A spin-off series called Gruen Nation was aired during the 2010 federal election campaign. Each episode was hosted by Wil Anderson with regular Gruen Transfer guests Todd Sampson and Russel Howcroft and guests John Hewson, leader of the federal Liberal party 1990–94, Neil Lawrence, "Kevin 07" campaign co-ordinator, and Annabel Crabb, journalist and political commentator. Anderson said, "If the ABC is the national broadcaster, then Gruen Nation is the national bullshit detector."
Why don’t the new ads for Crown want to mention the C word? How come James Packer’s everywhere in the media these days? Did Pussy Riot’s message get lost in the media coverage? And can two agencies come up with an ad campaign to convince Australians that Gina Rinehart would be the right person to run Fairfax Media.
This week on Gruen Planet, we hang out with Brad Pitt’s younger brother Doug. Virgin Mobile has made him the face of its latest ad campaign. But is Doug really Doug or is he “Doug”? And why did so many Australian news outlets jump at the story when he was in town last week? We also look at the tactics Qantas employed to pave the way for some bad news it knew it had to deliver last week: a $245 million full year loss, its first since it was privatised in the 1990s. And a Pitch challenge to do what the government has struggled to do, sell us the carbon tax.
move? How much immunity does a cancer charity buy you? Why are his sponsors standing by their cycling-man? We also examine AAMI’ Rhonda and Ketut love story, a simple ad about insurance that has become a phenomenon. Why would we take advice from a woman who doesn’t even know about sunscreen? And in the week that TV show The Shire breathes its last, we have a special Pitch challenge. Two agencies compete to come up with a campaign that makes up for the damage done to Cronulla’s reputation by Lara Bingle, the race riots and The Shire.
The Gruen team looks at Gina Rinehart’s video address to her loyal subjects, asking the question: if money talks, then why is Gina? And can a woman who earned $20billion last year really argue our economy isn’t working? We also look at kids with webcams, another of marketing’s bold, new frontiers. Spin Cycle counts down three of our favourite recent attempts to catch a headline. This week’s nominees: Channel Nine, the Paralympics and the Australian Christian Lobby’s Jim Wallace.
You may not know it, but one of the methods used by the Australian government to stop the boats is advertising. The Gruen team looks at the No To People Smuggling YouTube channel, which has been aiming ads at smugglers and refugees for two years. In the wake of Victoria Bitter's apology to the nation, we ask, is saying sorry just a clever form of marketing? And Spin Cycle may be the only place this week that draws a line between AAMI's Ketut, the Free Syria Army and Woolworths' Wallace.
The Gruen team looks at Apple, the world’s biggest brand, unpicking the iPhone 5 launch, examining the ways buying frenzy is created through headlines and hype, and how its competitor Samsung has ambushed at every step. We also examine the Pink dollar. Same Sex marriage can’t get through parliament, but it is gradually weaving its way into advertising. Tonight we look at brands taking a stand and joining the debate.
This week, one of Australia's most powerful and successful communicators, Alan Jones, showed he could also be pretty bad at it. The panel picks apart Sunday's press conference, examining the spin tactics of distraction and deflection, apology and blame-shifting, and how 2GB advertising clients reacted to all of it. It also examines Advertising Crimes Against Music. Coles employees have written to the Gruen team to say that working in a store where Down Down is on high rotation is workplace torture. Tonight the panel investigates the process of turning popular songs into ear-bleeding company jingles. And if you thought Down Down was bad, you ain't heard nothing yet.
In tonight’s episode, Scientology, Movies and Spin – The Master, a movie with Oscar buzz based on the life of L Ron Hubbard, is heading to our shores. The panel looks at Scientology’s public image and its PR strategy. Also: in the 12 months that followed the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake, the area’s second in six months, Australian visitors dropped by 43 per cent. So can advertising turn a city associated with devastating earthquakes into a fun family holiday destination? The Gruen team looks at Christchurch’s attempt to lure us across the ditch.
How Do You Sell Newspapers – The panel looks at the challenges involved in selling a product many people think is dying. What were the values of the newspaper brand in earlier decades and what do they have left to sell? We also look at Shoppable Movies – Target USA has just released Falling For You, an online romantic comedy starring Kristen Bell, written and directed by Mad Men alumni. Viewers can click on hundreds of products in the movie, ordering them while they watch. What does this mean for advertising? And retail?
Fearless Felix – Last week, Felix Baumgartner jumped from 39 kilometres above the earth, breaking the speed of sound and various records on his way down. For sponsor Red Bull, it was the culmination of a seven year project. Why does Red Bull want to own the extreme? And what if Felix had died? Also, ABC Promos – are TV networks brands or just buttons on the remote? What do all those ABC bubbles mean? Ten, seriously?