The Annual: A little brand creativity goes a long way

Victoria Bitter senior marketing and sponsorship manager Hugh Jellie
By Victoria Bitter senior marketing and sponsorship manager Hugh Jellie | 25 January 2019

This first appeared in the AdNews Annual 2018. 
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As part of the AdNews Annual 2018, celebrating 90 years of AdNews, we asked a range of brands, leaders and top marketers to share what creativity means to them and how important it is. We also asked some to throw in a future–gazing thought or two on how advertising could shape out in the next 90 years.

Victoria Bitter was founded in 1854 out of the Victoria Parade Brewery in Melbourne. It has more than 1,500 staff across ANZ. We hear from Victoria Bitter senior marketing and sponsorship manager Hugh Jellie.

The first 10 years of my professional career were spent as a 'finance guy' — basically arranging data to inform business decision–making. The only creativity allowed might have been the choice of font on the contents page. So, I understand the impact a little creativity can have on someone's life. And the first reality for me in making the switch to marketing (as much as we would like to deny it) is that most consumers spend only a split–second thinking about our brands. And some don't even spend that.

vb screen

This first appeared in AdNews in-print

So, our marketing needs to be very impactful. What can you make someone feel in that time? How can you get your message across? It doesn't need to be a symphony of creativity; it can be as little as two notes and the dorsal fin of a shark (in this case universally filling theatre–goers with fear). It is no different for Victoria Bitter as we work hard to remind drinkers that a hard–earned thirst needs a big cold beer…

As audiences and media channels constantly evolve, the brands that remain successful are those that will evolve with them.

In Australia, there’s an art to appealing to an ageing population and its increasing mix of consumption while still engaging today's 25–year–old who has grown up with emails, mobile phones and apps. For the next generation, voice and facial recognition will be the norm. Through social media, consumers can now curate and customise their own appearance beyond just the clothes they wear. And they’ll expect their brands to adapt and keep up with them.

To that extent, brands will continue to invest in customising messages as much as digital platforms and budgets will allow.

The question for the future is: How far can brands go to incorporate that customisation into the on–shelf product or service while still positively impacting the profit and loss statement? Perhaps the finance guys will prove important after all.


Reinterpretation of historical VB ads



Reinterpretation of historical VB ads



Reinterpretation of historical VB ads

From Vegemite, Bonds and Stan to Uber, Telstra, Aeroplane Jelly and Tourism Australia, to see all Perspectives from The Annual, get your in-print copy of the Annual here and keep an eye on AdNews for the whole collection.

See more Annual Perspectives from these people below:

Vegemite marketing manager Matt Gray

Telstra marketing executive and chief brand officer Jeremy Nicholas

Stan head of brand Diana Ilinkovski

McCormick Foods Australia (Aeroplane Jelly parent company) managing director of commercial Paris Golden.

Tourism Australia CMO Lisa Ronson

Big Red Group co-founder and CMO Naomi Simson

Clemenger executive chairman Rob Morgan

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