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26
Jul

‘Discover What Matters’, our new campaign with Vanuatu Tourism

It’s been right in front of you all along.

It’s easy to lose sight of what really matters. The pressures of modern lifestyles, the pursuit of money over happiness and the demands of the workplace often leave many people with regrets late in life.

Our new campaign invites those at risk of losing sight of what truly matters to rediscover what they have been missing, in a place where it’s been right in front of you all along: Vanuatu.

Launched in May 2016 this multi-faceted campaign uses eight key teachings of mindfulness to inspire urban, hard-working couples to Slow Down, Immerse Yourself, Be in the Moment, Reconnect with Nature, Make New Friends, Share Laughter, Eat Naturally and Be Alone, Together.

These life-affirming tenets form the pillars of our campaign and run through our TVC, website, print and digital media. These guidelines encourage the audience to reconnect with what matters, in an authentic, emotive and inspiring destination.

The centrepiece of the campaign is our TVC (which you can watch below).

Showcasing some of Vanuatu’s stunning destinations, the TVC and supported paid media share the serenity that is abundant in this nation. Just 3.5 hours from Sydney, is it time for you to rediscover the important things in life?

 

04
Feb

Dramacado

Australia is in the grips of an avocado shortage, and it is trending. Won’t someone think of the breakfast selfies!

If there is one thing Aussies are proud of, it’s our religious dedication to the avocado. Once “smashed” meant six too many beers on a Friday night, but now it’s a creative way of describing the delicious green mush we serve on toast alongside eggs and other vital breakfast ingredients.

However, the free market is a powerful and dangerous thing. Just before Christmas, it seems Big Avocado did a little market interfering to help drive sales and then BOOM, Mother Nature was having none of it. Thanks to some extra rainfall, avo crops have become scarce and now we’re facing a shortage.

As always, Social Media has responded to the avocrisis with all the rationality you’d expect. Enjoy our gallery of some of the best responses. Until this dark (green) time is over, your breakfast selfies won’t be the same. May AvoGod-o have mercy on us all.

 

04
Feb

Meet Louella

Presenting Circul8’s new Senior Producer!

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Oh hey!

Louella just started with Circul8 as a senior producer. With 16 years’ experience working in the world of digital, we’re super excited for what she is going to bring to the team! 

We’ve got a handful of producers here at Circul8 HQ, and they are all very lovely and work very hard. As one of Circul8’s copywriters, I am of course totally across the job that producers do and definitely haven’t used this interview to learn the specifics of their job…. See what Louella has to say…

C8: Hi Louella, first question we ask everyone: what made you want to run away and join the Circul8 circus?

L: I read a blog post that you eat lots of cake and it’s true, in fact I just had a piece and it’s my first week.

C8: Have you always been a producer?

L: No I started off as a baby, then I became a teenager, somewhere between then and now I became a producer, I did take a few detours in between and have been in client management and even a gallery owner and curator.

C8: What do you most enjoy about digital marketing?

L: Honestly, it’s the people and the character, I love working with all types of creative people and masters of their crafts. I enjoy the collaboration between developers, designers, animators and strategist that needs to happen to in order to produce an amazing campaign. But most of the all accountability and flexibility of digital media, the fact that everything is measurable, there is no guessing, we can test and optimise at all points of the campaign so we know we are getting the most of each campaign.

C8: For those reading this who may not exactly know what producers do (not me, I’m totally across it): What exactly does your job entail?

L: Producers are pretty much the mums of the project, we look after everyone and make sure no one is crying , everyone gets home alive and all ends well.

C8: What’s the app you can’t live without and why?

L: I am a big fan of practical apps so I have to say Maps…i’d be lost without it…my sense of direction is not so great.

C8: What’s your prediction for the next big thing in online social interaction?

L: No idea, I am continually shocked by the what people will and won’t share with the world.

C8: Destination marketing and tourism are a big part of what we do here at Circul8. What are your top 3 travel destinations?

L:  Mexico, Jamaica and Cuba…I like the heat.

C8: Thank you for confirming what I already knew about producers in the digital marketing world, I definitely didn’t learn something I should have known ages ago.

L:  Hmmm

Under our Louella-ella, eh

Written by Nic Dorward

04
Feb

Show me the money? Email Marketing in 2016!

Email went big in 1996. As did Jerry Maguire. We look at how email marketing holds up in 2016.

In 1996, two things happened: emails overtook paper mail in the United States as the most-sent items of written communication, and the highly quotable rom-com Jerry Maguire hit our screens. That was 20 years ago. If that makes you feel old, it’s ok, we feel it too!

The world has changed a lot since then – Tom Cruise is now more of a meme than a movie star, and digital marketing has changed in ways we couldn’t have anticipated. Circul8 has been keeping up though: we scoured Litmus’ State of Email Report 2016 for this important advice for email marketing in 2016.

Here are our top 3 takeaways…

1. “Help me, help you” – Make it easier for customers to get the emails they want.

via GIPHY

“Often times, a subscriber would be happy to continue receiving emails if only they could receive messages less often or on different topics. Many opt-out processes are now managed in preference centers, but as more subscribers rely on ISPprovided opt-out methods, marketers can’t use their preference centers as a last resort anymore.” 

– 2016 State of Email Report (Litmus)

Just as there are a variety of channels through which you can reach your customers, there are also a plethora of delivery options for email marketing. Sometimes, we can be afraid to make unsubscribing easy, because we know we’re sending marketing material that will never be as welcome or relevant as an email from a friend, or work colleague.

As part of your email strategy, go bold and go beyond the polite “Click here to unsubscribe” option. Send out direct communication asking your customers when they’d like to be contacted, and what sort of information they are interested in.

Gmail now allows users to block your email content within the app, which means they don’t even have to step through your unsubscribe system (no matter how user-friendly or polite it is). As these platforms provide users more tools to reduce email burden, you want to be one step ahead and ask the questions first.

TIP: Build in more sophisticated preferences, and don’t bury that unsubscribe button!

2. “Did you know the human head weighs eight pounds?” – Send more relevant information.

via GIPHY

“The arrival of the “block” button should be yet another reminder that marketers need to send more messages that are contextually aware, making use of segmentation, personalization, dynamic content, triggered messaging, and other tools and techniques to create better subscriber experiences.” 

– 2016 State of Email Report (Litmus)

This may seem like a no-brainer, but when it comes to the crunch we can be tempted to send messaging to as many subscribers as possible to get the word out there. Email is increasingly in danger of becoming the new telemarketing – unwelcome, unwanted, and rarely arriving at a good time.

To prevent customers viewing your emails as an intrusion, spend time curating your lists to ensure they are being sent to those who’ve opted-in, and who have expressed interest in the content. Segment out those who are unlikely to be engaged, and hone your message. The shorter the better.

It’s also important to remember that how we view emails is shifting – the recent “peeking” option in iOS9 means that users can hover over an email and get a preview. That will count as an “open” according to your metrics, but unless the content is engaging, relevant, and targeted they won’t click through.

TIP: Relevant content is more important than ever. Invest in creative approaches

3. “You had me at hello” – You can judge an email by its subject.

via GIPHY

“Think of preview text as a “second subject line” and use similar strategies to improve your campaigns. Be useful, specific, and, if appropriate, have a sense of urgency. This is also an ideal place to add an additional persuasive element to encourage your subscribers to open.”

– 2016 State of Email Report (Litmus)

So, we all know that an eye-catching subject heading that doesn’t set off the spam filters is the holy grail of email marketing. However, focusing on the subject line isn’t enough in 2016. Various email platforms now provide users even more preview info in the inbox, which is another opportunity to get your customers excited about your content.

If you’re not careful, a lot of platforms will display whatever text is at the top of the email. You can craft the most ingenious subject heading, but all that hard work can be undone if the preview text offers nothing but an “Email not displaying correctly?” message, or even worse “Use this area to offer a short teaser of your email’s content.”

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Source: 2016 State of Email Report (Litmus)

TIP: Invest some time in sending out test emails to a variety of email platforms to maximise your campaign’s efficiency, and avoid any email embarrassment.

Written by Nic Dorward

04
Feb

Win a trip to Japan with Circul8’s latest digital campaign!

Play The Magic Sakura game and discover the true beauty of Japan.

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This week, Circul8 is proud to launch a new interactive experience celebrating Japan, the first of our targeted campaigns in partnership with the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO).
The Magic Sakura is a playful, interactive game that allows users to revel in the stunning tranquility of the iconic cherry blossom, as they collect lanterns that are placed on its branches. If a player collects 50 lanterns, they can enter the draw to win a trip to Japan.

In the lead up to the Cherry Blossom season, one of the most beloved periods in the Japanese tourism calendar, Circul8 and JNTO set out to celebrate the popularity of the sakura and remind Australia that Japan is a tourism destination like no other.

Hot on the heels of Japan being named #2 on Lonely Planet’s ‘Best in Travel’ 2016 global list, JNTO have big plans to increase destination awareness and build on inbound visitor numbers from Australia, and Circul8 are excited to work with them to achieve this!

Play Magic Sakura today!

19
Jan

Dear Abby

We get to know the newest member of the Circul8 team!

Abby is the newest member of the Circul8 team, joining our ever-expanding family of digital marketing addicts. In her first week we had two team birthdays, so she  is currently under the impression that we eat a lot of cake, and play the Stevie Wonder version of Happy Birthday more than the average agency.

Abby joins Team Social here at Circul8, the gang of brave people who go out into the digital world every day, managing communities and creating the content you see pop up across our client’s social channels.  As our newest Content and Community Manager, we asked her for her thoughts on cake, social media, cake, travel, and cake.

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C8: Abby, what made you want to run away and join the Circul8 circus?

ABBY: Prior to joining Circul8 I was juggling two roles in online media and social, so this was an awesome chance for me to combine all of that craziness into one fabulous job! I’m passionate about social causes and all things travel, so I’m really excited about this new adventure.

C8: Were you surprised at how much cake we all ate in your first week here?

ABBY: I was just thinking that every newbie was welcomed with a ‘cake avalanche’ – you’re saying that that’s not the case?!

C8: What do you most enjoy about digital marketing?

ABBY:  I love that it’s fast, it’s innovative and it’s exciting – the industry is always changing, and that means there’s always a new way for us to connect with our clients’ target audience.

C8: What’s the app you can’t live without and why?

ABBY: I know it’s cliche, but I honestly can’t live without Twitter – I’m an #auspol junkie that feels really left out when I’m not constantly surrounded by other people’s opinions… and of course, GIF Keyboard, for the LOLs.

C8: Did you think we were just making up the birthdays so we could eat cake? If not, do you think we could get away with doing that?

ABBY: If we could develop some kind of strategy where everyone that works at Circul8 has a birthday every month we will be set for life!

C8: What’s the your prediction for the next big thing in online social interaction?

ABBY: Facebook’s plans for its Messenger service are really interesting and have the potential to transform how we interact with one another. I think the concept of creating this huge platform where we can chat to one another, send images, book an Uber, look at movie screening times and plan our lives in one place is exciting!

C8: Destination marketing and tourism are a big part of what we do here at Circul8. What are your top 3 travel destinations?

ABBY: My top destinations are Japan, Russia and Cuba!

C8: Finally, how good is cake?

ABBY:  So. good.

Written by Nic Dorward

18
Jan

The Peachy Keen Social Trend for 2016

We road test Peach, the new social app everyone’s talking about.

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Peach: one of 2015’s most suggestive emojis, and an enduring symbol of Mario having more work to-do. Now, it’s quickly becoming the hottest new social interaction app around – so popular that the site crashed in its first week of going out to market. The early success of Peach is a timely reminder of what people are looking for when it comes to social interaction apps: a way to make communicating fun.

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The original Friend-zone.

Peach is a mobile-app with the timeline/profile archiving of Facebook and Twitter with the speedy interactiveness of WhatsApp and the playfulness of SnapChat. If that sounds like Peach has just lifted the best bits of all those popular social channels and given them a pink background – you’re not far off. That being said, it does it very well.

Peach, as the name suggests, is pretty cute and sweet. You could describe it as the app we had to have in the post-Emoji world. Emojis are present in most app’s interactions, from how it communicates with you to how it encourages you to communicate with others.

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“Boop”

After setting up your profile, you’re introduced to your “space”. You define this space like you would a Facebook timeline: with photos, text-based updates, and other content derived or created from within the app. Much of that content can be added by using Peach’s “Magic word” function.

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Magical!

By typing in a “Magic word”, you can activate certain features that allow you to post things to your space. As you’re introduced to Peach, it steps you through how to post GIFS with a Giphy palette as well as snapchat-esque drawings. You can also update others about which TV shows you’re watching, or how far you’ve run/walked today- so Peach is good for couch potatoes AND people trying to burn off carbs!

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Today we learned: never let a copywriter attempt drawing.

Remarkable enduring and endearing qualities of Peach are how super cute and super polite the app is. Once we’d walked through guided introduction, we were sent an emoji-laden message:

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Oh Peach, you so sweet.

In fact, all of Peach is positively dripping with niceness. When you get into a conversation with someone, the text input encourages you to “Say something nice.” While the saccharine sweetness may give some die-hard social media users digital diabetes, it’s also encouraging to those who have been made all-too aware of the darker side of social, namely trolling and bullying.

Peach, it seems, is nipping this right in the fruity bud by establishing itself in the nice corner of the internet. There is no word yet on reporting, blocking, and other forms of moderating.  

What works with Peach isn’t so much that what it offers is hugely different from what’s already out there. Perhaps those the heady days social media giants like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr etc establishing themselves as channels defined by their difference are over. For now, we’ve become accustomed to apps and networks that are optimised to suit mobile devices and desktops – and the apps wishing to break into the market are about finessing that experiencing instead of revolutionising it.

As soon as we see a major technology change, there will be a new app or service that slots perfectly in with that new technology. For now, if a new social network or social interaction app wants to crack this competitive market, it needs to pay attention to how people are interacting on already established platforms and innovating within them, beyond what the app was designed for. Facebook’s responsiveness to GIFs, and Twitter’s incorporation of quoted tweets are great examples of this.

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TayTay MAY be an investor?

VERDICT: Peach is fun, friendly, and understands the fashionable shorthand of emojis and GIFs to communicate how people are feeling. We can see why it’s so popular with early adopters.

SHOULD I USE IT?: Some of us at Circul8 HQ are already hooked. New year, new app!

DON’T USE IT: If the world of Emojis, GIFs, and millennial cuteness hurts your teeth.

SHOULD MY BRAND BE THERE: Not yet. If Peach survives that tricky “shiny new thing” phase and becomes a staple, it will be because it feels authentic. Brands that push their way in too early are seen as invasive.

As always, Circul8 will keep scouring the internet for what apps and digital marketing trends are ahead of the curve, so keep an eye on our blog throughout 2016 for the latest updates.

Written by Nic Dorward

18
Jan

Vale, David Bowie

Circul8’s staff are celebrating the incredible life and artistry of an icon by sharing their favourite tracks.

Image source: Pedestrian.tv

Image source: Pedestrian.tv

When the news of David Bowie’s passing hit the internet, the entire Circul8 office stopped what they were doing for a moment to take in the news, and since then the soundtrack has been non-stop Bowie.

To celebrate the incredible life and artistry of Ziggy Stardust/The Thin White Duck/Aladdin Sane et al, we’ve compiled our definitive playlist of favourite tracks and what these songs mean to us (the Slack thread on this subject is one of the most detailed conversations to take place at Circul8).

Vale, David Bowie. Planet Earth is blue, and there’s nothing we can do.

Jules: Ask me each day and I’ll give you a different answer. One thing everyone loved was how versatile he was and how he inspired so many. His song ‘Cat People (Putting Out The Fire)’ was used perfectly in Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Inglourious Basterds’ as the perfect accompaniment to revenge. And, if you’re recreating the past, why not make it even better with something from the future.

Abby: I love Let’s Dance, because it never fails to make me happy.

Nic: Amidst the enormous outpouring of online grief in recent days, this video of David Bowie, Annie Lennox, and Queen performing “Under Pressure” was shared.  My first thought was, “Oh yay, Bowie, Freddie and Annie all onstage!” Then, I realised Annie was there because Freddie wasn’t, and now Bowie’s gone too. We’re so lucky to have all these moments to celebrate and enjoy. What a gift, thank you DB. Say hi to Freddie for us.

Alice: Life on Mars is my fav track. It was my Dad’s fav when i was younger and rubbed off on me!

Ryville: Can I pick ‘Chubby Little Fat Man’ that he wrote for Ricky Gervais on Extras?

[Ed: the response on the circul8 Slack was a standing ovation GIF]

It was fun to consider Bowie as a bully. Clearly he’s not.

Steph: Heroes…Because it’s a song that inspires.

Will: Heroes. Trying to pick my favourite David Bowie song is near impossible… he reinvented himself so many times and each persona he embodied has impacted me and influenced me at one point of my life. The cosmic mind expanding vision of ‘space oddity’ in my teens, the absolute groove of ‘golden years’ and the soul of the entire Young Americans album as I started going out, the stark desolation of his Berlin albums at times of disillusion, more recently ‘modern love’, even his new work collaborating with LCD Soundsystem and Arcade Fire has influenced me. Ultimately all of his art has made me feel that being different wasn’t just ok, it was something to be proud of and to revel in, and one song in particular has always stayed with me, inspiring confidence and ambition; Heroes. The 1977 live TV version in particular resonates with me; bare from any make up, red jacket, just himself, singing to the camera. That’s the confidence I always strive to have.

I always just kind of thought he was invincible.

Written by Nic Dorward

18
Jan

Circul8 Expands with New Clients & Returning Friends

Circul8’s 2016 is looking busier than ever, and we’re loving every minute of it!

As 2015 drew to a close, Circul8 was very proud to welcome new clients as well as secure ongoing relationships with some of our dearest existing ones.

Firstly, we were very pleased to announce a new partnership with the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO). Hot on the heels of Japan being named #2 on Lonely Planet’s ‘Best in Travel’ 2016 global list, JNTO have big plans to increase destination awareness and build on inbound visitor numbers from Australia.

Given our long history of successful destination marketing campaigns, JNTO and Circul8 make for a great fit. We’ve already kicked off the very fun work of revolutionising their digital marketing strategy to remind Australia that Japan is a tourism destination like no other, and later this month will launch our first major interactive campaign, so watch this space and make sure you’re following JNTO’s social channels.

 

Meanwhile, we were very pleased to end 2015 by re-securing our digital marketing partnership with Changi Airport Singapore. In the final month of 2015, we were thrilled to learn that Circul8 had won Changi Airport’s open pitch for the second time in a row.

We’re now on board with the world’s #1 airport for a 2.5 year “extended stopover” as their Australian digital marketing partner. We’re excited at this opportunity to keep creating content and bespoke campaigns that build on our mission to show Australians: when it comes to Changi Airport, getting there isn’t just half the fun – it doubles it!

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Right before the holiday break, we also had confirmation from another new client who said “Yes!” to our our belief in the power of change, recognising that Circul8 is where people come to change the way the world talks about their business. Keep an eye out for more info on that soon as we launch one of our most ambitious projects to date!

Learn more about Circul8’s partnerships and our award-winning approach to working with brands.

Written by Nic Dorward