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The Circul8 Christmas Party: 2014

On Friday, 5th December team Circul8 held our annual Shark Island Christmas party. A forecast of thunderstorms and torrential rain didn’t put us off . We decided to just go with it. (Good thing we did, because by quite the stroke of luck, we were treated to a bright day with blue skies. Thank you Mother Nature!)

Our festive Friday started with a boat ride through the harbour where there may or may not have been a few “I’m on a boat” references… because, whatever… we WERE on a boat. Once at Shark Island our 12-course feast commenced, courtesy of culinary whizz Jamie. (We think we’re still full!)  

What followed was a sunny afternoon filled with some very Instagram-worthy cuisine, a few too many glasses of bubbly and some casual busting of moves to Rihanna (nothing says Christmas party more, right?).

When the sunshine finally started to fade, and the rain clouds closed in we decided that rather than head home, we would prefer to sit tight and watch. Let us say, witnessing a storm gather over Sydney from a small island in the harbour is pretty damn beautiful. And it makes for some awesome photography.

…But the piece de le resistance of the entire afternoon would have to have been it’s final hour. There was some pretty impressive jumping from the Shark Island wharf with the pink shades of a harbour sunset as our backdrop. Poetry!

From all of us at Circul8, we’d like to wish you a very Merry Christmas. Here’s hoping your holiday season is a safe and happy one!

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Written by Stephanie Nuzzo


The ads that ruined Christmas

December 25. Little Jenny awakes from a restful sleep and stretches out her arms. She kicks off the bed covers, exposing her reindeer-print pyjamas and jumps out of bed, her heart pounding with excitement. Jenny runs down the stairs, into the living room and over to the Christmas tree, which shelters half a dozen wrapped gifts. She walks over to the largest one, which has a gift tag resting on its top that reads, “Jenny” in thick black cursive. She crouches down beside it and tentatively rocks it back and forth, desperate to discover what sits inside… At least, this is what is supposed to happen of a Christmas morning. Today, it seems more likely that little Jenny will glance over at her festively wrapped gift and think, “I can’t wait to take that BMX for a ride around the block!”

…It’s that time of year once again and if you’re anything like the Circul8 team, you have done next to none of your Christmas shopping but you have perused the internet for prospective gifts. What you may not realise however, is that none of this browsing goes unnoticed. Advertisers deliver retargeted ads based on your search and online purchase history.


According to Marketing Land, three quarters of consumers notice re-targeted ads. Consider this, and it probably becomes clear that if you share a computer at home, chances are the entire family is privy to your online shopping history.

Let’s take an example offered by Mashable:

“Let’s say you buy a PlayStation 4 for your son on the family computer. You close all your browser windows, and junior sits down at the computer to do homework. He opens a browser session — but because an ad network’s cookie has tracked your shopping, he notices ads touting deals for the PlayStation 4 surrounding every web site he visits.

Just like that, the magic of Christmas and holiday gift-giving is gone. If junior is young enough, he may wonder whether Santa is trying to send him a message or torture him: ‘I know this is what you want, kid, now you have to see it over and over again.’

And if he’s older and more savvy — well, now he knows that the last gift mum and dad will hand him on Dec. 25 is the PS4.”

So, how do we sidestep the spoiled surprises and, in effect, save Christmas for ALL (or more likely, your family of 4)?

Why not use them to your advantage as suggested by

Retargeted ads offer you a nice platform for messing with your family and causing them to believe you’ve bought them all kinds of curious (awful) Christmas gifts.

Simply throw in a few sporadic searches for Crocs and Bintang Bali singlets and your genuine gift ideas should remain concealed. Your family will be served a mix of ads – both lovely and horrid. Christmas = saved.

Little Jenny deserves that magical Christmas morning – let’s be sure she get’s it this year ;).

Happy holidays!

Written by Stephanie Nuzzo


Twitter Adverts: What’s new and what’s for you?

Paying to extend your reach across social media channels is now the rule, not the exception. The gold rush days of your content magically appearing on every fan’s Facebook feed is over, and with Twitter’s recent shift in advertising and engagement, they’re not far behind. (Fan favourite Instagram have also been making similar rumblings).

Here at Circul8 we’ve started to experiment with Twitter ads, given that Facebook ads have resulted in huge returns for our clients. The question we always ask for every client is “will promoting your content on Twitter be worth it?“

Twitter is putting a lot of thought behind their ad potential, but don’t let them do all the thinking for you. Here’s a list of 6 things to consider if you want that little blue bird to chirp for your business, and some important tips for how to deliver that content.

1. Know your budget

Until recently, your options were limited to pay-per-conversion (0.50c to $4.00 per click/fav/RT/new follower) OR to take out the Times Square billboard of Twitter ads and buy a trending hash tag  ($200,000 a day). Talk about extremes!

However, recent changes mean you can get a LOT more specific about your campaign aims, and in doing so better define how pay-for-performance affects your objective based campaign:


 2. Drill down!

Just how specific you can get with a targeted community might seem overwhelming, especially when you’ve been given the job of growing a brand. However, Twitter is rolling out more and more ways to target specific users.

For example, this week they’ve launched the ability to target users with new mobile devices (let’s not wonder how exactly they know this!). Would your app be perfect for someone with a new phone or tablet to catch them as they build things from the ground up?  The specifics of that might be mind-boggling at first, but this at the core of social media advertising: specificity as opposed to the blind ad buying that dominated trad media.

3. Mobile be there for you (when the rain starts to fall)

This is crucial for any ad strategy you roll out on Twitter. 80% of active users engage with Twitter on their mobile device. That means whatever you’re driving them to had better be optimised for mobile devices, otherwise they’ll back away. If you want users to jump off into your microsite, or complete an act of web commerce, make sure it’s with those iPhone/Galaxy commuters in mind.


4. Analytics, analytics, analytics

Like Facebook, the great benefit of advertising on Twitter is the wealth of analytical info you can get during and after your campaign, but it extends to ALL your tweets, not just the ones you pay to promote. That info isn’t available to regular non-paying users.  Just make sure you invest in the time necessary to read and interpret that data, otherwise its just numbers on a csv spread sheet!

(PS there’s a suggestion that advertising on Twitter fast tracks the ultimate social media status symbol – the verified blue tick.)

5. Hashtaggers gonna tag tag tag tag tag

Or will they? If you’re advertising on Twitter, you know the value of a good hashtag to aggregate your content and allow more people to find you (and you to find them). Have you spent enough time thinking through your ideal tag?

It’s vital you understand the sense of community or connection users will form with the hash tag. Just planning on using a blunt #BRANDNAME? Perhaps there is a better way to engage with them. Luke Ryan at Mumbrella has some #great #ideas about putting the #community #first, and letting them #inform your #campaign  (PS – don’t overdo it!)

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6. Play “devil’s advocontent”

We’ve all seen it: the well-meaning idea/catchphrase/open ended question that gets away from the intention of the campaign. Social media may no longer be the wild west it once was, but you can bet it won’t play by the rules you expect it to.

Make sure you can step away from your brand, or campaign, and view it like those timeline comedians might. Everyone is looking for the next “whoops” moment from a business, big or small, and the Internet is an unforgiving mistress. Don’t be today’s #socialmediafail


(Earlier this year, LG France made a joke about the iPhone #bendgate scandal…tweeting from an iPhone)

Written by Nic Dorward



On Monday morning we arrived at Circul8 HQ, business as usual. Not long after though, we were all transfixed by the terrible actions unfolding in the middle of our city as the #SydneySiege began, continued throughout the day and well into the night. It ended in unbelievable tragedy, and we offer our condolences to the families who lost loved ones and our support to the survivors who endured something no one should have to experience.

In the midst of it all came a single moment of kindess from which a movement has sprung. Sydney-sider Rachael Jacobs posted an interaction on Facebook with a Muslim woman on public transport:


It was a single act of solidarity that went viral after Twitter user Tessa Kum (@sirtessa) became inspired by the interaction between Rachael and the unnamed Muslim woman, and put out an offer online to do the same for anyone that shared her bus route.
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Soon, others were using Tessa’s hash tag #illridewithyou. The idea was to offer support to anyone wearing religious garments or of diverse ethnicities that felt nervous about travelling on public transport (sadly, often the scene of racial persecution). Not just social media support: actual, physical help by offering to sit with and travel alongside anyone that felt they may be targeted for their appearance or beliefs.

Within hours, #illridewithyou was the number one trend in Australia and around the world.


Usually here on the Circul8 blog we often share social media phenomenon, however we like to think #illridewithyou as more of a human phenomenon. An example of when people champion good in the face of illogical tragedy that could spark further violence. Social media is no cure for the world’s ills, but people certainly are. From our phones and laptops it can sometimes feel like we’re helpless, but #illridewithyou proves there’s potential in us all to make the world more than the awful actions that occurred at Martin Place this week.

A sea of flower tributes at Martin Place.

A sea of flower tributes at Martin Place.

Written by Nic Dorward


Tourism Fiji’s First Instameet

Last week we hosted Tourism Fiji’s first ever Instameet as part of our latest campaign, Fiji SUNSET (, to lure visitors to Fiji.

The #FijiInstameet, which took place between the 2nd – 9th November, saw us send 4 international Instagrammers to Fiji to capture a little slice of Fiji happiness to share with their social communities of almost 1.7 million followers!

Our very own, (very lucky) MD, Alana, was joined by globally successful influencers Lauren Bath, Christoffer Collin, Emily Shreck, Sylvia Matzkowiak and Ading Attamimi, winner of our recent competition (to find the Fiji Instameet’s ‘Official Photographer’).

Our Instagrammers were treated to an exciting week; Visiting 7 different resorts, flying in helicopters, visiting a floating island bar, exploring a Fijian cave, travelling in speed boats, enjoying a Fijian island picnic, floating down a river, drinking cocktails, snorkeling on the incredible coral reefs and enjoying Fijian food, hospitality and warmth. They shared their adventure every step of the way, sharing photos of their travels & experiences.

The Instagrammers also supported our latest Fiji-SUNSET campaign ( which asks users to watch one minute of relaxing Fijian sunsets, for the chance to win a luxury holiday to Fiji worth over $30,000.

If you’re looking for a moment of escapism from your desk or commute to work, take a look at some of our favourite snaps on the Tourism Fiji Instagram account. (Or enter the FijiSUNSET campaign to WIN a trip for yourself.)


Sunset cocktails with @beijingemily@laurenepbath captured this image of @beijingemily jumping into our turquoise waters! #fijiinstameet at Cloud 9 FijiThe best way to end your day in paradise. @adingattamimi_photography #fijiinstameetImage captured by the talented @goldie_berlin #fijiFiji Instagram Ambassador @wisslaren's favourite #Fijiinstameet #FijiSUNSET shot


3 FREE Social Listening Tools You Should Be Using


One of the most important parts of managing social media accounts is keeping “in the know”. To be successful with social media, you must be able to follow conversations that concern your brand – all of the time, across all channels. How does one do this do you ask? You engage social media ninjas like the social team at Circul8! Or, failing this, start off by jumping onto some good listening tools!

In today’s Internet space, there is no shortage of available social tools. In fact, there’s a list as long as Lindsay Lohan’s list of ‘special friends’. 😉

Many social listening tools can be fairly costly to run and do you really need to be spending the big bucks to listen to what’s being said about your brand online?

Probably not. So, as a start, we at Circul8 have put together a list of the top 3 FREE social tools guaranteed to help get your listening skills all ninja-like, quick smart!

1. Google Alerts: One of the best basic tools for listening for general news and updates linked to your brand online. Enter terms you’d like Google to comb the net for and you will receive daily-automated emails with the most recent related articles. We recommend adding alerts for your brand name, competitors and terms relevant to your brand. Sure, it works kind of like a fishing net and pulls in some junk along with the great catches, but as a whole it is certainly worth your time.

Set it up here:

2.Topsy: Topsy is a social search tool, allowing marketers to track their brand on Twitter and Instagram to see how content is being shared, who is sharing, the key influencers and the sentiment over time. (More powerful than the standard and advanced Twitter search!) You can also use Topsy’s free social analytics tools to track keyword popularity or mentions over time. Search Twitter handles, hashtags and terms to keep informed on what’s being discussed. A great everyday tool for everyday listening.

Use it here:

3.Iconosquare: Iconosquare allows you to search Instagram hashtags, respond to comments, follow accounts and measure monthly performance. The website offers statistics on engagement, followings and your Instagram account’s activity. Also, it gives you the option of using some of Instagram’s features (Liking & Commenting) from your desktop, rather than having to log in and out on your smartphone – Glory!

Log in here:

With these forces combined you will become an all-seeing, all-knowing social guru in no time. Power to you!

If you need a little extra help give us a call to see how we can help you and your business conquer social!


Help Get Climate Change on the G20 Agenda!

Circul8 is excited to be working with WWF, with support from Greenpeace, GetUp, Earth Hour, AYCC, Oxfam, Australian Conservation Foundation, 350 Australia and 1 Million Women to create a campaign encouraging people to tweet G20 leaders asking them to include climate change as a stand-alone item on the G20 agenda this weekend.

Introducing the #OnMyAgenda campaign

Leaders from the major 20 economies of the world are meeting in Brisbane this weekend and climate change is not a stand-alone item on the agenda, despite being discussed at the past eight G20 summits. Climate change is one of the biggest threats to global economies, with G20 countries accounting for 80% of the world’s carbon pollution.


To make our collective voices heard, our OnMyAgenda campaign website, supported by social media, email, billboards and press releases, aims to send a unified message to the G20 leaders, that we want climate change to be put back on the agenda as a stand- alone item.

This morning we released a Thunderclap, sharing thousands of Tweets and Facebook posts at the same time, (much like an online flash mob!) spreading a message through social media that cannot be ignored.

Our website allows tweeters to contact all G20 world leaders at once via Twitter in their native languages, with the message that they should add climate change to their agendas. We urge you to join us and get your voice heard! Sign up and get Tweetin’ here:

Join us and put climate change #onmyagenda. Our voice is more powerful when we speak as one.



Masters of the Mo – Our Tribute to Movember

As we are well into the sunny month of November we thought it more than fitting that we show our support to all the Mo Bros out there doing it tough, wearing bum fluff out in public.

Social has been an extremely powerful tool for the Movember campaign, with a wave of mo posting (mosting?) driving awareness into the stratosphere. Just a few quick figures for you:

  • There are currently 1,125,817 Instagram posts using the hashtag #Movember.
  • In the past 30 days, 171,008 tweets have used the word “Movember”. That’s an average of 5,700 tweets per day!
  • There are almost 70,000 news articles mentioning Movember!

And remember, there are still 2 weeks to go.

We always love to support a great cause, like Movember, which raises funds for men’s cancers and mental health, so have pulled together a little tribute to the mo.

Here are Circul8’s pick of the top 5 best mo’s of ALL TIME.

Frankly my dear, that mo is spectacular.

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2. Salvador Dalí was a mo man made for the internet – he even had a cat!

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3. Mo mime.

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4. Magnum P.I, Monica’s bf Richard… wherever you know Tom Selleck from, you know he has an epic moustache.

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5. We love Ron Burgundy’s mo almost as much as he loves scotch… Scotchy, scotch, scotch.

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So there you have it: history’s best moustaches. Let us know if you agree!

And do show some support and donate to the mo-tastic cause that is Movember:

Images via:


Welcome Evan!

We’re overjoyed to welcome Evan Clements to the team, who is taking the mantle as Circul8’s new Senior Digital Producer.

After a brief stint in London, Evan has spent the past 10 years in Sydney producing at some of the world’s largest agency networks, including Isobar, Tequila, Droga5 and Havas, for clients such as Tourism Australia, HSBC, Hyundai, NAB trade, ANZ, Domain, Woolworths and Defence Force Recruiting. While at Tequila, Evan worked on the global award-winning ‘Car Creation’ campaign for NRMA.

Evan grew up on the North Coast of NSW, and despite only getting his first email address aged 19 while studying at CSU Mitchell, Evan has a mind hotwired for digital, and is constantly inspired by an ever-evolving industry.

We’re very pleased to welcome him aboard! Feel free to say hi at



Is Ello goodbye? What ad-free ‘Ello’ means for advertisers

Photo via Espen Sundve

Say ‘ello to Ello – the Internet’s ad-free answer to Facebook and social media networks in general. Brainchild of Paul Budnitz, graphic designers Berger & Fohr and creative collective Mode Set, Ello is appropriately cockney in its ‘up-yours’ stance against advertising and data collection of all stripes.

As stated in Ello’s manifesto:

“We believe a social network can be a tool for empowerment. Not a tool to deceive, coerce and manipulate – but a place to connect, create and celebrate life. You are not a product.”

Or as comedian Bill Hicks put it, “That anti-marketing dollar? That’s a good market.”

The cynic in us however can’t help but note the revelations in anti-corporate writer, Aral Balkan’s recent article entitled “Ello, Goodbye” that Ello’s founders accepted $435,000 in seed funding from FreshTracks Capital, a left-wing Vermont-based Venture Capital firm, back in March this year.

As Baklan writes:

“If a company has taken venture capital, you have already been sold. It’s not a matter of if, it’s simply a matter of when. (Unless the company goes under before it can exit, that is.)”

This seems to undermine Ello’s core proposition, because when you accept venture capital, investors have an exit ready.

But for all intents and purposes, Ello’s anti-marketing marketing is working.

While the network has been in beta for just over a year, in just under a week Ello has travelled at the speed of viral, receiving up to 45,000 requests per hour for new accounts to be made – so many that their servers crashed.

It’s a powerful statement being made here, one we hear often: People definitely don’t like ads. At least not the sort of tactless ads which invade your newsfeed for the apparent sole purpose of insulting your intelligence.

For advertisers, it’s a wake up call. That the same tactics won’t work. That when it comes to digital, the rules change.

Many agencies seem to apply carry-over logic from a pre-digital age when communications were largely interruptive. Now, we have to be thinking harder and smarter. It isn’t so much about the single message anymore, it’s more about creating a whole mutually beneficial ecosystem or platform around that single message.

As an industry, we talk a lot about integrated campaigns. What we really need are integrative campaigns, campaigns which are genuinely purposeful – functional, not disruptive. Or in other words, we need to make things which add to people’s lives, not detract from them.

Ello says many things, some of them conflicting, some of them innocuous. But one thing its almost universal uptake does say to advertisers is: innovate.

Written by Mark Starmach