Judging the judges

Just like the rest of the Australian population (if the latest ratings figures and Google analytics are anything to go by), we are just mildly obsessed with The Voice here at Stancombe.
Also, like the majority of the population, if Chinese whispers are anything to go by…Delta is really lagging in the popularity stakes over here.

So we ponder...what IS IT about her that is SO VERY ANNOYING?? Let’s pose an analogy for a moment that might ring true for anyone out there who has worked with a Creative Director over the years who supports their own ideas first, foremost and forever (rather than directing other people’s ideas and creative energies to shape them into better more robust ideas and individuals). The issue is that Delta can’t let go of Delta, and seems to only want to create individuals in her own shadow – rather than helping to craft the individual talents and personas of those artists themselves. Some people call this phenomenon a ‘one trick pony’ – and we think this is Delta’s downfall. Especially since this show is as much about the competition between the judges than it is about the competition between the artists. In fact, judging the judges is what makes The Voice stand apart from other reality singing shows.

Admit it, Seal getting Chris Sebastian and Yshrael Pascual to sing Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’ was at first a strange choice indeed, (and it clearly made both vocalists squirm) – but it did allow them to be tested on another battlefront altogether, that of breaking through comfort barriers and of performance experience. It was a strategic decision to allow the cream to come to the top. Ditto when Keith Urban got Jimmy Cupples and Glenn Whitehall to step outside their comfort zone singing a Birds of Tokyo number…and how good was Laura Bunting vs Mali-Koa Hood on the 4 Non Blondes? Hello, Joel Madden. Hello!

And, herein lies the point.  Who’s the real winner?  Why, it’s the masterful mentors who choose the tracks and push them in new directions.  The best performance is intrinsically linked to the best mentor – the judges that step outside of their own comfort zone and usual genre and get their artists to do the same seem to get the best personal growth, the biggest surprises and the most love from us – but we haven’t seen this yet from Delta. Only a barrage of big-up, Diva style, Mariah-Carey-type tunes…so we ask…does Delta really have what it takes to be a true Creative Director, or is she just a great vocalist with really lovely long hair?

New tablet strategies

Check out this nifty little viral campaign from Cosmo for Guys

Apparently it's the first iPad only magazine from the Hearst media conglomerate, who is behind Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Esquire, ELLE and O

What's interesting is the idea that most guys wouldn't be caught dead buying 'Cosmo for Guys' at the news stand, but would be more than happy to download the app and view it in privacy to get the jump on what's happening inside girls heads, read more here

But this is only start of a growing list of iPad specific media strategies: For example:
  • Using Google AdWords to only advertise to iPad users (i.e. a target rich environment of affluent Gen X and Babyboomers)
  • Sponsoring an app, e.g. Telstra sponsor The Age iPad app
  • Create content that fits within a relaxed in-home TV watching context, given this is when and where iPads are being predominately used
  • Tailor email communications and websites to be viewed on iPads, especially now people are starting to use them as there main internet device 
Read more here


For many years now, the media industry has loudly trumpeted the so-called fragmentation of the media landscape. You can't get the same audiences you used to get... the eight pm timeslot is dead they said.

Well, I would like to draw people's attention to the phenomenal success that Underbelly is currently enjoying. The ratings have been:

Week One: 2.5 million
Week Two: 2.4 million
Week Three: 2.3 million

Underbelly has set records for television audiences in the last twenty years.

In the face of this, I believe it can reasonably be argued that the eight pm timeslot is in fact alive and kicking, it's just waiting to be filled with good top quality content.

People have simply grown weary of the endless streams of crap they are being served on a regular basis - magazines suffer from a similar fate. Blaming all their woes on the rise of the Internet and the provision of free (not to mention high quality) journalism.

However some magazines are rising to the challenge, Monocle is a great example of a new entry that is quickly gaining market share through a reputation for excellence in all fields. Describing itself as a 'global briefing covering international affairs, business, culture and design' Monocle delivers to people's growing desire for high-quality content.

A great example of renegade intelligent media is Smashing Telly which describes itself as;

'Smashing Telly is a hand edited collection of the best free, instantly available TV on the web. Not 30 second clips of a dog on a skateboard, or the millionth person to mine the Numa song, but classic clips and full length programs, with a focus on documentaries and non fiction. Smashing Television, not Gimmick Television."

here's hoping this rise in intelligent, considered media is something we will see much more of!

We Went To The Cinema - It Cost Me $60!!

We Went To The Cinema - It Cost Me $60

A family friend is in the film making industry, he asked me if there was any research as to why cinema attendances are falling

I responded by saying that a trip to the cinema cost about $30 in tickets, $15 in refreshments, and $15 in out of pockets

If there is a wide screen at home hooked up to a decent stereo or better, the in home experience is nearly as good as the cinema, the cost of DVD hire is much less, the price of a dud film is lower and you don't have to drive or leave home

And if you hook a computer up to your flat screen the latest releases are available on Bit Torrent as of NOW

How much longer does the cinema have in it's current format?