 17, 15, 12). They were based on getting them to give me 3 random and eclectic words and I would weave them into a short and fun story with a beginning, middle and an end. The point was not to just read books AT them but to engage them IN a story. Getting them to help describe scenery, people, places and create names as the story went along. Soon they were asking me for 3 words and creating their very own stories! The more I spoke to friends about it, the more I discovered that they weren’t doing this. However they loved the idea. So I though let’s help families who may not have an initial creative spark. (…)  So I’m creating a facilitation book called “Imagine What Happens Next” with illustrations (by Sophie Scahill) and story starters, that parents and children can unleash their imagination with.”


Illustration by Sophie Scahill

I am very happy that the project has already reached its target. You can keep on contributing for your copy of the book and having your name printed in it.